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  #1  
Old 06-11-2003, 08:34 AM
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any known issue with 1999 C230's?

I found a nice 99 C230 with 33,000 miles, smoke silver. Drove nice. Any known issues with these cars. It is supercharged
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:06 AM
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The one I looked at had an area in the center of the valve cover painted or powder coated red...is that stock? I am assuming no.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:44 PM
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The 5 speed electronically controlled transmission had some early controller issues that may have been worked out by 1999 - MB had to retrofit controllers, etc, into a few 1998 models with that trans. Check it for leaks as well, as there is a fitting on the trans that is prone to leakage, and was updated by MB. If buying from a dealer, I would consider requiring a fluid/filter change in the trans as a condition of sale. MB says the trans is 'sealed for 100k miles, but the fluid is expensive, and the change process is complicated, so might as well have them do it on their nickle.

Also, some techs feel that the compressor isn't up to the same quality as the rest of the engine, and was a weak point, but a number of members here have gone fairly high mileage without problems from the compressor. Try a search for different combinations of the key words w202 (chassis/model number), C230, transmission, compressor, blower, supercharger - you should find a number of threads.

I would check out the suspension (especially front) and brakes pretty carefully, especially the front suspension, as several members talked about early wear in these areas, but we haven't seen any problems on ours in front. We had a problem with the rear differential mount and sway bar assembly, however, that was replaced under warranty. (Not unique to MB - several of our friends with Toyotas and Subarus had the same rear sway bar problems).

Finally, I think the climate control in 1999 went to the seperate knobs to control each side of the car individually. If it still used the 'radio sized' push button LCD display unit in 1998, it is worth having this tested carefully for all functions, as it is expensive if/when it fails.

Otherwise, we love the handling and ride of our 1998 C230, and the 35 mpg highway is hard to beat. It was a bit soft for our tastes, so we installed Koni sport shocks and the 16" sport wheels from the C280 sport, and it handles very nicely at this point.
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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2003, 01:00 PM
JetForeman
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We bought a '00 C230SE new and 51k miles later we still love it. The only problem we had was a mass air sensor went bad around the 30k mile mark. Nothing since, great performance, gas mileage, nice ride. Love it!!

I have been threatening to change the supercharger oil when I get a few minutes though. The oil is prohibitively expensive but I figure once every 50k miles can't hurt. That's not part of the recommended schedule but I've been wanting to do it anyway for peace of mind. Keep the tranny fluid changed, as recommended earlier in this thread, along with the oil and drive it like you stole it, lots of fun!!

So far I'm on my third set of tires, (the second set was junk), second set of brake pads and rotors (went with Greenstuff on the front and ATE on the rears). Other than those few items, which are expendables anyhow, it's been cheap to own.

My only complaint is the engine sounds truckish, not exactly the model of smoothness. If you can get over that you'll love it.
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2003, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
The one I looked at had an area in the center of the valve cover painted or powder coated red...is that stock? I am assuming no.
Yes, this is correct, it is stock.

Quote:
MB says the trans is 'sealed for 100k miles, but the fluid is expensive, and the change process is complicated, so might as well have them do it on their nickle.
MB says the transmission is sealed for life, not 100K miles.
If it is shifting good and not leaking, I would leave it alone.
Just because the fluid looks black does NOT mean it is dirty.

Gilly
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2003, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
MB says the transmission is sealed for life, not 100K miles. If it is shifting good and not leaking, I would leave it alone. Just because the fluid looks black does NOT mean it is dirty. Gilly
Thanks for the clarification. The MB dealer tech told me the fluid was good for 100k miles at most. But then, they had to dive into my trans 3 times in 3 months before they finally got it working properly. Since you have been right on so many other things over the years, I will go by your advice and leave mine alone (unless it starts slipping or leaking again ).
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1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

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  #7  
Old 06-11-2003, 10:06 PM
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I have heard of a few W202 C230K owners having to replace the Eaton M62 Supercharger at lower mileage, but other than that, the driveline seems pretty bulletproof. The M111 engine in aspro or ficed induction seems to be immune to some classic MB inline engine difficulties, including the headgasket problems of the M104. (Touching wood!)

The engine is very well designed with dual-row timing chains. The supercharged engine has beefed up internals including oil-sprayed pistons. This is to handle the additional loading of the supercharger system.

The HVAC system on the 1999- cars is different, in that it is "dual zone" but not an automatic system as found in the 1994-1998 cars. So far I have yet to hear any complaints about HVAC reliability.

Front lower ball joints are problematic on a few late model MB's, including the W202. My own C230 is on it's second set. Worse roads seem to mean more frequent replacement. One (not all) symptom seems to be a squeak when the front end is "bounced."

There is real conflicting info on changing the tranny fluid. The dealer tells me that it's fill for life. The Zone Service Rep says change it every 100,000 kilometers (60K-miles or so). I had mine changed at 90,000 kilometers hoping to err on the safe side. I had the dealer do it, as the labour charge is reasonable, and the tranny a little tougher than others. (the fluid chould be at 80C to set the level properly)

The other potential driveline weak spot on W202's is final drive seals. The axle seals will sweat on some cars. Mine did this some time ago, and since it was under warranty, they replaced all three seals. Two years later, and not a sweat yet. (Touching wood)

Rear sway bar bushings are also a sort-of-common repair, and they are noisy when the rear is "bounced."

Check for a good service history! Have a PPI performed by a mechanic that knows these cars.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2003, 10:25 PM
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Gilly Rants!

My "final word" on the topic of the 722.6 transmission is:

If the transmission fails, it's not neccesarily the fault of the fluid, as "everyone" tends to think. Just because the transmission has (fill in the blank) amount of miles on it, andf it fails, and the fluid was never changed, does not mean the fluid is the fault.
It may be driving habits, or your kid took it out some night and did "hole shots" with it, or some tolerance may have been a little off when it was built, or it got a chip of metal off a gear and it jammed a solenoid (which a fluid change would have had no effect on), and on and on the reasons can go.
Change the oil at 30,000 miles if you'd like, or change it at 300,000 miles. If the thing is destined to fail, it will fail. I've SEEN them (722.6 transmissions) go 300,000 miles without ever being serviced, so I know they CAN do it, if, to a certain extent, you are "lucky".

Sorry if this sounds like a rant.

Glad I got it off my chest anyways.

Gilly
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2003, 10:59 PM
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Dan Rants! Geez, you've been so "understated" lately, I was wondering when we were going to get a little rant. And it was just a little rant...

Gilly, I agree. That said, I'm not sure who to believe some days. The conflicting info I hear isn't from I-might-know-something folks, but from real Mercedes employees.

I don't think I'm saving the tranny from catastrophic failure, but perhaps just extending it's total service life with occasional fluid/filter changes. I can't recall any autobox that calved due to dirty fluid. They just wear out a bit faster. This might be different in the 722.6, but maybe not. Recall that MB thought 20,000 oil change intervals with dino oil in early FSS cars was peachy.

I know that "do-gooders" are a common failure reason with automatic trannies. The Lubex kid "tops off" your tranny fluid, and presto, it's headed for an early grave. I understand MB deleted the dipstick on the 722.6 for just this reason. Keep well-intentioned oil-change-service idiots from changing the fluid level willy-nilly, and as a side-effect keep "cautious" owners from doing the same.

Now that I've had my car for more than a few years, and more than a few miles, I have to admit to loving the 722.6. The "adapting" part of seems to work better than I ever thought it would. The shifts are still smooth. The ratios seem well suited to the car, and having the fifth gear makes all the difference to me. Heck, it even holds the gear when I brake hard for a corner, instead of upshifting and dropping the revs right out of the torque plateau. That's great!

Heck, life could be worse. I could be saddled with a Dodge product, with the "replace every spring" autobox. Or perhaps the infamous ZF box built for BMW whose front pump didn't run at idle. 100K-miles is the outside life for those boxes. Acura put tons of bad five speed autoboxes in the TL, and had a WAY higher failure rate than Mercedes. Honda products got some bad sluch-boxes too. Mighty Honda!

People point to GM and tell me that is HOW to make autoboxes. Remember the TH400 and TH350? Yup. Good boxes, but not without their own problems. Besides, they were primitive beasts. Anyone recall GM's first four-speed boxes that didn't seem to last all the way home from the showroom?

Ford sold Mazda boatloads of four speed boxes that were shipped to Mazda for use in four banger 626's in the mid 1990's. They don't last much more than 30K-miles! Warranty? Fight for it if you're lucky.

I feel the 722.6 is a great design, and there probably have been some production faults that are not design related, but they seem to be worked out. How many of these five-speed boxes have they shipped since MY1997? Wow.
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