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Old 07-28-2003, 02:55 AM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492

As the owner of a W202 C-Class car, and with relatives owning several others, I can say:

1. The W202 is a good chassis. It's durable, and it's faults are few and mostly minor. If operating costs are a concern, you might look to the M111 four cylinder C220/C230 cars. You can often get a later model C220/C230 than C280 for the same money. The M111's have fewer problems than the M104 6-pots.

2. I would stop considering the car in question. Any seller that plain refuses to allow the mechanic/shop of your choice to freely inspect the car is obviously hiding something, and I feel you will end up being very sorry about purchasing a car under these conditions.

3. The W202 was a very successful car for Mercedes, sales wise. This means there are often C-Class cars for sale, and with some time and effort you should be able to find the right car. This is not a collector car of any sort!

4. The ES300 Lexus is a good car, but not inexpensive to maintain in the long haul. It is more complex (accessories) than the Camry, and those gadgets are not flawless. If you like the way it drives, you're better off to find a much newer Camry for the the same money. Parts for the Lexus are tres expensive.

5. If you like BMW, do not buy an automatic equipped model, or any pre 1997 V-8 car. There are lots of "just a simple idle adjustment" 540i's for sale that need new engines. The 1992-1996 3-series is pretty good, but both the 2.5 and 1.8 engines have some gasket problems. ZF automatics are crap, even though BMW folks will try to tell you that the non-front-pump-running versions were an anomoly. BS. Also, the BMW is not as robust as the Mercedes in it's structure. The last thing about the 3-series is the number of lead-foot drivers that own them. Younger drivers that tend to bag their cars like the 3-series, and this makes finding a cared for example tougher.

Whatever you buy, paying more upfront for a good example will pay off immediately. A "dog eared" car with a low price will eat your bank account dry in no time with getting the car back to spec.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum.

John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:00 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
I need a owners manual

I also have a C280 from 1994 but cant find a owners manual.
Is it possible to send me a copy? or a PDF file of it?

Thank you

Cant find it anywhere...


Originally Posted by jlomon View Post
I've got a 1994 C280, which I bought about 3 and a half years ago. When I bought it, it had about 55K miles on it, and it now has almost 80K miles. Aside from regular maintenance, the car has been fabulous. The only thing I would add to check for is that you have the updated OVP (overload voltage protector relay) in your car. If this item fails you will find that in certain conditions, your car does not want to start. Its a cheap replacement, I think the dealer charged me about $125 Canadian parts and labour, but it was 2 years ago that I did it.

The best advice I can give you is this: if you buy the car, do some research (on this site) to find a local mechanic that specializes in MB in order to avoid the prices you'll see from a dealer on any type of service.

Good luck,


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