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Old 08-18-2003, 07:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 520

I am thinking about buying a 95 or 96 C280 and wonder if these have the same wiring harness and head gasket issues as the early to mid 90's E320? Any other issues I should be aware of?

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Old 08-18-2003, 08:27 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 158
Wiring Harness and Head Gasket

The C280 wiring harness was upgraded late in the 1995 model year so the 1996 models do not have the wiring harness issue as do late model year 1995's. Other 1995 C280 models most likely have had their wiring harness's replaced by now since most have failed by now. If you are thinking of buying a 1995 model you should check to see if the harness has been replaced, since once it has, it should no longer be a concern.

The 1995 C280 model has the head gasket issue and I think (but am not sure) that the 1996 model also has this issue. I have a 1995 C280 with 78,000 miles and mine is still not leaking. However, when it does, it only causes an external oil leak and does not need immediate renewing as long as you can put up with the dripping oil.
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:56 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
The head gasket issues seem to be applicable to all 104 motors.
I don't seem to recall the C Class being especially afflicted by the wiring harness prolems, mostly that was found on 124 chassis.
Other than that they're nice little cars.

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Old 08-18-2003, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 158
Nice Little Cars

I agree with Gilly, the C's are nice little cars and I love my 1995 C280. However, my wiring harness required replacement about 1-1/2 years ago due to the insulation flaking phenomena. I appealed to Mercedes and they agree to pick up half of the cost.
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Old 09-08-2003, 11:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 179
BenzBob, come again? How did you appeal to Mercedes? Did you take it to a dealer shop?
1994 C280 204k miles
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Old 09-08-2003, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 158
Mercedes Appeal

The vehicle was been serviced at a Mercedes Benz dealer for a Check Engine (CE) light issue. It was determined that the wiring harness had deteriorated with cracked and crumbling insulation. At the time, I was unaware that this was a specific issue with this car and thought it very unusual. The "stand up for my rights" kind-of-guy that I am, I made it very clear that in my life I had never experienced a situation where something as basic as wire had deteriorated in an engine compartment and surely would not think this is something that should happen in a Benz. The service writer told me he would check with Mercedes to see if they would cover a goodwill repair, but he would not know until the next day. The following day he called and told me that Mercedes agreed to cover half the cost.
I would like to point out that I had purchased three vehicles from this dealer and they do most (but not all) of my service work. They try to keep my business and know I can go elsewhere.
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