2002 C320 FSS "B"

Hi everyone,
New here & nice to find a group where I can ask a few questions...
1.) Car hit 40k+ mark so no warranty. FSS "B" is coming up & dealer wants
$425. A local Benz shop has quoted me a price of $300. I realize 8.5 quarts of synthetic oil is pricey, but what else are they doing to justify that kind of cash? (And why design for so much oil in the 1st place?)
2.) Would never have bought the car if I'd know the engine doesn't have a dipstick! Owner's manual says engine is model 112. Newer C230 class cars *do* have a dipstick. Only difference in the manual that I can for the engine is in terms of stroke length (2.68 -vs- 3.30).
Question: Can I just go to a wrecking yard or tell dealer I'd like a dipstick for a model 112 engine (from an "E" class say?). Parts Dept. @ dealer says my car's system is designed that way and I'm just SOL. Is there literally a plug or something to prevent me inserting dipstick to inspect oil? If that sensor fails & computer doesn't catch it...
3.) Been hearing tappet (lifter) noise on cold mornings. Thankfully the noise seems to go away when temp is warmer. Does this issue relate back to question 1? (Possible valve adjustment as part of FSS "B" at 40k mark?) I shudder at *any* noise that's not supposed to be there... :)
4.) Finally, my insurance company would give me a better deal if I had complete records for car from Benz-USA. Can't figure out what one item is from that history. "06/02/2005 ; 31,0093mi ; Camp 2006 030004" What on earth is a "Camp 2006 030004?" Just curious.
Also why so much work on front end? Car was owned by a guy in OH; I live in Texas and got it through CarMax. (Not my 1st choice but that's another matter) At 10,500mi "front torsion bar/linkage/plate" is listed. So soon? I got the car and local dealership basically had to replace the entire front end. Known issue, snow chains? They previous owner dogged it by driving into potholes at 90mph? What gives. Car *still* pulls to the right after alignment & wheel/tire check, etc. Interestingly steering wheel is canted a few degrees to the right as well.
Live with it, or can something be done about this? I suspect car may have gone off the road as hardpoint for tire jack has been sheered off on right front side & plastic molding scraped up. Last time I have anything to do with CarMax...
I realize this is a very long post for a new comer. Thanks for reading & thanks in advance for any replies.
-- Bruce
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What did carfax say about this car?
If you didn't buy long ago, take car back and get another one. If I recall, they got some thing like 30 days exchange policy.
Sounds like a disaster for this car.
Just change the oil first... Service B is nothing special aside from changing air filter, oil filter, oil, and a bunch of other look see checks. To reset that service B indicator is written in your owner's manual. If you don't have one, get one from dealer.
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This sounds like a car that has been smashed up.
Paul Fretheim

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Sorry. This post will be long again, as I try to explain.
Maybe I was complaining a little too loudly! (One of my hobbies is auto mechanics which I've been into for about 23 years now.) So I'm anal about everything working *perfectly* on a car or I'm not satisfied. Significant other says I should just mow the lawn... ;)
Anyway my bank is very conservative lender & wouldn't finance until they ran Vin# past Carfax & some other databases that I was told banks & insurance companies have access to. No accidents came up, just routine service records faxed from dealer in Ohio & Merc-USA.
So I believe vehicle itself is sound, or wouldn't have kept it past the 30 day period as Tiger wisely pointed out.
(Maybe most people either wouldn't notice or *care* about a "creaky" noise that might mean worn bushings much less want to take a look at car while its up on the lift. Guess that's just me...If it slipped off road on ice or something & got scraped, well no biggie.)
Problem is I have no experience with Mercedes cars. I don't know what is "normal" sound for engine on cold morning. Don't like *any* kind of tapping noise-- even if it goes away when temp is warmer...
And am I just too anal about alignment? (Car goes about 50 yards w/no hands on wheel before starting to drift to the right-- could do better imho, but maybe I expect too much.)
Before buying, I read up & learned that at least one critic slammed the "C" class a: "piece of crap poor man's Benz for pretentious yuppies in love with hood ornaments."
I like the "C" class though. 240's (or 230's now?) seemed underpowered imo, but powerplant from "E" class in a lighter chassis made the deciding difference (for me at least.)
*** But no freaking *dipstick*! I agree with the critics on that one! ***
I'm told it's the same engine-- C320 & some models of "E" class. So does anyone know if dipstick from an "E" class would work? C320's version of what the owner's manual calls a model "112" engine has *top* of dipstick just nothing to going down to oil pan. ("sealed system" means they've plugged it @ bottom?)
Mainly just wanted to know what they do for FSS "B". Price sounded way out of line at $425. Oil change "check-stuff" & a few filters?
Maybe with Mercedes: "If you have to ask..."
Mechanic at my local gas station says he'll do diagnostics & oil/filter change for a hundred bucks. Maybe some truth to "poor man's Benz"... Who'd drop four bills when all you have to spend is one! :-0 !
Anyway, thanks for your replies. I really *would* like to know about that dipstick & if anyone has ever tried swapping one out before.
regards --Bruce Bocquin
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This is a fairly common complaint about this series. If you do some Googling on the net or specifically on the w203 forums, you will see a number of threads on this.
In regard to a B service, again Google is your friend: http://www.parkplacetexas.com/Service/default.asp?DealershipID=1

Be skeptical because a local gas station may not have a computer that will do a good job diagnosing things.

Have you tried calling or visiting the dealer's parts desk and asking them to look the part number up for both the older E and for your car? If they are the same, then you know you are OK.
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As for the oil change, use synthetic only along with 'fleece' oil filter... not paper oil filter.
Your alignment is still off, have them do the alignment again. I suspect they didn't use a spreader bar to do the alignment... spreader bar basically pushes both side of wheel out as if someone is sitting in the car and that weight pushes the wheel out. So, they probably did your alignment without any weight in the car, person, nor spreader bar.
As for dipstick, ask the dealer part counter to see if it is an option... I believe it is so. My folk's E320 '01 has dipstick in there when there weren't supposed to be any.
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fwiw, the fleece filter is actually paper, but of a different quality, built for the extended service intervals of which the newe MBs are capable. my mechanic recently did B service on my 2005 c240 AWD and showed me the filter, manufactured by Mann/ they retail for between $15-20 u.s. depending upon model.
sherm

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Finally, my insurance company would give me a better deal if I had complete records for car from Benz-USA. Can't figure out what one item is from that history. "06/02/2005 ; 31,0093mi ; Camp 2006 030004" What on earth is a "Camp 2006 030004?" Just curious. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
No such recall campaign as 2006030004.
The only recall campaign that affected a 2002 203 body was 2006030011 and that involved replacing the secondary air injection relay.
Look in your packet of books and get out the maintenance booklet. Look in the back and what is done on a B service is listed.
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