Mercedes Reliability

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Help! I'm in the market for a new vehicle I am leaning toward a new Mercedes C Class 4Matic over the competition, Lexus/Infinity/Acura/Audi/Saab/etc. It
just feels like SO much better of a vehicle then all the others when you get in, sit behind the wheel and drive it. The only thing that worries me are all the reports that say Mercedes has such poor reliability. I'm tired of hearing all the salesmen of the competition bashing the Mercedes too. Is there anything to these poor reports? What's everyones experience concerning this issue? Thanks for any and all relevant comments! Later....
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Ok, here't the deal. I currently own 4 late model MBs, and have owned a few older ones too. And while I can't speak directly about the C-class, I can tell you about Mercedes quality issues in general.
With all of the cars I currently own, I have never had a single major mechanical issue ever (engine, exhaust, transmission, steering etc.). The closest I have ever come to a problem in those areas were a broken motor mount on my SLK, and a snapped exhaust hangar, also on my SLK. Both can be attributed to hard driving on less-than-ideal Manhattan streets, and both were promptly repaired under warranty with no questions asked.
That's not to say that the cars are trouble-free, because they are not. Things like vacuum pumps seem to break, and the lighbulbs on the dash seem to go out more than they should. There have been some issues with my windshield washer pumps, and with the climate control on my 1995 S-class (notorious problem for that particular model). And the power headrests on my 04 E-class have needed replacement.
There have been a few others on each car, but that is typical of the problems you encounter with these cars. For the most part, the engine and transmission are rock solid. The maintenence issues generally surround the smaller components. But don't get me wrong, it's not like it's a constant thing by any means. I'm just saying that when something breaks, it's usually something relatively minor (as long as the car get's it's scheduled maintenence and such).
And I also have to say that the warranty on these cars are second to none. The dealerships never haggle over what items are covered or not, they just fix whatever problems there are, period. And the free mercedes roadside assistance is also without peer. Other luxury cars offer some kind of roadside service, but believe me when I say that nobody comes close to MB on this one.
Of course I am biased, but I wouldn't have invested almost $200,000 of my money in MB cars if I wasn't a satisfied customer.
Thomas Paladino New York City 04 S430 04 E320 99 SLK230 95 S320
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Unfortunately there's substance to the reports of poor to average quality. It's concentrated in the SUV model and in the complex, bleeding edge gadgets that get installed in all models.
During the first four years the M-B warranty covers most things, thereafter I believe it can be extended and you should investigate that aspect of the warranty before you commit to a M-B.
Remember, the more standard a car is the more reliable it will be - regardless of brand. If you don't NEED 4-matic don't buy it for that reason (and some fuel saving).
As you may have observed on this site, we M-B owners have a love hate relationship with our cars. We have high expectations (in line with the price and hype) and love the way the cars drive but then hate it and are enraged when they break; the repair cost, particularly from dealers, is high.
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T.G. Lambach ( snipped-for-privacy@NoHamOrSpamcomcast.net) wrote:

Much improved. Here's the latest quality report, ranking the M-Class second in the Entry Luxury SUV category.
http://www.jdpower.com/presspass/pr/images/2004037dfull.gif
Wolfgang
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The only car that has ever stranded me by the side of the road is a Mercedes. I have called the service line to get service on the road and they told me to just drive it on in to the nearest shop! And the time I was stopped by the roadside, they did call the nearest shop for me, but I had to find the tow truck myself.
Service is a real problem. The dealerships are really clip joints when it comes to pricing. And they do tend to overdo it on fixing, but that is how you keep them in new shape. Example is my recent $4500 projected front end repair bills that two other shops quoted at $900 and $0 actualy needed. The alignment shop did not find any extra things to do besides the alignment either. So buy one and enjoy it but dump it when the warranty runs out!
mcbrue straightspeakingly under the bridge in the trailer down by the river
96 S420
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You boys are all talking about new cars.
I will tell it to you from the point of view of someone who has had five Mercs now, all of them bought at small money with high mileages (typically 100,000+)
Here in the UK we have an annual mechanical test of all vehicles over three years old, which I think you have something similar, and none of my mercs have ever failed permenantly on the mechanical side of things. Any small faults found during the test were easily fixed, such as worn track-rod ends and the like, which I consider wear-parts just the same as brake pads and suchlike.
The ones that eventually ended-up on the heap were due to body corrosion, and never to anything mechanical. I live very close to the sea in a temperate climate, and this is the fate of most cars in the UK. In Texas, cars probably go to the scrap heap when the mechanicals are too expensive to fix; here it is the opposite, the mechanicals normally keep going long past the body rotting.
I presently own two G-Wagens, one with 80 thou. on the clock and the other with 130 thou. Both are rock-solid motor-cars, and neither of them miss a beat. Totally dependable cars. I have problems with them, of course, but they are always minor things and never a cause of worry to me. Anything mechanical will fail eventually even if maintained 100%, but all the Mercs I have owned have given me a great deal less grief in that respect than other makes that I have had.
How Mercedes' reputation for reliability will fare after the amalgamation with Chrysler, and the policy that the conglomerate follows, is anyone's guess.
But from a user of old Mercedes cars over a long time, I would say that they have the edge on most other makes. Heaven's - I binned my first Merc, a 115 diesel, after it had done 250,000 miles, and I bought it after it had finished its life as a taxi in Holland with 110,00 miles on the clock.....
--
All the best,
Stubbsy.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (MCBRUE) wrote:

I would agree... I have a lemon, and since I had complained to the dealership, they have ignored returning my call on no less than 10 times...the service manager has turned over several times in 2 years (mainly due to the stress of dealing with c class owners that are pissed). they refuse to do much more than turn it over to the regional rep (who offered me $3,000 toward a new car...big deal since the car cost $47,000 and if I bailed right now, I would be upside down by $12,000).
They just don't care, they offer lip service...can you imagine any reputable business, that tells a customer that they will look into things, and then never ever calls them back with a resolution?
They duck complaints, and avoid fixing problems... the local dealer cannot fix things, and will not make things right... they are rude and not customer oriented. I surely hope they don't treat S class buyers the same way... I am pissed at this treatement with a C-class...treatment that I wouldn't accept from a Ford dealer.
Run like hell, MB will languish for a few years then after seeing a drop in sales, get it's act together and reposition itself back in the quality and service market...but for now, neither of those concepts are apparant in my car an dealership!
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When I was in a dealership recently I spoke to the service adviser about 'quality', as he had spent many years as an electrician in Merc South Africa and Merc UK. When moving countries he had gone to a couple of other manufacturers but returned to Merc as he found it a better place.
He confirmed an increase in problems in Mercs but also put it down to the increasing complexity and electronic components.
DAS
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For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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The early C-Class W203 2000 and 2001 had numerous small problems. None of these problems were significant except that some people had fuel leaks in a place where it was a known error.
Most of the problems seemed to be easily resolved. So there is no cause for alarm.
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I leased a new German E220 Diesel Station Wagon manufactured in December of 2000 and have 125,000 kms (78,000 miles) on it and the following has been replaced so far:
Brake Switch Injector Power Steering Pump Two Turbochargers Lower Ball Joints Intake Manifold Alternator Rear Seat Release Cable
I had high expections and I am exteremely disappointed in the quality. For a while, I was spending more time with the local Mercedes service managers than I was with my wife. They even would kid me about having a car that was built on a Monday.
Kindest regards from Garmisch-Partenkirchen,
BiLL.......

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Still skiing in Garmisch, or has the snow melted?
DAS
--
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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Well yes we all know about the Mercedes turbocharger.
How on earth did you break a manifold ....... you should try driving on roads.
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The intake manifold is made of plastic and it was the [non-replacable] control arm on one of the valves that had a "clean" break. My guess one of the Merchedes mechanics did it while he was troubleshooting the original turbocharger problem. It failed with a bad bearing. The replacement turbocharger lasted about three months and less than 10,000 kms.
Kindest regards,
BiLL.........
wrote:

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My 2004 C240 4matic is 10 months old. The car was excellent in all respects thru an American Midwest winter. The all wheel drive with traction control, anti-skid, etc, was quite good (I have driven SUV's and Audi quattro). For city driving, the car beats an SUV. I wish the suspension was tighter, but the car still feels pretty good at 134 MPH (great at 110!). My one problem with the car: an annoying rattle from the center console area, my dealer pulled the wood paneling and added a bit of foam insulation behind it. That took care of things.
Back to the suspension, if you don't really need 4matic, I'd take a serious look at a C230 or C320 sport sedan!
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http://www.mercedes-benz-usa.com /
here is a complaint site
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I think what we can only give you is our personal experience and perceptions.
I am no longer a fan of Mercedes as a vehicle that expresses reliability, longevity, and exquisite engineering. But my experiences are tainted with the purchase of just one Mercedes - a 1983 380SL that has major engine design problem that is going to cost me a lot of $'s to fix and Mercedes refuses to acknowledge. Personally, if your intent is to purchase a new Mercedes and get rid of it when the warrantee expires, and you like the Mercedes, then go for it. If your intent is purchase a new Mercedes for the long haul, I suggest: a) stop looking at Mercedes and run as fast as you can to the Lexus dealership hoping that lust for the Mercedes will subside, or b) consider a pre-owned Mercedes but first research potential problems that the particular model might have.
Also, I have noted over the years that the quality, enginneering, and longevity of Japanese vehicles have narrowed the gap that made Mercedes the ultimate in automobilia and might have even exceeded Mercedes. Today we have many Japanese models that easily run reliably over 200k miles, and have quality appointments with fit and finish that exceeds that of years past. Today, Mercedes is just an ordinary auto - not the ultimate in automobilia it once was - MHO of course.

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C-class has been plagued with electrical problems... many of which MB-USA has told customers to "live with it" turn signals, seat memory, radio, etc.
While my car is a lemon (I will not relist all the problems here...if you want search the archives an you will see the huge list), and that is purely anectdotal, ...the online surveys don't lie... check out edmonds.com, and you will see poor numbers for the car. I am probably buying an Audi or Porsche next.
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Thanks everyone for all your comments!

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Never owned a C class, but I'm on my third MB (all new) and never had a moments bother. My first was an SLK320, then a Diesel E 320 and now the CL500. This is the best by far, which is what I expected of course. I cannot remember anything needing to be fixed on any car whilst in my possession. Services come and go and the car goes on and on and on. Can't expect more than that.
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Hi i have had 4 new and one used,
the only issues i have had was on new pillarles coup when it got warm would run like a dog took about a month to fix in and out of MB
on a new C class had same problem kept cutting out when warm took 2 days to fix apparently to do with wadding in the exhaust?
if we compare that to other new cars I have had the MB are far better (hell I still buy them)
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