‘09 MB C300 Used

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1,152
Location
Somewhere
Howdy. Got a friend looking at this car. Wanted my opinion but I honestly know nothing about MB. All I do know is that they tend be fickle and require lots of maintenance. I told him based on my limited knowledge it would be a hard pass but I wanted to ask around for him. What say you?

2009 MB C300 4Matic
110,000miles
$8000
CarFax is clean. Oil changes were frequent enough that I’m not concerned. No major repairs. Oddest item I saw was a washer fluid pump replacement. I don’t see a tune up anywhere so it needs plugs likely. Needs fluids flushed all around, nothing listed as being done unless if done elsewhere.

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Messages
2,230
Location
Lyndhurst NJ
Theyre pretty decent cars. Easy enough to swap the plugs and air filters out, the newer ones are alot harder. As long as it doesnt fall under the balance shaft problems, theyre pretty reliable. You can google the website that will run your VIN to show if its affected.
 
Messages
40,389
Location
Great Lakes
Wife had a CPO '08 C300 4Matic. Bought it with 25K miles and sold it at 70K miles, before the extended warranty ran out. It was quite problematic. I'm just glad warranty covered it all. The biggest issue was AWD transfer case that started making noise at 60K miles. And since the transfer case is integrated with the transmission, the whole transmission had to be replaced.

Command/nav also had to be replaced at one point, as well as one of car's computers, as well as camshaft solenoid, oil level sensor, turn signal stalk, and some other assorted stuff. All of that before the car hit 60K miles.

Since the one in OP is already at 110K miles, it's possible most of the issues already manifested themselves and were corrected by previous owner(s); however, if the trans fluid wasn't regularly changed, I'd be somewhat concerned.

Personally, I am fond of German cars, but I would pass on this one.
 
Messages
2,687
Location
utah
Is he cool with paying 8k to buy and another 8k to maintain it over the next few years? Older german cars buying it can be the cheap part.
 
Messages
10,245
Location
MA
Theyre pretty decent cars. Easy enough to swap the plugs and air filters out, the newer ones are alot harder. As long as it doesnt fall under the balance shaft problems, theyre pretty reliable. You can google the website that will run your VIN to show if its affected.
The balance shaft problem was in the 2005-2007 range. The 2009 models should be fine. What's the vin? Don't see too many options on it. People just automatically buy the C class because they think it's cheaper, but when I was looking for a 2nd car, an E class was just 1-2k more and I ended up with stuff like the bixenons with headlamp washers, power trunk closer, massage seats, parking sensors, pano sunroof, keyless go, etc. The C class tends to be more stripped down. Because of that, they end up with more problems than the E class.

Use the vin decoder to see what options it has:


Read the brochure to see what the options were:


Get a copy of the EPC/WIS which is the parts catalog lookup by vin number and the repair manual that the dealers use. About $8.50 on eBay.

 
Messages
10,245
Location
MA
Is he cool with paying 8k to buy and another 8k to maintain it over the next few years? Older german cars buying it can be the cheap part.
I've had my 2008 E-350 for about 6 years now. Don't think I've spent close to 8k so far. at least 3-4k though. A chunk of that was tires and rims though, tires were around $800 for a set and bent/cracked rims cost anywhere from $110-$150 for repair/replacement.

Some things are cheaper than regular cars. FCPeuro has a lifetime warranty on all the parts they sell so you can just buy brakes once. Plus I've only been able to get away with just replacing pads on the E class. Pretty much all other cars you have do both pads and rotors. Some things like struts are way worse, springs are only from MB and no quick struts so both front sides with springs/struts was about $700 in parts.
 
Messages
2,687
Location
utah
Glad to hear your ownership is going well. My point was to budget and plan for the worst on cars like this. Set aside the purchase price for a repair fund if you don’t diy.
 
Messages
23,368
Location
CA
They're not too bad, but are still pricey. Like QP said, given the mileage, it is very possible that prior owners have already dealt with the common issues.

The 4Matic transfer case is a real issue. It is built into the trans and if it fails, you are looking at a high 4-figure bill.
The EIS/ESL is a problem on those. About a $2K repair at the dealer, and MB is very strict on which parties get access to immobilizer components. So plan on having that one done at the dealer should the issue arise.
Trans services are pricey. Parts alone will run you around $200.
Plan on replacing all 3 mounts every 100K or so. They run about $200 aftermarket or $350-$400 from the dealer if you DIY. Not a difficult job but you do need to drop the exhaust.
Cam plugs and vacuum pump tend to cause oil leaks. They are relatively easy fixes.
For some reason, the last few 272's I've seen all have leaking oil pans. Easy fix though.
 
Messages
10,245
Location
MA
They're not too bad, but are still pricey. Like QP said, given the mileage, it is very possible that prior owners have already dealt with the common issues.

The 4Matic transfer case is a real issue. It is built into the trans and if it fails, you are looking at a high 4-figure bill.
The EIS/ESL is a problem on those. About a $2K repair at the dealer, and MB is very strict on which parties get access to immobilizer components. So plan on having that one done at the dealer should the issue arise.
Trans services are pricey. Parts alone will run you around $200.
Plan on replacing all 3 mounts every 100K or so. They run about $200 aftermarket or $350-$400 from the dealer if you DIY. Not a difficult job but you do need to drop the exhaust.
Cam plugs and vacuum pump tend to cause oil leaks. They are relatively easy fixes.
For some reason, the last few 272's I've seen all have leaking oil pans. Easy fix though.

Everyone is always afraid of the 4matic and it's also cited as a reason to avoid them in the E-class, mine has been fine. But maybe C-class is worse. EIS problems are common across the entire MB line, but you can also send them out to be rebuilt which is in the $300 range plus the work to remove/replace. Cam plugs seem to be an issue with the M272 engine, but it's so common it's considered a maintenance item. Motor mounts are the same thing with MB guess that's pretty common also. Can't really blame them though, they're liquid filled for better vibration/noise isolation. I always like how smooth and quiet the car is.
 
Messages
268
Location
Atlanta, GA
EIS/ESL lock failure - its not an if but when it happens. Completely bricks the car requiring a tow. Parts have to come directly from Mercedes due to theft control. Someone above said this a $2k repair and I can confirm yes it is.

Tail light recall - There was a warranty extension on tail light modules melting and causing problems. Mine were fixed for free (both failed around same time) but I am not sure time limit on recall is but it was still valid when I got two new tail light modules in '17 when car was 8 years old.

Motor & trans mounts - MB motor and trans mounts are done before 100k miles. 4Matic are a $1800+ replacement at dealership, $800 for RWD.
Hot start engine knock - Loud rod knock at hot engine start. Seems to be normal and per MB it does not negatively affect engine life (rolleyes) - affects both 3.0 and 3.5 M272 engines. Rod bearing clearances were too loose apparently.

This was one of the last MB's that were developed under the Chrysler nightmare and it shows. Once you get the main 100k issues fixed you will be good for another 100k miles, but they are going to cost you.

<Signed former '09 C300 owner>
 
Messages
603
Location
United States
This was one of the last MB's that were developed under the Chrysler nightmare and it shows. Once you get the main 100k issues fixed you will be good for another 100k miles, but they are going to cost you.

<Signed former '09 C300 owner>
There was no nightmare, it was a blessing for MB anyway. First they put their engineers on a leash and then pillaged Chrysler for cash. The first real result of the merger was the W211, an outstanding world class sedan.

As they left the merger they had some problems. Like the time they let AMG design and build an entire engine, the 6.2L V8. My 08 C63’s drivetrain definitely wasn’t as well built or reliable as my 05 E55.
 
Messages
10,245
Location
MA
There was no nightmare, it was a blessing for MB anyway. First they put their engineers on a leash and then pillaged Chrysler for cash. The first real result of the merger was the W211, an outstanding world class sedan.

As they left the merger they had some problems. Like the time they let AMG design and build an entire engine, the 6.2L V8. My 08 C63’s drivetrain definitely wasn’t as well built or reliable as my 05 E55.
The early W211 were a nightmare, especially the 2003, that had a radiator that leaked into the transmission fluid so that toasted the transmission. The early M272 wasn't very good either, the 2006 models had the ones with the bad balance shaft and that was a 5-7k repair at the dealer, they had to take the engine out to replace the balance shaft. You also had SBC brakes from 2003-2006 which was a 2k job at the dealer when the pump went and at some point the SBC brakes could fail on you leaving you with about 10% braking power. They did extend the warranty to 25 years on that though. The W211 still has a 15 year warranty on the fuel tank as that can leak and you smell gas in the cabin when you fill up. Before that, it was a 3-4k repair at the dealer to replace the gas tank/fuel pump. The W211 didn't get better til about 2007-2009 after the face lift but early 2007 still had the balance shaft problem. That was after they got rid of Chrysler.

Oh yeah, the C63 engine had lots of issue, the head bolts would go which would mean a blown head gasket and a new AMG engine was about 25k. They didn't fix the head bolt problem til 2011.
 
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