The camshaft adjuster solenoid (which is related to the variable valve timing system) may fail or timing chain/balance shaft components may wear, resulting in illumination of the Check Engine Light and various drivability issues. Mercedes-Benz has released a service bulletin outlining specific repair instructions depending on fault codes stored.
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Most reported 1997 Mercedes-Benz C230 problems
The brakes may begin to squeak at about the 50 percent wear point. This is due to the size and material used for the brake pads and rotors. The brake rotor surfaces become uneven, causing a lip to form at the outer edge. This will generally require replacement of the rotors when the pads are worn (pad life varies depending on driving style and terrain).
A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by cracked and/or shredded driveshaft flex discs, resulting in excessive driveshaft movement. If not repaired, damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, transmission, or differential can occur.
Trunk springs can break and cause the trunk lid to fall back down when opened.
Leaks may develop from the differential cover and/or seals on high mileage or older vehicles. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit if these leaks are addressed.
One or more of the following steering linkage components may wear prematurely; tie rod ends, drag link, or idler arm. Our technicians remind us the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted if any of these items are replaced.
A refrigerant leak may develop from one or more of the following AC components: AC compressor, hose manifold for the compressor, or the evaporator core. The loss of refrigerant can cause poor AC performance. Our technicians tell us that proper leak diagnoses should be performed in order to determine the cause of any refrigerant loss.
The interior wood trim and dash pad are likely to crack due to age and sun exposure.
Engine oil can leak into the engine wiring harness from the cam adjuster solenoid. The oil can migrate through the wires and possibly damage the engine control unit. A leaking adjuster solenoid should be replaced.
Irregular and premature tire wear can be caused by the lower control arm bushings cracking, resulting excessive movement at the control arm pivot point. Ball joints can also wear out prematurely, causing similar tire wear symptoms. I some cases it may be necessary to replace the lower control arm, including bushings & ball joint to correct this concern.