2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

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.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) modulator assembly may fail due to dirty brake fluid. Our technicians recommend a complete brake system flush every two years in order to help prevent this problem.

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).

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.

The engine crank case vent hoses may fail, resulting in a rough running engine and/or poor engine performance. Damaged hoses should be replaced.

Valve guides tend to wear in higher mileage cars, which causes compression loss in the engine. This leads to a loss in fuel economy or performance. Replacing the guides, which requires cylinder head removal, may solve the problem or a new cylinder head may be needed.

Irregular and premature tire wear can be caused by the front thrust link bushings cracking and causing excessive movement in the suspension. The thrust link bushings are fluid-filled (to help reduce vibration), so if they crack, they will leak oil.

Trunk springs can break and cause the trunk lid to fall back down when opened.

The heater case for the center vents can crack near the stop sensors. If the stops break, the control motor will not know when to stop and will run continuously.