Mercedes-Benz C230 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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 repetitive clicking noise from behind the center area of the dash panel is usually caused by a broken stepper motor actuating arm. The actuating arm controls the direction of air flow in the climate control system. Disassembly of the center console will be required to access and change the broken arm with the updated, reinforced part.

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.

Due to wear, high usage vehicles can experience ignition lock and tumbler failures. The ignition lock cylinder will generally require replacement to correct this concern.

The engine in the C230 is known by Mercedes Benz to have issues due to a poorly manufactured gear on the balance shaft (also known as the counter-rotating assembly). Since the balance shaft gear is driven by the timing chain, which keeps the engine rotating synchronously, when it fails, the timing of the engine will change causing:

-Illumination of the Check Engine Light

-Rough Running Conditions

-Stalling

-Loud Rattle or Slapping Noise

-OBD Trouble Code P1200 and P1208

Correction for this issue is replacement of the balance shaft, or balance shaft gear. Replacement of the timing chain and tensioner should be done as well. The Mercedes Benz dealer may cover some or all of the repair cost on select vehicles as a result of a class action settlement.

The electrical connector at the automatic transmission may leak fluid. Over time leaking fluid could migrate through the wiring harness and damage the transmission control module. If that happens a new harness and control module may be necessary to correct the problem.

The ESP and BAS warning lights may illuminate due to a failed brake light switch. Replacement of the failed switch should correct this concern.

The mass air flow sensor can fail, resulting in poor fuel economy and Check Engine Light illumination.

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.

Inside grab handles, the upholstery on the center console cover, and door trim panels can delaminate. Most commonly replacement of the affected part is necessary.

Oil can leak into the engine wiring harness from the camshaft sensor. If the leaky sensor is not repaired, the oil can migrate through the wires and possibly damage the engine control unit. Have the sensor and harness checked regularly.

The evaporator temperature sensor can fail, causing the AC compressor not to cycle. If the AC compressor does not turn on, the AC system will not blow cold air. If the compressor is stuck on, the air will be very cold at first, before warming up.

The crankshaft position sensor may fail. Symptoms of this are: The engine will crank—but not start—especially when the engine is warm. The car may start again if it is left to cool off, but it may run roughly or have poor performance. Communicating these specific symptoms to your technician can save diagnostic time.

The CD changer may suffer from an internal mechanical problem. Replacement of the faulty unit is generally required to correct this issue.

A dead battery can be caused by a faulty seat control module that does not properly shut down.  Spilling liquids on the front seats can cause these modules to fail.

Failed spark plug wires and/or ignition coils can cause intermittent misfires (rough running); the Check Engine Light may also illuminate. Diagnoses of the ignition system will be necessary to determine which components are at fault.