The Mercedes-Benz C230 is one of the trims of the automaker's compact sedan C-Class series. It made its debut in 1997 and was produced as the sports-oriented coupe (Kompressor) in 1999 and 2000. The C230--and by extension, trims of the C-Class--are comparatively reliable vehicles, with their problems mostly electrical.
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In some 1997 C230s, the EC indicator may illuminate, indicating loss of air conditioner refrigerant. This can be fixed with replacement of the refrigerant pressure sensor.
Some 1998 C230s might develop problems with the battery if it is from car accessory manufacturer Hoppecke. The battery maintenance schedule may be less than needed to maintain the proper electrolyte levels that the component requires. The lowered electrolyte levels might result in accelerated battery grid growth, which can increase the changes of the battery rupturing, sparking and exploding. Dealers can replace the battery under factory recall and attach a schedule to the battery compartment to remind you of regular battery maintenance.
Some 1999 C230 may experience the same aforementioned battery problems as their immediate predecessors, which would require battery replacement and schedule allotment.
Apart from the problems that could plague any C230 vehicle--as will be mentioned below--no other major defects have been reported the 2000 model year.
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Any Mercedes C230 may develop failure of the mass air flow sensor. This would cause the "Check Engine" light to come on, and this would cause various performance problems such as rough idling during cold conditions or off-idle hesitation. In such cases, the mass air flow sensor would need to be replaced.
The C230, just like other trims or vehicles produced by Mercedes-Benz, can be expensive to maintain. However, given its reliability records, costly or more serious problems can be mostly avoided. Since members of the entry-level C-Class have comparatively low resale value, a C230 can be purchased for a good deal. Sports-oriented drivers may want to grab the Kompressor version. As with any other purchase of a used car, pull up a CARFAX report to check the car history of the particular C230 you are interested in buying.
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