Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class Buyers Guide: Tips & Common Problems to Look For

If you are thinking about buying a used Mercedes-Benz C-Class then it is a good idea to know what you should be looking for when you are checking over a potential purchase and taking it for a test drive. If you do a little bit of research beforehand (don’t worry – I’ve done it for you so all you need to do is to read this article) then you do not need to be a mechanic or used car expert to be able to spot hidden faults or new problems just over the horizon. This will allow you to make sure you do not end up buying a car which seems fine but is actually just a few miles away from needing expensive repairs, and will also help you to correctly asses the value of each car that you look at. Here is a list of the most common problems which used Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars suffer from to help you:

On all first generation cars the main thing that you should be looking for is rut. Rust can write off a vehicle which is in good condition in every other way, and it is known to be a common problem for the C-Class. Look for bumps underneath the paintwork and pay particular attention to the wheel arches – both around and beneath them, and also to the sills below the doors and the boot lid.

If you can find a car with a full service history then this is a big bonus, because major problems with the engine or transmission are not common on vehicles that have been properly serviced.

During your test drive you should pay extra attention to the suspension. If the car crashes over bumps and feels like it is giving a poor ride quality then it is very likely that the suspension will need some work done on it. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a pretty heavy car, so problems with the suspension dampers and springs are reasonably common. Also listen out for a knocking noise from the front suspension when driving on rough surfaces, which is a strong sign that the torsion bar links are worn. This is because the seals sometimes tear, allowing water to enter the ball joints, and they will need to be replaced.

Listen for a tapping noise coming from the region of the fuel tank. If you hear this then the car will need the installation of a restrictor in the fuel vent line.

Check that the air conditioning is working properly. This sometimes fails as a result of water leaking into the evaporator sensor.

If you hear a kind of whistling noise from underneath the bonnet when you release the brakes then this is most likely caused by a problem with the power brake booster.

The V6 engine may hesitate or have a rough idle caused by water in the crankshaft position sensor, which requires a new sensor and work on the wiring assembly.

If the used Mercedes-Benz C-Class car that you are looking at has a 1.8-litre engine, then listen for a rattling or tapping noise from the engine when you are starting it up. This is caused by a problem with the hydraulic cam adjusters.