Common problems with Mercedes C240

The Mercedes C240 was in production between 2001 and 2007. In this time Mercedes managed to sell a ton of these as they were relatively reliable and desirable cars. However, no Mercedes model is without fault, and given the fact that the C240 is now 20 years old, you are likely going to encounter problems.

It seems like the 2003-2005 C240 models are the most problematic while the later models are a bit better sorted from the factory. This is not really all that common as most cars experience the majority of problems in the first years in production.

Air Bag issues are a reoccurring nuisance with the C240 and many Mercedes models from this era also experienced issues relating the airbags. Engine-related issues such as cooling are also relatively common with the C240 because Mercedes didn’t use this engine all that long.

Fuel-related issues are also common, especially for the 2003 models. Electrical issues are a common theme for Mercedes models from this era as well. Finally, the seats and the dashboard components found in the C240 are also prone to issues after a while.

Airbag issues with the Mercedes C240

There were many issues reported by owners from all around the world because the airbag sensors are a bit too sensitive to begin with. Many owners reported that even the smallest dings and aggressive potholes are able to deploy the airbags which means that the C240 is not the safest car to transfer your family in.

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Some owners even reported that they were part of more serious accidents and that the airbags failed to deploy. Passenger airbags and side window airbags seem to be the most problematic. As such, be sure to inspect these at a licensed Mercedes shop to make your car as safe as possible.


Judging by a few credible sources online, many owners reported that the C240 is relatively prone to engine stalling, even at highway speeds. A few owners also reported issues with the oil pump, leaks, and even engine cooling problems. It seems like these are present with both relatively low milage and high mileage cars.

The engine belt and pulleys are also prone to issues, especially on higher mileage examples. The engine itself is prone to sludging and this can make the engine choke over time. Most experts say that this is mostly down to poor design and is one of the reasons why this engine was retired prematurely.

Fuel system issues with the Mercedes C240

The C240 seems to also be affected by a few fuel-related issues such as a strong fuel smell inside the cabin. These were the days of the infamous Mercedes “Takata recall” which meant strong fuel odors due to fuel leaks behind the rear seat parcel shelf near the fuel tank.

Fuel leaks such as these are dangerous, especially if they come in contact with hot components such as the exhaust. Furthermore, they are also known to make you dizzy and can even cause you to pass out. The car can also sometimes start losing power due to this issue which can also be dangerous, especially at highway speeds.

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Electrical issues with the Mercedes C240

The C240 is prone to many electrical issues which tend to result in inoperational accessories and all sorts of warning lights on your dashboard. Many owners complained about the SRS warning light coming on constantly which meant that there was something wrong with the airbags.

Furthermore, exterior lighting and power window, and sunroof controls are also prone to causing issues that ultimately leads them to become useless. These need to be replaced after a while and that’s just the reality of owning a 20-year-old Mercedes.

Seating and dashboard issues with the Mercedes C240

As previously stated, the C240 is now a relatively old car which means that it is not as well screwed together as it once was, especially for a higher mileage example. The seating area is prone to cracking and the dashboard is also prone to sun-related damages and discoloration.

The switches are prone to peeling and the steering wheel is also prone to wear. The gear shift lever is also prone to wearing and it starts to look bad after a while. Issues such as these are even more apparent if you opt for a C240 with a lightly colored interior.

FAQ Section

Is the Mercedes C240 a reliable car?

The Mercedes C240 is indeed a reliable car that can last hundreds of thousands of miles if you take proper care of it. This means constantly doing the necessary oil and fluid changes, servicing the engine, and making sure all of your electricals and suspension components are in decent condition.

The C240 is not an indestructible car and that’s the reality. Many people tend to believe that the C240 is able to run past 500k miles and while that might be true for certain examples, most of them are going to die a lot sooner than that, especially if not maintained correctly.

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Should I buy a Mercedes C240?

The internet is brimming with many proud owners of the Mercedes C240 and saying that it is a bad idea to buy one is redundant. This does not mean that you should line up to buy the C240 as the C240 really does not offer anything that is particularly desirable.

It is a 20-year old compact sedan that does not excel in anything. You can buy one for less than $8,000 which is indeed a good buy. All in all, if you like the C240 and you want to have it, then you should buy it, but the C240 is not that special of a car.

How many C240 models are out there?

The Mercedes C240 is a fairly common car all around the world which means that Mercedes made and sold a ton of these. This makes it easy to find spare parts and most mechanics out there have decent experience working with these cars.

On the other hand, such a common car does not make it special. It is one of the most ordinary Mercedes cars out there, and that’s just the fact.

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Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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