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Old 05-30-2008, 04:07 PM   #1
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C32 AMG reliable??

Is this car reliable at all? I hear horror stories about the transmission and electrical problem. I dont want to be at the dealer each month.

Im thinking about buying a c32 amg 2002.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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And then you can ask about the common problems. After that, ask about what you should do with a $1000 mod budget..
Followed by starting a thread about tinted sidemarkers..
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:52 PM   #3
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Let's try to be kind and helpful to him... People on here have answered a lot of questions for me.

C32's are reliable. The engines and transmissions themselves are bulletproof. The engine is hand built (as are all AMG engines) and the transmission itself, from what I've read, is rated for up to 700ft-lb's of torque. Note that this transmission is used in the C32, C55, W211 E55, as well as some of the Chrysler SRT products - including the Jeep SRT-8. edit - I was wrong here. The Jeep uses the A580 from the previous gen W211 platform, my bad.

From what I have read the biggest problems occur specifically with the 2002 model year and potentially early 2003's with the transmissions. Well, the transmission itself wasn't the problem but there was a potential for fluid contamination from the Valeo radiator that could damage the transmission.

Other minor problems may be encountered just like any car. In general mechanical issues do not seem to be the problem with these cars. It's the little electrical demons that are the killer. The common issues you'll see are automatic windows not going up / down, seats stop moving, sunroof not auto moving. All of this can be reset just by undoing the battery for a while and reconnecting it. Sometimes the seat module may need to be replaced for seat issues.

All that said I've had my for 6 months now and absolutely love it. The power is fantastic and the ride quality is great. Haven't had a single mechanical reliability issue but I have had the seat-moving thing happen. A simple battery disconnect & reconnect reset that and corrected the issue.

So in my opinion - Great Cars! If you're going to buy one you might save yourself some trouble and get one that already has bi-xenon HID's installed. And if you ever plan on installing a stereo try to find one without the Bose option. As a point of reference I gave $24,500 for mine with 41,000 miles. I've heard of better deals as well. Keep in mind this car originally retailed for $55k+ too.


Hope that helps!

Last edited by Biscuit; 05-30-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:20 PM   #4
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Thanks Biscuit,

Im a VW guy so i can live with minor electric problem . The car that i would buy have 80k miles. Transmission was changed as well as seats and have warranty for another year or so.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
Let's try to be kind and helpful to him... People on here have answered a lot of questions for me.

C32's are reliable. The engines and transmissions themselves are bulletproof. The engine is hand built (as are all AMG engines) and the transmission itself, from what I've read, is rated for up to 700ft-lb's of torque. Note that this transmission is used in the C32, C55, W211 E55, as well as some of the Chrysler SRT products - including the Jeep SRT-8. edit - I was wrong here. The Jeep uses the A580 from the previous gen W211 platform, my bad.

From what I have read the biggest problems occur specifically with the 2002 model year and potentially early 2003's with the transmissions. Well, the transmission itself wasn't the problem but there was a potential for fluid contamination from the Valeo radiator that could damage the transmission.

Other minor problems may be encountered just like any car. In general mechanical issues do not seem to be the problem with these cars. It's the little electrical demons that are the killer. The common issues you'll see are automatic windows not going up / down, seats stop moving, sunroof not auto moving. All of this can be reset just by undoing the battery for a while and reconnecting it. Sometimes the seat module may need to be replaced for seat issues.

All that said I've had my for 6 months now and absolutely love it. The power is fantastic and the ride quality is great. Haven't had a single mechanical reliability issue but I have had the seat-moving thing happen. A simple battery disconnect & reconnect reset that and corrected the issue.

So in my opinion - Great Cars! If you're going to buy one you might save yourself some trouble and get one that already has bi-xenon HID's installed. And if you ever plan on installing a stereo try to find one without the Bose option. As a point of reference I gave $24,500 for mine with 41,000 miles. I've heard of better deals as well. Keep in mind this car originally retailed for $55k+ too.


Hope that helps!
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by s2ksim View Post
Thanks Biscuit,

Im a VW guy so i can live with minor electric problem . The car that i would buy have 80k miles. Transmission was changed as well as seats and have warranty for another year or so.
Owning a VW is excellent training for owning a C32! You understand that the little glitches that would be a problem in a Lexus are just part of the car's "character."

Transmission being changed gives me some pause. Was it changed very recently? I would feel better if it was changed a little while ago (and was now working fine). I would also want to know WHY it was changed. If it was changed b/c there was glycol contamination, then you need to find out if the radiator was also changed. If not, then this transmission will get hurt too. I can't recall anyone replacing or repairing a C32 transmission OTHER THAN for the glycol problem.

I've had my 2002 C32 for about 3 years now, and LOVE it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:47 PM   #6
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i love mine!! have you driven one yet?
ps. put $700 aside and order a code 3 performance pulley and intake package!!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
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i love mine!! have you driven one yet?
ps. put $700 aside and order a code 3 performance pulley and intake package!!!
Or a LET Crank pulley or BOTh (when we figure out the boost pressures the SC can take or the RPMs) Either way you'll be happy you did!!


I waited till an 04 came on the market since some of the 02 and early 03 bugs were debugged. They even tested my tranny for fliud and it was fine (before I bought it I requested a report). No problems other than the drivers seat heater which was a known issue, But one that did not affect the functionality go the car.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:51 PM   #8
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Owning a VW is excellent training for owning a C32! You understand that the little glitches that would be a problem in a Lexus are just part of the car's "character."

Transmission being changed gives me some pause. Was it changed very recently? I would feel better if it was changed a little while ago (and was now working fine). I would also want to know WHY it was changed. If it was changed b/c there was glycol contamination, then you need to find out if the radiator was also changed. If not, then this transmission will get hurt too. I can't recall anyone replacing or repairing a C32 transmission OTHER THAN for the glycol problem.

I've had my 2002 C32 for about 3 years now, and LOVE it.
From the seller post :

While under the factory warranty he addressed all of the common issues with the C32s. Such as: Tranny Jerk, Seat heater element failure, ECU programs, intercooler replacement and anything else we could find on the web regarding these cars. I basically gathered all the info I could and went to the dealership with the list and said, "Go to work." They were surprisingly cooperative. The car is tip-top.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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Check the newbie search sticky it has mostly every positive and negative thing/s about the C32...
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #10
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from my experience, the engine/tranny is absolutely SOLID on this car. Never a hiccup for me.

Electrical/Computer software can by very wonky and i needed it to get serviced several bunch of times. My side view mirror still never goes back into original position after i put it into reverse. The car is also known for intercooler pump(?) problems i think? My heated seats also crapped out, and unfortunately living in Canada, that's not under warranty

But all in all, the car is pretty solid.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:31 PM   #11
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Cool i will do so...


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Check the newbie search sticky it has mostly every positive and negative thing/s about the C32...
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:04 PM   #12
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i love mine!! have you driven one yet?
ps. put $700 aside and order a code 3 performance pulley and intake package!!!
I wouldn't do that until the warranty was expired (and he says it's got a year).
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:36 PM   #13
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My personal opinion is to try and get an 03' or 04' C32. 02' is the 1st year and from my experience is more likely to have any issues with accessories.

I love my 02' C32 but have put a lot of money into replacing many accessory parts along with much troubleshooting.

If the car wasn't so damn fun, I'd be kinda pissed. But if you can maybe get a car that's a little newer and has some of the bugs works out, you'll be that much happier with a lot more $$$ to spend on mods.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:21 AM   #14
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I love my 2002 C32 but the list of things that have gone wrong with it is a mile long:

Radiator Fluid in Transmission = New Torque Converter

New Supercharger Pulley

Intercooler Pump

Steering Wheel Adjustment Motor(dash had to come off=$1K)

A/c Stepper Motors(dash had to come off=$1.4K)

Many, many smaller things! And tires don't last; my fault!!

A further insult when I was offered $9K trade in value on a C63!! I guess I'll own it forever.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:27 AM   #15
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A further insult when I was offered $9K trade in value on a C63!! I guess I'll own it forever.[/QUOTE]


Thats pretty typical; you can pick up an 03 in Chicagoland area for about 15-20 K with 43,000 miles on it. They DO drop like a rock. Nice car still!! I think Knauz has one and so does a Milwaukee dealership.


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Old 05-31-2008, 10:34 AM   #16
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Is this car reliable at all? I hear horror stories about the transmission and electrical problem. I dont want to be at the dealer each month.

Im thinking about buying a c32 amg 2002.
Do a search for the common problems -- thrust arm bushings, seat heaters, power steering gear, Valeo radiator, I/C pump. Mine was initially problematic but has settled in nicely and has been great the last several months, now that most of the sore spots have been addressed. Overall very happy with the car, except its piggish gas mileage! Oh well, if you wanna play, you gotta pay, as they say.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:45 PM   #17
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I used to buy only Japanese makes but the C32 has been a pleasant surprise in terms of reliability. Yes, stuff has gone wrong on mine (front bushing squeak, broken seat heater, faulty auto close on the sunroof) but much less than expected. I'm actually out of warranty now and even able to sleep!

The car is a blast to drive and yet stealth, professional, etc. Highly recommend.

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Old 05-31-2008, 03:43 PM   #18
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Bought mine about 18 months ago with about 60K miles. Only issue I've had is IC pump failure (a $200 repair) and electrical seat control module draining the battery ($600 at dealer but others on the forum have fixed it for less).
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:06 PM   #19
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Do a search for the common problems -- thrust arm bushings, seat heaters, power steering gear, Valeo radiator, I/C pump. Mine was initially problematic but has settled in nicely and has been great the last several months, now that most of the sore spots have been addressed. Overall very happy with the car, except its piggish gas mileage! Oh well, if you wanna play, you gotta pay, as they say.



Piggish, HUH??? I travel a lot on the highways and byways of Chicago and have never gotten less than 23 MPG on the highway. City may be 18-19, but the highway mileage is awesome for a car of such performance. Define piggish for me. I'd say 10-16 is piggish.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:13 AM   #20
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[/B]

Piggish, HUH??? I travel a lot on the highways and byways of Chicago and have never gotten less than 23 MPG on the highway. City may be 18-19, but the highway mileage is awesome for a car of such performance. Define piggish for me. I'd say 10-16 is piggish.
I get 10-16 in the city. Thats piggish lol.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:34 AM   #21
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it's amazing to see almost every C32 owner had identical issues:

1. seat heater
2. i/c pump
3. glycol/radiator/tranny

but once fixed, it's smooth sailing.
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:23 AM   #22
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Cool guys...

Thanks for the infos... Ill be aware of common problem if i decide to buy now
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:34 AM   #23
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[/B]

Piggish, HUH??? I travel a lot on the highways and byways of Chicago and have never gotten less than 23 MPG on the highway. City may be 18-19, but the highway mileage is awesome for a car of such performance. Define piggish for me. I'd say 10-16 is piggish.
16.5 MPG on a mixed commuting loop. Sometimes I can eek out a thrifty 17 MPG on a really good tank. In winter I'm looking at 15-16 MPG.

Our '06 RSX Type-S gets about 27 MPG in the same loop. My old E36 M3 did about 21 MPG.

Sorry man but have to define that as piggish! Love the car but gas mileage isn't a strong suit.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:53 PM   #24
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As far as the mileage:
A benefit of the supercharger, which only comes on when the ECU thinks you need it via an E/M clutch, is that if you drive mellow you can get V6 mileage. But if you start driving it harder, you have 'V8' power on tap.
I drive the way I want, which is probably 70% autopilot and 30% haul-***, and tank after tank comes back as 18.3 MPG.
The first five minutes are really bad, drops quick to 16-17 until it warms up.
However, on long road trips, cruising at 70 MPH (which is under 3000 RPM, and S/C is off) with the A/C on, I have reset the trip computer (it resets to an average of 21.5, and then starts calculating as you drive) and then watched slowly climb to a high of 26.2 MPG. Yes, 26.2 miles per gallon.
The flexibility of good gas mileage and high power that a S/C gives has sold me, and I really wish they hadn't stopped using them; since '07 MB is using big engines or twin-turbo. My next car will probably be the '06 CLS55AMG, which has a S/C V-8 .
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:57 PM   #25
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I can't recall anyone replacing or repairing a C32 transmission OTHER THAN for the glycol problem.
Mine had no contamination but had the "1500 rpm jerk". The rebuilt the tranny, replaced nearly every individual part they could find, and then ended up putting a whole new tranny in mine. This was a couple years ago now. Within a few weeks of driving on the new tranny, the jerk was back same as always. They concluded it was the way the retarded POS adaptive shifting learns and can't be fixed. To this day there is no contamination and the radiator has never been replaced. After my car spent 3+ months in the shop (no exaggeration!) I decided to live with it. All part of that "character" I guess.
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