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2009 C350 - Crack in Rear Subframe

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2009 C350 - Crack in Rear Subframe

 
Old 03-31-2017, 05:38 PM
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2009 C350
2009 C350 - Crack in Rear Subframe

My 09 C350 has been pulling to the left when braking hard and making noise when making a hard right turn. Took it to my local shop (mom/pop that I use for inspections and easy stuff that I don't want to deal with) where they threw it up on the lift. Ends up there is a crack in the rear subframe on the driver's side.

Does anyone have experience with this? I see there are people selling the subframes on ebay, so I'm guessing it is somewhat common?

I then took it to the local dealership. I should hear back from them next week if MBUSA will help with any of the cost.





Last edited by hartmann187; 03-31-2017 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:23 PM
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HOLY CROW. I hope MBUSA steps in. That screams of poor metal quality or fatigue beyond what is reasonable!
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:46 PM
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I suppose you have nothing to lose to try and talk to Mercedes, but I would guess they wouldn't do anything based on the age of the car. It is 8 years old.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:50 PM
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Sure it is 8 years old, but only 90k miles on it. I guess I'll find out in a couple days if they will do anything for me.
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:21 PM
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Not a good look . Sorry to hear of your problem.

Just wondered what sort of a life the car has experienced? . Has it ever been in an accident/been off road/ hit deep potholes/been overloaded/towed anything or any other reason for this to happen ?. Can salt do this ?

It is quite extraordinary.You do not say where you come from?
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:40 PM
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I've had the car since Feb 2015...bought it with 55k on the odometer. Based on the history, I think it was always a local (Pennsylvania) car. We get snow, but our road crews don't use a lot of salt. No accidents or off road since I've had it, and nothing on the history. It has hit potholes (we get them around here during the winter), but none were deep enough to break metal.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:17 PM
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I thought only bmw's had subframe issues, you must of hit something good.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hartmann187 View Post
I've had the car since Feb 2015...bought it with 55k on the odometer. Based on the history, I think it was always a local (Pennsylvania) car. We get snow, but our road crews don't use a lot of salt. No accidents or off road since I've had it, and nothing on the history. It has hit potholes (we get them around here during the winter), but none were deep enough to break metal.
I don't know if that's a lie you use to help you sleep at night...I also live in PA, and we use a ton of salt here in the winter. Remember all the white lines on the road before a storm comes are salt as well as the actual rock salt they throw.

Granted your subframe shouldn't crack like that, but PA is harsh on any car.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:48 AM
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GSX I still have a home in PA and yes we use salt but I am now in Wisconsin and there are very few 6-8 year old cars without serious rust on them. Some have rusted through doors and body panels. Missing rockers etc. Trust me when I tell you that I thought we used salt in PA. We don't compared to more frigid states. I have lived in PA for 17 years and never had a serious issue with rust. Here every car more than 5 years old has got rust and it's due to the staggering amounts of salt we use. The roads here are clear within hours of a snow fall. They plow and salt and not that little brine spray we use in PA but boulders of salt that melt snow quickly
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Grey View Post
GSX I still have a home in PA and yes we use salt but I am now in Wisconsin and there are very few 6-8 year old cars without serious rust on them. Some have rusted through doors and body panels. Missing rockers etc. Trust me when I tell you that I thought we used salt in PA. We don't compared to more frigid states. I have lived in PA for 17 years and never had a serious issue with rust. Here every car more than 5 years old has got rust and it's due to the staggering amounts of salt we use. The roads here are clear within hours of a snow fall. They plow and salt and not that little brine spray we use in PA but boulders of salt that melt snow quickly
I think the rust problem you describe in Wisconsin is way over rated. Maybe 20-30 years ago, but not today with the use of better materials and undercoating right from the factory. Sure cars rust, but can certainly still be looking good and without rust at 10 years old if some care is taken over the life of the car. My car is 5 years old and not a spot of rust on it.

I can confirm about the excellent snow removal, at least in the Milwaukee area. Pretty much bare pavement within 24 hours on any main street. The salt on the cars suck and is depressing to look at, but just the price to pay to get around safely. Beats the alternative.
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfadude View Post
I think the rust problem you describe in Wisconsin is way over rated. Maybe 20-30 years ago, but not today with the use of better materials and undercoating right from the factory. Sure cars rust, but can certainly still be looking good and without rust at 10 years old if some care is taken over the life of the car. My car is 5 years old and not a spot of rust on it.

I can confirm about the excellent snow removal, at least in the Milwaukee area. Pretty much bare pavement within 24 hours on any main street. The salt on the cars suck and is depressing to look at, but just the price to pay to get around safely. Beats the alternative.
If this issue isn't frequent in my neck of the woods (4 months of insane salt everywhere), I'm fairly certain that my American counterparts are fine. We use an insane amount of salt here.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:53 PM
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The story is finally over. Local MB dealer couldn't get any goodwill from corporate, but gave me the customer care number. The first MBUSA rep took all my information and said someone would give me a call. A guy called the next day and it was not a pleasant conversation. He essentially chastised me for buying used from an unknown source (a BMW dealer is shady?). Kept repeating that the warranty has expired and that they aren't responsible for it. I told him several times that I understood this, but expected that a top class car manufacturer would stand behind the core of their product.

Ultimately, he said he would offer a credit if I bought a new car or a CPO. If I decide to go new, I have a $1k credit. If I go CPO, I have $1k toward an E class or $500 toward C, CLA, GLA, GLC class.

I did have the car fixed, rather than trade it in on anything (MB or other). The local MB dealer gave me an estimate of $2800 ($1500 parts, rest labor). However, there is a long time independent shop that does a lot of work on German cars. I took it there and they had it back on the road for under $1200 in less than a day. Good people at Huber's (www.huberauto.com) in Ephrata - they deserve business if you live in the area.

When Huber's had the car on the lift for the estimate, the lead tech had all the other techs come over and check it out. He said that they needed to watch out for it on the other C-Classes that they service.

I'll post a few more pictures shortly.

Last edited by hartmann187; 04-21-2017 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:03 PM
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When I picked up the car at Huber's, they mentioned that the piece had completely rusted/broke off of the subframe. Pretty crazy...



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Old 04-21-2017, 09:04 PM
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Here's the piece that broke off:



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Old 04-21-2017, 09:05 PM
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And here is the 'good side'...looks like the rust is already starting:



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Old 04-21-2017, 09:34 PM
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How is it I drive my car for 4.5 months in salt covered road (and parked in a warm garage) and this doesn't happen.

This is crazy to me that they blamed it on being a used car bought at a BMW dealer.

Did you try sending an email to the President of MB US? I've done this by emailing the President of MB where I live (subsidiary). Have always had a great response.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by hartmann187 View Post
The story is finally over. Local MB dealer couldn't get any goodwill from corporate, but gave me the customer care number. The first MBUSA rep took all my information and said someone would give me a call. A guy called the next day and it was not a pleasant conversation. He essentially chastised me for buying used from an unknown source (a BMW dealer is shady?). Kept repeating that the warranty has expired and that they aren't responsible for it. I told him several times that I understood this, but expected that a top class car manufacturer would stand behind the core of their product.

Ultimately, he said he would offer a credit if I bought a new car or a CPO. If I decide to go new, I have a $1k credit. If I go CPO, I have $1k toward an E class or $500 toward C, CLA, GLA, GLC class.

I did have the car fixed, rather than trade it in on anything (MB or other). The local MB dealer gave me an estimate of $2800 ($1500 parts, rest labor). However, there is a long time independent shop that does a lot of work on German cars. I took it there and they had it back on the road for under $1200 in less than a day. Good people at Huber's (www.huberauto.com) in Ephrata - they deserve business if you live in the area.

When Huber's had the car on the lift for the estimate, the lead tech had all the other techs come over and check it out. He said that they needed to watch out for it on the other C-Classes that they service.

I'll post a few more pictures shortly.
Thank you very much for the useful update. Glad you had a successful outcome. IMHO you made the correct choices.

I had no idea that corrosion could have that great an effect in a modern vehicle.

It would be very interesting to know the history of the car before you set sight on it.

Last edited by Carsy; 04-22-2017 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:06 PM
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The Carfax was totally clean when I bought it from Faulkner BMW in Lancaster, PA in 2015 with 55k on the car. I am the second owner. I believe the first owner lived in York, PA and traded the car in. The car was in excellent shape when I bought it with no indication of major accidents. The only issues were surface scratches on the corner of one bumper that was painted over.

Overall, I am really disappointed with how MBUSA handled this issue. Several times the rep mentioned that it would be different if I was a loyal MB customer. I told him that I was a loyal BMW owner for 15 years, and made the move to MB expecting a quality vehicle that I could be loyal to. Now, I think my next car will not be a Mercedes.
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Old 09-29-2018, 01:49 PM
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Me too!

I bought my 2008 C300 new, just hit 100k. Same situation as the original post, at high(er) speeds when turning or braking rear end would shift. I live in the metro DC area so when it rains in the winter the roads get treated.

Car is is at the dealer $3500 parts and labor- recognize the city prices... at a lose as to how to proceed. I have not really spend any money in maintenance other then the annuals at the dealer. I liked the quote I got from my insurance company in having my 16 yo drive it next year...

it there any experience out there to tell if this is the first in many upcoming issues? Would like to avoid a money-pit asap.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:42 PM
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Paul - Sorry to hear that this is happening to you now. If there is a decent European independent shop near you, I'd suggest going to them, or at least giving them a call. My C350 has been solid ever since the fix...nearing in on 112k now. I'll soon be in the same boat as you...hoping to hand it off to my son in a few years.
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Old 09-30-2018, 04:12 PM
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:48 PM
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Amazing ... gross failure of a major suspension component. I wouldn't have thought it possible on a modern-day 'premium' car like Mercedes. Glad your independent shop could take care of it at a reasonable price and get you safe again on the road.

Sounds like something owners in cold regions of the country should start watching for ...
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:32 AM
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After I first got my 2008 c300 and went under it, I saw how thin the sub frame was on these cars and rust did worry me because I come from a place where they use a lot of road salt.

I have been rust proofing my car ever since I have it, making sure to get every bit of the sub frame with no issues so far. I was debating on getting my mechanic to weld up some parts to reinforce it but I chose just to rust proof it which is working great so far.

Car has been through plenty of ruff and salty winters with over 240 000km without rust issues.

Last edited by ltwargssf; 10-01-2018 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Beilke View Post
I bought my 2008 C300 new, just hit 100k. Same situation as the original post, at high(er) speeds when turning or braking rear end would shift. I live in the metro DC area so when it rains in the winter the roads get treated.

Car is is at the dealer $3500 parts and labor- recognize the city prices... at a lose as to how to proceed. I have not really spend any money in maintenance other then the annuals at the dealer. I liked the quote I got from my insurance company in having my 16 yo drive it next year...

it there any experience out there to tell if this is the first in many upcoming issues? Would like to avoid a money-pit asap.

3500$ seem like a lot since I've seen plenty of used sub frames in the second hand market for under 500$. The w212's e class has the same rear sub frame. Make sure to rust proof that new/used sub frame before installing it.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:27 AM
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For those of you concerned, this appears to only happen for pre FL models. Maybe MB did something about this for the FL models? I don't know, but the rampant reports are all for pre FL ones.
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