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Buying a USED C32 AMG

 
Old 08-23-2017, 06:57 PM
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C32 AMG
Buying a USED C32 AMG

Hey guys, new to the forum here and just had a few questions for the board.

I recently owned A G35 & 330i BMW in the past and Im currently in the market for a new vehicle that offers both of what my last vehicles and Much more; power, luxury, handling, drivability, and most of all Reliability.

I gave myself a small budget and narrowed down to a few cars including BMW 330ZHP, Audi S4, and Mercedes C32 AMG.( all vehicles were priced the same w/ maybe a 200$ difference w/ the Mercedes-Benz.)

The BMW ZHP coupe was very attractive to me, having a 330i in the past i enjoy the chassis, handling, and pure driving experience that BMW offers but the luxury & smoothness of the drive wasn't the Best.

Never owned a Audi but based on repair and maintenance bills statistics I found online, id rather not have the hassle, and would prefer just go with a Mercedes or BMW.

Last but not least, "The Beast from the East" the C32 AMG .
Ive always loved the Smoothness, Quietness, Luxury, and Comfort of the Mercedes drive, but never driven or been seated inside of a AMG performance model;so this car was Equivalent to me buying a E46 M3 IMO "BTW E46 M3 has always been a fantasy car to me, I loved it but never think i would own one at my age". (if it matters I'm 21 years old, work in IT engineering) so being able to have the opportunity to purchase a C32 AMG was like a DREAM not to mention the C32 offering more Power, Comfort, Luxury and Reliability than the BMW & Audi.



So i guess you guys know by now that i went with the AMG, and will be picking up the Car this Saturday.

What I want to know is:
1. How Reliable is AMG ?
2. What Common Issues did the C32 have?
3.What are things I should be aware of, and stay on top of while owning such a car.
(C32 has 140K, Serviced regularly at Mercedes Dealer w/ service records, No engine light, Clean Interior and Exterior, currently no problems at all with this vehicle)

Last edited by amgrobaspach; 08-23-2017 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:18 PM
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C32 AMG
Thanks user: kbob999 & skullbox15


Great information on your buyers guide. It helped me a Ton, I will show your list to my mechanic when going to Pick up my vehicle this weekend. sorry,I seen your post after i created my thread.

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Old 08-23-2017, 08:38 PM
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2001 ML55 Designo, 2004 C32 AMG, RIP 2005 Volvo s40 2.4i
From my own research which led to me choose the 32 over so many cars; I found that the best years are 03 and 04 because the 02 ones had a Valero radiator issue as well as camshaft issues. Honestly any c32 can be a hit or miss. I have personally went to see 8 c32's before I ended up buying my 04. You should definitely test drive the ones you're going to see, ask for history on the car, current maintenance, get an OBD and ask the owner to allow you to cold start the car. Try to get one with the bose with aux option. It's a fantastic feature that I appreciate every time I drive alone on the hwy.

ive now owned it for over 6 months and haven't had any issues during that time. My current problem (coils) is miniscule can be sorted out via DIY. Through research you'll find it is not a unreliable car and most problems have a simple fix if not easy and solutions can mostly be found here. You should definitely get a mechanic to look it over if the car is high in miles, appears to be mistreated, owner doesn't seem to know about the car. When looking at it, peek into the engine bay and see how the belts condition is as well as the supercharger beariing. It's probably the most reliable and least complicated when comparing it to a s4 or an m3.

Take care of the basic maintenance as well as keeping up with the tire wear. You can change the oil yourself as well as filters (oil and air) fairly easily.

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Old 08-23-2017, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Oshkoshbigjosh View Post
From my own research which led to me choose the 32 over so many cars; I found that the best years are 03 and 04 because the 02 ones had a Valero radiator issue as well as camshaft issues. Honestly any c32 can be a hit or miss. I have personally went to see 8 c32's before I ended up buying my 04. You should definitely test drive the ones you're going to see, ask for history on the car, current maintenance, get an OBD and ask the owner to allow you to cold start the car. Try to get one with the bose with aux option. It's a fantastic feature that I appreciate every time I drive alone on the hwy.

ive now owned it for over 6 months and haven't had any issues during that time. My current problem (coils) is miniscule can be sorted out via DIY. Through research you'll find it is not a unreliable car and most problems have a simple fix if not easy and solutions can mostly be found here. You should definitely get a mechanic to look it over if the car is high in miles, appears to be mistreated, owner doesn't seem to know about the car. When looking at it, peek into the engine bay and see how the belts condition is as well as the supercharger beariing. It's probably the most reliable and least complicated when comparing it to a s4 or an m3.

Take care of the basic maintenance as well as keeping up with the tire wear. You can change the oil yourself as well as filters (oil and air) fairly easily.
Thanks for the reply, since you stated that 02 models have Valero Radiator issue, would you recommend replacing radiator with updated OEM radiator to prevent that issue from happening even if this problem hasn't occurred yet?

As far as coils go, I'm not sure if they are in need of replacement, previous owner owned vehicle little over 2 years, stated that there are no engine lights or issues with the car to date. He is also a car enthusiast himself so i would assume he kept car up to date. He also stated all service has been performed by dealer and has records.

Well I guess finding out that the year is an 02 I don't feel as bad knowing that I have an extra 2 grand put aside ahead of time for any upgrades and necessary repairs.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:05 AM
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05 C55 AMG|04 C32 AMG (traded)|07 E350 - 4Matic|08 S450 - 4Matic|08 R550 - 4Matic|05 Boxster S
I had a '04 C32 before I traded in for a '05 C55. Some of the common problems I read up on while researching are as follows:

Valeo radiator should definitely be replaced ASAP, the problem with it was that the radiator leaks, and (i'm not sure on the mechanics of how, I'm sure some of the other members on here can chime in with more specific information) glycol ends up contaminating the tranny. One way to check to see if there's any contamination is to get an oil analysis done on the tranny fluid to make sure there's no glycol contamination. The solution is to replace the Valeo radiator with a Behr radiator (late 03 and all 04 models have the Behr radiator as stock)

Another common problem is that the stock intercooler leaks. Coolant will leak into the intake manifold and you will get a yellow residue coating the interior of the intake manifold (though you won't see this unless you actually take off the intercooler to inspect). Tell-tale signs would be if you need to periodically top of the coolant. The solution is to replace the stock intercooler with an aftermarket one, many members here get the Speedriven intercoolers, which have proven to last much longer than the stock ones.

My '04 had the Behr radiator already, so that wasn't a problem. After almost a year of owning the car, I noticed I had to top up the coolant about 1/2 quart every month or so which seemed odd to me. I had the system pressure checked and my mech found no leaks, but I suspect the intercooler was starting to have a very very slow leak. (Car had 200k km)

There is a 3rd issue that I've come across, but no where near as common (it was also more prevalent in the E-class of the same generation). The fuel tank sending units may develop a small leak, and you will be able to smell gasoline when you fill the tank up to the top. The fuel tank sending units are under the rear passenger seats, and if the leak is bad, you will be able to see a small puddle of gasoline sitting on top of the fuel tank. Lift up the rear seats to check if there's signs of leakage or if you can smell gasoline on a full tank. The 'dealer' fix is to replace the sending unit which will cost $$$, some member devised a DIY method, which involves just involves resealing the entire area. You should be able to search it up on the forums here.

Those are your main issues to watch out for, other common problems would be belts/pulleys/pumps which go with age (especially because the car is supercharged). Overall the car is super fun, and if you keep up with the regular maintenance, these AMGs are virtually bulletproof.

Hope you find a nice one and enjoy it!
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Maffu313 View Post
I had a '04 C32 before I traded in for a '05 C55. Some of the common problems I read up on while researching are as follows:

Valeo radiator should definitely be replaced ASAP, the problem with it was that the radiator leaks, and (i'm not sure on the mechanics of how, I'm sure some of the other members on here can chime in with more specific information) glycol ends up contaminating the tranny. One way to check to see if there's any contamination is to get an oil analysis done on the tranny fluid to make sure there's no glycol contamination. The solution is to replace the Valeo radiator with a Behr radiator (late 03 and all 04 models have the Behr radiator as stock)

Another common problem is that the stock intercooler leaks. Coolant will leak into the intake manifold and you will get a yellow residue coating the interior of the intake manifold (though you won't see this unless you actually take off the intercooler to inspect). Tell-tale signs would be if you need to periodically top of the coolant. The solution is to replace the stock intercooler with an aftermarket one, many members here get the Speedriven intercoolers, which have proven to last much longer than the stock ones.

My '04 had the Behr radiator already, so that wasn't a problem. After almost a year of owning the car, I noticed I had to top up the coolant about 1/2 quart every month or so which seemed odd to me. I had the system pressure checked and my mech found no leaks, but I suspect the intercooler was starting to have a very very slow leak. (Car had 200k km)

There is a 3rd issue that I've come across, but no where near as common (it was also more prevalent in the E-class of the same generation). The fuel tank sending units may develop a small leak, and you will be able to smell gasoline when you fill the tank up to the top. The fuel tank sending units are under the rear passenger seats, and if the leak is bad, you will be able to see a small puddle of gasoline sitting on top of the fuel tank. Lift up the rear seats to check if there's signs of leakage or if you can smell gasoline on a full tank. The 'dealer' fix is to replace the sending unit which will cost $$$, some member devised a DIY method, which involves just involves resealing the entire area. You should be able to search it up on the forums here.

Those are your main issues to watch out for, other common problems would be belts/pulleys/pumps which go with age (especially because the car is supercharged). Overall the car is super fun, and if you keep up with the regular maintenance, these AMGs are virtually bulletproof.

Hope you find a nice one and enjoy it!
Thanks a lot, great knowledge shared. I will be ordering a OEM Performance Radiator. I found a Spectra Premium Radiator for 201.00$ lifetime warranty at my local shop.

I will probably change the intercooler as well, replacing them with aftermarket OEM one to prevent future problems.
(when you state intercoolers do you mean a water pump? sorry I'm not familiar with the term)
I also read on another forum that the Ford Cobra/SVT Lightning pump is interchangable with our C32's and can be purchased around 100 bucks or so. If so that might be the plan to prevent any future problems as well.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w203...placement.html

Also thanks for giving a heads up concerning the fuel tank, thats defiantly something I will be on the lookout for.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:12 AM
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Follow up on previous post...this applies to the C32 with 136K miles.

My '03 had the Valeo radiator, and one of the first things I did was replace it with a Behr.

My charge air cooler (under the supercharger) leaked and I replaced it with an aftermarket ($1000 DIY). If you pull the intake manifold on one side, you can see the slime inside. Remove the air cleaner complete, and 8 -10 bolts you will have the intake off. No slime - no problem (yet).

My car is starting to get the fuel smell after filling, so I know I have the leak at the fuel level sender. I'm going to pull the seat and use JB Weld or epoxy to seal that up if cracked, or find the oring bad and replace it. In the meantime, I don't fill to the top. Just need a couple hours to dig into it.

The buyers guide I put together has had all that work done, and I'm using this as my daily driver. It's now reliable due to known issues. Unknown will occur, just have to stay on top of them. Plan to get 200K miles out of it, then figure what to do next.

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Old 08-24-2017, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by amgrobaspach View Post
Thanks a lot, great knowledge shared. I will be ordering a OEM Performance Radiator. I found a Spectra Premium Radiator for 201.00$ lifetime warranty at my local shop.

I will probably change the intercooler as well, replacing them with aftermarket OEM one to prevent future problems.
(when you state intercoolers do you mean a water pump? sorry I'm not familiar with the term)
I also read on another forum that the Ford Cobra/SVT Lightning pump is interchangable with our C32's and can be purchased around 100 bucks or so. If so that might be the plan to prevent any future problems as well.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w203...placement.html

Also thanks for giving a heads up concerning the fuel tank, thats defiantly something I will be on the lookout for.
From what I researched before, the Speedriven intercooler was the only one that proved to last without leaking, every other brand had the same leakage problems as OEM. Some forums members reported going through OEM intercoolers every other year until they switched to Speedriven.

Here is the link to the thread: https://mbworld.org/forums/c32-amg-c...tercooler.html

I'm not associated with them in any way, but just heard that they were good lol (i.e not trying to sell these things to you).
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kbob999 View Post
Follow up on previous post...this applies to the C32 with 136K miles.

My '03 had the Valeo radiator, and one of the first things I did was replace it with a Behr.

My charge air cooler (under the supercharger) leaked and I replaced it with an aftermarket ($1000 DIY). If you pull the intake manifold on one side, you can see the slime inside. Remove the air cleaner complete, and 8 -10 bolts you will have the intake off. No slime - no problem (yet).

My car is starting to get the fuel smell after filling, so I know I have the leak at the fuel level sender. I'm going to pull the seat and use JB Weld or epoxy to seal that up if cracked, or find the oring bad and replace it. In the meantime, I don't fill to the top. Just need a couple hours to dig into it.

The buyers guide I put together has had all that work done, and I'm using this as my daily driver. It's now reliable due to known issues. Unknown will occur, just have to stay on top of them. Plan to get 200K miles out of it, then figure what to do next.
Im curious as to what symptoms were you having that led to Charge air cooler go out? thats sound like something pretty bad and costly.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by amgrobaspach View Post
Im curious as to what symptoms were you having that led to Charge air cooler go out? thats sound like something pretty bad and costly.
Needing to top up coolant every now and then is a sign. Assuming you pressure test the system and find no major leaks elsewhere. It's a pretty well-documented problem with lots of DIY threads on fixing it. The biggest cost will be the actual intercooler itself (at approx $1,000).

Another thing you should look to do doing is replacing all the fluids, the obvious ones are brake/diff/tranny fluids, but there's also the supercharger oil that should be changed too.

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Old 08-24-2017, 09:44 AM
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+1 what Maffu said. There are no other symptoms to see or feel.

One other thing. If your intercooler pump goes bad (they do a lot) replace with the Bosch part (last 3 digits) -010 pump. It is plug and play, and is higher performance than the stock pump. Anything else may not work as well. There are pump performance curves out there to prove this. Used about $100.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:03 AM
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Thanks A lot guys, Im still new to the forum and relatively new to these parts and terms. Im a car enthusiast, I guess you can say I was BMW douche in high school but never really performed by own repairs and maintenance, as I had a friend mechanic perform the work rather than myself.

Being my first AMG I am Now I'm beginning to appreciate and value these cars on a whole another level and its becoming a hobby and fine interest of mine.I figure that this car may be the beginning of my DIY career and I'm totally not worried; with all the support and knowledge from the board members I am fully confident in taking on a new task. You guys have been more helpful than any mechanic I've had in personal relations and dealership. I can't Thank you guys enough!
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:01 PM
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UPDATE:within previous owner 3 years of ownership He has had no serious problems, besides keeping up on regular maintenance, oil changes ect. He stated The only Problem he had was mechanical and he still doesn't have the problem fixed. Basically the passenger side automatic seat doesn't work, only because it was causing the alternator to drain the battery. So both the Alternator and Battery was replaced BUT the seat was kept unplugged it was causing alternator to fail.

anyone ever had this problem?
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by amgrobaspach View Post
UPDATE:within previous owner 3 years of ownership He has had no serious problems, besides keeping up on regular maintenance, oil changes ect. He stated The only Problem he had was mechanical and he still doesn't have the problem fixed. Basically the passenger side automatic seat doesn't work, only because it was causing the alternator to drain the battery. So both the Alternator and Battery was replaced BUT the seat was kept unplugged it was causing alternator to fail.

anyone ever had this problem?
Could be caused by a faulty seat control module, or an electrical drain somewhere in that circuit. If it really bothers you, you could try to localize where exactly the drain is occurring and replace the necessary part (maybe start with the seat control module). But unless this really bothers you, I would suggest just leaving it; it's not a big issue and if you leave the whole circuit unplugged, it won't cause anymore drains on your system.

The seat modules themselves can be quite pricey, though now that the car is older, you may be able to find some with salvage/junkers
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:49 PM
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Do this wiring fix and see if it solves the problem. https://mbworld.org/forums/c32-amg-c...ml#post6871002

Basically, it disables power to the seat controller when the key is off. Key on, and the seat works.
This eliminates the battery drain, but allows the seat to still work.
I did this so i would not get a dead battery on a snowy day at the airport, or any other time.
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kbob999 View Post
Do this wiring fix and see if it solves the problem. https://mbworld.org/forums/c32-amg-c...ml#post6871002

Basically, it disables power to the seat controller when the key is off. Key on, and the seat works.
This eliminates the battery drain, but allows the seat to still work.
I did this so i would not get a dead battery on a snowy day at the airport, or any other time.
Thanks Ill give it a try after my pickup, and keep you guys updated.
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:56 AM
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Just my 2 cents but I would look at C55s. between the 2 I had way better luck with my 55. All the M113 (NA) motors I've owned have be awesome.
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:53 PM
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C32 AMG
Her First visit to her new home. !





02 C32 AMG



02 C32 AMG



02 C32 AMG
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:59 PM
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Previous Service Maintenance from Merc Dealer says the NEW transmission, torque converter and performed shift adaption.
NEW behr radiator already installed as well; so i guess thats a good sign.

I don't have time to type everything and all the work that has been serviced on the car I will say that his car has been previously serviced at the dealer since 2002 , Kept well maintained and regular services.
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by amgrobaspach View Post
Her First visit to her new home. !




02 C32 AMG



02 C32 AMG



02 C32 AMG
Beautiful ! I would definitely suggest upgrading the headlights because it looks much cleaner imo or you could just clean those up because they are looking hazy. Congrats on your new amg, you really made a great choice! Any spirited driving in the way back after purchasing? How are the tires and brakes?

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Old 08-30-2017, 12:35 AM
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Thanks, Car is running good but could be better also had 1 malfunction. There is some small work that needs to be done after taking off the lift. Im going to Replace Both Front and Rear Suspension and Struts; the ones currently on the car are not completely shot (decent condition) but will be due for servicing soon.

Headlights will be replaced with aftermarket angel eyes which I will be getting around to this weekend.

Next is getting some all season tires and new brakes and rotors. Rotors are fine I will just be replacing with Performance Drilled Hole Rotors as well as brake pads.

"Tele Aid SOS" is the message I'm getting on the Display. I read a few forums and it seems like its a just meaning that the cell phone software is out of date, but I may be wrong, just what I read.

Today I had my first issue, I was listening to CD's fine before, well today after changing the to a different CD I got a "No CD Changer" message and the CD tray would not eject. Now I read on a forum a guy who also owned a C32 AMG 02 who also had this problem and stated he resolved it by disconnecting his battery overnight and reconnecting in the morning.

Besides that The car runs fine, I haven't really done any spirited driving yet although I had a did slight hard acceraltion from 10-60mph in about 3 sec, power delivery isn't as torquey as a thought it would with 349hp, but actually very smooth power delivery and makes my back stick to the drivers seat for sure.
I do feel small engine breaking at times, similar to my 330i but very smooth upshifts from 1-5 and down from 5-2 , from gears 2-1 I get a slight difference but nothing that seems irregular.

I don't hear any noises in the dash or weird noises coming from engine after I turn the car off neither.

Shifts through Gears Drive,Reverse,Neutral,Park, and back down smoothy with NO Jerks or strange feelings coming from transmission or Gear shift knob.

I almost forget that I noticed that do get a slight higher idle in Park then all my other gears though. Park idles exactly at 1000RPMS with Neutral and Drive just below 1000RPMS. Im not sure what this means, maybe you guys have an idea or two.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:10 AM
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All my cars are blown! '11 E350 Diesel P2 Sport; '03 SL55 AMG Pano
I like the the DWS tires for all season use. They are quiet and ride well, plus have good grip. Others do too. Michelin AS3 also get raves.

Tele aid is a constant pain, as the system no longer works with digital networks. Look for DIY to kill it, or have the dealer do it.

Disconnect the battery - 10 minutes if usually enough - to re-boot the CD changer and the fiber optic loop. It happens a lot. You will need to turn the wheel lock to lock, and reset the power windows and sunroof after a battery disconnect.

Punch the car and run it hard occasionally. This is a good to test the intercooler pump and throttle position sensor in the pedal. If you get limp mode, you need to fix these.

Jerky shifting is common. Plan to service the transmission with new fluid and a filter every 50K miles. Check the electrical connector there and replace if leaking. Another common failure on the 5 speed trans.

Keep us posted on your adventure!
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:25 PM
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C32 AMG
Originally Posted by kbob999 View Post
I like the the DWS tires for all season use. They are quiet and ride well, plus have good grip. Others do too. Michelin AS3 also get raves.

Tele aid is a constant pain, as the system no longer works with digital networks. Look for DIY to kill it, or have the dealer do it.

Disconnect the battery - 10 minutes if usually enough - to re-boot the CD changer and the fiber optic loop. It happens a lot. You will need to turn the wheel lock to lock, and reset the power windows and sunroof after a battery disconnect.

Punch the car and run it hard occasionally. This is a good to test the intercooler pump and throttle position sensor in the pedal. If you get limp mode, you need to fix these.

Jerky shifting is common. Plan to service the transmission with new fluid and a filter every 50K miles. Check the electrical connector there and replace if leaking. Another common failure on the 5 speed trans.

Keep us posted on your adventure!
Ive done some hard acceleration today;not so much considering I'm only get 14.5 mpg city right now lol. Gas is $3.15 per gallon right But Car pulls well and very smooth power delivery, No limp mode or anything like that happened.

Overall so far so good, and Im loving the car, Smooth driving and handling , Strong Smooth Acceleration from engine, Nice Cool cozy Black AMG Interior, AC & Heat works Great. I love the Car, by far the Best car I've owned and ever purchased(knock on wood), I plan on also purchasing a C55 next year to give the C32 a Garage friend.

Last edited by amgrobaspach; 08-30-2017 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:52 AM
  #24  
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2005 clk55 & 1992 190e sportline
Originally Posted by amgrobaspach View Post
Her First visit to her new home. !





02 C32 AMG



02 C32 AMG



02 C32 AMG
Is that rot on the passenger door? If so get this thing on a lift ASAP and make sure nothing structural has been affected.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:48 PM
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203 amg c32
Super high mileage c32

I can pick up a c32 dirt cheap localy. It has 243k miles on it, guy said it over heated, and sat for a while. Claims the engine will spin but not start, the engine oil shows no sign of water contamination. The guy is asking $1600 body and interior look decent, passenger seatback is off, but there. No rust, one quarter sized dentand scuff that will need paint correction on the passenger front fender with a broken marker light in the same position. So, is it worth the risk? I am a mechanic and have experience with mercedes benz, but the high miles and no start worry me. What would yall pay?
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