Mercedes shakin and rattlin', received estimate. Opinions?


#1

2002 Mercedes c230, 90,000 miles on it.
Has been great mechanically through the years. Took it in to a new mechanic (can’t go to the dealer anymore for unrelated reasons) who specializes in european cars and got the Mercedes B service about 2 months/1000 miles ago.

A couple hundred miles ago I started noticing the front end shaking during braking, and also if I get on the highway and accelerate through ~50 mph.

Last night the check engine light came on so this morning I took it into the same mechanic. He just faxed over an estimate, a whopping $1740.

He said there were two codes to be read, malfunctioning cruise control and “B1 S1 Sensor short to ground”. I have not noticed any cruise control issues.

He said that there is a control arm and bushing that need to be replaced, and also the O2 sensor. He also says I should replace the front rotors/pads, and that one of the wheel bearings is “a little loose which may account for the cruise control error” (in my mind that says ‘this is a low priority of the bunch’).

I have attached a scan of the estimate.

Any advice my fellow Car Talk fans?


#2

I am quite skeptical of the control arm & the O2 sensor.

The rest of it is typical wear & tear stuff for that age & mileage.

Find out more about what is supposedly wrong with the control arm. A bushing replacement would be a normal wear & tear thing. Replacing the whole arm would be a bit odd unless you hit something pretty hard. And find out exactly what the error codes were that came with the check engine light (format “P1234”).


#3

Thanks for your response.

I just picked up the car so I could take it to another shop for a second opinion. He says the highest priority of the repairs would be the control arm.

Also it looks like the codes are present in the estimate I attached: P203F-008 and P2031-004


#4

You better get ready to Benz over…That’s the problem with these cars…Maintenance costs are insane…


#5

I don’t buy it… I can understand a bushing… but you might have a tire split or hit something with a tire. At 50 mph… you might have tires so smooth at 35 but at speed the imbalance shows.

Don’t forget that shimmy or shake feels little in your cushy seat and shocks… but if vibration is remotely present I’d lean toward a tire or rim first… second suspension. If you have a dampener or brakes have a relation to the suspension system like a dampener in rear end. If you’ve never changed PS or brake fluids… might be a good time.

you only have about a million miles you can put on that motor.


#6

I think everything on the estimate is justified by the description of the problems.

The vibration on braking - rotors.

The vibration on accelerating - control arm bushing.

And the codes justify the 02 sensor.

And I would deal with the wheel bearing now rather than have it fail later - very expensive!