In March 2001, we flew to Bremen, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, to collect a new C220 automatic in dark blue. Some of these C-classes were beginning to be made in South Africa, so it was a pity they didn’t offer to fly us down there. But we had a nice break in Bremen and a tour of the factory. And then I drove the car back to Calais and onto the cross-channel ferry.
Sixteen years have now passed and it’s time for someone else to take the car over for the next 16 years. (By which time it will be almost a classic.)
It’s done 110k miles, a lot of it on motorways in England and France during the first 14 years. As a result, the rear brakes lasted 91,000 miles from new. The front brakes wore more quickly, and were replaced at 50,000 and 98,000 miles.
The car was serviced at Mercedes dealers in Surrey from new until 2010 and then at a Mercedes independent specialist, MercServices in southwest London. It’s always been serviced whenever the computer says a service is due. There are stamps in the service booklet for every service and receipts for all work paid for over the 16 years. The last service was at 102,000 miles.
Three new tyres were put on last summer at around 106,000 miles; the fourth is a bit older but still has 5-6 mm tread.
The last four-wheel alignment was in March 2015. It doesn't seem to have needed one since then.
The MOT is valid until 26 March 2018 and it’s passed the last two MOTs without any advisories. All MOT certificates since the first in 2004 are with the service record.
The car is unmodified and is all original except for necessary replacement parts. It hasn’t been involved in any accidents over the 16 years, though the front left and rear right plastic bumpers are slightly scraped from parking next to concealed stonework on two separate occasions.
Most things are working, though the air conditioning could do with regassing. It lasted 11 years from new before regassing; the next time it lasted three years, then a year. Now it could do with another top-up but I haven’t got around to it.
A few years ago, the glowplug light came, meaning that one or more of the glowplugs needed replacing. (The light goes off after 30 seconds.) Although it’s only about £200 to replace them all, I decided against because I’d heard stories of glowplugs shearing off and falling into the cylinder, causing a lot more problems. As a Mercedes service manager told me, the car starts anyway without them. I’ve had no problems down to a little below 0C. If I was living in Finland with minus 20C temperatures I’d have them replaced. In southern England the engine just starts anyway.
I think everything else works as it did when it left the factory. Ask if you’d like more information about the car. I know its entire history apart for time spent in dealers’ workshops.