C43 on Autotrader £4500 Silver

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New Member
Sep 11, 2008
Well i bought it, it has a full folder of MB history + reciepts, beutifull unmarked exterior/interior and it drove faultlessly untill the gearbox blew up on Sunday!!!!!

AAAARRRRHHHH!!!!!!! ********** *********** !!!!!!!!!********

I spent two hours looking over this car, checked it history meticulously even phoned the stealership where it had been serviced and was told it was a very good example. I did ask whether the auto fluid had been replaced and when they told me no, i was not really that concerned as i was going to replace it anyway and the car shifted gear perfectly.

The auto specialist it's now sat at tells me that there was no way i or the seller would of been able to tell it was going to let go, in his words "just very very unlucky" Well you can imagine how much better that makes me feel!!!!

So the long and short of it is: £2328 all in to get the car back on the road with a rebuilt box (yes that is the cheapest i can get a quality rebuild done).

At first the seller said he would split the cost, not bloody likely i thought and sure enough his solicitor called me yesterday with the inevitable news (he is very sorry though) I'll give him ******** sorry!!

So boys and girls the moral of this story is: Don't ever get your hopes up that it really is as good deal as you think because unless you are luckiest bloke in the world there's always something that's gonna come and bite you in the ****.

Oh well that's what credit cards are for (lucky i'd just paid mine off), a couple of heavy days drinking has not made me feel any better about it. So decided to not stress about it any more and looking forward to getting it on the road.

unfortunately they are a common weakness.

just bad luck.. private sale so he doesnt owe you anything.

Enjoy the car... even at £7000 its a lot of car.
So the long and short of it is: £2328 all in to get the car back on the road with a rebuilt box (yes that is the cheapest i can get a quality rebuild done).

sorry to hear about this, but there is always a risk with older cars. I bought my E230 and have spent about half its cost on getting it up to scratch!

however, £2328 is very pricey. New gearboxs cost less than that. I think there is new one at Dronsfield for about £800 plus VAT.

Are AMG gearboxes that much more expensive?
Yes they are that much more pricey, don't forget you have to have it fitted and the old one removed £350, £300 of new fluids, new torque converter £280 etc, etc. Brand new from MB is £3000 minus vat just for the box. The price i quoted is including recovery and vat.
Sorry to hear your bad luck. It is of no consolation when you're told this is just one of those things and no way you could have seen it coming. BUt at least you can be pretty sure you weren't ripped off. Imagine - another couple of days and it would be the seller saying "bugger - just about to sell my car and it's blown up" - it does happen.

I wish you lots of luck in getting it fixed and then enjoying your lovely ca:rock: r.
Well, I was going to say congratulations until I got to the end of the first sentence!

Although your excitement and experience has obviously been dampened, I think there is enough to still be positive about.

Firstly with any used motor purchase I expect some hidden costs, something you will identify as needing rectification after purchase (although not quite on this scale I conceed).

Secondly with any vehicle of this breed (and age to an extent although newer vehicles included), you have to expect slightly higher running costs and expensive bills if it goes wrong. You could get a equally ugly bill from a M series BMW or an S/RS Audi. You could be just as unlucky or worse with a lot of run of the mill cars too, which less face it would be even more depressing.

The good news is you have bought not only at a market low, but the w202 and C43 specifically has been dropping it's price convincingly over the last few years and you could have bought earlier and for more and had just the same issue.

All I hear about the C43s is gearbox and the body corrosion all w202s suffer from. So if you have the gearbox out the way, fingers crosses for happy performance motoring.

Once repaired, for what you have given the single most costly issue wil be resolved (and you are not skimping) I think the car for outlay still very good. Chin up!
Cheers Guys, it always makes you feel better when people say they feel your hurt Ahhhh!
Gutted for you Boydem....................................

Was there really no way of checking/knowing the box was on the way out?
Nope, a faultless drive and there is no dipstick, can only be inspected from underside. Athough at this moment i can't remember the exact name of the component that failed the specialist say's that once that went it would have made very quick mincemeat of everything else.
can u describe what actually happened? cuz i had an idiot specialist diagnose my car with a faulty gearbox and it actually wasn't... not saying that this is the case here but it'd be interesting to find out what happened while u were driving to prompt u to get it checked..
Unfortunately, they are known for eating gearboxes. I loved mine for the 18 months I had it, but it is a little like sitting on a ticking time bomb.

You've bought a car that was c. £50K new.. they get cheaper to buy as time goes by, but they don't get cheaper to fix :(.

But hopefully, once you've shelled out, it won't give you any more trouble. Trust me, it'll put a smile on your face every time you drive it. And as for that V8 soundtrack.. :rock:


The box is completly screwed mate, it smashed itself to pieces under quite heavy acceleration (nothing silly), it drove enough to get it on the flatbed by which time it had nearly locked solid and did lock solid whilst in neutral when pushing on to the ramp. I looked in the sump pan and it was not pretty.
is this specific to the C43?

what about the non supercharged 55 engines in the E, C, SLK and CLK
I could not tell you to be honest about other model varients which share the same basic box. What i can say is that the C43 is known to eat boxes and when purchashing i was well aware that they have problems. But those facts aside although the C43 does share the same basic configuration and tunnel as other 55 models it has many AMG alterations specific to the car which may be the weakness.

I'm sure another member can offer better insight than myself.
Sorry to hear your news.

Because of those sort of worries and the fact I know nothing about cars apart from push pedal down, car goes faster I always buy from a dealer MB or otherwise so that I can get some warranty.

I know it doesnt help now but I have blown a Saab Viggen and an Audi S3 engine in the past but both were bought from dealerships and were under warranty so they footed the bill. for the repairs.

I am sure once you get the work done, it will be a sweet motor and you will feel confident in the car knowing that the work has been done on it and it will be reliable.

Got any pics of the new car ??
I hate to say it, but:


C43s are pretty notorious for eating gearboxes :(

I appreciate it's come as quite a shock, and obviously you must have wanted it sorted ASAP but I'd have been tempted for a new MB box as opposed to a rebuild.

I have a slight feeling that you may have been able to detect at least some sign of trouble before it died, if I'm honest it seemed too good to be true at the advertised price (you can tell what I'm thinking..). At least you've not paid over the odds, and as has been said, it's still a lot of car for the money, even after the repair bill.

What were the exact circumstances surrounding it when it failed? How many miles had you driven in it etc?

Again, sorry to hear it happened like this but at least you've still got a great car for not a lot of cash :)

I'd probably rather a clean bodied C43 with a duff gearbox for £4k than a slightly rusty one for £5-6k. The rusty one could still blow the box then you'd lose on both counts!

Fingers crossed from now on :)

Sorry to hear that but as soon as you get it back and hit the go pedal it will be worth it.

At £6.5K if its a good example and now with a new box (with warranty?) then its still good :)
Yeap probably still a good price with the gearbox rebuilt.

At least then you don't have to worry about it going anytime soon which could be a problem with any other 2nd hand C43...Even the expensive ones.
Ever Onward...


Sorry to hear your news. However, look on the bright side, once this is sorted you will have a car that'll put a smile on face every time. It's still cheap at the total price you will have paid and the biggest worry will have been dealt with - just ensure that whomever is doing the work warrants it for a meaningful amount of time.

As others have said, many of the bargain-basement C43s out there have been abused and will have this issue and more in store for their new owners. As long as you are happy with the car overall then don't worry, it's just like any other relationship, and this is a down-point!

Best of luck and if you need any advice, make sure you post as the guys on here are great, as I'm sure you're aware:)
Hey bad luck - but you did all the right things to check it out - many years ago I was the victim of a con man who sold me a car that did not belong to him - it was a ringer and stolen from a hire company - the seller had disappeared with my hard earned - all I had at the time - and the insurance company recovered the car from me. Nothing I could do about it; went and bought an old banger.
At least you still have the nice car and you could have paid more for it and had the same thing happen.

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