c55 - what to look for

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DavidL

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Paddles are stock on the later C55's. note: early C55 half the price VED as later models.
Thanks Pete, makes sense. Can't be many late c55 that reach the higher tax level.
 

flowrider

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Thanks Pete, makes sense. Can't be many late c55 that reach the higher tax level.
Just get one before 2006 for the lower tax but to be fair if you cant afford the tax, you cant afford the car.
 
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DavidL

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So it seems we now have 2 silver amg estates on our drive!
Collected the c class on Thursday following inspection at the weekend. This one is in really very nice condition. I know the rear arches have had work so they look lovely but it has a full SH, unworn brakes, spotless wheels and a really nice interior. Doesn't go badly at all as long as you allow for the slightly dim 5 sp box but its better than the hideous outgoing dsg malarky. Its off for a few bits and pieces next week and then it will be handed over to swmbo to be daily transport once I have child proofed the interior.
I shall be interested to see how they compare, I may even get around to writing a compare and contrast in due course.
Thanks for all the input
David
 

Bobby Dazzler

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So it seems we now have 2 silver amg estates on our drive!
Collected the c class on Thursday following inspection at the weekend. This one is in really very nice condition. I know the rear arches have had work so they look lovely but it has a full SH, unworn brakes, spotless wheels and a really nice interior. Doesn't go badly at all as long as you allow for the slightly dim 5 sp box but its better than the hideous outgoing dsg malarky. Its off for a few bits and pieces next week and then it will be handed over to swmbo to be daily transport once I have child proofed the interior.
I shall be interested to see how they compare, I may even get around to writing a compare and contrast in due course.
Thanks for all the input
David
Congratulations on your new car. Which C AMG have you bought? Apologies if i’ve missed it.
 
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DavidL

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It's the one at the beginning of this thread. Late 04 on 112k.
 

JeroenSandstorm

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Hi, just wondering how you were getting on with the c55 estate? I've noticed they are a lot of car for the money but the reliability scares me (currently have an 09 e350)
 

Petrol Pete

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Hi, just wondering how you were getting on with the c55 estate? I've noticed they are a lot of car for the money but the reliability scares me (currently have an 09 e350)...

Hi Jeroen . If I had a 09 e350 instead of a 2006 C55 AMG with 150K miles on it I would be more worried about potential expensive breakdowns than I do right now. The M113 V8 is pretty much billed as the best engine MB ever built as far as reliability goes . Everything else still works on mine, it is a very 'analogue' car ie: most of it can be worked on DIY with spanners and hand tools. It is 'old school' even new and costing £50+K in 2006 it was the end of the line for the W203.

The only thing , and in my opinion it is a BIG thing is the rust, it let's the marque down in a big way on the W203's despite everyone saying the later ones were galvanised they can rust. It's a bit of a lottery , some are fine , most are not . Japanese imports usually have no rust.
 

JeroenSandstorm

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Hi, just wondering how you were getting on with the c55 estate? I've noticed they are a lot of car for the money but the reliability scares me (currently have an 09 e350)...

Hi Jeroen . If I had a 09 e350 instead of a 2006 C55 AMG with 150K miles on it I would be more worried about potential expensive breakdowns than I do right now. The M113 V8 is pretty much billed as the best engine MB ever built as far as reliability goes . Everything else still works on mine, it is a very 'analogue' car ie: most of it can be worked on DIY with spanners and hand tools. It is 'old school' even new and costing £50+K in 2006 it was the end of the line for the W203.

The only thing , and in my opinion it is a BIG thing is the rust, it let's the marque down in a big way on the W203's despite everyone saying the later ones were galvanised they can rust. It's a bit of a lottery , some are fine , most are not . Japanese imports usually have no rust.
Yeah I've been looking at jap imports due to the rust issue, more concerned about the non engine random bills that pop up. My e350 has been a pain and it's only got 60k miles on it, although this is more likely caused by the previous owner failing to maintain it properly.

Have you had any issues other than the usual brakes/tires? I know this car is from the chrysler era which is my main cause for concern as the quality of mercedes dropped after the merge
 

Bobby Dazzler

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As suggested @Petrol Pete suggests, the C 55 AMG is almost certainly the most reliable and least expensive to run of all AMGs. The engine is reliable and the W203 platform is generally is pretty good - apart from rust - and parts prices are much more reasonable than other AMG models.

I would say it’s a real sweet spot because not only is it reliable and relative inexpensive, but it also has a fantastic balance feeling relatively modern with more than a dash of old school charm. That makes for a great driving experience.

The C 32 is a fantastic car too, but poor past maintenance can leading to big bills when the years of corner cutting finally bites. The cars which were well maintained from new - I know of at least two - proved to be reliable and relatively inexpensive to run.
 

Petrol Pete

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Jerome. I have had mine more than 5 years as (up until Covid) a daily driver , I still drive it at least once a week all year round , it lives parked outside.

Let's turn a blind eye to the rust for a moment . Other than consumables , tyres , brake parts etc (all can be found for very reasonable prices) and basic service work the only things that have broken are...

The CD multiplayer in the glove box sometimes can't be bothered to come to life.

The rear hatch lock sometimes needs a good slam to get it to latch, I will get around to that soon.

I had to replace the parking brake splitter , this can be a pain in the a$$ and is common to all W203's not just C55's

And that is it , all of it ....

Seriously . This is a very basic car . As it gets older I am sure other W203 gremlins might pop up , HVAC actuators breaking is one that springs to mind , cheap parts but a big job to remove the dash to make the fix.

The gearbox is bulletproof with correct servicing , and by modern standards 360 bhp from 5.4 litre V8 is a pretty low output = under stressed drivetrain.

PS , if you have to ask about real time fuel consumption you shouldn't buy one .

But I will tell you anyway . 16mpg urban - 25mpg motorway.
 

JeroenSandstorm

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Jerome. I have had mine more than 5 years as (up until Covid) a daily driver , I still drive it at least once a week all year round , it lives parked outside.

Let's turn a blind eye to the rust for a moment . Other than consumables , tyres , brake parts etc (all can be found for very reasonable prices) and basic service work the only things that have broken are...

The CD multiplayer in the glove box sometimes can't be bothered to come to life.

The rear hatch lock sometimes needs a good slam to get it to latch, I will get around to that soon.

I had to replace the parking brake splitter , this can be a pain in the a$$ and is common to all W203's not just C55's

And that is it , all of it ....

Seriously . This is a very basic car . As it gets older I am sure other W203 gremlins might pop up , HVAC actuators breaking is one that springs to mind , cheap parts but a big job to remove the dash to make the fix.

The gearbox is bulletproof with correct servicing , and by modern standards 360 bhp from 5.4 litre V8 is a pretty low output = under stressed drivetrain.

PS , if you have to ask about real time fuel consumption you shouldn't buy one .

But I will tell you anyway . 16mpg urban - 25mpg motorway.
That sounds like a good mix then! I can live with 16-25mpg etc but think I will need to replace my car with 2 cars anyway, definitely will be an option come time to replace the e class!
 

Petrol Pete

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Ooops . I did forget one failure . an oil leak right in the middle of the V on the engine block. one of the freeze/welch plugs sprang a leak . It's about a £5 part but a fair bit of work to get to . My independent mechanic repaired it and said it was an extremely rare occurrence.

Details on this thread.

 
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DavidL

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Missed this. we still have the c55 and haven't had any real issues bar routine stuff and a gearbox solenoid. A bit more bodywork around the rear arches(inevitably) but other wise it has been good. It uses more oil than the e55 but still within spec. It is slightly comforting that it lacks the special bits so repairs will be a bit easier. No plans to move it on just yet.
 

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