Hello I have a 2003 Mercedes C320(W203) sedan. I had a check engine light come up 6 months ago and the error code was 0P400(Check EGR recirculation flow). I took to a mechanic who asked me to change the spark plugs. But the lights came back on after a month. This time I had problem during idling where the engine had frequent spurts. I got the battery replaced and the MAF sensor replaced. I got P0172 and P0175 error codes alongwith P0400 error code. The last time I couldn't even crank the engine. I towed it to a mechanic shop who said that there was no compression in the engine and wanted to replace the entire engine. The car has 225k miles on it. Has anyone else faced this problem ?

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Profile picture for user MercedesMedic

Did you car ever overheat? Also you mention that you could not crank the engine. Was the mechanic able to crank the car? I assume so, but wanted to confirm. They should also check for spark and fuel pressure. It only take a few minutes.

If you can share some more details that would help. 

Profile picture for user jugluck

No overheating. It had problems starting when the temperatures fell down to 40F here. Had to crank up and press down the throttle real hard to get it started . But not neither me or the mechanic can do this. He said that fuel pump and spark plugs also worked fine.

Profile picture for user MercedesMedic

I am confused then. How did they confirm there is no compression if they can't get the engine to turn over?

The 3.2l engine in that car is very solid but 225k miles is a lot. The codes that you have are not related to the engine not cranking. 

Where are you located? You can get a used engine cheap for that car. 

Profile picture for user jugluck
I am in Houston,TX. He gave me a quote of 1000 bucks for a used engine. But is 225k the shelf life ? I am not greedy but expected this to go until 300K with good maintenance.
Profile picture for user MercedesMedic

Those are solid engines and have seen them go up to 300k. Not sure how this one was maintaned. 

You can get a used engine for around $500. And pay another $500 to put it in. If your current mechanic won't do it someone in the area will. Just call around. 

Check out these Mercedes C320 used engines. 

Also there are a ton of junk yards in your area that have that engine for sale for around 500-600. Go here car-parts.com

Profile picture for user jugluck
ok. Would that make the car salvage or rebuild status after I change the engine
Profile picture for user MercedesMedic

It depends on the state. I have seen a lot of engine swaps where people even bother to check. 

The other thing is that you need to consider the value of the car. It is only worth around $2k I would think. Maybe sell it as is let someone else deal with it and get a 2002 E320 with 120-130k miles. You will be spending about the same anyway. Just something to keep in mind.

Profile picture for user jugluck
That's a good suggestion. Other used ones cost around 4k-5k. This gives me something to think about. I think I will hold on back on engine swap for now. Right now this is a loss minimization problem. Thanks a lot for your help and inputs
Profile picture for user jugluck

Hello MBMedic

so i found a mechanic who found an engine for 44k miles for 1000$ and labor for 700 bucks. Is it worth the repair ? Also do you know where I can get a second opinion if possible ?

Profile picture for user MercedesMedic

A M112 engine with only 44k miles would easily run for another 150k miles if you take care of it. Labor rate is reasonable.

The only thing you need to worry about is that this car doesn't become a money pit. The transmission has served its purpose and may need to be replaced sooner than you think. Other items such as bearings and sturts also wear.

Those are great cars don't get me wrong. But if I rember correctly you said it has over 200k miles.

If I had to make a choise I would sell yours for $1000. Add $2000 and find an E320 or C320 with about 100-130k miles. They are harder to find but still exist. But then maybe you need a car right away.

This is a tough call.

Only you know the answer.

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