The C Class W202 was Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the removal of their popular 190 (also known as their W201 model). Design on the W202 began as far back as 1987, when Mercedes first decided to phase out the W201, and the two vehicles share many design features. Owners of the first generation C Class—produced from 1993 to 2000—often experience problems with rough acceleration and shifting.
In order for fuel to be combusted in the engine of the car, there needs to be a mixture of both fuel and air. The perfect combination of these two elements will ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and adjusts to any gear shifting/pedal depressing (both of which are actions that adjust the amount of fuel going to the engine). When something happens to disrupt this sequence, the car will begin to run erratically and jerkily, and there may be bumps in the gear shifting.
The Mass Air Flow sensor (or MAF) is the fancy little contraption that determines the mass of air needed to create the ideal air/fuel mixture for your engine (you can think of it like a super high-tech carburetor). When it begins to wear out, then you can expect to experience all of the above problems as the sensor sends the incorrect amount of air into the engine to mix with the fuel. There is a chance that the rough shifting is due to the transmission warming up, but any sustained roughness is likely a result of a badly worn MAF.
The acceleration and shifting problems might seem small at first, but as the MAF continues to deteriorate, the mixture will become poorer and poorer. In a worst case scenario, the MAF could cause the whole tank of gas to dump into the cylinders, effectively killing your car. To prevent such disasters, take your W202 to a nearby Mercedes-Benz service shop for a complete diagnostic and servicing.
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