1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class from Tanzania


I have a A160 Mercedes with registration T 169 AUA - Last week when I was driving on an uphill at 160 km/hour speed, the "F" fault appeared on the dashboard in 5th gear. Once stopped it went into the other gear, but kept jumping back to "F". Went to a friend who is a mechanic by professional, but could not find a fault/solution.

I have try stalling the engine without any success, so I decided to keep her as it and find someone to buy her since I have completely lost faith on her, I like the car but that “F” in drive position got me off mood!!

Festus Patta / Robert Awali,

Tel: +255 784 280114 / +255 784 777676


Dar es Salaam – Tanzania


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th September, 2009

17th Jun 2010, 23:35

The manual ones last forever.

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class A160 Classic 1.6 petrol from France


Excellent car


Changed brake pads at 100,000kms.

I changed transmission fluid -oil- at 100,000kms, but that was my idea, not even suggested by specialist.

I will be changing soon my 2 front shock absorbers.

I have hit the wheels once or twice very hard, and had to change the rims.

Wiper blades, the one in the back has to be changed more often (3 times in 10 years), the ones at front, I think only once or twice.

At about 100,000kms the wipers worked capriciously, but it was corrected very easily by mechanic.

Clutch at 175,000kms.

Break light bulbs, once.

General Comments:

This car has been very reliable. I wanted to comment about it because it has turned 201,000kms now. Everything works properly. I have only done preventive service at indicated intervals and it is very good. The interiors finish are not as refined as C Class or even modern A Class, but it is rugged and it ages well. Rarely there have been some little noises on the middle section of the dashboard, but it has been eliminated with some liquid my mechanic applies to it - twice in 10 years.

I can take this car to top speed as I could when it was new. Front shock absorbers will have to be changed soon as my mechanic pointed out, but at 201,000kms, I think this is normal, and I take it very often on unpaved routes...

This car is very sturdy, well constructed. It is above other -bigger- cars of other brands. I prefer it much more to VW Golfs or others of the sort.

I like the handling, stability, braking, always in control, and acceleration is also very good. Top speed is near 185km/hr, and I have done that in Germany. I have done many long trips with this car: Spain, Germany, Denmark, Italy -many times-, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg... So, I have taken this car everywhere. I would recommend this car without any doubts to any in search of a used, not expensive to buy or to maintain, car. I have seen problems with automatic transmission, and semi-automatics are okay too, but you have to take a little more care with those. Mine is a simple manual model.

When you have to change something, it is expensive, but you rarely have to change anything.

My Citroën BX was a very good car, but I remember I had to change many more things and when something was wrong it was dangerous - as everything depends of hydropneumatic suspension, and brakes where like all or nothing - without ABS.

This car -A Class- is very safe, you always have good control even in curves or emergency braking.

That is my experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2009

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Elegance 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Rubbish rubbish rubbish


I have a 160 Elegance, it has a "F" sign on the dash and is not going into gear at all. This happened out of the blue - went into services off the motorway to spend a penny, and got back to the baby and saw this F sign. Had to get towed back (200 miles away). Does anyone know what this fault is?

General Comments:

This is the worst car I have ever owned. I had a old shape C-Class before and it was lovely, but this A-Class should be renamed Toyota A-Class!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th September, 2007

8th Sep 2007, 05:58

A Toyota A-Class would be better built and cheaper. The F signal on your dashboard probably denotes a failure of the transmission (automatic, I'm presuming). On such an old car (1999) the repair will be very expensive compared to the replacement cost. I had a 2001 A-Class and happily sold it after a major engine failure. Good luck.

3rd Apr 2008, 10:25

Oh no! The dreaded 'F'

> That happened to mine after just two weeks of ownership

> It cost Mercedes £1167 to put a new one in

> My warranty paid the first £500

> Dealer offered to pay approx half the difference because I had just bought it

> Leaving me to pay £384 or so on a car I bought two weeks earlier for £2900

> A160 Elegance - run a mile from it!

Oh and 'F' means fault with semi-automatic transmission check fuse box, ensure fuse is intact and all relays are in place. If they are, you gotta take it to Mercedes to repair/replace

11th Sep 2013, 05:45

It took me just 45 minutes to fix the error 7 problem on my wife's A Class. The problem only occurs because EU rules force the manufacturers to use lead free solder in the construction of their printed circuits; this leads to dry solder joints, and that is what causes the gearbox problem. I simply changed the solder to leaded solder, problem solved, and you don't need to be a mechanic to do it, it's that simple.

8th Apr 2015, 17:25

You are 100% right.

13th Apr 2015, 13:24

Hi, I have the same problem. Please advise which part you soldered? And how did you take it out?

14th Apr 2015, 16:52

So the car is supposed to be elegant and classy based on its name, but owners are having to stick the car back together? There's a disconnect there.

18th Dec 2015, 22:55

Hi there, I have the F problem. Could you please advise what you did to fix it?

Thank you.