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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • Dear IKE,
    Don't do it. There are so many other options other than ML320. I currently own a 2000 ML320 with 60K miles and I regret paying $40K brand new (five years ago).
    I've listed a laundry list of problems during my ownership, but in the last month I had to take it back for a repair to the sunroof ($300) and catalytic converter replacement (warranty).
    First of all, 90K miles takes you out of all the warranties. I was able to replace the cracked catalytic converter for free since Federal Law mandates 8years/80K miles for emission control components. Otherwise, the service manager told me that it would have easily costed over $1000.
    The fair price would be between $12K-$16K. I would recommend taking it to a M-B repair shop other than the dealership.
    All 2000 ML320 came with the standard screen, but the navigation system was a $2000 option. I did not get that option, because it was CD-ROM based. It would cost more than $2000 to install that now. You can surf e-bay to get a used system, but it's a huge gamble. If you buy it, don't get the system installed.
    I love the way it drives, especially in inclement weather. If you live in San Diego, why would you ever need a 4X4? I lived in SanDog for 2 years, and the most logical car seems to be a BMW 3-series convertible.
    If you buy this car, keep about $3000 in reserve for subsequent repair (it will happen). I'm trying to get rid my car right now.
    Good luck.
    Navy Guy from Norfolk
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    What is the fair price to pay for this (I have checked Edmund and KBB sites, please give your personal feedback)
    High mileage would lead me to pay about $12,000
    if the car was in otherwise good condition.

    - Where should I take this SUV to get checked, do you know if MB dealer does this, and do you suggest it? (I will of course call to find out, again need personal input)
    Most dealers will run a VIN-based history for you that would show all repairs done at a Mercedes dealer. I'd also run a carfax report to see if the car has a promlematic history. Be sure to
    have a delaer or good independent shop check for the list of problems you see posted here at edmunds.

    - Are these vehicles causing a lot of electrical problems and expensive repairs? I read lots of messages like that and I am interested in hearing your experience.
    It is a true mixed bag. Our 2000 ML320 has had
    one major out of pocket repair (A/C) at 75,000
    miles. Once in a while I see an ESP light on the dash which goes away upon restart.

    - This vehicle has BOSE Stereo monitor, which looks like a Navigation System (with tape deck behind). I was told this can be upgraded to Nav System by a DVD. Is that really possible, if so, how much do you think/know will cost me?,
    Try to find a latter year nav system which uses
    a single CD for map info. Older systems had regional CD's. Might get lucky on ebay at about

    Yes, MLs have some problems but it is spotty. You need to keep in mind when considering an ML that
    there is also lots that is right with the car - safety, performance, and decent economy.... we sometimes forget the good when the bad hits our senses, as it seems to do with some cars.

    Except for the fact that I use mine for business
    and took advantage of the accellerated depreciation, I'd probably go for the E-wagon as
    suggested by another entry.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    If you really want an ML. Get a two or three year old model with about 30K - 50K miles. The are decent cars and you will be okay for about 100K miles. I would stay away from high milage MLs unless you have documented service at the dealer. You are gambling with your money. You may do okay but there is also a chance that you get stuck with a lemon. Guess it all depends on your appetite for taking risk. I woudn't buy a 2000 ML with 90 miles.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    because of the outrageous repairs. Both my cost and Starmark warranty covered. Too much time in shop. A great vehicle to drive (I thought), but not own. Now that I have an MDX I realize how far behind the competition M-B has fallen.
  • Does anybody else have a problem with a low humming noise coming from the driver's side dash area, after the ignition is turned off. This noise continues even after I take the key out and open the door. It lasts for about 5-10 minutes. Following short drives, this noise does not occur.
    Can anybody tell me what causes this?
    This may be the last straw for this car, unless the fix is cheap.
    Please help.
  • All,
    I forgot to include that last month my sunroof leaf spring broke and cost me $300 to repair it. The plastic piece that holds the leaf spring shattered and went into the hydraulic system.
    Additionally, I had the catalytic converters replaced after discovering a hairline fracture on one of them. They were done under warranty since exhaust system components are covered under 8 year/80K warranty (Federal Law).
    Can somebody tell me if they had a humming noise fixed on 2000 ML320?
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    The M-Class has a water pump that continues to run to cool the alumnium cylnder heards even after the engine has stopped. You probably haven't heard it for short drives as the engine probably didn't get hot enough for this fan to pump to kick off.
  • Dear mercara,
    Thank you for your e-mail reply. I guess I've never noticed the noise before, because I always parked it outside before.
    Thanks again.

  • My wife has a 2000 ML320 with only 23,000 miles and the gas gauge started playing up about a month ago. Sometimes she would fill the tank and the gauge would read zero! Then about 2 weeks ago, the engine refused to start and we had it diagnosed at a Mercedes dealer. They couldn't find the problem by diagnosis. Finally, we had the fuel pump replaced (it contains the fuel level sender!) and, so far, the problem seems to have gone away....... The fuel pump is a $950 item but we had it done under extended warranty.
  • rdbrdb Posts: 3
    I also have a 2000 ML320 (48.5k)which I can't wait to get rid of as I can't afford to keep it any longer. i just received a Invoice for 1575.00 ) to replace the Fuel Pump and the crank shaft sensor from my dealer (HBL Tysons VA). Also had Brake work and the battry replaced 3 times.
    Driver's side window power assemly died.
    Driver's side window switch also died and many more..
    Shopping for a Lexus type.
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    I just had a ML320 engine failure at 77,000 miles. The engine has died on the road without any warnings and now has to be replaced. I found a references on this thread that it was a class action law suit in 2002 that effects owners of all 1999, 200 and 2001 MBZ vehicles (see post 32 in this thread), in which Mercedes-Benz agreed to extende the warranty on all 1999-2001 vehicles to 10 years/100,000 miles whichever comes first.

    I need an advise on how to approach MBZ with this. Is my 1999 ML320 vehicle covered by this class action suit? Help!
  • ahjmlahjml Posts: 5
    I just had my new 2005 ML350 special edition. I hesitated to start with to buy the 2004 ML350 specially with the comments I have seen in the web. However, I could not resist the new 2005 Special Edition. I really love it. Good luck with your new car.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I belive this was only related to the engine failure due to Sludge build up in the engine. Do you know what caused this. I know even Toyotas had similar problems with engine failures due to sludge in the engine.

    When you say engine failed. What happened? Pistons crank, pulley etc etc?
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    You are right, however I checked my records and the dealer was changing regular oil since 1999 to 2001 (June), but the oil change intervals were 10-12K miles.

    I asked the delar what happended and could not tell me (they said don't know). I am going to visit the dealer today so see it myslef - should I look for sludge? What if they cleaned it up already?
  • mercara,
    You've mentioned that the low humming sound is from a cooling pump, but I really wanted to get it checked out. After a thorough investigation, we've discovered that the noise was coming from the fuse assembly box in the engine compartment. The M-B service advisor told me that there's a cooling fan, which specifically cools this box and is operated by temperature thresholds.
    I'm going to keep my 2000 ML320, since I was able to resolve this humming sound (I actually put my ear on the fuse box and isolated it to this unit). Additionally, I found a wonderful private Mercedes repair shop. It's called European Autowerks, and only charges $99 for FSS A service. The technicians also recommended changing the synthetic engine oil every 5000 miles. It seems over cautious, but am planning to follow their advice. They also recommended a full tune-up service at 60K miles, which they called FSS C service. This will change the spark plugs, transmission fluid, and other more in-depth maintenance. They asked me if I changed the engine oil every 10K-12K miles as manufacturer recommended, because they discovered signs of sludge. They told me that a full engine flush was not necessary, but will check on it again when I take it in for the next oil change.
    Once again, thanks for you advice.
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    >> I found a wonderful private Mercedes repair shop... they discovered signs of sludge.<<

    Looks like you have signs of the engine damage due to the fact that you used regular oil and followed recommended by MB 10K-12K intervals. There were at least a few engine failures, including my 1999 ML320, because of this problem. Also note that since you are going through the other than MB mechanics, the extended warranty 10years/150,000 miles is not applied to your truck, so if you engine fails (77K-80K miles), MB will not cover the cost of replacement at all! I know because I am going through that right now.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    Glad you sorted out the humming sound.

    About oil changes, I don't trust the FSS so I do a change every 7500 miles and use only Mobil 1. This topic has been discussed to death on this board before. I guess each to his own. I'm willing to spend the 60 bucks on an oil change every 7500 miles for my peace of mind.
  • I've always used synthetic oil in my ML320, so I'm not sure how the sludge got there. I've changed the oil anywhere from 5500-10K miles, and I've always had it done by MB service centers. Since I'm no longer under their warranty, I finally took my car to a private Mercedes repair shop, which is recognized as the best in the Eastern United States. When I asked the owner if I should get an engine flush, he told me that the sludge wasn't that bad and that the continued routine of synthetic oil change every 5000 miles should solve the problem. If these guys were out to rip me off, they would have recommended the $150 engine flush.
    The low humming sound however is starting to worry me, so I'm taking it in for the MB dealership to take a look at.
    Originally, I've had a ABS/BAS/BRAKE/ESP alarm go off and after a long saga (4 separate trips to the dealership), they replaced hydraulic supply pump, windshield wiper fluid reservoid, and fuse relay box assembly. The noise is coming from th replaced fuse relay box assembly, so I'm hoping the dealership will replace the part or the cooling fan under the parts warranty.
    Wish me luck. This maybe the last straw, and I may trade it in for an Acura TL.
    Thanks for the comments and advice.
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    Since you are not the original owner, all MB dealers changed regular, non-synthenic until march 2001. That's what I found out from my records, and I am the original owner. After the class action lawsuit, MB changed the policy and switch to synthetic oil only. So I guess they used a regular oil on your truck form 2000 to 2001, so that's why you might have some sludge. Hope that was not enough damage to the engine and you'll be alright. Just keep all records regarding oil change and other replacement just in case. Best of luck!

  • I am currently "in the market" and also really like the improvements MB did to the ML with the "Special Edition". (Hard for me to find un-biased information...and I'm also skeptical after reading the problems with the 98-2001's.)
    I'm in Real Esate and must purchase a vehicle with more than 6000 GVWR for the deduction...and want panache when driving clients around...what other vehicles did you consider when you were shopping and are you still satisfied with your choice? I'm a little nervous, never have spent this much for a vehicle and would treasure your input--are there any options that you think are a "must"---are there some to avoid? any thing you would share would be appreciated...Thanks!
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