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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair

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  • After spending an hour reading all these wonderful stories I decided to add mine.
    My 98 ML has been a dependable SUV until 1 month ago. It would not start just cranked but no pop. After about 20 minutes it finally started. Took it to the dealer they said could not find anything wrong. Week later same thing, but this time interior lights an alarm indicator was flashing. Dealer replaced some sensor ($200). Two days later same thing, New key. A day later same thing, new sensor(updated one). Two days later something different, died on the highway, than same scenario. Towed to dealer, "we can't find anything" but they suggest replacing the fuel pump and some other sensor($1000), but they are not sure this will fix this gremlin. The SUV has 68k miles on it and I'm out of warranty. Any body have some answers that can help me. Don't suggest trading it in. They only want to give me 15 thousand for it. One other note every time I had the car serviced there was a $2.50 charge for window washer fluid. So I got smart and topped it off before I brought it in, and guess what? a $2.50 charge for the fluid again. I brought this to there attention. boy did they have a red face! THANKS FOR LETTING ME VENT.
  • Anyone have any problems with static on certain radio stations? I have continual static on a radio station that I have always listened to in the past without any problems. The station is not out of range either......
  • Buy one of these SUV's. I bought a 99 brand new and ended up having to give it back to the dealer after less than a year because of numerous problems. I thought it was an aberration so I got a 2000. To date, there have been 13 malfunctions on the vehicle, ranging from minor annoyances (cruise control quit, heated seat quit, etc.) to more major things (key won't go into the ignition, and today, power steering just quit). I can't keep the vehicle running long enough to sell it.

    My advice is, to save yourself lots of $$$ and headaches, go buy yourself a Kia Sportage and tape a Mercedes star to the front of it. You will then have the Mercedes ML "look" on a vehicle that will run a good portion of the time, and for maybe a third of the cost.

    Best of luck.
  • Agree with you 100%. Also have a 1999 ML320. Unfortunately, the MAJOR things did not start going wrong until close to being out of warranty. Am waiting for it to go off lease and have it stored until then (because of mileage). Things gone wrong in 4 1/2 years:

    Brake lights kept malfunctioning (saw others on this board with same problem). Took three visits to fix.

    Like others on this board, had funny noise in power steering. Took to dealer twice and they couldn't find anything, made me feel really stupid.

    Seat belt buckle replaced every time I had it serviced at dealership (I was never advised of this until afterward each time; it was involved in a recall, but how many times does it need to be replaced?).

    Very loud squeaky rear end when going over bumps. Shocks replaced 3 times before 50,000 miles.

    Drivers window power switch quit; replaced.

    Heater varies wildly as to how much heat comes out. Hard to adjust for even temp.

    Gas line disconnected TWICE while driving!!! First time almost was plowed into from behind by semi-truck going 70 mph on major interstate during rush hour - really thought my daughter and I were a goner. Obviously wasn't fixed properly and it happened again. When trying to get help from Roadside Assistance that first time, was told by the dealership that they referred me to that, "Do you have AAA? I would call them and have them tow you back to our place." !!!!!!!!!

    Cup holder came out.

    Key does not want to turn more times than not.

    Integral phone I had installed when I got the ML320 was analog - now obsolete.

    Paint peeled off front bumper. Was told by 3 independent shops that it most likely was a defective paint job; my dealer told me it was because of stone chips. Very badly stone-chipped on front hood; I agree it seems prone to this.

    One week before putting into storage, the air conditioner quit.

    Got absolutely no consideration when I complained to Mercedes. One of the regional managers contacted me and insinuated that I was not properly doing the maintenance since I had regular servicing done locally (MB dealer was too far away (and too expensive!)for routine servicing). I have written a 5 page complaint letter to Mercedes detailing the problems I have had with this vehicle. My experiences with this company have turned me off forever as to ever owning another Mercedes anything!

    PS (Made a major mistake in leasing this vehicle. At end of 54 months, the buyout is $28,000+, and when I looked at Kelly Blue Book I could only expect to sell it privately for around $17,000. Bad reports on this vehicle have really hurt the values.)
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I had a 99 ML430 that initially had quite a few problems but all that could be fixed were except for the squeaks. I would not have gotten another but my wife (her vehicle) insisted on a new ML500. So far (2.5 months) the new one has been perfect except for an intermittently malfunctioning gas gauge (one of the 99 ML's recurring problems). I drive it infrequently but feel it is much better built than the earlier models. I also have a 99 S500 that has been very reliable(last year of model production).
    I think you are lucky to have leased the ML since you can just turn it in. If you had purchased you'd be stuck with a greater depreciation if you wanted out.
  • tyke1tyke1 Posts: 1
    I am stunned to read these posts. For the last 2 days my wife and I have been test driving new SUV's to replace our 99 ML320. We have had significant problems with our ML - each and everyone listed within these posts - and when we went to test drive the new ML350 the dealer had no independent validation of an improvement in quality. Best he could offer was comments from other sales people (not quite JD Power). Additionally, they seemed to be giving these away. We told him we weren't going to buy for another couple of months but before we left they had made 2 offers with the final being $6,000 off the sticker. THIS WAS LESS THAN WE PAID IN 1999 FOR A LESS EQUIPPED VERSION! Funny thing was, we never asked about price. The sales man just said that his manager made him tell us what they would sell it for. Not what I would expect from MB.

    The question is, has anyone seen an independent confirmation on the improvement in quality for the 2002's or 2003's?
  • I, too, am looking at purchasing a used 2001 320, new 2002 320, a new 2003 320 or a 350. But, I did have some quality problems as mentioned by others on my 98 320. I am also interested in whether quality has improved with the newer model years. Or, is it just salesman hype. Any thoughts? Or should I be looking at the competition? Reason for looking is my 98 got rear-ended and sandwiched. I am told I should get rid of the 98 now to establish market value loss due to damage declaration on title, and have the other driver's insurance pay for it. Anyone have experience in this area?
    As to pricing - my local dealer is of course trying to get me to purchase either a 2002 320 or a 2003 320 to get them off his lot and have just 2003 350's. He is offering a whopping 2 to 2,500 off sticker for each. Shouldn't there be a bigger discount on a 2002 being purchased in January 2003? Is $2k a decent discount off a 2003 320, or should I do more shopping. I am in Des Moines and would need to travel to Mpls, Kansas City, Chicago to find additional dealers.
    Thanks for any replies.
    mvhanson
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Does anyone have any updates on the Oil Sludging Class Action suit filed against MB? I am specifically trying to ascertain whether this suit will also cover what I deem excessive oil consumption. I have a 99 ML320 and it is an oil guzzler! MBUSA contends that 1 quart of synthetic oil for every 1,000 mile is "within permissible specifications" I wish they'd shared those specs with us before they duped us of our money.

    For all those looking to purchase the ML320 - take your cues from us poor suckers and steer clear!!!
  • mlsuvmlsuv Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 ML430 with 24000 miles. The break paddle pulses in/out and the steering also shakes violently. It gets worst when go faster. Has anyone experience anything similar? Is there any hidden recal for such? And will standard waranty cover?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 283
    Does the steering shakes only when you brake? If it shakes all the time, you may need to balance your wheels.
  • mlsuvmlsuv Posts: 3
    kiiwii: yes, the steering shakes only during breaking. I just talked to the service rep recently and he also agreed. Do you know if the rotor repair is under warranty? I have a friend who owns the X5 and their warranty does cover it.
  • fembiefembie Posts: 4
    My 99 ML-320 with 32,000 miles sounds like a loaded beer truck going up a steep hill. Sometimes it seems as if I can feel each piston moving. Of course the dealer cannot find any problems. Comments please.
  • vdmboyvdmboy Posts: 2
    I love my 2000 ML 55 - nice and fast, very reliable, but the CD player is intermittent, It seems whatever CDs I put in slots 1-4 skip, and the sound cuts in and out - not the skipping like a stuck or dirty CD, but on and off sound. Sometimes the counter doesn't advance, and other times it works fine. I've changed CDs, cleaned CDs, and cleaned the laser

    The dealer replaced the CD unit and now its worse. Anyone having similar problems?
    Thanks in advance for any help
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 283
    are you using premium grade fuel as described in the user's guide? many people don't believe the fuel grade will make any difference. they are WRONG! i experienced with low grade fuel and it makes the engine noisy.
  • I was really shocked to read some of the stories on this car. We have a 2002 ML 320 that is a year old and now has about 10,000 miles on it. Actually, my wife drives it, but I have to admit that I thought about buying one also. Excluding an auto accident, we've had zero problems with it. The auto accident involved being hit broad side (in the driver's side) by a Suburban. My wife and 3 year old son didn't suffer one scratch. Not a scratch. Everything worked - the side air curtain, the door beams, the seat belts. And this is the reason I bought this car. Safety. And it did its job and did it well!!!! I would pay as much as I could to have made this fateful decision a year ago.
  • slictusslictus Posts: 1
    Our 2001 ML430 also shakes a bit during highway braking...Is it a warranty repair??
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 283
    sorry about the late reply. i read some posts on a different site. some people mentioned about the same rotor probs with their mls. according to their descriptions, the problem is covered under the warranty.

    i think the x5 warranty you were talking about is the "wear and tear" warranty. BMW covers pretty much everything, including break pads in the first 3 or 4 yrs.
  • jfk430jfk430 Posts: 2
    Pardon the double post. If you drive an ML, you need to know about this:

     SERIOUS SAFETY WARNING FOR ALL ML OWNERS

    My wife and family barely escaped serious injury several days ago when the power steering failed while on the freeway. Fortunately, she was on a straight freeway section, but the failure occurred during traffic and she changed several lanes involuntarily and ended up in the median. Vehicle is a 2001 ML-430 with 32.5K miles.

    After giving up on TeleAid (do they have more then one employee?), I tried to muscle the car home and was amazed at the difficulty in steering.

    When the steering fails - and it fails very fast - the car cannot be controlled by a 5'2", 90lb female!!! I can bench-press well into the 200's (even at my age) and I could not control the vehicle.

    I reported this to 800-Call-Merc the following morning as well as to my local dealer. While both were polite and apologetic, neither really seemed to be concerned about safety issue. I was astonished. My entire family could have been killed.

    Someone will be killed or seriously injured under this failure scenario. Don't let it be you or your family. I'm reporting it here for your safety.

    My wife said that she heard a noise like a high-performance motorcycle and was looking for it in the rear-view when the steering just "disappeared". Apparently, this was the power steering pump failing. You've got about three seconds after you hear that sound to get your life in order.

    I'm not comfortable trusting my family in an ML any more. The reliability of this vehicle has been abysmal. However, I draw the line with my family's safety. This is a severe safety flaw, and Mercedes does not appear to care. Someone else will own this car by the weekend.

    Be safe & good luck!

    Joel King
    San Antonio, Texas.
  • Make: MERCEDES BENZ
    Models: M CLASS
    Years: 1998-2003
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V121000
    Recall Date: MAR 26, 2003
    Component: STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST:HOSE, PIPING, AND CONNECTIONS
    Potential Number Of Units Affected: 211000

    Summary:

    ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE HOSE CLAMP USED TO SECURE THE POWER
    STEERING FLUID COOLING HOSE TO THE POWER STEERING FLUID COOLER MAY NOT
    PROVIDE SUFFICIENT CLAMPING FORCE FOR THIS CONNECTION.

    Consequence:

    THE LOSS OF POWER STEERING FLUID MAY RESULT IN DIMINISHED POWER STEERING
    OVER TIME AND ULTIMATELY CAN DAMAGE THE POWER STEERING PUMP.

    Remedy:

    DEALERS WILL INSTALL A NEW HOSE CLAMP ON THE POWER STEERING HOSE TO THE
    POWER STEERING COOLER. DURING CLAMP REPLACEMENT, THE POWER STEERING
    COOLING HOSE WILL BE INSPECTED AND REPLACED AS NECESSARY. MERCEDES-BENZ
    HAS NOT YET PROVIDED AN OWNER NOTIFICATION SCHEDULE. OWNERS WHO TAKE
    THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE
    AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD
    CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.

    Notes:

    CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY
    ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
  • delureydelurey Posts: 1
    2003 ML320 has an intermittent hesitation on acceleration low speed (5-10 mph) and rapid acceleration (hiway on ramp). Have tried switching brands of premium gas - no difference. Hard to tell if engine problem or transmission shifting problem, Anyone else experiencing same?
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