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Mercedes-Benz M-class (ML320, ML350, ML500 and ML55) 2005 and earlier



  • I must differ with keeping ESP on all the time. When I go up my steep drive in the snow, with ESP on, and the wheels start to slip, the ESP brakes the spinning wheel(s), and cut back engine torque, just when I don't want it to. If I turn ESP off, I still get traction control to the spinning wheels but no torque cutback, thus no loss of momentum, and the truck goes up the snowy drive like tank!
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 1,041
    Your analogy makes sense. But I think the whole ML platform is due for a revamp. That and with increased competition, I think demand for the ML350 might still be soft. If MB does not discount now, they will surely discount soon.

    And yes, a firesale on the 320's will happen first. :)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 51,290
    Could be; 5 year "revamp" cycles are pretty common for lots of manufacturers. An entire platform revamp is another can of worms though I'm guessing.

    As far as demand goes, I'm amazed that the entire new car market down here hasn't been soft since before 9/11. But "firesale" isn't a word I typically associate with Mercedes .

    Steve, Host

    Moderator - Buying questions? Please include city or zip code and trim you are shopping, FWD or AWD, etc.

  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    My understanding is, the 2005 ML will be re-styled. That puts it on course for the 7 year cycle ('98-'04). The E-class was on a 7 yr cycle too ('96-02). The S-class was on an 8 yr cycle on the last style ('92-'99).

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    When using the oil check feature, there is a minimum wait of about 3-5 min that you have to wait if the car has been driven. It only indicates that everything is Ok or not--it doesn't get specific about how much you're down unless you're a quart low.

    And, to adjust the clock, I believe it only adjusts forward, either fast or slower, but not backward.
  • bwmbwm Posts: 11
    I have a 1999 ML-320 and we had the autolock feature activated shortly after we purchased the vehicle new. I assume the 1999 ML-430 can do the same.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Thanks. The problem is that the clock doesn't go either forward or backwards.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    According to MB user's guide, you need to turn off ESP for serious off roading condition. Guess you must have a serious steep drive =)
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    The manual recommends chains on all four wheels. If you only have chains for two wheels, they'd go on on the rear, in which event, you'd turn ESP off as the system would have problems making any sense of some wheels slipping while others were not.
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    Thanks to those who responded to my questions about the ESP switch and the autolock feature.

  • rich96rich96 Posts: 37
    kiiwii, when twisting the knob to the left or right, you really need to twist it hard. that's what i needed to do with mine in order to adjust the clock.
  • My local dealer in Austin is selling all 320's at invoice. This is the same dealer that would never be so aggressive.

    MB HQ is giving them the $.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    derel2, on my 2002 ML500, to activate the locking system to lock automatically at 15 miles an hour (est), you hold down the locking switch for at least 20 seconds. That will turn on the locking feature. I'm assuming the '99 will do the same.

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • My 2000 ML320 with the 6-CD changer seems to be skipping in the last few weeks. Anyone else have this problem? Will be scheduling a service call soon, but wanted feedback here...

  • Likely dust...needs cleaning...get CD optical pickup cleaning disc anywhere and pop it in.
  • rs64rs64 Posts: 64
    My 2000 did the same skipping thing and a cleaning CD did not fix it. When I took it in for the A service, the dealer replaced the changer no charge under warranty. Give it a shot.
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49

    Tried what you suggested. Unfortunately, the procedure did not work. Unless I am doing something wrong, it could be the 1999 430 is different from the 2002 500. I guess I will have to contact the dealer. Thanks anyway for the suggestion.

  • cch1cch1 Posts: 3
    I currently drive a Volvo wagon and love it, but it's getting old('89 w/ 160,000+ miles), and has the rattles to prove it.

    I recently started shopping for a newer one ('99-'00), when my father offered to sell me his 2000 ML320 for $20k, just about what I wanted to spend. He keeps his cars pristine.

    I love the ML, but am concerned that it has just under 100,000 highway miles on it already. I also don't know if maintainence costs will be more or the same as on a Volvo.

    I'd appreciate any feedback.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    cch1, $20,000 for a 2000 100,000 mile ML320? How much would a low mileage one be? Your Dad should GIVE you the car! The price just doesn't sound like a wonderful deal to me.

    I just looked up the ML on the Kellys Blue book site, trade in value in my area with the basic options is about $14,000 on your Dad's vehicle. Looks like he wants RETAIL from his own flesh and blood. Amazing.

    Good luck. M.
    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    According to Edmunds, it's worth more than $20K as a dealer trade-in (e.g., white and with leather seats and the usual options). That includes a minus $2.6K for a mileage adjustment.

    Now that it is at the end of the year, and with the next year's 3.7L equiped ML350 being the the base model, new '02 MLs probably can be had for the biggest discounts ever, that probably still will be about $37K if it has leather, moon roof, bose &etc.

    I'd think if it is worth $20K to anyone, it would be to someone who knows the previous owner and how well the car was maintained.
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    Can anyone tell me how to remove the black engine cover on a 1999 Ml 430? Does it just snap off or are there fasteners holding it on?

  • cch1cch1 Posts: 3
    When I typed in the ML320's specs on Edmund's site, the value was around $27,000. I know that the car was exceptionally maintained, both mechanically and cosmetically.

    My question is this: with just under 100,000 highway miles on it, will maintainence costs be more or about the same as on a Volvo V70 of roughly the same year?

    I'm asking for opinions on this because as a Volvo owner, I don't know much about ML's.

  • Obviously, I don't have a new truck with maintenance included. I have a '99 ML 320.
    I paid $390, which seems steep, especially considering that I told them to skip the tire rotation.


  • 1wiseguy1wiseguy Posts: 120
    I bought my 99 ML for 33000 CAD$ (very low mileage) but I got a great deal because it was a company vehicle driven by one senior exec (where I worked- I knew the guy personally) and all I had to do was match the trade in price offered by the dealership.
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    Can any of the major brands of antifreeze be used in a ML series SUV or is the mercedes formulation something unique for this vehicle?

  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    How come the ML has the folding key and all of the Mercedes have the Smartkey? I really like the Smartkey in my father's S500.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Jcat707, I'm sure the ML doesn't have the smartkey because it's cheaper to make them that way. My 2000 E430 has the smartkey. I like the folding style key on my ML500 better because on several occasions, I've dropped the E-class smartkey on the floor. I dropped it because the smartkey is spring loaded once you put it into the slot. If you don't push it in far enough, it will pop back out. If you are in a hurry and the key pops out, it's frustrating trying to find it on the floor especially at night.

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    derel, any major brand is good.
  • gncgnc Posts: 27
    I just traded my MY 2000 ML 320 with about 33,000 miles (with third-row seat option, audio upgrade, sunroof, mud flaps, and towing package) which was in pristine condition for a 2003 Camry V6 XLE. The dealer gave me $26,000 which was acceptable when compared to the $27,000 that a private party was willing to pay given the tax advantages.

    Having been very enthusiastic about the ML (to the extent of going to the factory and doing their off-road track drive) I became increasingly disillusioned with the product given poor fit and finish. The engine and transmission worked flawlessly although loudly. I did recently drive a well-broken in 2002 loaner and was happier with the different gearing but still unimpressed with the overall quality of the vehicle.

    By the way, the Camry drives very nicely! I bought it for several young drivers and will probably get a BMW 530 shortly. Moving on up!!
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    Enjoy the new Camry but how can you compare the ride of a small truck to a mid-size sedan? I don't expect my ML 430 to perform like my Jaguar but I certainly expect it to outperform my son's Explorer which it does.

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