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



  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    I made a prior entry here chumsae "MB M-Class Owners: Accessories & Modifications" Feb 2, 2003 7:20pm

    that may help. I thoroughly agree with
    "August 22, 2003" regarding cheap racks.

    We've had two Thule systems, one on a Saab and
    one on an ML, and both worked very hard over years
    of use. We use the ML rack less often than the Saab, but only because the ML can take more inside
    cargo than the Saab.

    In addition to what "8/22/03" said, we got lots of
    use from a cargo carrier option - it was a tubular
    rectangle with cross supports that bolted on to the Thule rails... good for carring lumber, plywood, furniture, etc.

    Anyhow, check out the prices mentioned in my other
    post and you'll probably see that these racks aren't so bad expense-wise.
  • I sense that my brake pads and rotors need to be replaced soon (have 71K miles) and am planning to get this job done at a local brake shop rather than at a dealership(quote is at $800). I would definitely like to buy the same parts that the dealership would. Any idea where on the internet I could buy brake pads and rotors used by MB on the ML320? Specific manufacturer/part names would be great. Thanks in advance for the info.
  • Rajesh,

    Check out - they have a good selection for all models.

  • Best Service and Best Prices for Mercedes parts can be found at!
  • Hello, I've had my ML 350 for 4 wks and 2000 miles so far.... No major complaints. From reading this board, I was expecting worse. SUV is solid... inspite of what some critics have said about ML looking too much like a van, well, I think its still the best looking SUV on the market, at least a close 2nd to BMW. Only time will tell about breakdowns and maintenance record, but I am being optimistic so far.

    My other SUV is a 2001 MDX (60000+ miles). I must say, for the money and worry free ownership, MDX is the way to go. I've done very little as far as maintenance... oil change q7500mi with Mobile 1 5W-30, transmission oil partial flush at Jiffy lube for $35, new tires at 60000 mi, turned all 4 rotors at 50000 mi due to ABS pulsation. Runs like new and handles better than ML 350.

    Well, my wife usually drives the ML 350 and she seems to be happy.... At 2000 mi, no sign of oil level dropping... This is somewhat surprising to me at least... I was expecting some oil burn due to new engine and 90+ mph test driving. I hope I'll have nothing bad to report in coming months and years....
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Ckanesthesia, you have bought a very rugged, durable truck. I've had my ML500 for over a year and a half and everything is fine. I've a few adjustments made but nothing due to engine failure or any other mechanical failure. I have 18,000 miles on mine now and the only small problems I've had are a rattle in the dash and a buzzing at the driver's side rear wheel well (fuel pump maybe?). But, nothing that would cause my ML not to run.

    I recently received my recall notice on the power steering hose clamp but have had no problems. I wish the ML had easier power steering in tight parking situations but that's about all I would complain about. I'm considering a larger SUV next time but that's just my personal taste. I think you will enjoy your ML but let us know if any problems arise.

    Happy Motoring. Mark156
  • jtn2jtn2 Posts: 1
    I have an 2002 ML320 with 30,000 miles. I drive everyday! I went on vacation and left the car in my garage for five days. Upon my return the battery was completely drained.

    MB roadside came and gave me a jump. I brought the car in to MB service where they claimed there was no drain on the battery. They insisted that I had left a light or something on while I was away from home (I know this was not the case).

    Ten days later I again did not drive for four days. Once again the battery was dead!

    My return to the service department was greeted with great skepticism. They insisted that I had left some electrical thing turned on. I insisted that they keep the car for four days without using it. At the end of the four days they called me and asked me to come and retrieve the car since it started right up.

    When I got to the dealer I asked for my car. I waited and waited, but no car appeared! Finally the service manager showed up and explained that the car did not start and the battery was drained! I asked if perhaps they had left a light on!

    It has now been 10 days and they have not been able to figure out what is causing the problem. The dealer claims that they are consulting with MB engineers and that there are a number of other ML320s experiencing the same problem.

    At least I have a "loaner" car from the dealer (which I have already put 1500 miles on).

    Anyone elese have this experience and what finally happened?
  • Sounds Wierd - have you or the dealer tried to replace the battery altogether ?? Try putting in a new fully charged battery and see what happens.
  • This could certainly be caused by one of many
    problems, but I'd certainly get a new battery
    (mine failed - totally dead - at 45,000 miles and was replaced gratis by MB roadside assitance).

    I wanted to mention a similar problem with our
    Lexus LS400: dead battery after a few days of
    non-use... turned out to be the driver's side
    power seat switch. The switch tended to stick
    when pushed toward the rear and would stick in the on position until the switch was manually
    nudged forward. There were no sounds or any other hint that the switch was stuck on.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    It does sound like a battery gone bad, to check a battery drain is one of the easiest things to do, if you have a multitester disconnect the negative terminal from the battery, connect one lead to the (-) post in the battery and the other clip to the disconnected cable, set your tester at Amps x 1000 and check the readings, if you have a reading above 20 milliamps you have a drain. (You may want to start at higher fractions of amps in case the drain is too high and blow a fuse in the tester)
  • Hi all - Great board - apologies if this has been already answered (I'm up to post #6274 in my review). Question: I just bought a 2002 ML 320. It does not have CD or NAV. What parts do I need to have these two features? What are the exact names of the parts? Where can I get part numbers (local dealer would not give me numbers)? Many thanks.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Dropped my ML500 at the dealership this morning for the power steering clamp recall.

    Final analysis: At 18,500 miles

    ~Full "B" service (oil change,filter change,wiper replacement,tire rotation)
    ~Replace fuel pump in gas tank (buzzing)
    ~{recall} replace clamp for power steering hose
    ~molding loose under front bumper (black piece)
    ~rear brake pad replacement ($235.00)

    The front brakes have 50% left on them. My advisor said the rear pads are less than a millimeter and my warning light was getting ready to come on.

    I'm getting ready to go no a 1,000 mile driving trip and didn't want to risk a break down.

  • Re the brake pad replacement cost, isn't there a 3 or 4 yr free maintenance program for MB (like Audi and BMW)?
  • The Mercedes maintenance program is for 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. It covers all scheduled maintenance during this period but does not cover wear items such as tires and brakes.

    2003 model year BMW's were the first to also include the first set of brake pads in their maintenance program. For BMW this was a big addition since on a BMW you also are required to replace the rotors each time you replace the pads. A typical 4 wheel brake job in a BMW will set you back $800!
  • How do I know what packages (if any) I have? I have a 2002 ML 320 with leather, sun/moonroof - no CD, no Nav, no heated seats. I do not know if the stereo is Bose or not (did they offer another one in '02?). I see references on the board to different packages and was wondering which ones I have/lack...e.g., M5, M7 etc... Thanks.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I just got back from from a 2K road trip. Despite my complaining about the issue at a pervious service, I experienced engine stalling whenever the ambient temp got above about 88 degreees or so. I'm fairly sure it is the fuel pump and plan on pushing the issue this week with my dealer.

    Being stranded on the side of the interstate in 90-degree temps is no fun. I was able to limp along until evening temps arrived by letting the pump cool and then driving at low speeds, but this is probably the last straw on this vehicle. I see a Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander in my future.

    BTW, I left the truck parked for nearly two weeks with the alarm on and it started right up. This is with the original battery in a 4-yr old vehicle. So a 4-day discharge is not normal. This dealership is treating the customer with contempt, evidence assuming the truck would start after four days and telling the customer to come in and pick it up without even trying to start it. The discharge should be very easy to diagnose. If you have other service options in your city, I'd try them.

    - Mark
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Markjenn, I'll let you know how my "power steering test" goes when I get the ML back from the shop. I want to see if I can steer it with the motor off as we had discussed a month ago.

    You had tested yours at 20/25 mph and I did mine, originally, at 8/10 mph rolling backwards down the driveway. I'll do a similar test driving in a parking lot to see how different it is.

    Markjenn, did you have to change your brakes pads yet? How many miles is on your ML?

  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Yes, I'd be interested in your results.

    My 2000 ML320 has 52K miles and has had the front brakes done at about 25K and the rears at about 35K. The dealer said I needed new front brakes on the last service at 49K, but I let it slide and 3K miles later, I still don't have a warning light. My guess is that they attempt to sell you a brake job if they pads are 75% worn or more. At $600 an axle with new rotors (about $250 if I DIY), I'm just going to wait until the light comes on - if I scrape up the rotors by pushing it a bit, no big deal as I was going to replace them anyway.

    - Mark
  • I am currently leasing a 2000 ML320 which will be maturing in December 03. The factory warranty will be expiring at the same time. Current miles are 36k and I am allowed 60k on the truck. I really like the vehicle and wondering if I can re-lease it at a lower price and buy the extended warranty. Any suggestions?
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    Make sure that you can purchase an extended Mercedes warranty if you re-lease. At one time I was turning back a Mercedes(500 SL)and was told that I could not get an extended MB warranty if I wanted to purchase or re-lease.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    I did the "steering" test this afternoon on ML500. Apparently, the speed can make a difference. Travelling downhill, I cut the engine off and built up a speed of 20 plus mph. I was surprised at how I could control the vehicle. It was hard to steer but manageable. I feel safer now if my power steering was to ever go out.

    I know it might sound crazy, but since they changed my power steering clamp, my power steering seems easier. Might be psychological.

  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Glad you have renewed confidence. I really don't think the ML is any different than any other similarily-sized SUV on the road with respect to steering difficulty after power steering failure. What is different is that the ML has had a high incidence of PS failures due to the power steering clamp problem.

    - Mark
  • Hello all, been a long time since I have posted here.

    My wife's 2000 ML-320 has been a fabulous vehicle, but on Saturday left her stranded for the first time. It wouldn't start, just sort of vibrated. After cutting short my golf game, I tried my key and it started right up. No sign of any difficulties, low battery, etc.

    She had called MBUSA and they sent a technician, but by then it had started for me several times, so he suggested we take it in on Monday.

    Tonight it happened again, exactly the same scenario as before.

    Anybody have a similar situation? Any thoughts?
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    If your truck starts and a second later quits, time and time again is probably the key ring antenna not recognizing the key, sometimes static electricity (dont let the key get wet) builds on the key, the thing to do is pull the key out, fold it back rub it against your pants and try again.
  • Hi all - Great board - apologies if this has been already answered (I'm up to post #6920 in my review). Question: I just bought a 2002 ML 320. It does not have CD or NAV. What parts do I need to have these two features? What are the exact names of the parts? Where can I get part numbers (local dealer would not give me numbers)? Many thanks. Also...

    How do I know what packages (if any) I have? I have a 2002 ML 320 with leather, sun/moonroof - no CD, no Nav, no heated seats. I do not know if the stereo is Bose or not (did they offer another one in '02?). I see references on the board to different packages and was wondering which ones I have/lack...e.g., M5, M7 etc...I'm trying to figure out what the sticker was on this truck in '02 and do not know where to look..... Thanks.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 302
    The NAV drive plays both navigation CD and music CD. It's a small deck right behind the MCS. For MY '02, all you need is the NAV deck. I believe the antenna and amplifier are pre-installed. To install the NAV deck is a 10-15 min job for people who do not have any experience like me. I don't have the part number, but a new unit should be right under $1,000.

    Two ways to check for BOSE. 1.the speaker grills should have BOSE logos. 2.when you turn on the MCS, BOSE logo shows up briefly for few seconds.

    You can get a copy of the installed equipments of your ML in ANY MB dealership. They can pull the info with your VIN.
  • Many thanks, Kiiwii for the I have to decide if it's worth putting in the CD system since my stereo does not appear to be Bose - or go aftermarket with a changer and new speakers. The problem with that is the non-OEM changer would not integrate with the MCS and I'd have to have separate controls, run it through the FM, etc...Well, there's always ebay - changers for our year run about $300. Thanks again.
  • I hesitate to comment since my knowlege is incomplete on the subject of option packages,
    but, I highly doubt that many (or any) ML's were
    shipped without a CD. Yours may be like our
    2000 ML320, where the six disk CD changer is
    located in the cargo area, right side behind
    a swing out panel. I think it would be particuarly
    odd to not find a CD in a car with leather and
    sunroof, but again, I don't know the content
    of each option designation (M1, M5, etc).

    As a prior commentor said, get the option list
    based on your VIN from the dealer.
  • Took it to the dealer....'crank sending unit' was the culprit. Don't know if anyone else has had this issue.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Glad you resolved your problem, in my post # 7146 I indicated it was the key ring antenna, if you ever get a chance to check see if it is the same thing, just curious.

    If the receiver does not recognize the signal (from the key) it will shut down the ignition.
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