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



  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    and how other's couldn't care less.

    An example - automatic headlights. I never had 'em, never needed 'em. Nice feature for them to turn off if they've been left on, of course, but auto-on headlamps when the lights get dark don't impress me (reminds me of that sign in the road, the one that says 'DIP' - as if you were supposed to look around in bewilderment going 'WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT? Oh, dip!').

    Another one is the open door feature you mention. My wife's Honda has it, and she's always pointing out - 'you see that? you left the trunk open', or 'the rear door isn't closed right'). My eye just doesn't go there. It serves no purpose to me.

    The rain sensing windshield wipers another example of technology that ain't bad - but I wouldn't lose sleep if I didn't have it. I can tell when it's raining too (I'm funny that way).

    Now - autodimming mirrors, and tilt down mirrors - I can issue a Homer Simpson 'mmmmm.... autodimming mirrors....'.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Electro-chromatic mirrors are practically a must have for me now that I'm used to them. Whenever I drive a vehicle without them, especially a car, it is quite obvious as to how useful this feature is (fortunately I don't have to do this often).

    I'm still not completely sold on the rain sensing wipers. They're great, but sometimes it wipes when I don't want it to and I'd rather have a normal wiping interval.

    The good news about automatic headlamps in the ML is that they work well and turn on as needed. The '02 MLs (with halogen headlamps) have daytime running lamps which only turn on the low beams. My '00 turns on all of the exterior lamps, not just the low beams, something which I happen to like; in fact, all Canadian MB vehicles turn on all exterior lamps for daytime running lamps. Apparently this is a no-no in the US for some odd reason.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Regarding the rear spoiler (aka rear wing), it is unfortunately not compatible with the GPS antenna. You should also know that the wing requires drilling.

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  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    even if the navigation antenna didn't preclude it, the wife's 'no-drilling' policy would.
  • My back window now has glue all over it
    and has to have the insulation/glue repacked, (this is the 3rd window to have this malady).
    The rocking motion is about to make me seasick (yes, I agree with the writings of the reporter whose test drive findings were titled "The ML rocks, literally". My sister's Envoy rides better than my Benz, and has a much better takeoff(yep)

    Can somebody PLEASE remind me why I purchased this vehicle?? It is a 2001 ML320, and I have had it since June...and it's always one thing after another. I am begging my husband to allow me to get out of it. I have driven Honda's ALL my life, and all they EVER need is oil changes, and brake pads. I think I should have purchased another Honda product (ACURA MDX)

    Surely my truck was built on a Alabama State Holiday by MB employees who were forced to come into work sans holiday pay, and no lunch break.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Eplish -- Good point, and one I should have mentioned in one of my previous messages.

    AFAIK, only Evenflo recommends against putting an infant seat in the center of the second row because of the armrest. I have seen speculative posts about the center armrest being a potential hazard if it "plops down" onto a rear-facing infant.

    However, I don't believe any other carseat manufacturer recommends caution about the center armrest, which would indicate to me that they have tested the scenarios in addition to manufacturers like MB. Britax certainly makes no such recommendation.

    The key is to look at how the rear-facing seat's front lip "blocks" the center armrest from hitting the child if it ever comes down on its own. Most infant seats mounted in the detachable base are so high up in the air above the seat cushion that the center armrest couldn't bend down far enough to pose a threat.

    E.g. the Centura Avanta SE we used has a pretty high base, and a high front lip and it really pinned the center armrest inside its recessed compartment (though this was not with an ML320). Absolutely no danger of it coming down and hitting the baby. With the Britax Roundabout in rear-facing position, its front lip was also so high that it would not be an issue.

    My only guess is that Evenflo may be worried about a very small quantity of models (perhaps older ones) that have poorly designed center armrests, and they're just covering their liability. AFAIK there has not been documented cases of injury from the center armrest in a properly installed seats.

    Meanwhile, unfortunately, there are plenty of documented cases of injury from intrusion during a side impact. The M-class will do its able best to minimize and protect against that intrusion, but simple physics still has the child safer in the middle.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Sorry to hear you're having the infamous glue problem. For the rocking problem, I'd suggest you try test driving an ML430 or the MY2002 ML320 w/ the 17" wheels. I think the rocking is from the thick soft sidewalls of the ML320. If the rocking goes away, one solution it to upgrade your wheels/tires.
    For the glue, make sure they use 3M Yellow glue to glue them back on. If they use the MB glue, it'll just happen again. Sounds absurd, but it's true.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Did you try to drive another ML320 to see if there is that "rocking motion", as many people suggested here several weeks ago? You never got back to us on that. Does your ML have the General Grabber tires or the Dunlop Grandtreks? Try driving a Grand Cherokee over bumps and then you will know what rocking motion really is with those solid axles!

    As for the Envoy, it has a much larger engine, so of course it accelerates faster. Then again, it also scored a "Marginal" (one step above "Poor) in the IIHS offset crash test.

    As for the glue, it depends on your environment. Those of us that stay tuned to these M-class boards will know that it's a possible occurance, which may be why we are prepared (and not be mad or surprised) for it should something occur. My ML, for example, an early build '00 model built in the first decade of October 1999 production (yes, it's officially 2 years old today!), has never "shed" any of its door insulation pads (Knock on wood).

    When you drop your ML off for the door insulation clean-up, take a test drive of another '01 ML320 or a '02 ML320 and then let us know if they have that "rocking motion".

    Good luck!
  • neil99neil99 Posts: 11
    This infamous craftmanship just started to appear on my ML last week. It does not happen all the time. If my memory serves me correct, it only happens when there is a big temperature difference between the outside and inside of the truck.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    I guess its my turn...anyway have you check your tire pressure? because I start feeling the same thing and found out that put some extra pound of air in your tire make the ride diffirent. I used to have 32 PSI all around now I have 35 PSI, the the solid ride came back, no more rocky bouncing ride. I have General Tire BTW. Try it and you might change your mind to keep your ML.
  • Drew, I thought you had an '01 320. You mentioned about your rain-sensored wipers, on your '00? or is it an '00 430 or AMG? Just curious.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    No, I was referring to the rain sensor for the other MB cars that I have driven, as well as the '01 ML loaners that I've driven :-) My '00 doesn't have this feature, but it does have speed sensitive wipers.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Wow, 35 psi is a bit too high for me; that's 6 psi above the 29psi recommended. While it results in slightly better handling, the ride also becomes noticably firmer at the back. Personally, I run 33 psi up front, and 31 at the back. Just a personal preference, of course.

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  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    The Honda products that have been forced on me (a 94 Accord EX and a 98 Accord coupe) are HORRENDOUS.

    @ 82k miles - the 94 Honda has required the following:

    5 brake changes
    1 fuel pump
    the entire exhaust system has rotted out
    2 transmission fluid changes
    1 alternator
    1 water pump
    1 timing chain

    the interior is completely falling apart (and I take damn good care of my cars; my 88 Blazer, which has gone through HELL, looks to be in better shape than this POS). What I hate the most - making things like a water pump and timing chain 'routine maintenance', so that when they fail before 100k miles, it doesn't seem like p***-poor engineering.

    I gave some serious consideration to owning an MDX, despite all my previous bad-Honda blood. And after driving back to back, I didn't see the advantage the MDX had. The ride was a bit nicer, I'll give it that. But to forsake the safety features, the permanent 4WD, and the sturdy construction of the ML for an MDX? No way.
  • Reading some back messages about oil change, I am surprised that a lot of you guys use Mobil 5W-30 or 10W-30 synthetic. Are those weight oil recommended by MB in the tech manual prior MY 2002? I have a MY2002 ML320. The manual comes with it only recommends Mobil 0W-40, 15W-50 and some other brands that I don't plan to use. Upon some further examination, MB recommends engine oil that meets European A3/B3 standards or API SJ/SH. Label on Mobil 15W-50 says it meets A3/B3 API SJ/SH; Label on 10W-30 only says it meets API SJ/SH but not mentioning A3/B3. So my understanding is that MB does NOT approve Mobil 5W-30/10W-30 for their engine with FSS, because Mobil 5W-30/10W-30 does not meet European A3/B3 standard. Am I correct? or it is just for MY2002? On another note, Mobil does not sell 0W-40 in the States, so the only approved Mobil 1 oil would be 15W-50, isn't that too thick for northern states and Canada?

    I would like to use 10W-30, because then I can just buy one weight engine oil for both of my vehicles.

    Pardon me if any information is wrong, I am at work now.
  • If the above advice about increasing tire pressure doesn't help, I would continue to pursue the issue with your service department. I have a 2001 ML430 that doesn't rock side-to-side but have seen a few MLs, from being behind them on the freeway, that appears might have your problem. Have them check and tighten up the suspension components as a measure.

    I have a vibration/wobbling problem, between 40-80 mph, that I am pursuing. The service department has balanced, re-balanced, changed two tires, then finally changed all four to a different manufacture (even re-calibrated their balancing machine). Each time giving me back my vehicle thinking I would be satisfied.

    In the meantime, I have spoken to the service manager and ridden with the head technician. I have notified MBUSA client assistance to officially document my concern. They say the next step is to have a MBUSA Technical Rep come out for a test drive. They cannot perform any major service without his consent. I have an appointment with him on Oct. 18.

    They seem to be following the procedure written on a past service bulletin. Someone on another forum sent it to me. I have submitted a copy to the service department, too. I have recently found a link documenting past MB Service Bulletins. Check it out, your issue could be there.

    I believe it is in your best interest to pursue them. These vehicles aren't perfect and even the slightest mechanical problem may become a safety hazard, also de-valuing your purchase. Remember, all vehicles are built from a combination of parts that have tolerances. If you build something, each part within tolerances, the final outcome may still be out-of-tolerance.

  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Drew,I know, 35 PSI is sound too high, but I feel fine IMO. I haven't drive my ML that much now a days, maybe that's one of the reason I felt diffirent when I drive it. I will keep an eye on my ride. Deng,I think I will have to drive it for a week next week. ;-)
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    You are correct about the weights.
  • gustavmgustavm Posts: 43
    "Regarding the rear spoiler (aka rear wing), it is unfortunately not compatible with the GPS antenna. You should also know that the wing requires drilling."

    Drew, my understanding was that the GPS antenna that comes with the ML serves both for the Tele-Aid and for the GPS Navigation system. According to the "Build Your Own ML Truck" module, the accessories tab clearly shows a rear-spoiler installed alongside a GPS antenna.

    What gives? Are you talking about a different antenna?

    -- Gustav
  • lamkenlamken Posts: 19
    Until we have proper testing you can only guess that the benefit of rear side airbag outweights the risk. At one point car maker claim the benefit of front airbag outweigths the risk until people get killed. I know there is no death from rear side airbag but they are so rare. As soon as NHTSA deem them safe I'll have a new ML with rear side airbag and head curtain. For now I'll stick with my old ML because I do not think the rear side airbag provide that much extra benefit for a child who is properly restrained. Car race driver do not rely on airbag to protect them but rather on superior restraint and roll cage for protection.

    Here in Canada only two of the approved oil With A3 certification is available. Mobil 0W40 is not avilable not even at the dealer. The only choice I have is Mobil 1 15W50 and castrol synthetic 5W50. Although Mobil 1 15W50 is probably OK for mild winter I am still a little bit worry for really cold weather therfore I compromised and use Castrol synthetic 5W50 in the winter, which everybody reminds me is not synthetic but hydrocracked. In the summer I'll use Mobil 1 15w50. Some use mobil delvac 5w40 which is avialable in Wal Mart but it is not on the Mercedes approved list
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