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



  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    In an earlier post I mentioned how much I like my ML, etc, etc. Well, when I finished my 2000 mile trip recently, I did notice that I had a squeak in the dash. I've had the ML for a year on Dec. 15th. I took it in because I wanted to have mud-flaps installed and I told them about the dash squeak. They told me that Mercedes has a bulletin on this and that the squeak is actually coming from the hood area, not the dash. So, they will remove the hood, take it to a body shop to have brackets welded on and re painted (the underside not the top of the hood). The service guys said this will remedy the squeak. I sure hope so because I really like the vehicle and don't want any trouble.

    Anyone else heard of this remedy? Mark
  • Looks like the power steering on my ML430 is dead. I have to really turn the wheel hard to make the simplest of turns. Backing out of a parking spot is a nightmare. It just happened today out of the blue. I called my dealer and they said since this is Christmas eve, they can't help me and told me to call Roadside assistance! I will do so. meanwhile I am wonderng has anyone experienced this? Thanks.
  • My power steering on my 99 ML430 has been trouble prone since 8000 mi (now has 42k). Last week my dealer finnaly fixed it, by replacing both the pump and the reservoir. It seems there are baffles in the res. that keep the pump from cavitating, and introducing air bubbles into the system, which can lead to failure. Hope this helps

    Happy Holidays
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    My wife recently purchased a 1999 ML-430. I have a question regarding the climate control/heater. Is this a true climate control where the vehicle controls the amount of heat coming out of the vents to maintain a desired cabin temperature or is it a standard heater which puts out the same amount of heat depending on the dial setting? The reason I ask is that I notice that the air temperature coming out of the central vents in the dash above the radio varies without changing the temperature dial setting. The air will come out warm when the heat is first selected but will becoming cooler as the cabin heats up. Setting the dial hotter will again cause warmer air to come out of the vent which will eventually cool. The side vents do not seem to noticeably change the air temperature. The climate control systems I am familiar with require the operator to set the desired temperature for the cabin by inputting a digital temperature reading. The ML-430 just has a dial to raise or lower the temperature which makes me think it is not an automatic climate control. Am I right and is the changing temperature in the center vent indicating a problem?

  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    My 2000 ML320 works the same way when heating the car. Cooling seems to be more constant.

    Earlier discussions on the temp system refer to it as semi-automatic. I finds the temperature drops too much to be trying to maintaining a constant temperature until the car has really warmed up.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    I think we all decided on this board about a year ago that it was automatic climate control (or semi-) but with analog guages.

    I start the dial off at 12 o'clock in the white and then put it at about 10 o'clock after 15 mins otherwise it will get too hot. I should really try just leaving it at 10.

    As air comes in whether the fan is at 0 or 1, I always leave the fan off when I first start the car otherwise I'll get cold air coming into the cabin. Sometimes if I get on the freeway right afterwards I never even have to turn the fan on - freeway speeds seem push enough air into the cabin. This is unlike MB sedans with the digital guage. When you turn the fan to 0, you can actually hear the vents closing and nothing comes in the car. This leads me to believe it's not just a difference of digital or analog guages - the whole system is different.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    (Update)..... Picked up the ML on Saturday. The squeak in the dash is totally gone. Welding the front metal pieces under the windshield wiper area apparently has done the trick.

    The new mud-flaps were installed and I'm sure will do the job but they are kinda big.

  • bfengbfeng Posts: 6
    We have a '99 ML320, which has been
    very reliable but for 2 problems.

    WINDOW SWITCH FAILURE: wife complained the
    1-touch down on drivers window was harder to
    activate. I ignored her. Then, at Midnight,
    the window switch failed with window down.
    It was midnight, 20 degrees, snowing, 40 miles
    from home, and we had 2 sleeping babies in the
    back seat!
    Mercedes roadside assistance arrived within
    15 min (but we had to call in twice).
    Mechanic said all ML's with the original
    switch configuration are subject to premature
    failure ... which is why he keeps spares
    in his service vehicle. Repair took 10 minutes.

    (2) Mass air flow sensor went bad at 20kmiles.

    Otherwise, this has been a rock solid, dependable
    family hauler. If it keeps on at this rate, one of
    our toddlers will get it as her first car.

    Road Side Assistance: When we called about the
    window problem, Merc. said a tech would call us
    back in 10 min. 30min passed and no call. We called
    again, they apologized, and alerted the 24hr tech
    from another local dealer, and he called us back
    in less than 2 minutes. So, be persistance and call
    until you get service.

    John Feng
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    We recently purchased a 1999 ML 430 from a non- Mercedes dealer. The vehicle has less than 50,000 miles and is still under warranty honored by Mercedes. How does the road side assistance work? Is it included with the original warranty and does it expire at 50,000 miles? Is it transferable to second owners? or is it a separate coverage that requires an annual fee like AAA?

  • cticctic Posts: 291
    Roadside assistance is available to any MB vehicle, no matter how old. It does not expire with any warranty.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    The switches go so often you would think M-B would automatically change the panel as part of the B service. Mine just went at 53K on a 2000 ML320. The dealer was very blase about it; when I said the driver's window switch failed, the SA said its usually more than just one.

    Mine failed going into a car wash but I jiggled it up in time. Unfortunately 3 days later I was leaving a parking garage (remembered it on the way in) forgot about it, the window went down and stayed down. 20 degrees out but I was on the way to dealer anyway so I dropped it off, went to the Infiniti dealer next door, picked up a QX4 brochure and sat in the M-B lobby reading it and complaining to my sales person about the ML.
  • If your window switch fails you can raise the window without assistance from MB. To raise the window after the switch fails you have to pull hard up on the failed switch. Pull really hard. Don't be afraid to break is broken anyway. The switch will snap and the window will come up. You have to remember not to press down after you have it up or it is down until you replace the switch unit.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    How does that work? What does the snap do?
  • Somehow when you reef on the switch and it clicks it brings the necessary parts into contact and closes the circuit so that the window goes up. I saw the mechanic at my dealership do it so that I could get the window up until they could swap out the unit.
  • I purchased a spare key (never used) ML320 key for my 99 ML320. How can I program it to function like my other ignition key? Do I absolutely have to bring it all the way back to the dealer? They were supposed to program it when I picked it up, but never did. It's a very long drive. Thanks in advance for any instructions.
  • Introduction - mvhanson - Des Moines, Iowa
    Purchased 98 ML320 in 00 with 16,000 miles
    Loves - The handling and brakes - More on that
    Hates - heater air flow to feet is absolutely worthless and not worthy of MB's name - need to shut off dash vents to force air to feet.
    Interestingly noted messages by others about the window switch. Mine went out too, and dealer replaced at no charge along with other maintenance charges after initially telling me it would be about $80. I previously took the switch apart to try to fix myself, and concluded the plastic source of the problem was not fixable.
    Handling: Besides my own love of how it handles, My wife has loved the ML handling as she ran over a deer on a dark WY interstate this summer. She kept it on the road. No damage to the ML, but a few days later a dog in Jackson went crazy smelling the underside of the truck.
    Braking: I found the brakes outstanding as I realized yesterday that the car in front of me was not only slowing down but actually stopped. My foot pressure quickly changed from gliding pressure to all out jam. The ML successfully came to a stop before I hit the car in front of me. I then looked in the rear view mirror and realized the Dodge van behind me was not going to be as courteous. I was ramed forward into the car in front of me.
    The ML is fixable, but I'm told that with the declaration of damage on the title, I will lose about 30% of the ML value versus a never-damaged one when I trade. So I am seriously going to try to get the insurance company to just purchase the ML from me, or at least pay me for the lost value.
    Has anyone had experience on the value declination? I'm told I should trade now and get the other driver's insurance to pay for the lost value right away. Anyone had experience on this?
    If I trade, everyone in the family (wife, 16 yr old son, and 25 yr old daughter) says I should get another ML as opposed to the competition.
    I am considering a used 2001 or a new 2002 320, or a new 2003 320 or 350.
    Did MB fix the air flow to feet problem?
    Did MB fix the window switch problem?
    Anyone have any experience in the 350 and comments on it versus the 320? Any comments on the 2001 as a used vehicle?
    Thanks for all replies.
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 130
    i own the 98 ML and looked very seriously at getting the 03. They have improved the vehicle a lot since 98 -- much smoother ride. the 02 version is the one i would recommend if you go that way rather than 01. 02 had quite a few improvements including rear ac/heat and a redesign of the front dash.

    the window switches have finally been fixed and with auto climate control in the 02's they have improved the overall ventilation system.

    i drove the 350 and couldn't tell a difference between that and the 320 but i'm sure there are improvements if it's timed. i would look for a used 02 -- these vehicles don't hold their value as much as other Merc so you can probably get a decent deal.

    i ended up going with the MDX simply because i needed some more space for the occasional sixth person, i wanted fewer breakdowns, and more power.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Welcome aboard! You'll find some of the friendliest, helpful and best informed people right here!

    tidester, host
  • Spfotey and tidester
    thanks for the comments and welcome.
    I'm waiting on repair estimate now, and that will influence what direction I go.
    I welcome other comments from others.
    I looked at GMC Yukon this pm. Talk about sticker shock.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    A new ML500 (or even a used ML430 or 500) has even better braking than the 320 or 350-- bigger rotors!
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