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



  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Rick, understand,sorry about the terminology misunderstanding. Yes, if you've got a 12-month written warranty, I'd be pressing the issue a bit. Generally, these are written as "repair or replace" at the shop's discretion. Since repair doesn't appear to be economical, it probably will be a situation where replace could mean replace new or replace used. Typically, the standard is to "make you whole" which means the replacement should be approximately equivalent to what you have earlier. So a good used engine might be fair all way around. I'd bet you are going to have trouble pressing for a brand new engine, although I wonder if you might be able to work out a three way agreement between you, MB, and the dealer to get you a new engine with some participation on you part. I think you want to be firm, but fair and reasonably flexible. If you go in with guns blazing, I suspect they'll just blow the whole thing off as cheaper to pay the lawyers. Good luck.

    Steve, the problem appeared gone initially, but when I went into compose mode, it returned. Thanks for your help. Edmunds rocks.

    - Mark
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,956
    Yeah, it was looking good until you had to go and post something, LOL.

    I'll report it and cross my toes this time.

    Steve, Host
  • Hello all, new to this forum. I just got married and now own (not sure if proud or not yet) a 2001 Mercedes ML320, my wifes car going into the marriage.

    Of course, I worry about the cost to maintain this car, but then again Mercedes generally last long right?

    My question related to maintenance. She has 68,000 miles on the car, and her "double wrench" lit up, which she says means its time for maintenance. She doesnt have the book that came with the car? What might I expect the car needing for this maintenance? Oil and what else? Should I bring to a MB Dealer or private mechanic? (there are a few in my area).

    What did everyone else pay for this service?

    thanks so much in advance.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,956
    Congrats on the marriage!

    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide will tell you what needs to be done for an A service or a B service. And it'll tell what we think the service should cost.

    Steve, Host
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    Expect about $500 for the bigger service. My 1999 ML320 was fairly trouble free.
  • cctdicctdi Posts: 82
    Somehow I just like to drive the diesel equipped cars; the only car that I put over 45k miles was the 97 E300D. When VW’s Touareg V10 tdi came in, I wasted no time to get one and so for the E320 CDI and the Passat tdi. Now, the M is coming with the diesel(s) in 06 as 07 models; it is interesting, what is the displacement of the engine(s)? A 4.2 CDI installed in the M will create the long waiting list of the new kind buyers! :mad:
  • I am interested in adding Sat Radio to my '04 ML350, but I don't want to pay the dealer $1k to install it. Is their and after market radio that links to the existing Sat. set up on the radio???? If so where do I find it? Any help would be appreciated.
  • Considering another ML for '06 and questioned M-B about diesel.
    No straight answer if they ever will be available for NY registration.
    2 trips to FL from NY recently in premium fueled cars.
    Of course the gas price drops by 35 cents once out of NY and more as you travel south.
    But guess what?
    Diesel was 75 cents to one dollar higher than premium gas in the south.
    I have read just yesterday of the refinery problems related solely to diesel and the Louisiana huricanes but my M-B S430 4-Matic got 28.7 mpg fully loaded with people and cats and stuff and my BMW 330xi got 29.6 mpg also loaded. And these are round trip numbers.
    The diesel and its premium acquisition cost is making less and lees sense for me. I may not wait for 07.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Certainly understandable. Those are some very impressive numbers, especially for the S430.

    I think we all often forget that German cars are very efficient when it comes to highway travel, which is what they're really made for in the first place.

    Now just think what a S420 CDI would get on the highway! That is once diesel fuel comes back down in price. If I mean.

  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Before you believe what the read-out is telling you about the gas mileage, put pencil to paper to see what the actual mileage is.

    I was just on a trip in my 2002 ML500 and the read-out was telling me 21 mpg but I was actually getting 18 or so. I never really checked it after all these years but the computer seems to be very optimistic. Calculate the mileage manually to get the real figure.

  • Does anyone know whether there will be any changes? If the price will go up? I'm planning on buying one but I don't like to buy the first year a vehicle is redesigned.
  • cctdicctdi Posts: 82
    What you said in your post is so true, I do the same calculation for the mileage calculation; the trip mile number divided by the gallon number. And here are the references for those vehicles that I know so well in my daily driving( local, city and some highway)- the E320 CDI gets 28, Highlander Hybrid 24, Passat 2.L TDI 34, Touareg V10 TDI 20, E320 4matic wagon 16, E430 4matic 15, 4Runner V8 16, and I can’t remember that well for the others. Today, I filled up the CDI at $2.399 vs. $2.129 of the premium gas here in South Jersey. To my experience, the diesel should come down below the premium after April. Somehow in these past three years, the tax imposed on on-road diesel fuel increased so much, diesel was always cheaper than the regular. The tricky part from the policy makers is to tax the truckers and let them pass the cost to the people who won’t feel the pinch until the price of good increase in their shopping lists. The heating oil and off road diesel are same as the #2 diesel and cost much less, but it is illegal to pour in your car unless you use on your farmland. I am just a diesel lover, the longest car I kept was 97 300D, just like the CDI, I go to gas station every 425-450 miles. The only difference is the CDI is easy, fast, and silk smooth and I don’t detect the green smoke like the 300D, Touareg and Passat TDI in cold early morning starting! E420 CDI 4matic wagon is my dream car, I do wish it gets on this shore!
  • Hi. My husband drives a ML320 and is wondering if there is power steering fluid in the car and if so, where is the indicator and place to fill it? He is trying to diagnose a noise that occured when he started the car up this morning. The noise went away after awhile. The car is a 2001 model with about 90,000 miles.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    The power steering pump is at the right front of the engine as you face it with the hood open, near the oil filter. You have to pop up the plastic engine cover at the corner to get to the cap. The cap has a dipstick.

    - Mark
  • Hi..
    I am thinking about purchasing a 2000 or 2001 ML. I have been hearing alot of bad things about the car (electrical problems, transmission, etc.) Could anybody tell me if they recommend the vehicle, or should I consider something else.
    Thanks for your Help!!
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Kelly, I'm not a mechanical person per se, but if you are looking for a used ML, go for a 2002 or newer.

    2002 was the year that the ML was "refreshened" with a new front bumper and headlights, turning signals on the mirrors, refreshened tail-light covers and rear bumper update.

    The air conditioner dash controls are better as is the location of the power window switches on the console. In 2002, Mercedes added rear air conditioner vents for the second row.

    My 2002 ML500 has never left me stranded and I'm approaching 50,000 miles. It has been a really good vehicle. I'm getting ready to trade as I usually change out my "traveling" vehicle every 3-4 years. I would consider a new 2006 ML but they don't offer a third seat like I have in my 2002. And, I don't want an R-class, to "van-ish".

    I have not had any problems with my transmission or any electrical problems. I have other very minor issues like the rear cupholder breaking, light behind the speedometer went out, wrinkle in the console cover, a tailgate latch, washer fluid container leak (twice) and the black piece under the front bumper came loose twice.... EVERYTHING was fixed under warranty and have had no issues in a long time.

  • jrynnjrynn Posts: 162
    If you had to take EITHER the upgraded Harmon Kardon sound system @$1080 or the MB-NAV system @$1250, which would you take and why?

    Is the upgraded stereo THAT much better than the stock stereo? Is the MB-NAV now user friendly enough to be useful?
  • This is my first time on this site. Hopefully, someone out there can help me. I have a 2004 ML500 with 18,000 miles and Mercedes-Benz Manhattan is stating that I must replace the brake pads and rotors for $1,300.00. It seems rather early in the life of the vehicle to be performing such an extensive repair. Any thoughts? Thanks.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Hi John.

    First thing I'd do is confirm how much brake pad you have left. Don't take the dealer's word for this.

    If you get under the car with a flashlight, it's very easy to see how much pad is left, by shining a light into the caliper from the plane of the wheel. (Turning the wheels full lock may help on the fronts.) As long as you can see a groove still remaining in the pad, then you're within spec. The dealers are generally very aggressive in pitching a brake job when the pads may be only 60% worn or so. Also, if there is no brake warning light (the pads have sensors that illuminate a warning light when they get near replacement time), that's usually a good indication that they're still okay.

    Typically, the front wear is heavier than the rear, although not always. My guess is that with 18K and unless you're really hard on brakes, you'll find that you have about 40% of your fronts left and well over half of your rears. Which means you probably can go onto about 30K or 35K on the fronts, and 50K on the rears.

    If you do need pads, dealers are also extremely aggressive about recommending new rotors. Because the rotors have very little extra "meat", they don't want to machine rotors anymore, so they just recommend new rotors as a matter of course. In reality, your rotors are probably within spec and unless visibly grooved, you can probably fit new pads and not do a thing to rotors. Many of us are getting 100K miles out of rotors this way without any squealing problems.

    Now the dealer may not be willing to do brakes without replacing rotors. They'll say that it won't be safe, or won't meet spec, or will always squeal. If they insist on rotor replacement, then I'd push for having it done under warranty as getting 18K out of a rotor can be considered a defect in materials. Some folks have even managed to get early pad replacement done under warranty, but this is a harder push.

    If you can't get MB to cover anything, I'd recommend you find a good independent garage that knows Mercedes to give your business to and only go to the dealer for warranty work. Finding someone who will work with you to find lower cost solutions is key to owning a MB at something approaching reasonable cost. My experience is that MB dealers consider $1300 spent every 18K miles on brakes is just "routine maintenance costs". They even gave me a dirty look when I suggested this was too high, like I was being a cheapskate or something. Which is one reason, I just traded my ML yesterday. Absolutely loved the truck, but it just was too expensive to keep it running.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Markjenn, what did you get?

    I picked up a 2006 Land Rover LR3 HSE, Java Black Pearlescent with Alpaca beige leather, Cold package, Heavy duty package... added a wood dash and thick black rubber mats on all three rows.

    I liked my 2002 ML500 (48,700 miles) but it was just about out of warranty and I was ready for something else.

    The Land Rover has a 4 yr. 50K warranty that incudes all maintenance... My ML had that but Mercedes doesn't offer that anymore. Also, my local Mercedes dealer doesn't offer loaner cars. I made sure that the Land Rover did and my salesman said "sure".

    I hope my luck with the Land Rover is good, I just didn't want a Mercedes this time, especially, for the lack of included service and no loaner cars.

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