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

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Comments

  • dennettdennett Posts: 332
    My dealer, MB of San Diego, gives 00 ML320s as loaners. The local Lexus dealer gives one free loaner with purchase and then does not give loaners period. So I don't think it's a corporate decision, I think each dealer decides what their loaner program will be, or not be. Let's not give Lexus too much credit. My sister in law just recently had her new RX300 serviced, no loaner and this was in LA, and they locked her keys in the car and couldn't get into it. They had to keep the car over night while a new key was overnighted from Lexus. When she came to pick up the car that afternoon they did give her a loaner for the night.
  • dennettdennett Posts: 332
    When I talked to the Lexus dealer about their lack of loaners, he said it was because Lexus vehicles don't break and they don't need loaners. The Benz dealer must do it because they breakdown! The local BMW dealer, Cunningham BMW, also has dropped it's loaner program. They said gas prices had forced them to do it, and that they'd pick me up and or take me anywhere I wanted to go instead.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Your Lexus dealer is the first one I've heard of that does that. All the ones in the Boston area give out Lexus loaners AFAIK...the policy is "comparable or better model", too.
  • mlx52mlx52 Posts: 72
    I was talking with one of my friends today, who said that it is easy to brake into the M-Class and many other classes of cars without breaking the windows or pulling up the plunger. What makes a car easy or hard to break into??? He said that the BMW 3 series was very hard to get into, why is this.

    Very curious, as to why one locking system would be better over another.
    Jamie
  • Can you believe what dealers will say to cover up a deficiency? I have read some real whoppers on different boards. Please do not read into my message that I consider my service experience to be indicative of all Lexus dealers. As I stated, I have only been to three. I'm certain there are some horror stories to be heard if we could only dig a little.

    I was just taken aback to hear that Mercedes does not seem to have a consistently superior reputation in the service area. Good grief, this line has the S series that can easily shoot up past $100,000.00. In any event, it was just a musing and actually has given me another area to investigate when purchasing which can be easily done. You know, sometimes we all become so concerned with the price of a vehicle without stopping to think that the service experience can be a much longer and more important relationship.

    I guess we could say that the sale is similar to the wedding, all the excitement and expectation, while the service is more akin to the marriage, which can only thrive well if each partner feels that he/she is respected and valued.
  • We picked up the ML55 12 months ago. It hasn't been back to dealer yet (9,000 miles). No issues or problems. Lots of fun to drive, seems to have all the shortcomings/deficiencies of the other m class vehicles.
  • KNOCK IT OFF GUYS AND STOP PICKING ON EACH OTHER FOR EVERY DARN THING......Look guys being different from each other is what keeps the world interesting and each of us unique and different from all the rest....so lets accept each other as we are and stop picking on each other for nothing....life is too darn short....Bon.

    ps. My front driver's seat broke...the plastic under the set where you move the seat forward and back the large back plate plastic piece there is loose and I found a piece on the floor that obviously broke off and my sunroof keeps humming and letting air in...so I have to make appt with dealer to bring the baby in for a diaper change...haha.. fix up.....let bygones be bygones and lets just have fun....love bon
  • dennettdennett Posts: 332
    Are you refering to the discussion a couple of us guys are having about service loaners? If so, I sure didn't mean to pick on anyone, nor did I feel anyone was picking on me. We're just talking about our experiences with our dealers. I'd say your post's title and your first paragraph are much more abrasive than any post I've read here since Saturday.( ;-) Drew! LOL!)
    Bon, if you reread your post and those I'm refering to, I think you'll see what I mean. I couldn't agree with your point more, about sharing different viewpoints and respecting other's opinions! Peace!! Good luck getting your ML straightened out! Car problems really are depressing aren't they!!!!
  • yickwoyickwo Posts: 54
    Drew,

    Thanks for the welcome. I will make it over the the owner's club eventually.

    kingscreek,

    As you can see from the prior posts, Fletcher Jones is the MB dealership in the Newport Beach area. I just recently moved into to the area too, and I only have been there twice. FJ is a very large dealership with a fairly good service dept. The prices they charged me for some services are reasonable. Check out their website. You can find out about service specials and make appointments on line. I would say give them a try first if you are in the area.

    jamie_dennis,

    I didn't see your email address, and if you can post it, I will be happy to share more detailed information and thoughts with you. The deal was $500 below dealer's invoice (which was $400 above Edmunds' invoice due to ad. fee) plus TTL. The out of the door price with everything was just under $44K.
  • Has anyone heard if "parktronic" i.e. reverse sensors, will be available on the 2002 ML's ?
  • I have my 99M in for service today and I just received a call from the service tech letting me know that my brake pads need replacing. It seems a little early to me. I do the vast majority of my driving intown on surface streets. Does this seems like normal wear and tear??
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    In town driving puts the most wear and tear on the brakes since you're constantly stopping and going. Consider yourself fortunate. Many people have gotten even less out of their pads. The main reason is that MB uses softer brake pads, which are good because they don't tear up the rotors (which are far more expensive than the pads) as quickly as the harder brake pads.

    FWIW, I do a fair amount of in town driving as well, though I try to time the lights and be gentle on the brakes, in addition to a fair bit of driving up and downhills. At service A recently, which under 15K kilometres, my front pads had 60% left, and 65% for the rears. Keeping the current rate of wear in mind, I'll most probably need new pads at about 25-30K kilometres on the odometer.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    So far no word on whether Parktronic will be available with the '02 ML. If it is, you can probably expect it to cost the same amount as the option with the cars (~CDN$1500), if it comes with the front and rear sensors.

    Keeping in mind that the rear bumper has to be removed for the trailer hitch installation, I wonder if they will provide this option since many people do the trailer hitch installation themselves.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Its a bit early compare to the rest of fellow who change their pad between 25,000 to 35,000. Its been discuss before on this board that the pad MB used are soft for braking purposes and produced tremendous amount of dust to the wheel.Keep us posted how much the dealer charge you.Good luck.
    Jim
  • Just to add to the MB and Lexus loaner programs. I owned a Lexus and my dealer once gave me a purple Corolla, the only thing Lexus like with that car was the power steering. Most of the time we got Caravans or Intrepids from Enterprise. I went to another Lexus dealer looking for better and they gave out Altima loaners - from Enterprise.

    I know that all dealers have been cutting back due to expense, both the highly regarded MB dealers out here loan out Chryslers (makes sense now)- at times they'll get an MB, but you need to be in line by 5:00 in the morning :)
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I believe the "loaner" program is important to maintaining customer satisfaction.After 20 years of purchasing numerous Mercedes (all S class) I purchased a 99 ML 430 from my local dealer. This is the same dealer that I had purchased the others from and had previously received a ride back to my office. It used to be the most efficient means and the cars weren't in very often(they WERE reliable). It was amazing to me however that my employees who had Lexus autos would always get a loaner (which were always a lexus). The ML 430 was nothing but problems. On one occasion it was in the shop for over a week waiting for a new locking module and then for new keys. It was during these numerous episodes that I found out about the Enterprise junker rentals. The negative experiences prompted me to purchase another luxury brand and it will be a long time (if ever) that I return to Mercedes and never at the local dealer.
  • Are you saying that your disatisfaction with your former dealership was due to the loaner cars that you were given or were there other problems that turned you against your local dealer?

    I have read quite often about troubles with the '98 and '99 ML, but these problems have seemed to be greatly reduced in the '01 models, don't you think?
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    There were other issues with the dealer. The quality of service and sales deteriorated over 20 years but certainly the loaner issue was important. I was picked up by a rep. from Enterprise and then driven to their location to get a junker of a car. I actually paid to get an upgrade. I chose a loaner because I thought it would be more efficient than their van service that at one time was convenient but became very inconvenient because of fewer departures,more customers, etc. Nevertheless, it seemed that if Lexus (and Infiniti) could provide decent loaners why couldn't Mercedes. It was my impression that because of such demand for their cars they became arrogant and figured they didn't have to do it.
    As far as the ML reliability issue ,it seems that they may have improved but not to a par with Lexus (or Toyota). They never did fix all the problems despite numerous attempts. Since it is not my main vehicle I've decide to just keep it until the warranty is up and then go with a Lexus (470) unless the published reliabilty data and info obtained on this board proves that the ML is truly improved.
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    When the decision was to be made whether to get an MB or a Lexus, I also inquired about the situation regarding loaners at both dealerships (not a decisive factor, though).

    MB would take you anywhere and pick you back up, or pick up the car and bring it back, and all that although I live 30 miles from the dealer. Well, let alone the fact that I don't like others to drive my car, being without wheels for one whole day isn't exactly convenient for everybody.

    My Lexus dealer provides new loaners for scheduled service and warranty repairs. No questions asked, no Enterprise deals. When our RX was in, we had an LS, RXs and Camrys - the dealership keeps a fleet of 27 loaners, may be that is what makes their service so expensive...

    Tarik
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    You'll find that MB dealers vary a lot on their policy. Lexus seems more consistent, though w/ the reports of a few dealers that don't give out Lexus loaners, I'm starting to wonder. I'd suggest you try another dealer in the area. Where are you located? Perhaps one of the folks here can recommend one in your area.
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    Thanks. Unfortunately there is only one dealer in the area (Palm Springs,Ca). However I have a weekend residence in S. Orange County (Ca) and am planning on retiring there (in a few years). I have visited Mercedes Benz of Laguna Niguel and would deal with them in the future although it wouldn't be convenient for service while I am working (125 miles away). I still have some older Mercedes that I get serviced at a private shop in Palm Desert that has a good reputation (Lino's). I would be interested in hearing of sales/service experiences in Orange County or even North San Diego County.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    NAV-being cd and not dvd based is a pain. my lexus has dvd (01 ls430) and its great 7inch screen wonderful ergonomics. my nav in the ml320 (98) is mounted high like i like but is very limited unless using larger cities. to cover a trip to florida i would have to buy 2 additional cd's at about $140 each--wow, you could not get it and instead install the superior dvd system from alpine. i should have done that for the same $$$$$

    any links for the 02ml320?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
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    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • Thanks for all the info on the brake pad replacements. I feel better now!! The quoted cost to replace the pads is $280 plus tax. I am also having the tires rotated, oil changed and a few more minor repairs done for a whopping $700. I have another enterprise loaner - a lovely pontiac grand am equipped with a spoiler and tobacco smells. I love the M and cannot wait for my new wagon - oh well the little indignities.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Ouch....Why is so much.What year is your ML again if it is 2000 or newer it should be covered by waranty isn't it.
  • I am so glad you posted a comment on the nav. system, and that you are familiar with both units. Now I have someone who understands why I think it is such a great addition. Wouldn't you think that MB will be upgrading their nav soon? When I was originally looking for a car, I had the most difficult time finding out about the nav. Most salesmen in the MB dealerships had little knowledge of it, but at least they had some. The Volvo group not only knew zip, they also did not have one in the country that I could find. I was going to have to order from Sweden and it would have taken three months. Do you think you would be able to upgrade your system if they improved it?

    Hey, I just remembered a feature that I liked when I was originally looking at the MLs. Did anyone purchase the ML with the sunroof that opened over the front and back seats? It may have worked better in theory than in actuality, but it looked like fun.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Been reading with great interest and I'll offer my 2-cents.

    Though I don't own a MB, Drew pushed me in the direction and I ended up shopping them about a month ago. I visited two MB dealers in my area (NY/NJ) and both facilities were immaculate and the sales and service folks answered any questions I had. One dealer had many ML320s on the lot for loaners.

    I ended up going with a Lexus for other reasons. The dealer I ended up buying from owns MB, Jag, Porsche stores and TWO Lexus stores (one in NY one in NJ). All of the service areas for this dealer I have visited are unreal, almost perfect. There is a FLEET of Lexus loaners on the lot that are kept immaculate.

    Recently, my wife took our vehicle to a Lexus service place closer to home. While they were helpful, my wife commented on how run down and disgusting the place was.

    The conclusion: both MB and Lexus are capable of a great service experience, but it really depends on the particular dealer. Shop wisely.

    But don't get me started about Acura... I can't believe some of the Acura places I visited. This is a high-end dealership?
  • Did any of you use Keen Wheels? Does this product work? Or is it just a waste of $?

    I have just gotten a 2001 ML and the brake dust drives me crazy!!! Any Suggestions?
  • dt77dt77 Posts: 232
    Eagle one - A2Z All wheel cleaner. I don't do it too often. Prob used it like 4 times. Spray on, leave on for liek 30 seconds, and hose off.
    Quite simply. I haven't washed the ML in like 3 weeks. Been raining and raining here in LA.
    Apparently, we had the most rain this season than any other city in the West. This includes Seattle.

    I also have a wheel brush I got from Pepboys. quite nice. If the stains are stubborn, like the ones I had yesterday, I sprayed the stuff on and also used the brush.

    dt77
  • dt77dt77 Posts: 232
    Does anyone know if my 00ML430 has a 'hitch receiver' ?

    dt77
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