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

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Comments

  • Who has an opinion? MB wants to sell me a 24 month extended warranty for $1100 or 36 month for $1500. Is it worth it? I have never purchased one before for any of the cars I own. Do I need it on a used '99 ML320? What type of problems should I expect up to 100,000 miles?

    Thanks
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    The mb warranty is offered in two versions, a std and a premium. It is offered 1, 2, 3 or 4 yr.
    I bought the premium 4 yr. 50k mile warranty on both my cars. My understanding is that you have to buy it within 12 months by the original purchaser of the vehicle, it is transferable.
    If you plan on keeping the vehicle past the warranty, i would advise in favor of it, cheap insurance, also most of it will probably be recouped at resale time. E-mail me and I will direct you to a dealer who discounts the premium 4 yr 50K warranty.
    On another note, all, if not all MBs with the exception of the ML have right sided gas filler nozzles. You would think that MB would have VDO, the guage maker, have the pump on the fuel gauge face with the hose on the left(instead of the right) to indicate where the fuel filler cap is. It must be the std. guage face and instead of a separate gauge face for the ml, they use what they have in stock.
    As to the advertising fee, that is BS, I have never heard of it being charged out to the customer. MB dealers work on 7% plus their holdback plus added quarterly incentives. You did not mention if they discounted the MSRP and if they, did how much? Try www.autobytel.com and see what they come up with. If you are in New England, I could probably recommend a few dealers.
    BTW, never use the customer questionaire as a negotiating tool, that is your way of sticking it to the dealer if they have stuck it to you. I have read where dealers give trinkets, floor mats, etc, to the customer if the customer gives them the blank questionair back so that the dealer can fill it in. Part of the dealer's and the salesman's commissions are based on getting all excellents on this questionaire.
    I guess I am spoiled because I can honestly say that I have a very good dealer with NO complaints either in the purchasing or the servicing of my vehicles.
  • Off to the Autoshow at 8:30 tomorrow. Unfortunatly I left my flash and normal lens in Vegas. I have my PS though.

    I take pictures tomorrow, which reminds me that I have to get film.

    YIPEE!
  • Sshowitt,
    Would you send me any info of the dealer that discounts the warantee?
    I couldn't get your email address. Thanks.
  • I have been learning a lot just reading this forum over the past 4 months. Most of my questions eventually are answered by just "reading". I have visited several showrooms in the tri-state and especially like the 430 with sport pkg. I have 98 S-320 . It really has all the power I need. I never tow anything, so I probably don't need to spend the $$ on ML 430, but I have noticed that several on forum have traded up to the 430 , that were original ML 320 owners. I like the larger wheels , rims, on 430. I also am hearing things about the my2002 ML that make me want to wait. I presently have multiple cars, so a decision can be made in Oct. when I believe all the rumors will be answered. I have been posting on most of the Friday Freeway Chats. Nice to talk with you, and to everyone on this forum. Russ.
  • Sshowitt,
    Would you send me any info of the dealer that discounts the warantee?
    I couldn't get your email address. Thanks.
  • Would you please send me your email address as well or just info on where to get a discount on the extended warranty? I tried to get your email address, but even after logging in, the state of the art Town Hall software tells me that I have to login before it can give me your email address. Sigh.

    my address is tracy_leb@yahoo.com

    Thanks in advance

    ...Tracy
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Hmm, that's a new bug. I'll let the appropriate people know about it. BTW, have you introduced yourself in the M-class Meet the members topic? The link is at the top of the screen under the topic title. There is an M-class dealers and service experiences topic that you maywish to contribute in.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    newtomb,

    Make sure that the extended warranty is an actual MB warranty and not a 3rd party vendor (after market warranty). As sshowitt mentioned there are two options for coverage at least on the new ML's - ask them specifically what warranty covers. They should have a printed copy for you to read over.

    To answer your question, Yes! I think it is a good idea to have a warranty up to 100,000 miles on even an MB. You don't know exactly what might pop up after your 4year 50K mile factory warranty expires. Most failures will occur later in a vehicles life and certainly could cost you considerable $$$$ to repair. Once again you need to read exactly what the warranty covers. Also, the terms of the warranty assumes that you religiously maintain and keep records for your MB... so it would pay to have dealer service your vehicle so records are very clear.

    To determine which warranty you need you need to calculate your expected annual mileage. Once you multiply this by the # of years it takes to reach or exceed 100K miles you will know if you need the 24 or 36 month warranty. Also, check and make sure just what "24" and "36" mean. When does this time start? You would assume after the 4 years meaning you have 6 or 7 years of warranty as long as you stay under the 100K miles. On the reverse of this if you put high mileage on your vehicles you may exceed the mileage way before the 6 or 7th year so you'll be out of warranty at that point.

    Finally, ask if you have any time to make decision to purchase said warranty or if it HAS TO BE AT TIME OF SALE. It very well may be that you must purchase it at time of sale (I can't remember exact terms of MB Starmarked Warranty - which is what I hope you are being offered). If you do have a speicifed time period you could hold off until then but remember you won't be able to finance it into the price of the ML and pay for it over time. An MB warranty is far better than any 3rd party warranty and should be honored at any MB dealer in the US and may be transferable - yet another question to ask : )

    Good luck - it sounds like a very exciting time for you!

    Frank
    1999 ML430
  • dt77dt77 Posts: 232
    Hey wassup people.

    Man, this place has 1600 odd messages.

    HElla annoying to search for something.

    I finally put on my Hella Mirco FFs for my external fogs with yellow bulbs.

    I also have normal hella H3 bulbs in the intergrated headlamp assembly. LOSTA LIGHTS ! =)

    The intergrated fogs and external fogs can both turned on by the fog lamp switch that was activated long time ago.


    unfortunately, all that beautiful road illumination came to an end about 1 hour or so. The front fog lamp FUSE blew ! I recall reading the same thing happened to someone on this board, or maybe on another one. I replaced the fuse, but I'm pretty sure the same thing will happen again. WHY ?

    the H3 bulbs in the integrated headlamp assembly is 12V55. the same goes for the bulbs in my mirco FFs.


    any remedies out there ?

    replace fuse with higher rating ?


    help !


    dt77

    http://fullspeed.to/ml

  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    My e-mail is Modntractr@aol.com. I am surprised that it did not come up in my profile. I paid $1575.00 for a 4 yr. 50K mile MB premium warranty for an 00 ML430.
    You can charge it on your a/e or visa and get mileage besides. I will be out of town till sunday, I will respond on Monday with the information by e-mail directly to you.
  • I was at least one of the persons that had trouble with dual fogs on one circuit. The problem is that the 4 55 watt bulbs you are probably using draws more than the 160 watts the wires and fuse in the circuit will accommodate. So you blow a fuse. An involved story told briefly: you can try a bigger fuse but it will void your warranty for the entire fuse block, at least, when the inevitable melt down comes. You would be better served to put the second pair of fog lights on a relay, have the relay fused separately, and have the relay triggered, if you wish, by the first or integrated pair of fogs. That way both sets will go on at the same time. You could also run a separate switch, but I bet you found, like me, that having them both come on is just too cool!

    As a slight digression, I had the dealer do a variation of this and was pleased with the results. In my case I had a pair of big hella ralleye lenses with 120 watt bulbs installed, via a fused relay to the ML's rear fog light switch. Talk about light output! These beams blow away any Xenon bulb out there. Highly illegal, I'll hasten to add, and I have not, and will not, use them when there's anyone (in sight) in front of me or coming at me. Unfortunately, this massive light output severely limits how often I can safely use them. But it makes back mountain roads in the dead of night a real joy to drive!!! That's the reason I had the installed. One other detail is that the big Hellas are so-called Euro lights, and have a really cool amber parking light that illuminates when the ML's parking lights and/or headlights are on. I get endless complements on these! End digression.

    On my next trip to the dealer, for the first FSS, in about a month, I will complete the project by re-installing the dealer installed hella fogs to go on at the same time the integrated fogs do, in the manner described above.

    Hope this helps...

    ...Tracy
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Tracy:
    I can't picture this. You have these giant lamps on your brushguard and they glow yellow when the parking lights and headlights are on?
  • A lot of folks on this board paid MSRP for their ML'ss. And according to many reports, the dealership doesn't make that much on the sale of the vehicle. If you negotiate to under MSRP, it is good for you. If the dealer, at the last minute, tacks on additional fees, it is not a good thing. The fee may be real, but buried if the ML is sold at MSRP. Otherwise they brake it out to, in theory at least, mitigate their reduced income from the sale.

    This said, there are still more people wanting ML's than there are ML for sale. In the end the dealer sets the terms and the customer buys or not. If one customer doesn't, another one will be along who will. Even with the added fee, if you are buying at under MSRP you are getting a better deal than most -- that is reason to be happy! If you want the "best" deal, wait until the end of the model year or just after the beginning of the new model year (for a deal on the previous model year ML, that is). Patients brings rewards in this case.

    OTOH, and stepping onto the soap box, I never cease to be amazed at how many people don't just go get what they want and can well afford, without having to try to squeeze every penny out of the folks they are buying from, and then use the inability to further squeeze the dealer as a reson not to buy. What crap! If you go to 2, 3, 10, or 30 dealerships until you get one who will save you a few hundred dollars, what have you really saved, anyway? How much is your time worth? Does the fact that you have probably pissed off many dealerships due to your, shall I say "thriftiness" matter to you? Are you going to take the ML to any of these places for service once or if you finally get one? Good luck!

    Or worse than trying to squeeze the dealer, so many people will use a trivial BS detail to hide the fact that they really can't afford the ML in the first place, as in, "boy I really was gonna buy that ML, but, you know, I was disgusted with the attitude of the sales rep (because he wouldn't come down $7.5K on the price, being unstated), or gosh, I just didn't like the color of the carpet at the dealership, or, you know, I just didn't like the shape of the shifter knob (or fill in the blank), and so, after going to 5 MB dealerships (or every one within 300 miles), I went someplace else bought something else and spent 15 thousand dollars less, and, you know, it's just as good as the ML! Glad I didn't spend all that extra money for nothing!!!!!" As if they ever had the money in the first place.

    Bottom line: you are made aware of what MSRP is when you look at the sticker. If you are unhappy with how far down you can screw the dealer, you simply can't afford it, don't snivel, just don't buy it. There is always something available for less; not necessarily a MB, but something: Range Rover, Pathfinder, Ford -- you can really get a bargin on an Explorer these days. . . or even a Kia!

    Okay, now just where did I put my welding mask and flame retardant suit ;)

    ...Tracy
  • The lamps are a little bigger than the ML's front star and situated just on each side of the star. The parking bulbs in the Hella's emit a georgous amber color. The small bulbs are 5 watt, if I remember correctly. They are on when the parking lights and/or headlights are on. They are not on when the 120 watt bulbs are on. I will get some pix and post them along with the pix of the brushguard.

    ...Tracy
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Tracy:
    Do you have these? I'm surprised you get any significant light out of the tiny parking light bulbs underneath :-)
  • I was wrong on the part. I bought a spare when I got them and after reading your post, dug it out. According to the box it is a Hella Luminator FF Halogen Driving Lamp, part number 1F8 007 560-051. They are round, measures 222 mm across and 130 mm deep. The amber bulb doesn’t put out much light – it’s only 5 watt, but a really cool color.

    …Tracy
  • Why does the software replace selected characters
    such as "'" and "--" with a "–" or "&38217;" This happens when I cut from Word and paste into the TH software
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    That's the problem (cutting and pasting from Word). Word inserts its own coding and it messes up when you copy and paste the text into the post box. Try typing the text directly into the post box itself, or if you must type the text offline in a separate programme, use an ASCII compatible text editor instead (ex. Notepad).


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The reason why your e-mail address did not show up in the profile is because you marked it as "Private". To change this, click on the "My Profile" link near the top of the screen and change the e-mail section to "Public".
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Looks like the next generation M-class will arrive in late fall of 2004, for model year 2005.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • Can you elaborate more? Sounds like you have made a confirmed statement.Also, whenever you receive info on MY 2002 ML , please share with forum. Thanks,

    Russ.
  • Don’t cut and paste?! I cannot believe that the lameheads that developed this software can’t deal with pasted text. In 20 some web sites I frequent, including this one prior to the “upgrade,” this is a first. Not that it’s your fault, Drew, but it is LAME, LAME, LAME.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 284
    I took my ML to Discount Tires and bought the road hazard warrenty and lifetime wheel balance and rotation. The road hazard warrenty costs about $13 for each tire. It covers any kind of road damage to your tires. Since I take my ML off-road once in a while, I need that extra warrenty on tires. Lifetime balance costs $14. Since MB free maintenance is about every 10K or so, it's wise to balance the tires yourself about every 5K.
  • Has anyone figured out how to hack into the fiber optic LAN in the 2001 ML's ? I have heard a regular Motorola timeport will work but not all functions are there. The adapter cradle is 800.00!!! are they crazy ? Whats the deal with Mercedes and phones? Does anyone out there know the facts on the fiber optic system on 2001 M's ?
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    FYI, for those of you who want to really test out your ML off-roading:


    Let's talk adventure. In order to get our DV trip off the ground I need some quick feedback. Plan is to spend three days in Death Valley driving, exploring and just
    to have a good time. The days I have in my calendar noted down are March


    9,10 and 11. For you guys with extremely tight schedules it should be possible to join the group for the last two days.


    I have organized similar trips twice in 1997 and 1998
    (http://www.4x4abc.com/DV/report.html)


    Driving in the Death Valley area is not something that can be done fast- so, we need a few days to do it. Especially since I plan to give you a lot of input on how to drive best when the roads get rough - that will take some time. Also, successful driving in the rough is done slowly, sometimes very slowly. There are two important reasons for that: To avoid damage and to avoid getting stuck. This does not mean I want to take you into some impossible terrain - far from it. Especially the easy stuff is potentially dangerous, because it is often underestimated. So, in order to keep our guard up we have to be slow. I know many of you do not mind damage and can easily afford it. But since there is no AAA or towing service out there you'll have to leave your vehicle behind. Not a pleasant thought, is it?

    Best thing would be to meet in Trona on Friday morning. That will give you enough time to get to Ridgecrest on Thursday evening and spend the night in motel. Close by Trona does not have a reliable motel. Start on Friday should be early (8 o'clock or so). For the guys that can't make it out on Thursday, I have an alternative meeting point for Friday noon in mind.

    Now comes the big question (the majority decides): Do you want to spend Friday and Saturday night in a Death Valley hotel - or do you want to include one night camping (Saturday). I highly recommend the camping night but I also realize that many have never done it and are somewhat hesitant. In case we decide for a mixture of hotel/camping I will assist you to pack/buy the right stuff for a night in the desert (don't worry, this will be easy). I will go with whatever the majority decides - so, e-mail your answers / questions / comments as soon as possible. We need to make this quick so I can make reservations at the hotel(s).

    Another question (here the minority tips the scale): I have the hot springs of Saline Valley on my list for a visit. It is an ancient Indian site as well as an "ancient" Hippie site (amazing how fast hip things become ancient). As part of the Hippie culture the "clothing optional" rule was adopted by the NPS. Please be very open and honest with your input when you write me back. Do you want to stop there and soak for a while or do you prefer to wave with the windows rolled up and continue driving up the canyon? I really don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable and if just one participant would prefer not stop there we will go on. Don't hesitate to say "NO" because you don't want to ruin the trip for others.

    Deadline for your answer (is that your final answer?) is February 19, 2001.

    Now the money part. I have not had a chance yet to talk to the hotels for current rates but I expect rates around $90 per night. Final numbers should be in this week. My fee is $250 per vehicle including $100 going to a charitable organization. With the donation we avoid being a commercial tour and with that we avoid all the hassle of difficult to obtain permits by the DV NPS, $1Million insurance etc.

    Regards,

    -- Harold Pietschmann
        Writer - Photographer
    4WD Consulting & Training
       http://www.4x4abc.com
    adventure@4x4abc.com

  • Hey,


    "Mercedes plant in Alabama to double in size by 2005" :

    http://www.auto.com/industry/iwira12_20010212.htm


    "The plant produced just over 80,000 M-Class vehicles in 2000, a number which will drop to 78,000 this year, said Taylor. He said the 2,000-car reduction is only to prepare for major model changes coming in 2002."


    Hmmmm...major model changes? 2002?


    -Todd

  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    Hi,

    On two occasions recently, the COMAND has acted up: First, on a trip back from France, it lost its voice - instead of giving guidance, the radio just cut out, leaving us with a brief period of FM hiss. Weird, and cured by turning off the engine and hitting the lock switch (on the remote). A week later (last Friday), but probably only some 100 miles later, the LCD screen was out of action. No way to revive it, and operating the COMAND with no screen is a royal PITA. Of course, when I wanted to take the truck to the dealer on Saturday morning, everything worked OK. Still, it's going in to be checked, and I'll insist on an exchange.

    Over the weekend, I managed to scan two pages from the European ML owner's manual. Unfortunately, they're in French, but the important thing is that they show yet a third version of the ML headlight capsule, with Xenon low beams, H1 hi beams, AND H3 foglights!

    This is the "normal" ML headlight capsule seen from behind:

    image

    And this is the "tri-function" Xenon headlight capsule:

    image

    Now, getting hold of one of those would be nice - no bother fitting separate foglights, and they could (if the 2002 facelift isn't too extensive) easily be transferred to a future truck. When I bring the truck in for the COMAND problem, I'll see if the parts people can come up with something.

    Would have loved to join Harold Pietschmann and the rest of you in DV, but unfortunately I'm a bit far away... ;-)

    Kind regards,

    Birger
  • intéresser... Les xenons n'ont pas des lampes de stationnement.

    J'essaye toujours de figurer hors de la façon installer les lampes du stationnement 5W.

    Le foglamp est également placé dans une position beaucoup différente que sur l'unité d'halogène.

    Respects,
    Robert
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    - indeed, you're right, the Xenons shown do NOT have the 5W bulb. I wonder if it's a general misprint, i.e. that where they apparently want the 55W H3 to go is really the place for the 5W. The way they put it, it certainly takes some pretty fancy optics in order to acheive a foglight beam. Later this week, when I take the truck in to have them look at the COMAND problem, I'll try to get a look at a ML55 (if they have any).

    Kind regards - and compliments on responding in French

    Birger
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