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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • I have recently purchased 2 new MB models: ML500 & CLK350 Cabriolet. Both have the new 7 speed auto tranny. They behave quite differently in the two vehicles. Note that the auto writers consistently mention the ML tranny as having strange behavior at slow speeds when it changes gears - there is sometimes a clunking and a lurch felt by the driver. As my ML500 was made in May, I expected this problem would have been fixed by that time. Wrong! I have experienced exactly the same thing whereas the 7 speed on my wife's CLK350 is as smooth as glass and is as seamless on shifting as any car I've ever driven. Same tranny - different operation??? Well, I've got to realize the ML has a full time AWD function which incorporates a transfer case, which must be the reason and source for the clunk. I'm not an engineer, but I do know what I am feeling is not saying much for a $60K+ vehicle. Has anyone else had this experience?
  • jomljoml Posts: 4
    I have a 99 ml320... recently I have been hearing some kind of a knocking sound from the rear driver side whenever I start to drive. The sound only comes out when driving at a very slow speed and it goes away when I start to accelerate.
    Also when I'm in an idling stage like stopping on a red light, the shifter makes a knocking sound as well and when I try to just adjust the shifter, the sound stops or goes away. The dealer couldn't find where the sound is coming from and it's not even the shifter bushing they told me.
    Has anybody encountered these situation? I would really like to find out where those sound is coming from and how to fix it. Thank you all in advance...
  • lorryfanlorryfan Posts: 76

    It may be bad battery problems, try replacing the battery to see what happens.....
    See message 509 for a similarly reported problem.

    Good luck....
  • jomljoml Posts: 4
    hi, thanks for responding on my inquiry... I looked at 509 and we don't have the same situation, mine doesn't have a problem shifting and recently the dealer here in BC checked on my battery and it's still good. my alternator was replaced though, good thing I bought the extended warranty. my shifter just makes this knocking sound when I am in an idle position and when I moved the shifter a bit the knocking sound stops. I will have the dealer checked on it again together with the knocking sound that comes out from the back of the vehicle on my next service and will let you guys know the results. Thanks again...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sounds like something loose in the exhaust system knocking against the floor at idle.
  • My ML has been acting up lately (3-4 times now). I start the truck and it sounds rough then I drove the car, stopped at a light, car seemed like it was going to stall. I pulled over and restarted the truck and it's fine. This month it does the same thing again but now I notice the engine light comes on and blinks the car drives rough again. It won't accelerate pass 60MPH it also gives me a humming noise when I push on the gas. I'm worried, can someone please give me some advice of what the cause of this is? This car no longer has warranty and I'm tired of forking my $$$ almost every month to fix problems. If you had similar situation, please let me know what you did. :confuse: Thanks!
  • mlproblemmlproblem Posts: 1
    I have owned a 2000 ml430 since new. It has steadily consumed oil to the point that it now uses a quart every 700 miles. MB has refused to take any action on the problem first brought to their attention at about 33,000 miles. Their response has been that it is not considered a problem unless the oil usage is less than 1000 miles. I certainly do not agree. Now that consumption is every 700 miles they have changed to it is normal unless it is every 600 miles. I have all of the service records and so do they but to date the local dealership has not been able to get corporate's attention. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Is it widespread with tis engine?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You'd better call Mercedes customer relations and ask to have a field representative examine the car at the dealership and examine all your records as well. The car definitely has a problem. This is one repair bill you don't want to have to eat all by yourself. Only a field rep could make exceptions to warranty limitations.
  • palmharborpalmharbor Posts: 26
    Learn to live with the clunk. My ML-500 is 11 months old with 13,000 miles, and the dealer can't do anything for the clunk. It is particularly annoying when the transmission downshifts when stopping. I asked the MB service tech about it again yesterday when I had the 13,000 mile service and was told that there have been no upgrades or service notices on it. My business partner bought a R-500 a few months ago and said that his transmission was very smooth, until a month ago when it started shifting very hard. His dealer sent for some new parts from Germany. I test drove a 2007 Audi Q7 a few days ago. Its transmission shifts very hard when accelerating, and is quite noisy.
  • lorryfanlorryfan Posts: 76
    prettynpink08 -

    I had the same problem with my 2002 ML 320 with about 32K miles on it then. Mine attempted to stall 3X at the stoplight and each time I took it to the MB dealer to get it checked (luckily the factory warranty is stii good on mine until July 06).

    The dealer told me they upgraded the software that controls the tranny/acceleration and since then (about 6months ago), I haven't had that problem re-occur.

    I'll suggest you ask your dealer about the software upgrade and see what they say....unfortunately you may have to pay out of pocket.

    To avoid the excessive dealer fees, you may want to get yourself an extended warrant from for about $1.5K-2K for 4years/85K miles. That will save you a lot of money down the road.

    Good Luck....
  • I am in the same boat as you. I bought my 2000 used and noticed it at first in late fall, it is now a bit louder and annoying. 2 mechanics came up with nothing. I'm going to a dealer tomorrow and see what they say.
  • My cargo door on my ML320 doesn't open. Anyone have any ideas of what couses this? Is it easy to fix?

  • newmownernewmowner Posts: 86
    I had the same problems regarding the jerky transmission, and my 2006 ML350 was in the shop for about 30 days in the first 120 days of ownership as MBUSA tried numerous times unsuccessfully to resolve the problem for which they were well aware.

    I ended up getting MBUSA to refund my money.

    Get out fast! :lemon:
  • sgt_k1sgt_k1 Posts: 14
    Can some one help me! I have a ml 500 and my ets/bas light keeps coming on and still on. I can not even shift from park to drive anymore. You know how when you step on the brake, the vihecle suppose to allowed you to switch from part to drive hoooo, but it not allowing me... can you please...where is the brake switch located at?
  • leighliuleighliu Posts: 1
    I typically do not post on these, but I am making an exception here. I have a 2006 ML350 and it has been nothing but a problem. I have had it in the shop 5 times for SRS passenger airbag malfunction and even began lemon law proceedings on it. Each time they said it was a different problem and the finally seemed to "repair" it by completely switching out the passenger seat (yet it has only been a month, so we shall see). This car is 9 months old and has approximately 8500miles. Since then it has had intermittent, unfounded malfunctions with tire pressures, oil levels, lights and so on. The vehicle has a nice warning screen in the driver display and it always displays between 1 and 4 malfunctions. So, I have developed a love-hate relationship with the warning system. If it were just one issue I would have been much more tolerant, but this is getting crazy! I DO NOT reccomend the 2006 ML350 to anyone, unless you like sitting in the service department waiting for a loaner. :cry:
  • jomljoml Posts: 4
    thanks for telling me about your problem with your ml... i am already thinking of trading in mine or selling it while it's still fresh... i only had around 27,000++ kms on it( i live in canada and it's kms over here..)... keep me posted on what the dealer told you... good luck...
  • jomljoml Posts: 4
    try checking the lock unlock hitch or lock on the cargo door... i remember this happened to me and when i checked it, i accidentaly locked or unlocked the cargo door, it works like the child door protection... hope this helps... keep me posted... good luck...
  • cflaggcflagg Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 ML-320 and experiencing the same problem. Have you discovered a solution?

  • mjphxmjphx Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 ML500 with 42,000 miles. I guess I am lucky that I never had any problems with mine since day 1. I just do routine maintenance at the dealer. I serves me well.
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    You have a faulty brake lamp swich. It also sends a signal to the trans control moudule, letting it know that your foot is on the brake, and allows it to release the shifter.
    Simple 15 minute fix.
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    I was a MB service manager for 5 years. I quit over this oil consumption issue. A lawsuit was filed against MB several years ago titled O'Keefe vs. MB. The settlement allowed repairs of the oil consumption for a total of 10 Years, or 150,000 miles. The dealership must PROVE to MB that the vehicle is consuming more than 1 litre per 1000 KM or approx 1 qt per 600 miles. Here is the catch. If you have your vehicle tested once, and the dealer files a warranty claim for the test, if the engine is not using more than 1qt per 600 miles, you are done, no further claim can be made. If you are using more than 1qt/600 miles, a series of oil flushes can be made, or the engine could be disassembled, and the piston rings replaced.
    The dealer must follow very very strict guidelines to complete the tests, and in most cases MB will not pay the claim. Most dealers will fake the test results by starting the oil test, drain a couple quarts of oil out of the engine, drive the vehicle a couple hundred miles, then print out the results showing how many miles were driven, and the couple quarts of oil used. It's a huge scam, that I wanted nothing to do with. Contact your SPOM (Service & Parts operations manager), if you are lucky, he might help.
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    That is not correct. Each dealership has the right to perform a DSA (after warranty repair). The amount of that repair can vary from dealer to dealer, depending how low there warranty numbers are.(The less they charge MB, The more than cover out of warranty. It's usually $700 Minimum, to a max of $10,000. They can use the money for ANY repair, at ANY time. They can even use DSA money to pay for your dinner.
    I bought a customer a pair of shoes that were ruined when his top leaked. No problem.
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    You have a broken rear latch, inner rear panel must be removed to access it.
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    Right under the brake pedal, you will see it if you crawl under the dash. It's a switch that pushes against the pedal arm
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    thanks. I'll check on that.
  • palmharborpalmharbor Posts: 26
    I have had my 2006 ML500 for 51 weeks. Until last week my complaints about hard shifting fell on deaf ears. Last week I spoke with my dealer's new service manager and he told me that there is a new software update for the transmission. I brought it in, but they found that the electrohydraulic control unit installed on my ML has been superseded by a new type, and they got one from MB and installed it, together with updated software. The transmission is much, much better. If any of you still have jerky transmissions, it would be worth looking into. I would be happy to fax a copy of the service sheet showing what was done to correct the problem. Also, there is acompressor for air suspension campaign
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Okay I checked with a few dealers. Seems that it works like this.

    A dealer can offer post-warranty repairs without contacting the manufacturer, but this is often limited to small amounts (a few hundred dollars is the general rule) to their best customers, and it's also tied to the dealer's customer satisfaction index.

    So, should a dealer with a bad CSI attempt this, or should the amount be too high too often (even with a good CSI), his privilege to offer post-warranty repairs might be revoked.

    An outstanding dealer with an outstanding customer in an exceptional circumstance might get away with a larger outlay however.
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    Dealers have a minimum of $750 DSA per repair. The reason that the dealers do not want you to know this, is that they are REQUIRED by MB to "participate" in the repair. Usually the dealer will try get the customer to pick up 1/3 of the repair, dealer pays 1/3, and MB pays 1/3. MB policy does not require customers to participate.
  • torievanstorievans Posts: 7
    Hi Guys, I figured if anyone would have an answer to the problem with my crazy car you guys might.
    The problem started about 3 months ago. When I was idling or going below 15 mph the radio and all the electrical things on the car would just go completely dead for only a second. Then they would all just start back up. Sometimes this would happen 5 times in a row and sometimes just once. (The car would never die but it felt like it was about to) It would happen intermittently and never consistently. It would just happen randomly. This went on for a few months and I took it to the dealer. They could not find a problem. And of course it would not happen when they had it. Then about a month ago it would do the same thing but then everything on the dash would flash and a very loud beeping would happen until I would turn the car off. When trying to start it , it would not start. Nothing just dead…no winding no power nothing. After attempting a few times then it would start. Again the dealership could not find the problem. The battery was replaced and home I went. 3 days later it would not start at all. Tried to start it for over 3 hours. Dead Dead Dead. I could not even get the windows up. The tow guy came and he was unable to get the car into neutral the gears where frozen. After about an hour the car then started…then to the dealership it went, where it is now. For the past week and ½ the dealership has had it and they can not find the problem. They have replaced (I think we are up to about 8 parts now) and it still is not fixed. Sometimes it will start and sometimes it will not. Spoke to the dealer today and they drove it yesterday and before they got out of the parking lot it died. The dealer told me it is not the CSP because when those go bad the car at least will wind up. Mine just does nothing. They have went to the Mercedes Tec. Support and they have no records of a similar situation. Any advise would be wonderful. Thank you in advance.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    While you're waiting for a reply here you may want to pose your question in Electronic Gremlins: Electrical Problems That Are Driving You Crazy as well.

    tidester, host
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