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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • Wep2, I had a similar rattle and it turned out to be the rear seatbelt buckles. I had adjusted it low for one of my kids and never readjusted it. Turns out the buckle was making contact with the "C" pillar interior and causing the rattle.

    On the condensation issue, I have had it on both turn signal glass (integrated into outside mirrors) and both rear tail lamps. Both sets were replaced under warranty. Take her in!!!
  • While I haven't had this problem on my ML, a friend had it on his e-class a couple of years ago. Seems something had gotten on the car between priming and painting, as a result dull spots would appear, then the paint would flake off exposing the primer. MB ended up paying him the cost for a full strip and repaint on the car (big dollars) and he immediately sold the car. I'd get MBNA involved at this point as there must be something on the panels. The only way to solve the problem is to strip down to bare metal, re-prime and paint.
  • Check out They are selling the 03' 320's at around 2500 below invoice. Catch is... You have to live in California.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    How long do you plan to keep the car? I have a 99 model 320 with 52K miles. It is out of warranty now. Had three problems so far all covered by warrnanty. Drivers side power window switch failed.. replaced. Odometer bulb fused.. replaced. Hard downshifting when slowing down. Few items replaced. Besides that I never really got the chance to use the warranty. If you can get a good deal on the warranty buy it. You don't have to get it from the same dealer. Shop around. I think you have upto a year to buy it. It also adds to the re-sale.
  • My question is has anyone installed or have installed an electric brake controler on their ML. I do a lot of towing and the new trailer has electric brakes. The dealer refuses to install the controler, they state the electrical system is to fragile and Mercedes will not back this install.

    If anyone has any information I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks a bunch
    [email protected]
  • wep2wep2 Posts: 6
    Thanks 4 response. Took it in, it was rear hatch locking latch (replaced, lubed), headlite assy. replaced as well, had the auto volume control disabled (all warranty). Contemporary Motor Cars in Little Silver, NJ, great place!!!!
  • Hi guys!
    I just got a brand new ML 320. IT IS AN IMPRESSIVE CAR. The only thing I am concerned at this point is the power of 3.2 engine. I traded in a 01 nissan pathfinder with 240 hp. Even if the ML is 500 lb heavier I still think that the car needs little bit more. Do you think that MERCEDES-BENZ factory has a kit to improve the HP or what can I do to enhance the power from 215 to 230,240 hp. Cordially.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    The basic warranty covers you 4 years. I believe the lease expensive extended warranty by MB is 6 yrs. If you are planning on keep the car for 5 yrs, the 6 yr term is probably the way to go. Plus, the truck may have a higher resell value if you still have warranty coverage.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    I generally don't recommand any serious modification to the engine component. 215 HP is probably optimum power for this engine. Any modification may lower the gas mileage or add extra stress to the engine. MB warranty won't cover the damage caused by aftermarket parts.
  • Appreciate your response my friend. Indeed these things taken from the aftermarket would avoid the warranty. Do you feel like me that 215 HP for this very heavy car is not enough even if it is a peppy engine?
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I agree. I prefer more power. I purchased a 99 ML 430 instead of the 320 for that reason. After 4 years I just replaced it with a ML500 which feels even more "adequate". I would suggest that upgrading to a ML500 would make more sense rather than trying to modify a 320. You might give it a while though since many owners of 320's feel they have enough power. Did you drive the two before getiing the 320?
  • janoojanoo Posts: 15
    Hey Guys,
    I am about to pick up my new ML320 this Saturday from the dealer. Has anyone bought a new one recently? Any suggestions as to what I can expect?
    Also has anyone got an extended Warranty from HERITAGE? IS is the only other warranty besides STARMARK that the Mercedes dealer honors. Any experiences?
    thanks all
  • Allow me to thank you for your response. Well, I did not drive a 430 or 500 for a very simple fact that I did not have money, or , better put it my wife would of had a heart attack. Sure that would be my next car. I still think that 320 is underpwerd. What do you think? thanks again!
  • amer8amer8 Posts: 1
    Hi, Everyone,
    This is my first message here.
    I purchased a new 03'ML320 in October. The salesman was very nice. But the second day my son found the third braking light was not on, and the lift gate didn't lock. The dealer fixed it for me right way and explained to me both problems were due to "loose connection". My question is "are the airbags also loose connected ? How do I know they are well connected. Did any body have the same problem ?
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    As a owner of a 99 ML430 for 4 years I often vented my displeasure with the vehicle during the first year of ownership as well as ongoing squeaks and rattles. I probably would have tried the new Lexus GX 430 which I saw in Monterey this summer but my wife who is the primary driver wanted to upgrade to the 500 ML before the GX was available. After about 5 weeks and 1000 miles the new ML seems to be put together much better than the 99. I hope this continues. I just noticed that Mercedes has fallen to below average in defects for 98 according to the latest J.D. Powers survey. I can't help to think that the ML contributed greatly to the fall.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    The only way to check the airbags by yourself is the "SRS" light. If the bags are malfunction, the orange SRS light will be turned on. I'd guess the light will be on if any bag wire is not connected properly.
  • Pathdoc, I totally agree that the ML has cost MB in the JD Power survey. Your 02 ML500 is a much much better truck that the 98. I have a 02 320 and it's been rock solid for the past 8900 miles. I have had to take it in for minor issues but overall, the truck has performed as I expected. The reliability of the newer ones is much better. Happy trucking.
  • After spending an hour reading all these wonderful stories I decided to add mine.
    My 98 ML has been a dependable SUV until 1 month ago. It would not start just cranked but no pop. After about 20 minutes it finally started. Took it to the dealer they said could not find anything wrong. Week later same thing, but this time interior lights an alarm indicator was flashing. Dealer replaced some sensor ($200). Two days later same thing, New key. A day later same thing, new sensor(updated one). Two days later something different, died on the highway, than same scenario. Towed to dealer, "we can't find anything" but they suggest replacing the fuel pump and some other sensor($1000), but they are not sure this will fix this gremlin. The SUV has 68k miles on it and I'm out of warranty. Any body have some answers that can help me. Don't suggest trading it in. They only want to give me 15 thousand for it. One other note every time I had the car serviced there was a $2.50 charge for window washer fluid. So I got smart and topped it off before I brought it in, and guess what? a $2.50 charge for the fluid again. I brought this to there attention. boy did they have a red face! THANKS FOR LETTING ME VENT.
  • cuznvin1cuznvin1 Long IslandPosts: 59
    Anyone have any problems with static on certain radio stations? I have continual static on a radio station that I have always listened to in the past without any problems. The station is not out of range either......
  • Buy one of these SUV's. I bought a 99 brand new and ended up having to give it back to the dealer after less than a year because of numerous problems. I thought it was an aberration so I got a 2000. To date, there have been 13 malfunctions on the vehicle, ranging from minor annoyances (cruise control quit, heated seat quit, etc.) to more major things (key won't go into the ignition, and today, power steering just quit). I can't keep the vehicle running long enough to sell it.

    My advice is, to save yourself lots of $$$ and headaches, go buy yourself a Kia Sportage and tape a Mercedes star to the front of it. You will then have the Mercedes ML "look" on a vehicle that will run a good portion of the time, and for maybe a third of the cost.

    Best of luck.
  • Agree with you 100%. Also have a 1999 ML320. Unfortunately, the MAJOR things did not start going wrong until close to being out of warranty. Am waiting for it to go off lease and have it stored until then (because of mileage). Things gone wrong in 4 1/2 years:

    Brake lights kept malfunctioning (saw others on this board with same problem). Took three visits to fix.

    Like others on this board, had funny noise in power steering. Took to dealer twice and they couldn't find anything, made me feel really stupid.

    Seat belt buckle replaced every time I had it serviced at dealership (I was never advised of this until afterward each time; it was involved in a recall, but how many times does it need to be replaced?).

    Very loud squeaky rear end when going over bumps. Shocks replaced 3 times before 50,000 miles.

    Drivers window power switch quit; replaced.

    Heater varies wildly as to how much heat comes out. Hard to adjust for even temp.

    Gas line disconnected TWICE while driving!!! First time almost was plowed into from behind by semi-truck going 70 mph on major interstate during rush hour - really thought my daughter and I were a goner. Obviously wasn't fixed properly and it happened again. When trying to get help from Roadside Assistance that first time, was told by the dealership that they referred me to that, "Do you have AAA? I would call them and have them tow you back to our place." !!!!!!!!!

    Cup holder came out.

    Key does not want to turn more times than not.

    Integral phone I had installed when I got the ML320 was analog - now obsolete.

    Paint peeled off front bumper. Was told by 3 independent shops that it most likely was a defective paint job; my dealer told me it was because of stone chips. Very badly stone-chipped on front hood; I agree it seems prone to this.

    One week before putting into storage, the air conditioner quit.

    Got absolutely no consideration when I complained to Mercedes. One of the regional managers contacted me and insinuated that I was not properly doing the maintenance since I had regular servicing done locally (MB dealer was too far away (and too expensive!)for routine servicing). I have written a 5 page complaint letter to Mercedes detailing the problems I have had with this vehicle. My experiences with this company have turned me off forever as to ever owning another Mercedes anything!

    PS (Made a major mistake in leasing this vehicle. At end of 54 months, the buyout is $28,000+, and when I looked at Kelly Blue Book I could only expect to sell it privately for around $17,000. Bad reports on this vehicle have really hurt the values.)
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I had a 99 ML430 that initially had quite a few problems but all that could be fixed were except for the squeaks. I would not have gotten another but my wife (her vehicle) insisted on a new ML500. So far (2.5 months) the new one has been perfect except for an intermittently malfunctioning gas gauge (one of the 99 ML's recurring problems). I drive it infrequently but feel it is much better built than the earlier models. I also have a 99 S500 that has been very reliable(last year of model production).
    I think you are lucky to have leased the ML since you can just turn it in. If you had purchased you'd be stuck with a greater depreciation if you wanted out.
  • tyke1tyke1 Posts: 1
    I am stunned to read these posts. For the last 2 days my wife and I have been test driving new SUV's to replace our 99 ML320. We have had significant problems with our ML - each and everyone listed within these posts - and when we went to test drive the new ML350 the dealer had no independent validation of an improvement in quality. Best he could offer was comments from other sales people (not quite JD Power). Additionally, they seemed to be giving these away. We told him we weren't going to buy for another couple of months but before we left they had made 2 offers with the final being $6,000 off the sticker. THIS WAS LESS THAN WE PAID IN 1999 FOR A LESS EQUIPPED VERSION! Funny thing was, we never asked about price. The sales man just said that his manager made him tell us what they would sell it for. Not what I would expect from MB.

    The question is, has anyone seen an independent confirmation on the improvement in quality for the 2002's or 2003's?
  • I, too, am looking at purchasing a used 2001 320, new 2002 320, a new 2003 320 or a 350. But, I did have some quality problems as mentioned by others on my 98 320. I am also interested in whether quality has improved with the newer model years. Or, is it just salesman hype. Any thoughts? Or should I be looking at the competition? Reason for looking is my 98 got rear-ended and sandwiched. I am told I should get rid of the 98 now to establish market value loss due to damage declaration on title, and have the other driver's insurance pay for it. Anyone have experience in this area?
    As to pricing - my local dealer is of course trying to get me to purchase either a 2002 320 or a 2003 320 to get them off his lot and have just 2003 350's. He is offering a whopping 2 to 2,500 off sticker for each. Shouldn't there be a bigger discount on a 2002 being purchased in January 2003? Is $2k a decent discount off a 2003 320, or should I do more shopping. I am in Des Moines and would need to travel to Mpls, Kansas City, Chicago to find additional dealers.
    Thanks for any replies.
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Does anyone have any updates on the Oil Sludging Class Action suit filed against MB? I am specifically trying to ascertain whether this suit will also cover what I deem excessive oil consumption. I have a 99 ML320 and it is an oil guzzler! MBUSA contends that 1 quart of synthetic oil for every 1,000 mile is "within permissible specifications" I wish they'd shared those specs with us before they duped us of our money.

    For all those looking to purchase the ML320 - take your cues from us poor suckers and steer clear!!!
  • mlsuvmlsuv Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 ML430 with 24000 miles. The break paddle pulses in/out and the steering also shakes violently. It gets worst when go faster. Has anyone experience anything similar? Is there any hidden recal for such? And will standard waranty cover?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Does the steering shakes only when you brake? If it shakes all the time, you may need to balance your wheels.
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