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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • pai7pai7 Posts: 35
    Does the Ml 430 have a Harmonic Balancer?
  • 2000ML 320,
    I have the same year suv. The dealer want sto charge me for a gas filter upgrade at the 60K service. He said that MB was going to alrger Gas Filter due to the extreme cold temps of the Northeast. Due to the bigger filter I would require new my expense. So if MB decides to upgrade components I should pay? What dealership did you use for your warranty work?
  • Buck,

    I have a 2000 ML320 and I tow a camper which is about 3500lbs and I have taken it up to the Adirondacks. The tranny works very hard but I would guess the hills from PA are not close to the steep hills around Lake Placid. You should have no problem. I had my hitch put on at a local U Haul store at about 1/2 the cost that MB dealer asked for. Good Luck.
  • I currently own a 2000 ML 320 with 60K miles on it.
    I've replaced:
    1. Right rear passenger locking mechanism (5K miles)
    2. Driver's side window lifting arm assemly (40K miles)
    3. Driver's side window switch (45K miles)
    4. Windshield wiper fluid reservoir (57K miles)
    5. Hydraulic pump which supplies ETS, ABS, BSP (57K miles)
    6. Driver's side door panel was repaird four times and it still comes off at the front lower corner.
    7. Rear liftgate locking mechanism
    8. Yesterday, I've noticed that the car had a louder exhaust sound and idled a bit rougher. My friend found a hairline crack on the front weld of the catalytic converter (was told by the service manager that it's covered under 8year/ 80K miles warranty for the catalytic converter) Will see this weekend.
    I've replaced brake pads about every 25K miles, and the brakes are excellent.
    I've replaced the stock tires at 50K miles with Michelin SUV tires that I've bought from
    If you need anymore details on the write up please reply.
    Take care.
    The car is
  • Have similar problems in similar car. How did you solve it? Thanks for quick response.
  • loveylovey Posts: 2
    I am looking to purchase a 1999 ML 430 - 42,300 miles, needs 4 new tires, $19,500. We test drove the car and it handles great. It is in excellent condition inside and out.

    Has anyone owned this SUV or currently own this SUV? I am looking for information on the history of problems and any recalls.

    Also, the seller is the 2nd owner, he said there is a transferable 150,000 and 10 year extended warranty for oil lubricated engine components. Warranty good on 98 & 99 320 and also the 99 430. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide!
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    I have a 2000 ML320 which I can't wait to get rid of (can't afford to keep). It rides and drives greatbest seats out there, but is the worst car I have ever owned for repairs.
    My brother-in-law sold his 1999 ML320 after about 2 years because of all the problems and got a X5 (his wife still drives E classes, so they are anti-MB, just ML).
    The M-B dealer manager told me 98-99 had a lot of problems, 2000 was somewhat better but since then they have been quite reliable. He explained this as he tried to sell me a 2005.
    Personally, if I wanted another MB, I'd look at used E-class wagons.
  • I have a 98 ML320 which I have owned for 7 years and 100K miles. I just took it to the dealer for a 100,000 check (change transmission fluid, plugs, oil change, etc)

    I was told it needs 2 ball joints and they suggested replacing all four to the turn of $1,960! This does not seem reasonable and I inclined to take it to an independent shop for inspection. I had not noticed anything different in the handling or tire wear (current tires have 55K miles and still have safe tread left)

    Any suggestions?
  • ike_sdike_sd Posts: 3
    Hello Everyone.

    I am looking into purchasing a used ML320 Y2K at 90K Miles. It is loaded with everything. Here are my questions, if you can please advise:

    - What is the fair price to pay for this (I have checked Edmund and KBB sites, please give your personal feedback)

    - Where should I take this SUV to get checked, do you know if MB dealer does this, and do you suggest it? (I will of course call to find out, again need personal input)

    - Are these vehicles causing a lot of electrical problems and expensive repairs? I read lots of messages like that and I am interested in hearing your experience.

    - This vehicle has BOSE Stereo monitor, which looks like a Navigation System (with tape deck behind). I was told this can be upgraded to Nav System by a DVD. Is that really possible, if so, how much do you think/know will cost me?

    Please advise ASAP, I am running out of time. You can post or email me directly at [email protected]

    IKE, San Diego
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    Don't do it .
  • Dear IKE,
    Don't do it. There are so many other options other than ML320. I currently own a 2000 ML320 with 60K miles and I regret paying $40K brand new (five years ago).
    I've listed a laundry list of problems during my ownership, but in the last month I had to take it back for a repair to the sunroof ($300) and catalytic converter replacement (warranty).
    First of all, 90K miles takes you out of all the warranties. I was able to replace the cracked catalytic converter for free since Federal Law mandates 8years/80K miles for emission control components. Otherwise, the service manager told me that it would have easily costed over $1000.
    The fair price would be between $12K-$16K. I would recommend taking it to a M-B repair shop other than the dealership.
    All 2000 ML320 came with the standard screen, but the navigation system was a $2000 option. I did not get that option, because it was CD-ROM based. It would cost more than $2000 to install that now. You can surf e-bay to get a used system, but it's a huge gamble. If you buy it, don't get the system installed.
    I love the way it drives, especially in inclement weather. If you live in San Diego, why would you ever need a 4X4? I lived in SanDog for 2 years, and the most logical car seems to be a BMW 3-series convertible.
    If you buy this car, keep about $3000 in reserve for subsequent repair (it will happen). I'm trying to get rid my car right now.
    Good luck.
    Navy Guy from Norfolk
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    What is the fair price to pay for this (I have checked Edmund and KBB sites, please give your personal feedback)
    High mileage would lead me to pay about $12,000
    if the car was in otherwise good condition.

    - Where should I take this SUV to get checked, do you know if MB dealer does this, and do you suggest it? (I will of course call to find out, again need personal input)
    Most dealers will run a VIN-based history for you that would show all repairs done at a Mercedes dealer. I'd also run a carfax report to see if the car has a promlematic history. Be sure to
    have a delaer or good independent shop check for the list of problems you see posted here at edmunds.

    - Are these vehicles causing a lot of electrical problems and expensive repairs? I read lots of messages like that and I am interested in hearing your experience.
    It is a true mixed bag. Our 2000 ML320 has had
    one major out of pocket repair (A/C) at 75,000
    miles. Once in a while I see an ESP light on the dash which goes away upon restart.

    - This vehicle has BOSE Stereo monitor, which looks like a Navigation System (with tape deck behind). I was told this can be upgraded to Nav System by a DVD. Is that really possible, if so, how much do you think/know will cost me?,
    Try to find a latter year nav system which uses
    a single CD for map info. Older systems had regional CD's. Might get lucky on ebay at about

    Yes, MLs have some problems but it is spotty. You need to keep in mind when considering an ML that
    there is also lots that is right with the car - safety, performance, and decent economy.... we sometimes forget the good when the bad hits our senses, as it seems to do with some cars.

    Except for the fact that I use mine for business
    and took advantage of the accellerated depreciation, I'd probably go for the E-wagon as
    suggested by another entry.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    If you really want an ML. Get a two or three year old model with about 30K - 50K miles. The are decent cars and you will be okay for about 100K miles. I would stay away from high milage MLs unless you have documented service at the dealer. You are gambling with your money. You may do okay but there is also a chance that you get stuck with a lemon. Guess it all depends on your appetite for taking risk. I woudn't buy a 2000 ML with 90 miles.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    because of the outrageous repairs. Both my cost and Starmark warranty covered. Too much time in shop. A great vehicle to drive (I thought), but not own. Now that I have an MDX I realize how far behind the competition M-B has fallen.
  • Does anybody else have a problem with a low humming noise coming from the driver's side dash area, after the ignition is turned off. This noise continues even after I take the key out and open the door. It lasts for about 5-10 minutes. Following short drives, this noise does not occur.
    Can anybody tell me what causes this?
    This may be the last straw for this car, unless the fix is cheap.
    Please help.
  • All,
    I forgot to include that last month my sunroof leaf spring broke and cost me $300 to repair it. The plastic piece that holds the leaf spring shattered and went into the hydraulic system.
    Additionally, I had the catalytic converters replaced after discovering a hairline fracture on one of them. They were done under warranty since exhaust system components are covered under 8 year/80K warranty (Federal Law).
    Can somebody tell me if they had a humming noise fixed on 2000 ML320?
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    The M-Class has a water pump that continues to run to cool the alumnium cylnder heards even after the engine has stopped. You probably haven't heard it for short drives as the engine probably didn't get hot enough for this fan to pump to kick off.
  • Dear mercara,
    Thank you for your e-mail reply. I guess I've never noticed the noise before, because I always parked it outside before.
    Thanks again.

  • My wife has a 2000 ML320 with only 23,000 miles and the gas gauge started playing up about a month ago. Sometimes she would fill the tank and the gauge would read zero! Then about 2 weeks ago, the engine refused to start and we had it diagnosed at a Mercedes dealer. They couldn't find the problem by diagnosis. Finally, we had the fuel pump replaced (it contains the fuel level sender!) and, so far, the problem seems to have gone away....... The fuel pump is a $950 item but we had it done under extended warranty.
  • rdbrdb Posts: 3
    I also have a 2000 ML320 (48.5k)which I can't wait to get rid of as I can't afford to keep it any longer. i just received a Invoice for 1575.00 ) to replace the Fuel Pump and the crank shaft sensor from my dealer (HBL Tysons VA). Also had Brake work and the battry replaced 3 times.
    Driver's side window power assemly died.
    Driver's side window switch also died and many more..
    Shopping for a Lexus type.
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    I just had a ML320 engine failure at 77,000 miles. The engine has died on the road without any warnings and now has to be replaced. I found a references on this thread that it was a class action law suit in 2002 that effects owners of all 1999, 200 and 2001 MBZ vehicles (see post 32 in this thread), in which Mercedes-Benz agreed to extende the warranty on all 1999-2001 vehicles to 10 years/100,000 miles whichever comes first.

    I need an advise on how to approach MBZ with this. Is my 1999 ML320 vehicle covered by this class action suit? Help!
  • ahjmlahjml Posts: 5
    I just had my new 2005 ML350 special edition. I hesitated to start with to buy the 2004 ML350 specially with the comments I have seen in the web. However, I could not resist the new 2005 Special Edition. I really love it. Good luck with your new car.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I belive this was only related to the engine failure due to Sludge build up in the engine. Do you know what caused this. I know even Toyotas had similar problems with engine failures due to sludge in the engine.

    When you say engine failed. What happened? Pistons crank, pulley etc etc?
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    You are right, however I checked my records and the dealer was changing regular oil since 1999 to 2001 (June), but the oil change intervals were 10-12K miles.

    I asked the delar what happended and could not tell me (they said don't know). I am going to visit the dealer today so see it myslef - should I look for sludge? What if they cleaned it up already?
  • mercara,
    You've mentioned that the low humming sound is from a cooling pump, but I really wanted to get it checked out. After a thorough investigation, we've discovered that the noise was coming from the fuse assembly box in the engine compartment. The M-B service advisor told me that there's a cooling fan, which specifically cools this box and is operated by temperature thresholds.
    I'm going to keep my 2000 ML320, since I was able to resolve this humming sound (I actually put my ear on the fuse box and isolated it to this unit). Additionally, I found a wonderful private Mercedes repair shop. It's called European Autowerks, and only charges $99 for FSS A service. The technicians also recommended changing the synthetic engine oil every 5000 miles. It seems over cautious, but am planning to follow their advice. They also recommended a full tune-up service at 60K miles, which they called FSS C service. This will change the spark plugs, transmission fluid, and other more in-depth maintenance. They asked me if I changed the engine oil every 10K-12K miles as manufacturer recommended, because they discovered signs of sludge. They told me that a full engine flush was not necessary, but will check on it again when I take it in for the next oil change.
    Once again, thanks for you advice.
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    >> I found a wonderful private Mercedes repair shop... they discovered signs of sludge.<<

    Looks like you have signs of the engine damage due to the fact that you used regular oil and followed recommended by MB 10K-12K intervals. There were at least a few engine failures, including my 1999 ML320, because of this problem. Also note that since you are going through the other than MB mechanics, the extended warranty 10years/150,000 miles is not applied to your truck, so if you engine fails (77K-80K miles), MB will not cover the cost of replacement at all! I know because I am going through that right now.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    Glad you sorted out the humming sound.

    About oil changes, I don't trust the FSS so I do a change every 7500 miles and use only Mobil 1. This topic has been discussed to death on this board before. I guess each to his own. I'm willing to spend the 60 bucks on an oil change every 7500 miles for my peace of mind.
  • I've always used synthetic oil in my ML320, so I'm not sure how the sludge got there. I've changed the oil anywhere from 5500-10K miles, and I've always had it done by MB service centers. Since I'm no longer under their warranty, I finally took my car to a private Mercedes repair shop, which is recognized as the best in the Eastern United States. When I asked the owner if I should get an engine flush, he told me that the sludge wasn't that bad and that the continued routine of synthetic oil change every 5000 miles should solve the problem. If these guys were out to rip me off, they would have recommended the $150 engine flush.
    The low humming sound however is starting to worry me, so I'm taking it in for the MB dealership to take a look at.
    Originally, I've had a ABS/BAS/BRAKE/ESP alarm go off and after a long saga (4 separate trips to the dealership), they replaced hydraulic supply pump, windshield wiper fluid reservoid, and fuse relay box assembly. The noise is coming from th replaced fuse relay box assembly, so I'm hoping the dealership will replace the part or the cooling fan under the parts warranty.
    Wish me luck. This maybe the last straw, and I may trade it in for an Acura TL.
    Thanks for the comments and advice.
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    Since you are not the original owner, all MB dealers changed regular, non-synthenic until march 2001. That's what I found out from my records, and I am the original owner. After the class action lawsuit, MB changed the policy and switch to synthetic oil only. So I guess they used a regular oil on your truck form 2000 to 2001, so that's why you might have some sludge. Hope that was not enough damage to the engine and you'll be alright. Just keep all records regarding oil change and other replacement just in case. Best of luck!

  • I am currently "in the market" and also really like the improvements MB did to the ML with the "Special Edition". (Hard for me to find un-biased information...and I'm also skeptical after reading the problems with the 98-2001's.)
    I'm in Real Esate and must purchase a vehicle with more than 6000 GVWR for the deduction...and want panache when driving clients around...what other vehicles did you consider when you were shopping and are you still satisfied with your choice? I'm a little nervous, never have spent this much for a vehicle and would treasure your input--are there any options that you think are a "must"---are there some to avoid? any thing you would share would be appreciated...Thanks!
  • Out of all vehicles over 6,000 GVWR, I picked the
    2000 ML320. The other choices at the time (and probably still) were the Suburban-class, Range Rover, and the large Toyota/Lexus. Of these, the
    Suburban-class had great space (which can be useful at times) but the others offered mostly
    brawn and great towing capacity. All pay the piper at the gas pump.

    The ML, for my use (also real estate) was and is about perfect; mileage about 20MPG, nice handling in all conditions, comfortable, and safe. In our business we are sometimes called to visit vacant properties or "cruise" into neighborhoods with gate guards and "many eyes",
    and I could be wrong about this, but I feel that
    people are put at ease because of the Mercedes
    star... at least moreso than Chevy or Toyota makes. It makes a stressful or uncomfortable situation a little better.

    Further, on a point I hope to never use, the safety aspect has several "heads"; one is that I feel that I have at least some greater measure of personal safety in case of accident, and second, I feel that I have done all that I can to protect any clients who are riding in my car ... I'd hate to be in a position where a client was injured because I chose a lessor car for my business.

    I love our 2000 ML320 but really enjoyed a recent week spent with a 2004 ML350 loaner. The biggest benefit was the climate control - much better controls and much better rear seat air flow than my manual-controlled ML320. I do prefer the ML320 ride over the ML350 (this was a "Sport" model and may have been stiffer than
    the non-sport version).

    Last, regarding accellerated depreciation, the current limit is $100,000 (up from $19,000 five years ago). But, I recently read about the number
    dropping back to $25,000 for SUV's. Check with a tax expert on when this tax code change becomes effective if you're planning on spending
    more than $25,000. If you elect to use the accellerated depreciation, know that the IRS has a negative mind-set on this unless you fit into
    a class of citizen that they feel should use that feature - and Realtors are not in that class. The IRS will audit you because of this one
    point so keep meticulous records on every other expense and income.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    You bring up a good point about the ML320. It is the gas milage. Mine consistently returns about 19K average for mixed driving. I have got 21-22 sometimes when doing some easy driving on the highway. My worst milage was 16 when I was stuck in New York City traffic for about two hours.
  • I also have this kind of hesitation. noticed it specially on changing lanes and needed the power to pull me through b4 the car slams on me. By the time the power kicked im almost finished changing. Had to brake quickly or else that high revin rpm kickin engine will get me to hit the car ahead. If this is this what they call sludging??
  • ahjmlahjml Posts: 5

    Yes I considered the Volvo XC-90 and the Land Rover Discovery but the pricing of the first one was above my budget limit and the second one did not have to much support from owners.
  • ahjmlahjml Posts: 5
    I have a 2005 special edition. Last night the lifting hock of the middle chair (to access the rear third row) broke when my kid was trying to lift the chair. Did anyone face similar problem and is it covered by warranty?
  • let me know ASAP please, thanks!!
  • Alignment machines are computerized. Ask them to provide you with the printouts that show the specs before and after the alignment. You'll see the different readings. You should also feel some type of difference in how the car steers or tracks down the road if an alignment was needed.
  • hi, i m having this problem with my ml320. i will be driving it and check engine light pops up and car start to shakes. u think that the air mass need to be replace.? i though the problem was the electronic motor for the trasmission. so i should replace the air mass meter? thank u
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    We have 52k miles on our ML320 and it's been in the shop more times than I can remember. The most recent was for the material on the A pillars delaminating and bubbling off the pillar. They replaced it under warranty. The engine and transmission have been great with no problems whatsoever, and gas mileage has been great, considering it's an SUV. It's been mostly trim items that don't seem to hold up. Front brakes pads were replaced at 45k miles. One ongoing problems we've had since new is slight shimmy or bounce when on the hiway at 65-75 mph. Even a new set of tires didn't correct it, and Mercedes service has looked into the problem numerous times. Now we find that one of the wheels has a slight warp to it, so it's back to the dealer to get it replaced. We have records going back to when it was new, so we shouldn't have a problem having it replaced under warranty. We are really thankful that we bought the 100K mile extended warranty, as it looks like we'll be needing it. The one thing we don't like now is we moved to another state, and the local dealer offers no premium services you would expect, like car washes when your car is serviced, or loaners, free bottled water, coffee and capaccino in a TV lounge. I guess we were spoiled at our previous dealer.
  • Hey NavyGuy you mentioned European Autowerks right? Thats in New Jersey Right in Edison? Well my girlfriend is having problems with her ml320 yesterday coming out of the parking deck i tries to clean all the salt from the windows by using the winshield washer sprayer, but after a while it didn't work, initially I though it was out of fluid but it was filled to the top. Now today during the middle of the snow storm upon starting the vehicle the washer works but the wipers won't. I was trying to look for the fuse box to locate it. Where exactly is it located? Also I too have heard that humming sound particularly when the weaher is cold, it goes awqay once the engine compartment is warmed up. Is this a problem because yesterday when it was cold and I started the vehicle I didn't hear it at all? Thanks in advance
  • Have a ML320. Windshield wipers just stopped working! Any ideas of the cause of the problem? Anyone know where to find the fuse box on this vehicle? Thanks!
  • Hey johnjon,

    I took my 2000 ML320 to European Autowerks in Virginia Beach, VA. I haven't had any problem with the windshield wiper (at least not yet).

    I've noticed that the fuse box is in the hood, just front on the steering wheel. I'm not sure if it contains all the fuses, but I do know that the fuse box is there. The mechanic pointed that out to me, because that's where my low humming sound is coming from.

    Good luck to you.

    Take care.
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    Has anyone replaced the shocks on their ML320? Did you use the Mercedes brand or did you go with another brand? We have over 52k miles and I'm thinking the shocks are getting worn. I've noticed the ride is a little more wobbly lately, even though bump rebound seems ok.
  • The only answer I have regarding problems with the ML320 is to get rid of it. I have a 1999 model and I can't count the number of times it's been repaired. I am determined to trade my ML for another SUV this weekend! It's not worth the money, the time, or the headache to continue to drive this vehicle. Malfunction lights come on every two weeks for one thing or another. Does anyone know how to turn them off, just long enough for me to trade the vehicle at a dealership??
  • Hi ML owners, any body with the same problems?

    I bought a new ML350 '04 with pronounced vibrations within first few hundred miles:-

    Under 1000 miles, HBL Service said it is the problem with the front Dunlop SP 5000 tire - but HBL Service replaced the rear tire and front brake assemblies!

    Around 2000 miles, problem continued - HBL service opined all MLs are like this!

    Around 12000 miles, problem continued - HBL service attributed it to front brakes and changed them!

    Around 15000 miles, problem aggravated - HBL service attributed it to all four Dunlop tires and changed them to non recommended under rated 105-S Michellen tires!

    What to do now?
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    Have they checked to see if all your wheels are straight, and not warped? Also, have them check all the body mounts. If one or more is broken or not applied correctly, it will transmit vibrations throughout the body.
  • I also have a 2000 ML320. Best think I can tell you is to get rid of it now. It is the worst car I have ever owned in my life. I have 16 pages of service history with MB right now. My car is in for the 5th time with powerseats won't work. I've had nothing but trouble with mine. I am finally selling it today,,, and mine is paid off.
  • Amen brother, I have a 2000 ML320 I bought new and I'm putting it up for sale today. i have about 18 pages of problems with the local dealership. It's waaaaaaaay too much trouble for a car I paid $40K+ for. I will never buy another MB again.
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