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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • mpjfilmpjfil Posts: 6
  • danpacdanpac Posts: 1
    Sir/Madam: I had a 2002 ML320 who seems to have a "bumpy" ride. I'm contemplating about buying a 2006 ML350, does it drive like a sedan?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I believe a test drive will answer your question ;-) Yes, the ride is more "sedan-like"...
  • stevem5stevem5 Posts: 3
    Bought a 98 ML320 in 2001. Have had a key die on me each year since: engine turns once, won't start. Dealer says: "It happens, here's a new key. That'll be $120." This time, dealer says "Oh, there's an 8-key limit, and you've already used 8. Need new AAM (or some such) module, another module, new locks throughout. That'll be $3600." Outrageous, no? Anyone had similar problems, and/or solutions? Thanks, Steve
  • kdnh7kdnh7 Posts: 1
    We're experiencing a problem with the GPS information on our 2000 ML 430. It is showing a completely different street and city than where the car actually is located. Does anyone know how to reset the system so that it is accurately reading where the vehicle position is?
  • palmharborpalmharbor Posts: 26
    I took delivery of my 2006 ML500 yesterday. It is peppy and rides ok, but not like a sedan. The materials do not come near the quality of my 2005 Lexus SC430, and the navigation system is a real disappointment.
  • neekaneeka Posts: 1

    Will tell you all you want to know.
  • rkaufmanrkaufman Posts: 1
    At 1734 miles I had a crankshaft sensor go out. The car just quit.

  • Problems with my 2006 ML350. (List price $45800)

    1. Transmission severe downshift problem: Very often (about once a day) when I let go of the gas pedal (for example to cruise to a stop light), the transmission does a severe downshift and jerks the car. I may be going 10 or 15 miles per hour and the transmission shifts to first gear, there is some loud bang, and the engine revs up to 2000 or 3000 RPM. It feels like you slammed on the brakes. I bring it to the dealer and all they do is reset the program.

    If you read through Edmunds, it seems lots of people are having this problem.

    If anyone knows a fix for the transmission downshift problem, please let us know.

    2. Whenever you shift gears (from park to drive, or from drive to reverse or any others) there is often a loud gear grinding noise. This is very annoying, and very embarrassing when you show your car to your friends (or dates). Dealer says that is normal.

    3. The stereo has a loud hum from the stereo cooling fan. The ML350 is very quiet, and when you are driving slow and listening to soft music, all you hear is the hum from the stereo cooling fan. I complain to the dealer and they checked out a few ML350 and say all of them have the same feature.

    4. The turn signal blinker switch has a problem. Someone please tell me if you have the same problem. To turn on the turn signal blinkers you just have to momentarily push the lever up or down. Then the lever could be in the middle (off) position and the turn signal lights would still be blinking. The only way to turn off the blinkers is to physically push the blinkers to one of the turn positions and then push it to the off position.

    The turn signal becomes a problem when you want to change lanes on the freeway and only want the turn signals on for a few blinks.

    5. When the ML350 is still moving, and the transmission in Drive, I can turn off the engine and take the key out......
  • Can anyone tell me if the Four Nitto NT 555 Extreme ZR 245/35ZR20 Wheels & Tires will fit a 1998 Mercedes ML320 or how I can find out?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    "5. When the ML350 is still moving, and the transmission in Drive, I can turn off the engine and take the key out...... "

    What in the world moved you to attempt this silly feat? Makes your other items appear somewhat suspect...
  • "5. When the ML350 is still moving, and the transmission in Drive, I can turn off the engine and take the key out...... "

    I all the other cars I have driven, the key is locked until the transmission is put in Park. In the 2006 ML350, (at least in mine), the key is not locked, and sometimes you don't realize you are not in Park and take the key out.
  • Just took mine to the shop today. I was driving in slow traffic, and when the traffic thinned out, I hit the gas, the RPMs raced, but the car went nowhere, then the CHECK ENGINE light came on. Got it flatbedded to the dealership. I will keep you posted :sick: .
  • gm1120gm1120 Posts: 22
    I'm having the same problems as #1 - downshifting and #2 - loud grinding noise.

    #1 - somehow i'm having less and less of this problem now (almost 3 mos old and 4700 miles), at first it happened every day, now it only happens maybe once a week or once every 2 weeks.

    #2 - is very irritating and i was about to bring it back to the dealer to have it looked at. you saved me a trip to the dealer. but you think if enough people actually complain about this, they may do something?
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I guess it's nice to be the first on the block with the new model year car and inadvertently become a long term tester for Mercedes. In general I avoid the first two years of any major update, i.e. Body, Engine, Transmission.

    In defence of bayhunter, I have sometimes tried to take the key out without putting in the transmission in park by mistake.
  • Hi,

    If you remove the key then the gear automatically shifts to park even if you are in drive gear. Check it and update here.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    While the car is driving?
  • "If you remove the key then the gear automatically shifts to park even if you are in drive gear. " Yes

    After you remove the key while the transmission is in Drive, the ML350 computer will shift the gear to park after the engine is turned off.

    If the ML350 is still moving, (very slow) there will be a grinding click, click, click, ... sound while the transmission attempts to shift to Park. I step on the brakes and stop the car and the transmission goes to Park.
  • How about Lexus?
  • So I got my car back from the dealership, and it appears that engineers from MBUSA are aware of the downshift and upshift jerkiness issues, and they put a new code in to the transmission specificall to address this problem. Anyone else out there experiencing this should (1) call the 800 Mercedes number for MBUSA and record the occurrence and complaint and (2) call their respective service centers and inquire about this fix. :shades:
  • After experiencing the rough shifting I brought my ML 350 to service. I spoke to the Senior Service Specialist at Bev. Hills MB and he confirmed that it is a 'known issue' and there is supposedly a firmware update coming very soon if it's not here already. I'm scheduling my 1000 mile check-up and they're going to do the update then.
    Anthony D.
  • newmowner, was your Check Engine issue a loose gas cap? Just took a 'seminar' on my car and the guy said that was the #2 most frequent call to the service dept. #1 was a dead battery due to valet parkers moving the headlamp switch from Auto to On. In fact, that exact issue (with the gas cap) happened to my wife in her E Class.
    Anthony D.
  • can anyone have an idea how much would it cost me to replace tinted side back doors windows on ML320 2000 with base model clean ones and where can I do that in the area close to Hollywood? I would also exchange whole set of tinted windows for clean ones and prepared to share cost of replacement. I live in LA
  • #2: The new ML has an electronic shifter, it is normal to hear the shifter motor engage the

    #4: I'll assume you are talking about the lane change feature? When slightly depressed, the turn signal will automatically blink three times.
  • My 2001 ML 320/ 38,000miles got a new problem today.
    I never fill the tank more than$20. Well, it used to be near filled about 4years ago gas price and I just got in habit on doing that so I don't have to tell every gas attendant " please do not top it off" ( which I was adviced from the beginning by my mercedes dealer to not top it off)
    Well, anyway, the way things are now days I just figured out that I should just fill it today. As I'm driving off the gas station, my fuel gage is showing below the orange sign. orange light not even on.
    What's going on?
    I did hear fuel gauge on ML 2001 was kind common problem.
    Now, does this get back to working after few days of driving and gas goes down or what?
  • There are a couple of different things that be programmed into the instrument cluster. If I remember correctly, one has to with changing how the actual amount of fuel is calculated by the fuel level sensor when adding fuel with a not so empty tank. Then again, maybe it's just a bad
    fuel sending unit.

    Also, topping off the fuel tank on late model cars is a serious no-no. Government regulations require the fuel vapors to be trapped instead of going to the atmosphere. If you top-off, the fuel will usually end up going into the charcoal canister, thus preventing it from doing its job, while at the same time ruining it. You will also get a check engine light to boot.
  • I went about 10miles, next day and gauge went to the full like it's supporsed to be.
    Kept eye on it for last few days and it's just working fine.
    What's exactly going on ?
    Not sure but haven't had problem since.
    Thanks for reply!
  • That's good info. I have about 600 miles on my new ML500, and I can frequently get a good jerk from the transmission in the following situation: I'm coming to stop at a stoplight, but the light turns green before I come to a complete stop. As I begin to re-accelerate I can get a good jerk from the transition. I'm not yet sure if it's the transmission's fault, or the fact that I'm not use to the throttle/gas pedal on the ML. My previous SUV was an Acura MDX, which has a very "light" gas pedal touch. The ML is much stiffer. However, I also have a 2005 S500 which has a similar engine and 7-speed transmission to the ML, but I don't seem to have this problem.

    The only other issue I have had to date is with the glove compartment CD changer which came DOA. I'm getting that replaced on Monday.
  • Update: Yesterday, I filled gas tank, and it happened again! This time driving 10mile didn't help, it stayed below empty light and orange light stayed on the whole day . Few hours later , bottom two ight came on(can't remember the name of that) in the instrument cluster. Went to dealer but they said it's OK to use the car all day and come back in to get checked today. Well, last night those two warning light was off on it's own but fuel gauge still not working. Today I went to dealer got it fixed!! it was $90.(My 4year factory warranty run out early this year)

    I think it's time to trade it in for new car....
  • We would like to buy a ML 350 with Navigation. Can anyone tell me the ease of use vs other cars they have owned with nav. Also, can you tell me if it is toggle switch controlled or is it touch screen? Lastly does it have turn by turn voice prompt? Thanks for any information you have!
  • I got my ML350 about 2 weeks ago and so far clocked 360 miles on it. exactly 6 days after driving it off the dealer, i seem to have lost the power steering during low speed (parking and sharp U-turn speeds). I have to back up and go forward for like 2x before i can get out of a parking spot without hitting the other cars (and without breaking my arms!). The steering has become so stiff that i almost broke my wrists. There's a recall for a "steering problem" with the new '06 ML (check, but the dealer i went to have absolutely no idea about it :confuse:
    'Have to pick up my truck tom from the shop :sick:

    About the Nav., crzyaim, has a tun by turn voice prompt but not a text to speech kind, it's not touch screen nav, it's joystick and button controlled ...and it's stone age compared to the lexus nav. :mad:
  • Bought the car since we like to go to the snow, and we need a luxury car for business(real estate) Wish I had never bought it. It has been in the shop 8 times in 16 months. Complained so much they are refunding me 4 payments. Told them GREAT, but just buy it back from me and I will go get a GOOD car!!! They said, 4 payments, or nothing. I am so sick and tired of this car, I listed it for sale and asked for someone to make me an offer. I emailed 4 car dealers, to see if they would buy it from us for their used collection, 1 has responded and turned me down. The problems I have had are not mechanical(engine) they are the stupid:
    *Back seat folds down, but not back up(3 times)
    *Rear seat access(3rd seat) pull-lever wont pull so we cannot access those seats.
    *Had Gear Shift knob replaced, since the leather wore
    *Had to have my Exterior weather stripping replaced, since it faded too quickly
    *Radio has a mind of its own Speed control volume does what it wants to
    *Driver's seat seat base has been replaced twice, and it is about ready to crack again
    * New tires front and rear
    * New brakes, both axels
    It is so bad, the lady at the loaner car tells me my "usual' loaner is waiting for me
    Will never buy another Mercedes, and sorry I bought this one...
    2004 ML 350 Anyone??? just 26+++ Miles on it(miracle isn't it?)
  • ty39ty39 Posts: 23
    Is there a discussion site that pertains only to these two new models.
    I am interested in what owners think of the new models.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    I don't know if there are any actual owners posting, but there is a 2006 M-class topic in Future Vehicles.
  • Aw, ya big cry baby.... it's all worth it to drive a Mercedes!

    Our 2000 ML320 now has 90,000 miles and we have had a single real failure - that was the A/C at 65,000 miles. We have seen the front seat apron failure and know that the cause is rear seat passengers (in our case, 13 year olds) pressing real hard on the apron trailing edges. We also got the cricket chirp from the fuse cooling blower (a $100 fix).

    Our brakes are nearing 45,000 miles. Tires (Michelin Cross Country) are nearing 55,000 and look as though they will last another 20,000. I did replace the gear lever with a wooded one.... oddly enough, it is a more wonderful addition than one might imagine; has a real nice hand-feel. Bought ours on ebay for about $50.

    Yes, each of the 3 MB's we've had were a bit more of a pain than a Toyota would bring, but keep in mind the safety, and generally satisfying driving enjoyment that you experince during the greater bulk of your ownership. If you check any of the car reliability ratings publications, you'll see MB as only moderately OK, right along with every other high end vehicle, except perhaps the Lexus. We do own an older LS400 and it has been great over the years and miles (now just over 200,000) but not fault-free (2 A/C's, many broken switches, bad LCD display, etc).
    The Lexus experience is good, but dull. In short, always keep in mind the really good parts of ownership, and it'll keep the problems in perspective.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,105
    A reporter for an influential U.S. publication is working on a piece about Mercedes and would like to hear from consumers. He’s wondering whether the recent quality problems are enough to stop consumers from buying Mercedes in the future. He also cites that Mercedes says it has worked hard to fix the various problems and is producing the best quality cars ever. He’d especially appreciated hearing from any long-time Mercedes drivers around who agree or disagree. If you have a story to share, please respond to [email protected] with your daytime and evening contact info., city/state of residence and what models of Mercedes you own/have owned, no later than Weds., Sept. 28, 2005.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • To Tflora in regards to your transmission issue. I have a new ML350 2006 and have the same issue. When driving slow or coming to a stop you get this jerk motion from the car ( it feels like someone has rear-ended you). I have brought my car in to the dealership numerous times for this issue. The problem is the differential locks up at times when coming to a stop. Mercedes knows about this huge problem because it apparently is a major issue and flaw in the ML's transmission. This is an inherent problem with this vehicle and last years S model from Mercedes. Mercedes is claiming that they finally have fix for this problem which is to replace the valve throttle body to the transmission. Well, I had this fix performed on my vehicle and let me tell you......ITS WORTHLESS.. it only subdued the jerkiness just slightly, but every so often, especially in traffic you can still feel this major jolt. I also have had problems with surges with the engine when I would start to accelerate. This is a major problem with this car. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fulled. There is a major flaw and problem with this transmission and its in all of the new 2006 ML's. In fact I was told by a factory rep this past week that all the Mercedes that are sitting at the VPC center at the port ( That's Vehicle Processing Center) are not beingn released to the dealers till the valve-bodies are replaced. The problem is, the Valve-bodies dont resolve this problem. The problem lies in the inner works of the tranny dealing with the opening and closing of the valves which seem to pinch off when coming to a stop. I spoke to a very very knowledgeable person in the car industry who is every familar with this problem. This is a huge huge problem for Mercedes because they certainly will not inform the customer that the car has a jerk motion when stopping at times. Mercedes is trying to claim that it's well within their parameters of what's considered normal for this jerking motion. In my opinion this is all bull because there is not reason or excuse to spend this kind of money and have a problem like this in your new Mercedes. This is an INHERENT PROBLEM WITH THIS CAR and Mercedes knows is. I'm fighting them now for either a replacement vehicle which I'm still concerned to take because it might have the same problems. The Tech from Mercedes told me this jerkiness is in all the new 2006 ML's. This is not a normal problem. For me, it's been a huge issue aside from when the car lunges or jumps when you stop. I will keep you posted. Just don't be fooled that is is a minor issue. I'ts a huge problem and they are trying to keep it under wraps. Give your car back.
  • I would be more then happy to talk to you about quality problems. I have two new mercedes. My new 2006 ML350 has bee nothing but aggravating with this jerkiness, surging and lunging of the vehicle due to the transmissions issues that are plaguing this new vehicle. Talk to me, I will tell you all
  • Anthony in regards to your posting. I have had every firmware update to my vehicle. They are not telling you the truth. The software updates can't get rid of this jerk problem. It's an INHERENT PROBLEM IN THIS VEHICLE WITH THIS 7 SPEED TRANSMISSION. Dont be fooled by what they tell you. I have pure facts and proof this is a huge problem for Mercedes/ They are trying to keep it under wraps so it doesn't hurt their sales. Listen If not for this transmission issue, I really do love the car, but this is not acceptable to me to have a tranny jerk you when you stop, or have surges and lunges at times. Don't be fooled, there is not firmware to fix this vehicle. I have had them all and have had the valve-body replaced now, which was suppose to be the fix. This was a 5 grand fix. It was worthless. The problem lies in the tranny. MERCEDES SHOULD BE UPFRONT AND TELL THEIR CUSTOMERS THE TRANNY IS JERKY WHEN DRIVEN AT SLOWER SPEEDS AND THAT YOU CAN GET A MAJOR JOLT WHEN STOPPING. THIS PROBLEM SHOULD NOT BE IN THIS CAR NOR ANY OTHER VEHICLE PERIOD. THIS IS A DISGRACE TO ME THAT A COMPANY LIKE MERCEDES SHOULD PRODUCE A PROBLEMANIC TRANSMIISSION. IT'S NOT SECRET TO PEOPLE IN THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD.....
  • Don't buy one till they get the transmission issue resolved...which could take till next year. The car is plagued with an inherent problem that causes you to get jerked in the vehicle when you stop.
  • If you want a navigation system, stay away from the MLs. I have a 2006 ML500 with nav purchased in July. It came with a DVD for a 2005 C Class and was horrible. When the new DVD came out in August, the dealer said that MB would not update the disk to the 2006 ML DVD, but the dealer purchased one for me. I just used it this week on a trip from Tampabay to the North Carolina outer banks and back via 2 different routes. You need a paper map, because the Alpine system in the MB is not reliable. Its not just that most of the country isn't well mapped - the directions are nuts!. It sends you south to go north, doesn't recognize large segments of major federal highways, etc. I have a Lexus, which has a great touch screen nav system that works very well, as does my son's Infiniti SUV. In addition, the transmission is terrible at low speeds. I have had 2 MBs before that were great, but this will be my last MB. It just doesn't come up to the competition. It looks great, and rides reasonably well and accelerates fine, but all in all is not up to the competition. I bought it because of past good MB experience, and thought that it would be the leading edge of technology. The initial reviews made it sound like a great vehicle What an error!
  • Is there a law that protects consumers from manufacturers selling defective vehicles?
    Could we actually exchange the vehicle for a different one? Through who? the dealer? or through MB directly?
    What can we get from MB to settle these inconveniences? waive a few payments?

    I have 303 miles on my '06 ML350 and it has been in the shop for almost a week now due to a lost power steering. i haven't even experience/notice those jerky motions on the tranny at a low speed. its been in the shop for too long since i used it for 4 days.. i dont even remember how it looks like anymore :confuse: and i paid 48k for it!!!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    This article may be helpful.

    Getting Some Lemon-Aid From Your Lemon Maker
  • Looking to buy a new 2006 Mercedes ML 500 but have read some negative reviews and some positive reviews. I am a little confused. If anyone owns a 2006 ML 500, Please advise me of any problems you may have had or should I go ahead a buy this car.
  • I have a 2006 ML500 with 2800 miles on it. The navigation system is terrible compared to my Lexus, and the transmission isn't smooth. I wouldn't get it if I had it to do over again.
  • I must be the only ML350 owner who has an ML350 that works fine..... based on above comments. I agree the Nav system lacks the detail info on my Lexus, but it's destination program works fine and it can be programmed on the move... in normal map mode; it won't tell me where I am at or what key intersections are a head...etc.. so they need to hire a Japanese software guy.
    The engine, suspension, and tranny are great. On the RX330Lexus board. Lexus owners complain about a slow unresponsive tranny... and the ML350/500 guys complain about abrupt downshifts.. while I get a shifting clunk slipping down into D1 at slow speeds; it is what you should expect when you slide into a very low gear and I prefer the quick shift up & down as opposed to the Lexus spinning into gear issue. I do not have any surge problems or shifting issues that are abnormal. This vehicle sticks to the road like it's on a rail and it will run all day at 90plus. It's quite and comfortable with plenty of power... if you get a klunck when it drops into D!... don't worry about it... this is a very low gear and remember the tranny is a mechanical device...with gears, clutches and valves, etc
  • I have a new 2006 ML 500. I ordered it in April of this year and got it on 8/13/05 (had to wait for alpine rain). My car has the jerkiness when you slow down, don't come to a complete stop and then accelerate again. I mentioned it to the dealer when I brought it in for the first visit @ 1900 miles. They called me later that day and told me that the transmission has to be replaced - I have now been waiting for 3 days to get my car back.
    I have the nav system with the 2005 c-class DVD and it is a BIG disappointment. For my previous car I bought a Garmin 2610 which is far superior to what Mercedes has - the MB map data seem out of date - the routing is not what you would normally pick as you drive in familiar areas and here in PA it has me make left turns across center divided highways .
    My previous car was a 1999 ML430 which I loved - after this experience I don't think I'll go with Mercedes again.
  • My ML500 came with the 2005 DVD. MB wouldn't update it free, but my dealer purchased the August 2005 release for the M Class and R Class for me. Its no better! With regard to the transmission, my service advisor told me yesterday at 2,800 miles that it has to "learn" your driving style and they will check it at the 6,500 mile tire rotation. I told him that there are 2 drivers, and my wife's driving style is different from mine. He sort of shook his head and said that it will probably learn the style of who ever drives it the most.
  • I have been having this issue with the jerkiness since Day 1, I hate it, I do feel like I'm getting rear ended and my heart beats so fast. Although when I was driving the car everyday, for some reason, the jerkiness almost disappeared, either I was getting adjusted to it or it was getting adjusted to my driving (if that's possible). Now, I drive the car about 2-3 times per week instead of 5-6 days and I've been experiencing the jerkiness again, which reminded me to come back in this website. I also hate the fact that when we shift from park to drive or vice versa, the transmission has this loud grinding noise. For me, it's irritating as well as an embarrassment - an MB making these noises.

    What should we do? What can we do? Can we contact Consumer Reports or some type of media to expose this problem? I'm feeling like such a sucker. Prior to this ML350, I have a 1994 Lexus LS400 and have had nothing but praises for it. I thought it was a step up in luxury to be driving the MB rather than Lexus but now with these problems.....
  • On the Klunky Tranny issue... Make sure you are not in the Off-Road Mode within your Control System Menu selection... Also make sure your DSR(DownHill Speed Regulator) is turned off. These items can cause rapid downshifts and jerky action, with your tranny, when used during normal street driving.
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