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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • halofanhalofan Posts: 37
    Sounds like a warranty issue if you aren't over 50K miles...
  • The paint finish on my ML350 chips way too easily. I only have 12,000 miles and the hood looks worse that my old '98 ML320 that had 80,000 miles when i sold it last year. Anyone else have similar problems? Should I speak to the dealer? TIA
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    We have a 2003 ML500 with the same problem. Also the finish on the window trim has peeled and been replaced once already. We are just going to trade for a Lexus GX470. I have had many Mercedes but their quality and service attitude has gotten to the point that I don't want to deal with them. Although I have purchased Mercedes from them since 79 (450SEL,560 SEC,560SL,500 SL,S500) they almost never have a loaner despite advace notice and have a van with inflexible times. My employees take their Lexus's in for service and ALWAYS get a Lexus loaner. I will be phasing out of the S500 also and will consider the LS430. I will keep my older Mercedes with an independent service facility.
  • gr8artgr8art Posts: 1
    My fuel guage has recently developed a mind of its own and fuel level reading is never close to accurate> I was wondering if any one else has/or is experiencing this and if they have found a solution and/or cost to remedy this situation?
    Any help is appreciated
  • The dealer in Jackson, MS recently diagnosed a creaking noise in the front as a problem with the steering rack and tie rods. This was done after the dealer in Asheville, NC diagnosed it as a bushing problem. It was presented as a very dangerous situation and was repaired to the tune of $3000.00!!!! I believe that must have set a record for highway robbery. Is there any place that I can write or email my complaints? I have already complained via the the 800 customer service number. I am running not walking to get rid of this lemon.
  • This is my first post here. I have been reading all of the posts and complaints here and I am surprised to a certain point. I am 19 years old. I own a '65 Mustang but my parents are the ones that own Mercedes-they have owned various models for the past 25 years. Currently, my dad drives an '84 300SD- EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE. My mom has a brand new 2005 ML350 special edition, and finally, my brother has an '83 300SD.

    Before the current '05 ML, we had a '99 ML320- bought it new. My mom drove the car to work everyday and did not have the extended warranty. Upon turning it in this past July it had 65,000 miles on it.

    Here are some problems we had:

    -Interior would always fog up- usually at night or in the morning- we just lived with that issue.
    -Radio always had fuzzy reception- just because they have micro antennas-that was nothing major
    -Gas gauge never showed full- new sending unit fixed that.
    -Windhsield washer reservoir leaked- dealer installed new one- we didnt even report the problem- they just did it while the car was in for maintenance.
    -Battery shorted out- car would not start-had to be towed- THIS IS NOT A ML PROBLEM- it was a defective MB battery.
    -Sunroof wind deflector popped out of place while closing.
    -Cupholders popped out a couple of times- those are easy to fix.
    -cd player skipped- dealer installed new player.
    -heater/ac blower motor made rattling noise- dealer fixed no problem
    -rear hatch door hydraulic lift cylinders- the driver side leaked so they went ahead and replaced both.

    All in all, these are just minor things that happen with all new cars. The car never went in for a or b services- and the oil was always changed with regular oil- every 3000 miles. (no engine problems-ever)

    Over a period of 65000 miles, nothing major ever happened with the car. The paint held up perfectly, no major interior problems, no shock/suspension/brake problems, no engine/ tranny problems, and no dealer problems.

    Dealers have always been more than willing to help, and we have always been provided with a mercedes loaner car. When the warranty ended, we simply asked the dealer to go over the car to make sure it will be okay out of warranty- without any hesitation they re-charged the AC, balanced the tires, checked front end alignment, found a bad electric engine fan wiring harness- fixed that, found a bad ac drier- fixed that.

    The only reason we traded in the '99 was because of the special edition package offered on the '05. My parents also wanted a new mercedes with a warranty because they knew what maintenance costs were out of warranty.

    Before having the '99, my parents had a '92 300TE wagon- it was a lot more expensive than the ML, and it had its share of problems. At 70,000 miles the AC quit and the engine needed a few things.

    Since I am the one that takes care of the cars, I pay a lot of attention to how they are built. I thought the '99 was nice, but in comparison to the '05, it was okay.

    Here are some improvements I have found:

    More power-3.7 L
    Better materials- better interiors, gauges, trim packages, etc.
    The interior does not have any more cheap hard plastic surfaces- everything is soft (wrapped in vinyl?)
    The new ML's have weatherstripping where the old ones never had it- each door has more at the top and bottom.
    The hood does not use a cheap prop-rod, instead it uses hydraulic shocks.
    Wood is better quality inside
    HVAC controls are much fancier.
    Tire and rim sizes are bigger.
    More features/ammenities.

    I can go on and on...the differences between 5 years are amazing- it shows that mercedes has tried to improve something that was okay in the first place.

    Also-since we have always had MB rental cars (mostly c-class) I would have to say that those are very nice as well.

    The only complaint so far is the dealer they bought the '05 from- one of the chrome rims is peeling and it has taken 6 weeks for a new one-

    Any other questions- feel free to E-mail me.

    Sorry for the long message- I just wanted to share our experiences with our ML's....
  • You heard right- there is no scheduled maintenance included with the '05's.

    3 dealers said it was to keep the sticker price of the '05's lower-I guess the maintenance cost more than expected...
  • In reply to the person whose brakes failed and car accelerated involuntarily, the exact same thing happened to us with our 2003 ML 350. Our car crashed into another car, which jumped the parking curb and smashed into a strip mall (luckily hitting the brick wall between two windows inside of which people were eating dinner). Dealer says it was not a problem with the car. NTHSA site has other reports of this happening and I'm interested to see if any others out there (in addition to NV 829) have had this problem.
  • wwpwwp Posts: 1
    Just have my so-far-looks-OK ML in for a check. Mentioned all the major problems here (Harmonic Balancer, Fuel Pump/filter, etc) and they say MBUSA won't replace unless it's really broken or on the recall list, even if under warranty. Worse, "... you can't report any information you found on the internet/forum and ask us to replace because anything can fail sooner or later..."
    Therefore, ML owners, keep your finger crossed whenever you are on the road. Sooner or later something will fall apart and if your warranty ran out... :(

    Is there a standard of making a faulty part on the recall list? What about the people suffered before the recall letter is issued? MB issued the recall of ML steering hose clamp in mid 2003 or before, I was stranded because of this in Oct. 2003 and received the recall letter in Nov. 2003 !!! On the up side, I got one good-hearted dealer got me a rental car to at least drove my never-in-a-MB-and-cannot-believe-such-poor-quality parents home. I don't know how ML got rated as the safest car as in their commercial? Losing power steering on road is not safe at all. I don't want to get stranded again because of the pulley or the fuel filter and on, which is well-known already.

    Can we report this to BBB or somewhere else? Even though I don't think they'll do a thing...
  • I called MB corporate armed with the TSI # and delt with the CS rep that answered. I asked him to escalate the issue and get back to me. I have until Sep 28 on my warranty and 38K miles on the truck. MB corporate OK'ed a warranty fix (new fuel filter and lines)after I made several follow-up calls. I had to convince the local MB dealer to do the work (they had refused twice in the past prior to my call to MB corp). It took a lot of small talk and my threat to buy a new BMW (I drove my 735i to the MB dealer)to make the point. It was all done free of charge and the truck runs better then ever. I have had the following replaced under warranty and never spent a dime on this truck other then to purchase a couple emergency keys.

    Fixed under warranty to date:
    Harmonic balancer
    Aux fan wiring harness & 40amp fuse upgrade
    power steering clamp and hose
    pass rear door weather strip
    Windshield washer/wipper stalk broke off
    accelerator pedal cable
    Fuel filter/line upgrade
    ETS light fix
    sunroof fix
    Fuse box clips replaced
  • 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

    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.
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