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Mercedes-Benz M-class (ML320, ML350, ML500 and ML55) 2005 and earlier

meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
This topic is a continuation of Topic 3356....

Mercedes-Benz M-Class(Part 18). Please continue
these discussions here. Thanks!

Front Porch Philosopher
SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host


  • tracy_lebtracy_leb Member Posts: 39
    Ooooh almost got #1 2 times in a row.

    Re Andrew36, FWIW, I had a similar encounter a few years ago in another car and was later telling an attorney friend about the event. He said I should have let the person behind me hit my car rather than accelerating away, due to differing liability issues when you're hit vs perhaps hitting someone else while trying to avoid being hit yerself. It wasn't my choice, but thought i'd pass it along....
  • parfive1parfive1 Member Posts: 75
    Did you get that right from MB?
    I like the separate bins.
  • rajalingarajalinga Member Posts: 9
    Thanks.. Can you show me the pics of the Xenon protector or the deflector that you mentioned. I am going to order the organizer from Clair. Listen, It probably has been mentioned but how do you increase the volume of the MCS voice command to a more audible level. I went into the setup menu and changed the setting to max but I have to lower the CD volume to bare minimum to even hear the lady talk !! and another thing in the rain sensor function for the wipers, I have to leave the wipers on intermittent position all the time as a result , when I start, both the front and the back wipers, work ( back, when i reverse)for a minute, Is there any way to stop them from doing that apart from switching them off. Thanks Raj.
  • bob259bob259 Member Posts: 280
    Well after 6,100 miles and 8 months of service I've encountered my 1st problem (and hopefully last). When I went out this AM to go to the diner it was a crisp 4 degrees (F). The ML wouldn't unlock the doors, but the rear hatch did unlock, so I crawled through and pulled up on the drivers door lock knob, unlocked the car and proceeded to the diner. When I first hit 9 mph I noticed I maybe having a problem as the drivers door knob did not retract and the locks cycled three times, in an apparent attempt to get the drivers door to lock.

    At the diner I was unable to get the remote to
    activate the drivers door. Figuring it was just
    still to cold I left it unlocked and went in for
    breakfast, after we went shopping and I manually
    had to push the knob down at the store. On our
    return I couldn't get the remote to unlock any
    door, but the rear hatch again unlocked. Again
    crawling through I unlocked the door and proceeded
    home. Once home I tried to re set the locks and
    remote, but all the doors work, except for the
    drivers door. I took the plug out and now have to
    do it by hand, but only the drivers door is
    activated by this lock, none of the others... so in order to stop the alarm from going off I have to unlock via the remote then unlock the drivers door manually (Grrrrrrr!!!!!)

    I'll call the dealer tomorrow, but I'm sure I'll
    have to wait for parts if something is broken in
    the lock. This will be my first experience with
    this dealer and I'm not looking forward to is as
    their service record is poor, but it's the only
    dealer in our area and where I bought the car from.

    Sorry for the long winded post, but as you can
    sense I'm not real thrilled right now. Up until
    this episode I did not have a complaint, but if
    this is going to be a common problem in cold
    weather I am not going to be a happy camper....
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Member Posts: 278
    For the Navigation Lady, you have to adjust the main volume control knob while she is speaking.

    Press the 'Navi Voice' Button and she will speak, while she is speaking adjust the main volume control and this will change the volume of her voice.

    I wouldnt have know this if some one on this list hadn't told me.

  • kenyeekenyee Member Posts: 738
    You have the infamous "machine gun locks" problem. If they replace it w/ locks that were made in 2/2000, they should be ok. When was your ML built?
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Member Posts: 278
    Can someone post a picture of the MB phone regular StarTAC or Timeport StarTAC installed? I'm just wondering where it would go (I know the armrest) but how easy it is to get into... What kind of cradle is in the armrest?

  • rajalingarajalinga Member Posts: 9
    Thanks,Robert..it worked, now I have 2 women yelling at me when I am trying to drive. Raj
  • rajalingarajalinga Member Posts: 9
    Can you post your pic with all the cleaning supplies(brushes and waxes) Can't get the Zymol locally..Does anyone know a 1 stop shop for good deals on Zymol,chamois and all the good stuff you need to keep out trucks clean. My Cypress Green is more work.. like you guys said. I bet cleaning and waxing the roof is not going to be easy..right
  • bob259bob259 Member Posts: 280
    kenyee: March of 2000. I don't think it's the same problem, I believe it's because the drivers door lock is either broken or not working. The locks only cycle twice, as if to retry the door. I also noticed this afternoon that I even have to hit the button to or three times to get them to open, even though you see the lights flash and hear a noise from the remote in the rear qtr. It sounds different then it did before, so I assume there maybe more then 1 problem with the door remote system.

    I'll keep everyone posted on what I find out, when I'm able to get any appointment to get it fixed.

    After thinking about it for awhile it's still only an annoyance problem and nothing that would be classified as a major mechanical problem.
  • carbon_00carbon_00 Member Posts: 17
    I have 600 miles on my 00 ML430 and after the first bit of hiway driving ( it rocks!!!) I noticed that there is a very prominent and persistent Sqeak and rattle coming from the top of the dash,

    Its either the front defrost vent or, god forbid, from the seal around the bottom of the windshield.

    Has anyone else had this, what was the remedy??

  • bob259bob259 Member Posts: 280
    carbon 00: If's it's cold where you are it's probably just the dash. Mine does it when it's cold and it's quiet as a church mouse when it gets above freezing.
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Member Posts: 278
    My MLs first Winter, and I know the squeak you are talking about. It has been discussed here many times. I thought that I was exempt from this problem, but Nope I caught it too.

    I believe that the cure is to felt the front defroster vent. You can just pop it out. I havent had time to do this myself, but other on the list say it works. Maybe I'll get to it this week, it does get quite annoying and embarassing when people get in the ML.

  • rexconde1rexconde1 Member Posts: 278
    HA I got to 15 before Drew did!!

    I'm starting a new trend.

  • rexconde1rexconde1 Member Posts: 278
    Here is another explaination from The other list back in April...

    "There is a bit of a problem that we are seeing
    with a squeaking in the dash in the MLs. I have spent some time with
    one of the lead techs and discovered that the problem is the windshield
    wiper cowling is pressing against the windshield. Our techs solve the
    problem by putting a rub strip in-between the cowling and the windshield.
    The ducts are not the culprit.

    We have forwarded this information to Mercedes so hopefully they will
    be able to correct this during production. My ML clients are generally
    extremely satisfied with the vehicle as a whole. Once the little issues
    are dealt with there will be many happy years of ownership.

    Thank you for keeping me up to speed and I look forward to any new
    or impressions you can provide.

    Rick Hubbert
    Internet Sales Manager
    Phil Smart Mercedes"
  • dt77dt77 Member Posts: 232
    I have actually centralized 'squeaking' from the interior of my ML. It is acutally the rubber sealers between the door and the door sills. Cuz i actually stuck my fingers between them to replicate it and it is the exact sound it makes
    when the car expereinces some bending or deflections when say turning up a slope. solution ? um lubricate the rubber ? =)i dunno...

  • carbon_00carbon_00 Member Posts: 17
    Forgive my ignorance...is the wiper cowling under the hood of the truck? Is there a rub strip part part I can order from MB ?

    Strange that it only happens when its really cold out...it starts squeaking in the front dash area after the heat has been on for about 2 mins...

  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    One of the places that you can buy the headlamp protection film from is www.xpel.com. Autobahnd also sells a similar product, but I'm not sure if it is available seperately. Ken should be able to answer this.

    Nordleth (www.nordleth.com) also sells the headlamp protectors and the hood deflector (the model you're looking for is called the EGR Superguard). I saw a Cypress Green ML320 with the Superguard today and it looked quite nice. IMHO, the smoke tinted deflector contrasted quite nicely with green and matched the tinted Skyview roof deflector.

    As for the wipers, I recommend that you turn them off till you need them. Otherwise, you'll have that sweep everytime you start the truck.

    I think Zymol (www.zymol.com) has an online store. I use the Consumer Reports top rated Zymol cleaner wax - blue liquid - but C.R. also rated the Prestone BulletWax just below Zymol. BulletWax is easier to apply because of its built-in applicator. It does not give the deep gloss that Zymol does though.

    Here are the pictures you requested. Note that identical products may now be packaged differently.

    I recommend that you use a small step ladder or stand on the rear tires to reach the roof. Just make sure that the tires and your shoes are not wet though! :-)
  • kenyeekenyee Member Posts: 738
    Autobahnd doesn't sell their kits. www.clairparts.com does sell a headlight protection kit though. It's only $30ish. Not too hard to put on. You just have to be careful about making sure the edges stay on while the adhesive still is wet.
    My installer said the ML light capsules are $400 each...
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    To eliminate the squeaks, you may want to try using a can of silicon spray and squirting some of it in the gap between the dashboard and the windshield. Do the same for the outside at the corners of the air intake grid (the black plastic piece where the wipers are attached); just squirt some of the spray into the openings near the corners of the windshield.
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    Please keep us updated on your problem. Hopefully it won't be too complicated to rectify. I don't know if this helps, but a few months ago, passenger side rear door started squeaking in cold weather whenever it was locked. They replaced some sort of bolt and it eliminated the problem completely.

    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • rover96rover96 Member Posts: 33
    After I totaled my L/R Discovery, I decide to try something diff.
    I am thinking about to get a late 98 320 model, I have heard early model had lots of problem. What is the early mfg date should look for? What else should I look for? I want to heard from any experienced owner. Plese help, I want to buy one b4 year end. Thanks in advance!!
  • ccweemsccweems Member Posts: 33
    Contact me direct and I'll give you some suggestions.
  • bigbaddadbigbaddad Member Posts: 14
    Has been great. We bought it a year ago from the local MBZ dealer through the Starmark program. Standard warranty runs 'til 2002, then our Starmark year covers us through 2003. We have put about 12k miles on the truck, it now has 32k miles. We were also concerned about the '98s reliability. We haven't had many problems at all. Our ashtray (coinholder) lid was a little fussy. Sunroof tracks needed lubrication. Rear tailgate lock jammed. That's it. We love the truck. If you can get one at a good price, I would recomend(SP?) it. Others won't recomend it.
  • bob259bob259 Member Posts: 280
    Drew, I took the ML in this AM to the service department and left it (no loaners available for 2 weeks). They had it in the shop and called me back around 11AM EST and said the mechanic could not find anything wrong and all the door locks were functioning normally. This was after I couldn't unlock the doors again this AM with the remote as well. Go figure. This was the only instance they have of a problem like this so not much to go on. Hopefully after getting warmed up all will be OK from here on out.

    They think something may have been frozen. They offered to keep it overnight and try it again in the AM, but I said I'll try it again at home and see what happens.

    I also tried everything when I got there and for now everything seems to be working fine again. Must be I have a warm blooded car that doesn't like the cold. May have to move to Phoenix like my brother suggested.
  • thor3thor3 Member Posts: 120

    The 1998 ML's were not bad trucks but had many more issues in general (as a whole) than the newer 1999 on models.

    In addition, understand that there were Significant Technologies built into the 1999+ ML's that you will not get or be able to modify the 1998's. ESP is one of these...if you don't know what ESP is then ask Drew (aling) to give you a link to a complete explanation. Basically, ESP is designed to help prevent the ML from loosing control and keeps the drivers intended vehicle direction in an emergency maneuver. Also, if traction is compromised suddenly that would cause possible loss of control.. ESP would make corrections (brake any wheel independently and reduce throttle) which could possibly keep one from having a very serious accident/roll over..Read up on this feature and see if you don't think you need it.

    The reason I am even saying this is because there is not much price difference if you shop between a 1998 and 1999 model. In fact, you could potentially buy a left over 2000 Model year ML320 for $35-36K. This would be a much better decision!! The hope that you would get a good 1998 ML and have no problems is much less than if you tried for a 1999 or newer.

    Let's start helping you by getting the facts...How much is this 1998 ML320 going to cost you? How many miles does it have on it? Will it have an additional warranty (are you purchasing it through a MB dealer)?

    Have you looked for any other ML's to compare pricing - from other dealers and other independent individuals?

    I honestly feel that if you purchase a 1998 you will have the worst resale of the lot with the least technology...if you educate yourself on the ML you will see that there are very good deals on much newer ML's with much less "chance" of having issues.

    Please provide us with more info. as stated above and include what area you live in so we can help you find a few options.

    I will end here and say that I drive a 1999 ML430 with @27K miles with every factory option. It is in perfect shape..no dings..scratches...and has a trade-in value of @33-35K if I'm lucky...This is WAY more than the 1998 is worth...

    Please respond!

  • mi3mi3 Member Posts: 2
    Can Some one recommend me a good tire pressure gauge? Some one in this form mentioned about electronic one.

    Thanks in advance
  • rover96rover96 Member Posts: 33
    First of all , thanks for the help every 1.
    My plan was looking for a 99 ML430, but i can't get a used one with brush bar, running board & hitch.
    I came across this one 98 ml320 with the stuffs i needed. it's 42k miles. And i am going to get a extened warrany to 100k miles regardless. & this one ask for 26900 without the warrant. this can save me 7k if I buy a 99 ML430. (exclude the extened warrant, of course). Only diff is the yr & no ESP. Btw, Can Aling or anyone give the url to the esp in depth site!!
    Once again, thanks every 1
    Waiting to become a ML owner or back to a Discovery owner!!??? :):p
  • akwasiakwasi Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2001 ml320. I have the auto lock activated which locks all the doors at about 9 mph. My question is as soon as I reach my destination and turn the engine off and open the driver side door, all the four doors are unlocked. Is this normal? In my Camry, only the drivers side door unlocks unless you push the unlock button.

    Also, my ML320 has the rain sensor. With the wiper in the intermittent mode(the mode recommended for the rain sensor to work), any time I turn the engine on or off, the wiper goes through one cycle. Is this normal
  • mikestaleymikestaley Member Posts: 35
    00 ML 320 Approaching 15K

    After stopping at a traffic light/stop sign, there is a clunk noise coming from the Left Front wheel area.

    No steering or handling problem!

    Also preparing for the first "A" Service any and all tips appreciated.

    I did change to synthetic @ 1K and will have the oil and filter changed.

  • thor3thor3 Member Posts: 120

    I obviously believe in the ML and I want your experience to be a positive one. The 1st thing I would do is have a MB dealer pull the service records for this particular 1998 ML. Look for any issues there have been and if they were all resolved. Check for any body repairs... Also, check to see what factory options it had - sunroof, Bose Stereo, I assume leather interior...these are all factors in value.

    Depending on the date of Original Delivery I assume you may still have a "Factory" warranty for what ever is left of your 8K miles. If you do buy this vehicle, make sure you get everything possible resolved Before the "Factory" warranty expires. Any additional "extended" warranty may severely limit what is covered...If you could get the MB "starmark" warranty that ONLY Mercedes Dealers can offer would be best.

    My main concern is that you are buying an Mercedes product that was 1st generation and is not the same vehicle that it is today. I hate for you to play Russian Roulette and see if your 1998 is worthy. With only 8K miles and ?? months before factory warranty expiration there is little time to work out any issues. As I said earlier, extended warranties are not like factory warranties and cover very limited components depending on the policy.

    You are paying for less but will get less if you sell or trade in later..
  • jbergquijbergqui Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone received their Navtech CD update to the 2000.1 version? I have not received mine yet, but I see that it is available on the website for $160.
  • carbon_00carbon_00 Member Posts: 17
    I am a little concerned about letting loose with a Silcon Spray for Squeaks in teh dash area...Would the heat from the vents not cook the silicon and cause a really funky smell?

    I'm going to try using some rubber strips on the wiper cowlings first.

  • dagilldagill Member Posts: 13
    Brilliant review. I totally agree with you. There are early 99ML320's with 35-45m available in the Eastern region with a price range of $26-$29k. This would be a much better deal than a 98 although I have friends with 98 that have very little or no probs with theirs.

    PS. The wind noise is the most irritating
  • jmcdowelljmcdowell Member Posts: 13
    Sorry, Drew-I printed out the part number for the Mercedes drain hose for the battery box.....and lost it just when I was going to order the part. Could you be so kind as to post that part number again? Thanks---Jeff
  • thor3thor3 Member Posts: 120
    For more info. on ESP go to link =>

    <<A HREF="http://4x4abc.com/ML320/ML320_ESP_gr.html">http://4x4abc.com/ML320/ML320_ESP_gr.html&gt;

    For more info. on another standard feature in 99+ models called BAS go to link =>

    <<A HREF="http://4x4abc.com/4WD101/BAS_how.html">http://4x4abc.com/4WD101/BAS_how.html&gt;

    Hope this helps!
  • bargamonbargamon Member Posts: 302
    Man, I think we puttin serious miles on these things. We got same color and all, about the sametime in early april right??

    Is your clunk chronic? or just a one time.

    Say it ain't so...........
  • jmcdowelljmcdowell Member Posts: 13
    Victus, did you get an answer to the heating problem on your ML? I have an appointment with the regional sevice manager and tech rep next Monday to talk about the problem. So far the dealer is making rumblings about it being "normal operation". Like you, once the car has been run, shut off and then restarted, the temp control works like it should, so the problem is only on cold starts. Since hot air continues to blow, even with the fan turned off, I have found that turning the temp control to the last click to the left (recirculate) shuts off the heat, so I can at least keep it from giving me the full sauna treatment.
  • scott902scott902 Member Posts: 46

    I wonder if we have the same slight problem, mine is like a bed spring sprung on an old bed or a muted guitar string. I leaned on the passenger seat the other day and the noise happened, but not again?

    Engine rev
    I get at stop light a noticeable engine down rev sound, yet the rpms do not budge? it's like a heart murmur to me? My 99 ML did not have that MB, said no error codes on seat belts. Diagnostics did not detect my SRS system aler light coming on a few days later.
  • mikestaleymikestaley Member Posts: 35
    Bargamon, wasn't your unit delivered from (Maitland)=Orlando I think your ML was the one I sat and enjoyed some Merlot and a cigar (just kidding.)

    The sound clunk - bed spring noise is not @ every stop but more than one time in a day.

    It is not an inside the passenger compartment noise, outside Left tire area, maybe a shock or something.

  • macbestmacbest Member Posts: 55
    Mine was built on 12/1/00, Capri Blue (special order), M1, M2, M7, Bose, heated seats. How long can I expect it to take to receive in San Francisco? Is two weeks realistic?
  • kenyeekenyee Member Posts: 738
    I think you're the first w/ that color. Can you take pictures for us? :-)

    Delivery depends on too many things. It can vary from 2-4 weeks.
  • bargamon2bargamon2 Member Posts: 39
    I was wondering what those strange stains were on the ceiling! yeah I remember.

    So far so good, General tires not wearing even, insides have more tread than outside. any ideas?
    So many people here these days, someone should have a quick answer.
  • atomic80atomic80 Member Posts: 24
    gotcha! sorry aling!
  • ran111ran111 Member Posts: 9
    I picked up an MB tire gauge during my last trip to the dealer. It is digital with auto/on-auto/off features. It displays in half-pound increments and costs around $20. Tell your friends and family - it would make a nice stocking stuffer.
  • victuswvictusw Member Posts: 8
    Jeff - I missed my appointment two weeks ago and have not been able to reschedule due to my other car problem. However, I've been documenting my ML hot air problem both on paper and on video tape.

    I do notice that the hot air problem gets worse when the outside temperature is below 38 irregardless of interior temperature. One time I even had the Radio Shack thermometer reporting 160 and then flashed "HHH". I guess it means Hot and the thermometer reached its maximum measurable range.

    The problem seems to be when my ML tries to adjust the temperature, it's using the outside temperature and ignores the interior temperature. Perhaps the interior thermostat is not functioning, disconnected or does not exists. Once the car is warm or the outside temperature is above 38. Everything seems semi-OK.

    Let me know your result with the MB rep. I'm curious to hear what/how they can qualify this as "Normal". BTW, I couldn't get any of my other cars to generate such high heat, not even my home furnace.
  • victuswvictusw Member Posts: 8
    Joe - you'll need to call NavTech to register if your dealership hasn't done it for you already. I've just recieved my 2000.1 update last week. I was also told that there is another update coming out next April.
  • victuswvictusw Member Posts: 8
    BTW, NavTech sents me the 2000.1 update free of charge.
  • victuswvictusw Member Posts: 8
    Scotty - the other area you may want to check is the bottom of the A-pillar on the outside of the truck. There is a black rubber flap at the bottom of the A-pillar that's supposed to be tagged under but sometimes it's rubbing against the A-pillar. In my situation, the noise is like rubber rubbing against rubber and I thought it was from the dash or the vent. Not until I had to open my window (due to high interior temperature), I found out that the squeak was actually coming from the outside.
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