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



  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The pictures of the '02 ML that you were looking at were of the European model. They get the COMAND system over there, but we will still get the MCS over here for '02. The only difference is that the '02 MCS will have a black (background) screen colour instead of the blue one that our vehicles currently have.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Chris, we were discussing how Castrol Syntec is a hydrocracked oil and not a true synthetic oil in this week's MB chat. I thought that you may be interested in more information about this:

    Apparently Syntec used to be a full synthetic, but they changed their formula in 1998 so that it is now hydrocracked instead (cheaper to make).

    Oddly, I think BMW uses only Castrol Syntec for their oil changes. There's even a "Castrol" brand embossed into the oil cap!

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Its seems like the topsider is only good or convenient to use on MB or to other cars with the oil filter located on top of the engine block, not for some japanese or american car that the oil filter are located either at the bottom or on side of the block, still, you'll going to have some mess when you take the oil filter off. But I'll get one.
  • mckaypemckaype Posts: 5
    Newbie here. 1'st post. Sorry can't search history...shows unavailable at this time.
    I've got a 2001 ML320. We love it. The vehicle came with General Grabbers (255/65-16). I'm wondering what tire you people who have driven through a winter recommend?
    We get a pretty fair amount of snow (Kenai Alaska) and have one mega hill in our driveway.
    I think the manual says that studs and winter tires are not recommended.... Chains OK. What's the best?
    Thanks for any suggestions
  • howvoodhowvood Posts: 19
    I live in Vermont and I used four Dunlop Grand Trek snows 245/70 X 16 I bought from Discount Tire on my ml320 last winter and found them to be worthwhile, especially while driving in a snow/ice storm and driving by several suvs in various positions off the road. My personal opinion is that most of them were driving with the attitude that they were invincible and probably would not have had a problem if they drove with respect for the road conditions. I mounted the tires on take-off rims I found on e-bay so the change-over is pretty simple.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Our normal MLs are fitted with either Dunlop Grandtrek TG35 all-seasons, or General Grabber tires. Are these Dunlops Grandtreks the "SJ4" tires?
  • akwasiakwasi Posts: 8
    Hi Drew,
    Have you heard of anyone who has installed the Rosen Entertainment Center in their ML? I understand it is available and comes with 6.4" drop-down LCD screen from the roof and a VCR as standard. If so, where was the VCR installed?.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Chains are okay, as long as you use them on all four wheels. If you are really stuck and cannot find anotherpair, you should put what you have on the rear axle, according to the owner's manual.

    Yes, winter tires are okay to use too. However, in the US, you have only two choices in the stock ML320 tire size of 255/65/16 (at least from The only factory snow tire that MB (Canada) recognises is the Dunlop Winter Sport, probably because it has a much higher speed rating or HR than the Bridgestone Dueler's QR (which is still 99mph, I believe). Michelin also sells a snow tire (Michelin 4X4 Alpin) in the ML320 tire size in Canada, Europe, and Russia, but it's not available in the US for some reason. When looking for a snow tire, be sure that you purchase one that has at least the same load rating as the stock tires, which is "109". ML320 stock tire size winter tire search results.

    Wolfgang's ML site also has a good amount of info on winter tires:

    Hope this helps!

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The VCP is installed underneath the driver's side rear passenger seat. In the near future, a DVD player will also be offered and it too will be located in the same vicnity.

    People who have the Rosen systems (not necessarily installed in the M-class) have generally been happy with them, from what I've read.
  • michml320michml320 Posts: 42
    I thought all maintenance was covered for the first 4 yrs/50k miles? That's what it says in the Mercedes brochure? Or is that not true? For reference, back of 2001 M class brochure. Thanks for any info.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, it's covered but only for model year 2000 vehicles and newer, and only for the US market. Canadian MB owners and pre-'00 MBUSA owners still have to pay.
  • lemongrasslemongrass Posts: 21
    Does anyone know where I can get instruction on how to install mudflap? I just bought a set of mudflap from my dealer and I'm having a hard time installing them. Only diagram, no instruction.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    '01 ML430
  • rover96rover96 Posts: 33
    I just want to share this with every MB owner, I drove a 98 ML320. I got 400 miles per tank of gas. It must hit the right conditions, Its all highway mile & It just pass 52k, love the vehicle. Good buy if u can find the right one.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Stop by and search for "mud guard" or "mud flap".
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I've done the mudflap installation search for you in the site above. You can access the search results by clicking here.

    There are a lot of tips there that should help you out.

    Good luck!

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Wow, that's very impressive! I don't get anything close because of my mostly city and hill driving. I can easily wipe out all of the gains that I make on the highway by just driving up the mountain where I live (5 minute drive).
  • peter81peter81 Posts: 3
    I have a new 01 320 It's brand new so I'm sure there is a break in period. However so far the highway cruise controled 70mph is only yielding 15mpg. I expected better than that. comments?
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214

    Yeah, it'll improve in time. I have about 12k on mine now and it's above 17.5 ave on mix highway and city driving.
  • rjlimrjlim Posts: 30
    Robert, I was finally convinced that the ML55 headlights that I had installed was outputing a bright white light. It was obviously doing that ever since, but my eyes just probably adjusted to it? Remember, I posted before that after installing it, the output turns into yellow, at least, I'm not alone. I thought it was just me, but an ML55 owner itself, have noticed this. Look at Jason's ML55 AMG, and notice the 6th and the last picture.
  • Hi everyone. I've been lurking for a while and finally decided to post. I just replaced my 99 ML with an 01. I got the Rosen system (Rosen/Mercedes has just lowered the price to around 1700 plus free installation)and so far it works great. Still waiting for the DVD option--supposedly it mounts next to the VCR. I also learned of a production change on how/where fiber optic cables are run for late 01 builds. It definitely affects one's DIY ability to install an aftermarket changer.
  • mtsangmtsang Posts: 70
    To All ML320 and ML430 Owners:

    What kind of gas mileage are you getting? How does the A/C affects it?

  • maabmaab Posts: 41
    What about Michelin xpc tires? I had them on RRover and they were pretty much unstopable in snow (winter of '93 in DC), and in trails (southern VA). You can use them year round, but they may be a bit noisy (comparatively).
  • I own a 2000 ML320. At just over 13K miles, I've complained to my dealer twice about the sticky accelerator. I was told both times that "this is normal for this car". The second time, I even left a push-pull gage with my service rep, so he could see exactly what I was complaining about and show it to the mechanic. I get about 5 pounds of normal force, with 1/4 to 1/2 pound bumps at sticking points. Of course, my gage hasn't been calibrated in a while. I am just starting the process of complaining to MBZ directly, but it sounds like there is plenty of history behind this problem. I really love this car, but the Mitsubishi loaner they gave me doesn't do this, neither does a late model Dodge truck I drive, and I could have gotten both of them for the price of my ML. I'll try to post updates as this progresses.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    peter81 and anyone else who posts mileage:
    You don't mention how you arrived at your 15mpg number? Do you use instantaneous display on the trip computer? Averaged on the trip computer? Measure using the fuel pump?
    The last technique is the most accurate. If you reset the trip computer before you hop on the highway, averaged is also reasonably accurate (it undercalculates by 1-2mpg).
    My high on a tank of gas is 24.4mpg on a 2001 ML320 measured using the fuel pump and mileage logs. Typical is roughly 21mpg w/ lots of highway driving. Goes down to 14mpg in the city since I have to move my car in and out of the garage and not very far almost every day.
  • lemongrasslemongrass Posts: 21
    Thank you so much for the help guys. My ML looks much better now. Without the instructions I probably would have set the damn mudflap on FIRE!

    Thanks again!
  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    I was shocked at the poor gas mileage I was getting on my 01 ML 320, when I mentioned this to the Svc Mgr he responded the gas tank is shaped like a triangle with full being the point..he said due to this shape the ML goes from full to the half mark rather rapidly, but takes longer to go from half to empty. I have indeed noticed that he is correct. I have also noticed this truck gets far more MPG on the highway, than in the burbs.

    Just my lil ole two cents!
  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    Drew and board participants,

    Has anyone ever experienced hesitation when pressing down on the gas. My brand new baby (01 ML320)sometimes acts as though it has to think about moving again, after being in a stopped position. This is particularly troublesome at red lights, and stop signs.

    I took it back to my dealership, and the computer showed nothing, the service guy also told me he couldn't duplicate the problem (never mind that the mileage was the same when I dropped the truck off, and when I picked it up). I would appreciate any insight.

  • hilldhilld Posts: 5
    I just installed a DVD based Entertainment system, since the MB one was not available (I have a skytop). This is what I installed. Blaupunkt DVD player ($350), 2 Audiovox 5.6" screens in head rests ($500/ea), 1 IR transmitter for the headphones ($60), 1 4" screen in the glovebox ($400) to navigate the DVD menus, 5 IR headphones ($50/ea) and 1 FM Modulator (to send the sound to the factory stereo ($100). The prices included installation, the DVD player is where the drawer used to be under the passenger seat (never used it anyway) and it can play MP3's as well. I had quite a bit of engine noise when using the FM modulater, but 2 trips to the stereo store cured that problem. I decided against the factory location as I actually use the utility in my truck quite a bit. I have hauled sheetrock, plywood, lumber, and just about everything else and fold my seats down quite a bit. That location is an accident waiting to happen in my book and I decided to give up the security drawer, plus I can change DVD's and CD's by simply reaching down between your legs (if you are the passenger), press the eject button and load a new movie or MP3 CD. Overall I am extremely happy and now get to keep my sanity when the entire family is on a road trip.

    The installation took about 6 hours and looks OEM, the only thing visible are the 2 monitors in the headrests (but hard to see due to dark windows).

    Now if you could only pipe the video signal to the factory monitor...... :-)

  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    I have 2000 ML320 with 21K miles. I track mileage on a log and generally fuel at the same station trying for the same pump.

    I average about 20mpg. In my case, Ohio is flat, I don't jackrabbit start (though I admit to liking the sound and feel of it when I have), my commute is 22 miles each way, about 75% highway (always a few miles with some stop and go but a fair amount at 60-70).

    My "best" was crossing Pennsylvania on route 80 and averaging 21mpg at 70-80mph. My worst was 11mpg for half a tank in just around town driving in a hilly area while showing the car off to people who hadn't see it yet.

    I bought the ML with the understanding that it would consume unlimited tankfuls of premium versus my last Pontiac that got 29mpg using regular. Its a small price to pay. I am actually very happy getting 20mpg.

    I would be very interested to see what mpg an ML320 can get on a tank driven at a steady of 60mph, but not interested enough to actually drive that slow.

    Edmunds's Town Hall for SUV's has an interesting thread for gas mileage that you should read through.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    Yes, that fuel tank reading really scared me the first time I took an ML on a trip. The way the needle dropped in the first 50 miles I thought I'd never get there. Then it hit half a tank and didn't move for the longest time. After that it seems reasonable. My ML is similar but not quite as bad as that loaner was.

    But that is preferable to a 1999 Chevy Tahoe I drove that was the opposite. Right after the gauge entered the zone for the last 1/4 of the tank the needle started to visably move. In about 25 miles the gauge was better than halfway through the final warning area.

    My Pontiac was similar but not as bad; it would show over 1/3 remaining when under 1/4 was actually left.
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