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



  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, I know about Click and Clack's advise. What they said is that whenever you shift into neutral from drive (and vice versa), the drivetrain is subjected a slight shock. They theorise that this is probably not good over the long run. However, since I don't do this at every traffic light. only at the longer ones, I'm not worried at all. I just set it into neutral and then apply the parking brake. My foot and leg gets a rest, and the vehicle doesn't have to be held back. Of course, I don't do this if it's on a slope.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Good point, I didn't think about the idling for some reason. However, since the idle only goes up by about 200 rpms in neutral vs drive (while stopped), it's so miniscule that I don't really care. My fuel economy gains from that can easily be wiped out if I just drive a bit faster up the mountain where I live ;-).
  • akwasiakwasi Posts: 8
    Drew, I own MY01 ML320 with 7800 miles on it. I am also experiencing the engine hesitation ever since I took a long trip from Justin, Texas to Columbia,Missouri. I bought gas from different gas stations during the trip but mostly 91 Octane or higher. Ever since I came back to Justin, I have switched back to the gas station I used all the time with a 93 octane rating but the ML still hesitates at stop light. The PM also shoots up and the engine makes a "moo" sound like a cow even though I try to take of slowly when the green light(traffic light)comes on. I took it to the dealership and they told me they could not duplicate the problem but I experience it everyday. Do you have any idea what is going on, Drew?
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I did that for 10 years in my Integra because it vibrated enough at stoplights to annoy me (the ML doesn't). In the last year before I got rid of it, it had trouble getting into Overdrive when it was really cold out. Not that it means much though, because I had 152K on the odo....
  • dbonodbono Posts: 8
    We haven't experienced the hesitation being described so frequently here by folks with new MLs -- at least not yet! But it does make me wonder: the dealer said there was no break-in period for our new 01 ML 320, and also that we shouldn't bother with any oil change before the FSS indicates. Any thoughts? I would have expected both break-in and early oil change to be recommended, but at my dealer, it is being advised against.

    BTW, the 2002s must be close. We ended up paying $2k under factory invoice.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Just make me wonder... Why, suddenly the hesitaion on stop light only came out mostly on MY2001 I haven't heard this problem on MY2000 and older. What you guys think a glitz on computer on all 2001 model. Just for my observation.
  • bfengbfeng Posts: 6
    First question, is there a search feature in townhall that
    does a find on keywords over old posts in this forum?

    2nd: Is there a consensus on best oil to use (Mobil 1 and what weight?)

    3rd: Anything particular to watch out for when changing the oil filter?

    4: Anyone unhappy with the "Topsider" oil changer?

    5: Anyone replace their dust filter themselves? Since I've not seen a good
    aftermarket service manual for the ML, any advice would be appreciated.

    John Feng
  • jn320jn320 Posts: 5
    Biker 5, I have a MY2000. As stated in my message #3929, my 320 hesitates within the first few minutes of starting after sitting overnight. After that it runs fine. It started doing this when the weather turned warm and humid. It sounds like other people that have posted have the hesitation problem at any time.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Yeah, I went back and read your experience now I understand your complanint. Keep us posted whats up to your engine when the dealer replaced your engine module.
    I hope mine stay fine.
  • cdiccdic Posts: 36
    CDIC => '01 Sport model 430 (for the record). I am hoping that Michlin will have a model for me by the time I need them. They make a great tire.


    I opted for the Tempo Oil Extractor instead of the Topsider. The Topsider looks to me like a gas can with a vacuum pump tacked on it. The Tempo unit is designed like a garden pump sprayer. I know they both work just fine, well worth the money. The Tempo unit has a disadvantage that the bottle will not remove the contents of the ML crankcase in one effort. It takes 2, the thing just doesn't hold that much oil (5 liters), but the extraction hose is easily removed where you pour out the contents. You will need another can to transfer the oil to before heading to the recycling center. You can see it here:


    This is a messy job, much more so than the oil extraction itself (unless you mistakenly remove the oil pan drain plug - now that is messy). Getting the o-rings off is a little difficult. I suppose you could cut the old o-rings off without getting oil all over your hands. Just have some paper towel hand before you start.

  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    The Topsider was ranked #1 by Powerboat Reports for cost, quality, and effectiveness and is the only hand pump they recommend. Just pump air out of the container, insert hose into dipstick tube, release pinch clamp, and let the vacuum pull the oil into the 21/2-gallon container" "10 minutes later your oil and sludge are drained! Metal container won't collapse like plastic ones can. Seals tightly for transport to proper disposal facility and recycling is easy. Its $46.99

    I Don't car what the dam thing looked like, as long as it can suck it out in one application. To have to pour it out before finishing is absurd.
  • tracy_lebtracy_leb Posts: 39
    re oil filter removal: unscrew the filter slowly after you start the oil drain by topsider, oil drain plug, or whatever. Stop unscrewing the filter can just after the threads disengage from each other. Let it the can several minutes and there will be little oil remaining. Get a mid size plastic bag and remove the canister straight into the bag. To remove the o rings a small tool with a curve at the end works well. The curve holds the o ring after it comes off, and makes it easier to get under the o ring. Dental tools are excellent for this.

    Also, if you use surgical gloves when working on a car you will enjoy the lack of grime and grease yer hands accumulate....

  • rs64rs64 Posts: 64
    And I thought those years of dental school were just a waste of time :)
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    our 98 ML320 got approx. 400 miles per tankful
    our 00 ML430 gets approx. 300 miles per tankful
  • noelbongnoelbong Posts: 41
    I tried to locate the oil drain plug but couldn't find it. Biker5 or anyone who drained their oil before, please help. A topsider begins to sound appealing. Thanks.
  • tracy_lebtracy_leb Posts: 39
    Indeed, it's easier to work on a car than to go to a dentist because...

    10 you don't have to get your car numb before working on it.

    9 your car will never complain about the 3' long tube you insert via it's dip stick to the bottom of it's oil pan.

    8 your car will never waste your time trying to blather on through numb lips and a rubber dam.

    7 you don't have to give your car a brush or toothpaste after you are done.

    6 you won't have to wait 120 days for your car to pay you for your work.

    5 your car won't flinch at the whine of a pneumatic drill.

    4 your car will never die in the chair

    3 your car will never call you at 3 in the morning wanting pain medication.

    2 your car will never skip out on an appointment

    1 your car will never cop a feel of the nurses behinds, unless you take them to lunch...
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80

    one of my colleagues here drives an '01 E-Class wagon in what MB describe here as "Jaspisblau metallic" - a color that has recently been made available on the M-Class:


    but AFAIK not on the E. Knowing that this colleague does not want to spend more than necessary, I wondered if it was a Designo color, and asked. Great surprise: If you INSIST! and are prepared to wait an extra three months for delivery, you can - at no extra cost apart from the usual metallic surcharge here - get ANY standard MB color on ANY Europe-produced MB vehicle (except the ML's built in Graz, I suppose). Interesting (but admittedly not very relevant).

    On a more annoying note: My ML has been hit by the "gunk-on-sunroof" syndrome, too. We're having quite a heatwave at the moment here, and last Sunday a 5 x 5 in piece of the black asphalt tape which is used to sound deaden the roof was stuck to the outside of the glass sunroof when closing it. I'm scheduled to bring it in next Thursday and truly hope they'll be able to fix it without creating additional noises and without leaving asphalt fingerprints all over the interior.....

    Apart from that, the diesel experience gets better and better. I just passed 10 K miles, and the engine has freed up notably.

    Drive safely everyone!

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Good to hear from you again!

    I had some glue stuck to the moonroof glass, but I cleaned it off (it's a PITA, and I had to use a strong chemical glass stripper to get rid of it completely; no damage to the glass, just had to use a lot of water). What the service tech did was to remove the insulation without dropping the headliner. I think he did it by removing the moonroof shade and pulling the insulation out from behind. There were two pieces removed...5" wide by 2" thick, and 2 feet long each. However, they did not replace these pieces because they assumed that it would get stuck again and that I wouldn't want that. I nearly immediately noticed more wind/road noise, albeit not terribly more but just a slight increase, from the rear roof area once I drove about 90 km/hr.

    In any case, I'll have to bring it back to the dealership again to get them to put it back up. The MB glue doesn't seem to work well in hot temperature, so I will ask if I can bring the 3M black or yellow weatherstripping adhesive for them to apply in addition to the existing sticky backing. Things to look out for are fingerprints on the outside moonroof glass surface, proper alignment of the headliner with the various pillars, and fingerprints on the headliner fabric. And of course, make sure that all of your overhead lights and trip computer works properly after the service.

    It appears that here in Canada, our paint situation seems to be similar to in Europe. We can get any colour (additional metallic surcharge does apply too), but with a limited selection out side the normal ones. The two that come to mind are Bourbon and Jasper Blue.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Good to see you posting too!

    LOL, I wonder if my dentist is reading this. I've told him about this site afterall ;-)

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • michml320michml320 Posts: 42
    Let them change the damn oil and let's talk about 2002! Ok ok just kidding but the only oil I change is on my motorcycle, my lawnmower, and my snowblower and I'm letting the dealer change the oil especially since it's free! So let's get on with 02 talk!
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Posts: 278
    Well I have been hit by gunk too. I thought that I was exempt from the goo on the window but I got it last week on my rear passenger door :(

    I forgot was there an actual fix to this or do you just clean it up?

  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Noel, The plug can be located at the passenger side of the oil pan. If you crawl down under your ML..of course you are looking up, you will see two black hoses about the size of your little finger"well thats how I explain it" anyhow, the plug is just right on top of that hoses(screwd in sideways)not like the rest of the bolts holding the pan, you will need a 13mm wrench to removed it, and make sure you have a good size of bucket b/c you will going to drain 8 1/2 qts. of oil. Good Luck..e-mail me if you still have a question.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    The approach Drew is taking is correct and will probably be the one I will take as well if I get the problem. Ask your service advisor what they do when insulation comes loose and see if they use the 3M adhesive to glue it back on. If not, bring in your own adhesive and ask them to try using it on the replacement piece.
    Of course, now Drew has to tell us where to get it and whether yellow or black is the right type to get :-)
  • noelbongnoelbong Posts: 41
    biker5, thanks for the tip. I found it right after I posted my question.

    So, oil change accomplished using 8.5 qt of 5w30 Mobil1 synthetic oil at 4970 miles. Thanks to Drew and Biker5 who helped me with all the info. Now I can drive with a peace of mind not having to worry about dirty dino oil ruining the vehicle.

    While I was lying under the vehicle, I noticed a few rust spots on the bottom of the chassis/undercarriage. They looked like a result of inferior paint job (paint cracked/chipped)and at one spot, it looked like the paint was damaged when the chassis was rested on the assembly line. (That spot on the chassis looks like a specially molded / reinforced footing for the frame)

    Do you guys think the dealer will entertain to fix such rust spots that can easily be blamed on the owners, 10 months after delivery? I remember reading someone made the same complaint to his dealer and had the entire undercarriage rust-proofed for free.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I'd suggest not using this on your next oil change. It's not on the approved list, but 0W40 and 15W50 Mobil1 are.
  • tomk88tomk88 Posts: 2
    I'm looking to buy a used 2000 ML320, and need a 3rd row seat. For those that currently do not have a 3rd row seat, what is involved in adding it later? Can I buy the seat from the dealer or 3rd party and install it myself, or must I take it to the dealership? Should I just try to find one that already has it? Once installed, is it easily removable or is it fixed to the floor.
    I looked through the last houndred or so appends and didn't see anything on this.
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    Would any ML-320 owner recommend this vehicle to someone looking for a nice luxury suv.
  • noelbongnoelbong Posts: 41
    Thanks, Ken, I chose to use 5w30 after reading the post below. I'm confused, please clarify. I called the dealer and was told to use "5/50 weight synthetic". Now I am really confused. Should I drain the 5W30 and use 5W50 or 15W50? What do you guys think?

    The following viscosities are listed for any temperature:

    0W30, 5W30, 0W40, 5W40, 5W50.

    Above minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit: 10W30, 10W40, 10W50, 10W60.

    Above 5 degrees Fahrenheit: 15W40, 15W50.

    Above 23 degrees Fahrenheit: 20W40 and 20W50.

    It says: "Select oil viscosity according to the lowest air temperature

    expected before the next oil change is due."

    This is valid for all Mercedes in North America, by the way.

    Choose to your liking :-)

    - --

    Wolf gang Henke

  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    Yes, its smooth, quiet, it handles well, its nicely appointed. I much prefer it to the RX300 because IMHO its quieter, has a much better dashboard, its more comfortable and much more fun to drive. I thought the Land Rover Discovery was a much rougher car when I road in a friend's (who since got rid of his).
    The big question to me is do you need a third seat and, if so, how big are the occupants? There is a mixed reaction to the ML's 3rd seat. (I don't have (or need) one.)
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    Somewhere earlier there is a reply on this point. The problem isn't adding the 3rd row seats, its changing the 2nd row to one that flips forward to allow entrance to the 3rd row. $$$

    FWIW I bought a pre-owned 2000 ML320 at the beginning of this June and think its a great vehicle. Keep searching for the one you want, I'm sure you won't regret it.
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