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



  • Thx. is there any harm to the engine/transmission in drive a auto car in a 'manual' way.?
  • Congrats on your new 320. Can I ask you what dealership you used? I'm curious if there is a difference between various dealers in the Detroit area. Thanks - Rob
  • smwls8smwls8 Posts: 103
    Can some one please give me a link to the Kevlar brake pads I read here somewhere?

    Thanks in Advance
  • what you paid for the extended warranty from Lisa?

    E-mail me if you prefer privacy -

    I'd call her myself - but my car isn't due for at least a month, and I don't want to call her this far in advance. I would like to know what I can expect to pay, so I know what the final cost of this vehicle will work out to.

  • Has anybody who has had a problem with the hesitation tried manually shifting?

    Does it occur even when you downshift to 2nd or 3rd?

    Please let me know. I am supposed to be picking up our '02 ML320 on Saturday or Monday and I would like to know if I should be looking instead at the ML500 or even the X5 (I'd rather not...).

    -- Gustav
  • Brake Warehouse (800) 814-0702 sell Rotex brand which work very well and only about 1/20th the dust. More details on previous posts.
  • i personally think there is a little hesitation, but that is probably because i got used to the clk. i let my friend drove it, he said, it is

    no i have not tried manually shifting. need more lectures from Drew. :=)

    Drew: can u confirm : in 02MLs(particularly 320), shift lever to the left and hold it there for a second or two and the transmission computer will automatically select the best gear.

  • I didn't compare the Bose & non-Bose systems side by side, and I'll defer to johnnnyc on the value. However, I'd say the non-Bose was at least comparable to the ordinary factory stereos in our (now ancient) Volvo and Acura. Not terrific, but not bad. If you're going to listen to the radio or cassettes, it's probably fine. Also, we didn't care about the CD changer, and found an ML that already had the single-CD installed, which we wanted. Those are way overpriced as a dealer option, but they get reasonable very quickly when it's time to close the deal.

    BTW, I found out that the Bose changers ARE Alpine, but you can't add one aftermarket. They're custom for MB from Alpine's OEM division.
  • I agree with mich's comments. For us, the 3rd row was a requirement--one of the main reasons for getting an ML. They are pretty much real seats, if slightly thinner. With the 2nd seat forward, legroom is decent--comparable to the 2nd row in its normal position. I'm 6'+, and could sit Ok with my feet in the well--your knees don't stick in midair. Of course, then the 2nd row shrinks by 3 inches. With the 2nd seat back, it's really tight in the 3rd row--maybe Ok for a pre-teen, but an adult's not going far that way.

    Note that the 2nd seat's 60/40 splits are independently adjustable. This really provides much more flexibility depending on the size of the folks you're carrying. Now if only the 2nd row had several positions rather than just "front" and "back"...

    The seats stow easily. I've done it only a couple times, and still fumble, but it'd be quick after a few more times. I haven't removed them yet, but it looks easy. They supposedly weigh 35# each.

    Note also that there is a little bit of room behind the 3rd row, especially near the floor. You won't fit cases of beer, but a couple medium-large soft duffle bags could make it.
  • I gave the ML some serious points in my comparo for the third row.

    The explorer and MDX both had them - but neither allowed you to shift legroom from the 2nd to the 3rd, eliminating both the others from serious third row contention.

    The only thing I consider is when I do deploy the third row, I'll be left with little space in the rear (the laws of physics still apply - can't create space where there wasn't any before). I'm figuring on combatting that with a good roof luggage carrier.

    Anyone here use a luggage carrier to store a stroller/travel system?
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    I was reading a post from several days ago, in it somebody said his ML had to be towed, while being winched into the truck the complete front end came apart taking the plastic front end and bumper with it, something to the effect that rust ate the weldings. I have seen the naked frame before, I said to myself impossible, I had to go to my ML and crawl under and look at the cross member where the towing eyelet is welded on, I said to myself, no way, I just don't believe that story.
  • What is the best oil for my 99 ML 430. My service record say it is of 20-50 grade but I think Mobil 1 doesn't come in this grade. They only have 15-50. Is this good enough? Castrol has synthetic 20-50 grade. Comments please. Thanks.
  • not because of familiarity with the M-class, but with cars in general.

    If the front end had actually rusted to that point, then simply the force applied when taking off from a standstill, or a good bump while moving faster than 30 MPH, should have caused the front end to separate.

    Although it seems like a great amount of stress - the pull from the winch at that point is less than the amounts of force applied during those other situations, specifically at the area around the crossmember, which would have caused the car to split much earlier.

    Could just be a troll post... either that, or something else they're not mentioning.
  • 1. Looking for a Starmark certified ML. While going through dealer websites, I notice that some apparently comparable MLs are SMed and some are not. Why would a dealer not give a vehicle the SM but still sell it? If I asked to see the MB inspection checklist to see why it isn't SMed, would they show it to me?

    2. I live in Central Florida. Comparing the offering prices for 2000 MLs to the Edmunds TMV, it looks like most nearby dealers are right at the TMV (assuming "outstanding" condition) or a little below it (assuming "clean" condition). How much can I expect them to bargain?

  • If I find a vehicle at a nearby, but out of town dealer, is it best to go directly to that dealer, of will my local dealer "find" that vehicle for me? Pros and cons of this?

    Thanks again.
  • What make are the tires on the ML500? I have a 2000 ML430 and one of my complaints is the road noise I suspect are generated by the tires.

    Are the tires on the ML500 quiter?

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The older tires used to be the General Grabber ST and the Dunlop Grandtrek TG35 tires. For the ML430, only the latter tires were used; both of these tires are all-terrain tires, as MB puts it, and can be taken through some medium off-road conditions. The new tires are all-season tires, and while quieter and smoother, they will also be less forgiving off-road.

    The new tires are the Continental 4X4 Contact (top), and the Dunlop SP5000 (bottom).



  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382

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  • Cons: reputation for poor build quality.

    what are they comparing to.?
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    I bought a 2000 ML320 last June from a dealer in Cleveland. The dealer was asking $34.7 with 19K miles which was thousands below what Edmunds said was the local TMV for a Starmark vehicle. It was a 'no-haggle' price so I offered $34.0 and got it.

    There wasn't a huge inventory of them here but most were far below the TMV. Maybe the Mid-West doesn't have the same demand for foreign cars as FLA. Given the economy I would think the dealers would want to move inventory and would negotiate, particularly if there is a reasonable amount of selection near you.

    I was also surprised how many dealers in the area were showing non-Starmark vehicles in their on-line inventory listing, but mine wasn't shown on-line as a Starmark, just at the dealer was that shown.

    I'd definitely recommend a Starmark'd car over unwarranteed. With warranty coverage double the distance, why buy a brand new one?

    I love driving the ML. I does rattle a little more than I'd like, but the drive/ride/handle factor makes it all worthwhile.

    FWIW, I have one with a skyview roof and its great. CLE doesn't offer a lot of chance to open it, but in FLA it would be nice.
  • and silver Mercedes star logo cap (first of Drew's wheel picts) will fit on the ML430 wheels. Is this a special order item as some of the 02 C and ML's I've seen on the streets have it and some don't. I'm going to check with the dealer (I'm sure they won't know) to see what they are and how much they are. I think makes the wheel look like a much higher end wheel. definitely an improvement.
  • ml320ml320 Posts: 22
    Randolph, ask your dealer's parts department for SLK wheel insets. They fit the ML430.


    Cool Wheels


  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Oh you mean the '02 ML320's centre wheel inserts? As Wolfgang wrote, the parts department wil probably be able to order them for you, and they should be compatible
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 131
    I am looking for feedback on the 2002 changes. I will be looking to get out of my 98 ml and into something newer soon. (about to hit 50,000 miles and i don't want this past warranty).

    have seen some brochures but for those who have bot the new one and compared it to the old one your thots would be a help. thx.
  • I've been reading this post for quite sometime and decided it was time to speak up. I'm in the market for another vehicle at this time. I've thought about the ML320, but am unsure with the current events. I'm building the case in my mind for the ML320 either "01 or "02. I'm told I could get an "01 for $1,500 below invoice, and less than $1,000 over invoice on the "02.

    For those of you that are farther along with your research please give me your pros and cons.
  • Drew, as I mentioned on MB chat, on page 115 of the 2002 owners manual, describing the operation of the "rest" (residual engine heat utilization) feature, it says "except Canada" at the heading. On doing some checking MB told me that it was indeed a misprint, that the 2002 ML's come standard with "rest". Whew!
  • Rob,
    The dealer I used was Mercedes Benz of Rochester and everything went without a hitch. They were very nice and professional. Don't expect any money off from them I tried and failed but I'm still happy with my '02. 1500 miles and perfect.
  • cdiccdic Posts: 36
    I'm in the process of taking the '01 ML430 in for a few minor annoyances. One being the sound damping material that appears on the windows when they are brought back up (sun roof too) - no big deal - I'd rather have sound damping than not have it and the problem can't be that big a deal to fix.

    The other one is odd. I noticed it mentioned by -nothappyml- 20 or so posts back. I had not heard it mentioned before so thought I had something unique, but maybe not. My command / bose system has been randomly raising the volume to FULL (Cd or radio), if I don't catch it 1st. Let me tell you, if you haven't tried, and I don't recommend it, this thing really gets loud. It's an eye opener when in busy traffic. Dealer says he will replace the MCS head, but mentioned that he had not heard of it before. My backlight flickers when the headlights are on (night mode display) so I am not too sorry to see it go. That in itself wasn't a bother, but may have been related. I'm only glad to be able to whine about such trivia, this SUV is GREAT.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I had the first dibs on having a look at my MB Canada dealer's first two '02 MLs (Brilliant Silver ML320 Elegance, and Desert Gold ML500) yesterday and I brought my camera along. For some reason, the extra chrome on the ML500 didn't seem to match too well with the Desert Silver paint, IMHO. Perhaps it will grow on me in time though. New tires are the Continental 4X4 Contact, and the Dunlop SP5000s.

    The pictures can be see via the link below, just keep clicking on the right arrow to move to the next one.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The automatically compensating volume can be adjusted or turned off completely by the dealer, so you may want to pursue that route if you are unhappy with it.

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