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



  • On the subject of the leaking of the wiper fluid: Did they check your wiper solution bottle? I have spoken to several owners of these trucks whose bottles were cracked.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    WebX was used because of its ability to handle large numbers of posts (Town Hall has about 500,000 registered participants). Many other large message boards, such as CNN and the New York Times also use WebX and this was a major factor in deciding on the software. Another factor was also its compatibility with our previous message board software, WellEngaged. Unlike other message boards, our community uses a conversational style rathered than threaded. Granted, some of the "quirks" of the software have been irritating, but for the most part we have dealt with them.

    How are you getting to this topic, BTW? Do you subscribe to it and then access it via your message centre?

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • poxpox Posts: 11
    I agree with a previous poster that it is difficult to get good deals on MLs in the San Francisco Bay area. I did not get one when I bought my 2000 ML430. However, there have been a couple of posts (including Post 5274 from Wayne) suggesting that it may be possible to do so by purchasing an ML from a dealer in Southern California.

    I purchased mine at Smythe European in San Jose and can recommend a salesman there if you are interested. My purchasing experience at Smythe was excellent but their service and parts depts are not as good. I also considered purchasing a vehicle from Autobahn Motors in Belmont (they are located much closer to my house) but decided not to because on three separate visits to the dealership, I could not get time of day from their salespersons.

  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    Some people like other forum software because of the appearance, or the means of threading the messages. I don't mind the non-topic oriented version of conversational style - but I still can't understand why it is that you can't search a particular forum. That's beyond me.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You can search within a topic. The problem is that it doesn't take you to the specific post(s) with your keywords. That issue being worked on right now, as a matter of fact.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • poxpox Posts: 11

    I have a 2000 ML430 with the Bose stereo system. Does anyone know whether the CD player in the vehicle will play CDs embedded with MP3 files? If not, what are my options? Someone suggested that I get myself a "Walkman" style MP3 player with a car adapter but I wonder whether the MCS lid will be able to close correctly if there is a wire sticking out of the cassette player. Thanks in advance.

    I recently had a problem with my vehicle that I have not heard on this board. However, when I called the dealership, my service advisor knew exactly what I was talking about and told me that this has been a common problem. What happened is that it became harder and harder to roll up the front driver's side window. It would roll down without hesitation but it would be extremely difficult to roll back up. I kept putting off getting the problem fixed until one day when the window finally got stuck in the open position. I called my service advisor and MB immediately sent a technician to my place of work and he fixed the problem in less than 5 min. He removed the storage compartment between the two front seats, and then proceeded to remove a circuit board from under the window switch controls. The switches are themselves connected to the circuit board. He replaced the entire board with a new one and my window works normally again.

  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738

    It's an old problem that we've been talking about on the M-Class mailing list

  • Has anyone purchased the MB rear seat cover? If so, how is the fit? Does the cover accommodate the 60/40 split seat? Does the Java cover look OK against the charcoal leather? Wish they had black. Does the cover allow the leather to breath?

    With a baby due in a month and a half, I would like to cover the back seat to protect the leather from the car seat.
  • ksydneyksydney Posts: 11
    I think Java would look goofy aganst the charcoal interior.

    For our Expedition's car seats we just use a soft bath towel under the backs and bottom seats. We have 2 car seats and the leather looks brand new underneath. The rest of the leather is starting to look not too good at 40000 miles.

    I'll be getting a new booster kid seat for our ML, probably another Simpson. (I think it's really a Centruy, but looks cooler).

    Thanks for the responses to my question about the missing triangles in the rear compartment.

  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    We recently sent our 00ML430 for its first service at 10K (it actually had another 4K on the schedule but my salesperson had given me a free unscheduled oil change when buying the vehicle)
    It had a few rattles in the back (lift gate) as well as squicky brakes (brakes silencer pads) and a problem with the navagation (repalced the system along with the cd, a 2000.1 disc.) Unfortuneately the new navagation system seems to have an annoying sound of the cd spinning which the old unit did not. It is going in tomorrow for a look see with regard to this and to repair a rubber seal that fell off of the sunroof.
    BTW, my dealer had their annual saloon show and they had a g wagon on the floor for low seventies, quite a nice piece of machinery. One advantage is no lux tax, as with most suvs. I spoke to a gentleman that has a G55 on order, now that will be an interesting vehicle, sort of an oximoron though, AMG wheels with low profile tires
    for off road?
  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    I'm in the same boat as you, except with a Java interior, I can get the OEM product. Of course - I still have the same questions. Namely, will the leather still breath, and how well does it fit the seat. According to MB's site, it's a 'custom fit'. You'd have to figure it fits it pretty well, right?

    If I were you - I'd check - they seem to have a good number of ML seatcovers, and more than one that is fitted and available in black. They are a bit pricey (at least 1.5 to 2x the price of the OEM seatcover), but the damage prevented to the car should make it well worth it.

  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    I know this isn't the 'audiophile' solution - however..

    In your shoes, I'd get myself an MP3 player (I myself have a Rio500 and found it to work very well; others I know swear by the Nomad Jukebox), and an FM modulator. You can run the modulator hidden somewhere, and run a wire with a 3.5mm stereo plug (the headphone plug) which will go into both the MP3 player and the modulator, respectively. You'd then listen on a designated (usually 88.x FM) station.

    This is the most cost effective solution, but admittedly, it's not as good as an integrated system. Thing is - this will yield a usable MP3 player when not in the vehicle, and requires minimal intrusion to the car's OEM system.

    If you find a good way to integrate something better (I hear the MCS has auxiliary inputs; I'm already working on a small profile PC104 based computer for inside the car, and was going to put an extra LCD screen in there for it until I heard there's a way to tap into the MCS via the aux input) - please let me know.

    I'm really surprised there's not more hacking done to the MCS - seems like it's ripe for the picking.
  • mlx52mlx52 Posts: 72
    I too, had the same window problem on my 2001 M-Class, however, the first time it happened it got stuck in the down position while I was close to the dealer, so I drove it right into the dealer and they were able to fix it in 10 mins.

  • Thumbs up on the custom fit OEM "liquid proof & machine washable" seat cover. Extremely durable under all conditions (my 4 & 6 yr old can vouch for this)

    The seat cover has a soft canvas feel to the top and coated with thick plastic (waterproof) on the underside.

    I've had my 01 ML 320 for almost a year and no visible wear or damage on the leather.

    Danny d:)
  • How do i convince the service writer that my 99 430 has excessive wind noise on the highway over 60miles? they told my wife it was normal turbulence. I want them to upgrade the door seals . I saw some posts that the dealer did this. PLS> HELP really annoying. thanks
  • gustavmgustavm Posts: 43
    I have two little children and two dogs, so it was paramount that we protect the rear seat with the best product. I bought a cover last week and I was very impressed with the perfect fit. It is made so that it doesn't interfere with the safety belts nor the head rests.

    I have charcoal leather and it looks very well. The cover is really a dark grey.

    -- Gustav
  • I am looking into getting a 2002 ML320 in the next few months. Can someone please give me an idea of what kind of deal I should be able to negotiate. How much over dealer invoice is a good deal on this vehicle? I plan on getting the base model plus leather seats, sunroof, and Bose stereo. Also, how long does it take to get delivery of the vehicle and does the negotiation differ when you are getting a vehicle off their lot versus ordering one exactly the way you want it? Finally, for those of you familiar with the 2002 redesign - has Mercedes fixed most of the quality problems that have been discussed before? Thank you all for your input!!!
  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    from mine (which was similar to your configuration, except with Xenons, Heated Seats, and M7) for $1k over invoice to others in CA managing to get down to invoice.

    Seems to me that if you're ready to pull one off their lot, you'll do better. It's also dependent on region, since here in the Northeast you see a lot more of $1k over invoice+. The Left Coast folks, especially CA, have an advantage in making deals, IMHO.

    I'd say be very adamant that you won't pay more than $500-$1000 over invoice, and be sure to get the vehicle you want. Don't be convinced into a vehicle not 100% suited towards you just to save an extra $500.

    As for reliability - to be honest, initially, I was scared by the ML's reliability history. So much so, that when I first started looking for a vehicle, I almost completely dismissed the 01 ML320. When the 02's came out, just sitting inside the vehicle gave me the impression that they had made numerous improvements, even if only in the quality of components they put inside. Considering that Consumer Reports (which to me has lost a bit on their car ranking the past few years, as their delay in getting VW their due shows) ranked the 00's better than the 99's, and I'm sure the 01's will do better than the 00's, you can assume that quality will have improved.

    MB makes a living off their reputation - it would be silly not to protect it, especially with such a strong selling vehicle.

    Good luck,
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80

    I have just taken a '02 400 CDI back from the dealer to the office My first impressions after some ten miles:

    Improvements 01/02: A number of nice features have been added (one-touch up/down for the windows, auto altering of RH rear view mirror when reversing, auto A/C etc). The Bi-Xenons seemed to be OK, but you can't judge from an underground parking.

    Improvements 270/400CDI: Well, yes, they are there indeed. But are they really worth spending in the vicinity of US$ 11,000 extra for? Of course, 250 horsepower pull with more authority than 163, and 560 Nm of torque is superior to 400, but what you note most is a significant improvement to the engine's "melody" at low and medium speeds (at higher speeds, the engine is not audible in either truck).

    I have the truck till tomorrow, and am taking it for a far more extended drive tonight (somewhere beyond 150 miles). I'll be back with a more detailed impression soon.

    One thing that irked me was that this dealer demo (1,000 miles) already had had its fuel gauge gone bananas, reading slightly less than 3/4 full when actually filled to the brim :-(

    Kind regards to everyone,
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 131
    does anybody know what i should expect to pay for an extended warranty for my 98 ml320? it is getting close to 50k miles and i want to extend it for another 25k or so??

    is that all done thru the dealer?

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382

    Just a reminder that the MB chat is on tonight (6-7pm Pacific/9-10 pm Eastern). Hope to see you there!

  • johnnnycjohnnnyc Posts: 166
    Has anyone ever heard of them?

    I found a set on the net fairly cheap - but little information about them. Are they durable, and do they look good?
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Can you elaborate on the 400CDI, I guess what I mean is that I heard in this board that it will no be available in the U.S.

    Incidentally when I went to the U.S GP in Indianapolis a green ML400 went by me on the Interstate, that is the second one I have seen on the road, I have noticed the engine has something like a high turbo whine, sounds very strong.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Are you serious? I thought it couldn't survive on our fuel??

    Birger is in Belgium. They can get it there :-)
  • poxpox Posts: 11
    Ken Yee

    Thanks for the pointer towards the M-Class Mailing List. I should go there and see what else I have been missing!


    I am sorry to hear that the window switch problem exists on the 2001 models as well. Maybe the 2002's will be different since I believe that they will have windows with the One-Step up and down feature.


    Thanks for the tip on how you solved the MP3 problem. My friends too suggested that I purchase the Rio 500 along with a car kit. They know that I am mechanically challenged and that I would never even dream of trying to monkey around with any piece of electronic equipment!

  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Primarily for Thor8 and Johnnyc... I have now obtained the digital photos of our 1999 ML bumper problem and would like to post for review. Thoughts on the easiest way to do this?

    Also, we have since replaced the '99 with a 2002 ML320 (M1, M2, Xenons, Bose, Sunroof) - Desert Silver/Java. Can't tell you how much we are enjoying this new vehicle. I can assure you as a long-time owner of the ML that the 2002 is several steps ahead of the '99. Many improvements that are apparent to the eyes (and ears) and many under the skin. Since this is my wife's car, she has the final say and is really pleased. Happy to offer any insight to anyone interested.

    I'll also add that we were ready to cross-shop the ML, although we really liked the vehicle. MB and our prior dealer kept the monkey on our backs w.r.t. getting through the hassle of dealing with the manufacturing defect shown in the pictures I plan to post. We let them know that we understood the problem to be an anomoly and only wanted MB to provide assurance (via letter) that the vehicle was repaired to MB specs so we would not get dinged at resale/trade-in time. Quite an ordeal to get the letter, but my wife had lost confidence in the vehicle at that point.

    Well, the final solution arrived in the form of a local dealer (and our former saleswoman). They made my wife "feel" important and treated her more than fairly on the trade-in. Also got the loaded 2002 for a great price. If anyone looking for an ML lives in or near Atlanta, I'd be happy to recommend this dealer/saleswoman.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but wanted to get this out. Any advice on posting pics of our bumper issues appreciated!
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    There is just no way I could have gotten mine for $1,000 over invoice. I got it for $2,100 over or $1,500 off list. People pay almost list for ML's at our hometown dealership.

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Styling: Does function trump style?

  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Bay Area, right?
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Easiest thing to do is join one of the free web pictures services like, upload them there and post a link to them.
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