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



  • 1wiseguy1wiseguy Posts: 120
    You can also go to and check out the automotive links from there. That site also gives MSRPs for new cars in Canada as well as reviews, etc. Not as comprehensive as Edmunds and no TMV feature, but still a pretty good "Canadian context" source on what's going on in the automotive world.

    You may want to find out if any duty is levied on the purchase when bringing a car into the US. NAFTA has reduced some of the barriers but not all.

  • Thanks Steve & 1Wiseguy for the info. I went to the web site of and they ask me to specify a region and I don't have a clue? Which one should I select?

    Also, does anyone have any info on transporting a car back?

    Thanks alot guys.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Guess I'm not following this thread very well - if you want to buy a gray market car in Canada and bring it back to the States, you should read Gray Area.

    If you are buying a car "out of your region", the dealer can ship it to you on a flatbed or have a driver bring it to you. You'd pay for that service. Or you could fly out and drive the car back.



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  • 1wiseguy1wiseguy Posts: 120
    Pick Ontario for the region. It's canada's most populated province and accordingly home to the most MLs.

    It's also a good idea to read the gray market thread. Buying from a reputable source in Canada makes as much sense as buying from a reputable source in the US. Many are sold by Mercedes dealerships. In either case you'd want to know the vehicle's history and ownership. Also, you'd want to find out from the manufacturer if warranties are voided across borders. If you bought from a dealer they would be able to give that information. You'd also want to speak with your local Dept of Motor Vehicles and find out what has to be done to import a car LEGALLY.

    There is always paperwork involved with the transfer of a car and doing it across a border only increases the amount. It will all depend if you want to do a little extra legwork to save some money.
  • You're so right about the warranty. I talked with a MB dealer today in Ala and he told me that if you buy one in Canada the warranty is not accepted in U.S. so there goes that option.

    I really don't think I would buy a used ML without a Starmark warranty because of all the problems that I've read about. Even though they have this history I still want one, but one with a little bit of safety net.

    Thanks for your info!

    PS. How do you like your ML and have you had any problems with it?
  • maransmmaransm Posts: 29
    Does anyone know when ML350 are going to be released? Any pics? What are all the changes from ML320?
  • 1wiseguy1wiseguy Posts: 120
    I bought the ML because someone from my company was transferred to the US and couldnt take the company car (the ML) with him for internal accounting reasons. I got a really good deal and needed a car so I couldn't pass it up, even though I have no kids, don't go offroad, and live 5 minutes from work. I didn't really need an SUV so my opinions are a bit skewed. Also,
    the quality concerns raised on this board make me nervous. My sunroof stopped working but that was fixed under warranty.
    I do like the way it handles even though the ride isn't what I expected from a luxury maker like MB. Excellent in the snow but that shouldn't be a concern for you in Alabama. All in all, it's OK, but I will probably trade it in for a sport sedan (with a manual shifter!!) next spring.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Sorry for the major spam attack, but this one kinda sounds like fun...

    A contact of ours is looking for a group of luxury SUV enthusiasts who would be willing to come to Irvine, CA August 24th from 9am to 3pm for a test drive, focus group and lunch. Participants will be compensated for their time. If you are interested in participating in this event, please send an email with your contact information as well as the model vehicle you drive to:
    Thanks for your consideration!


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  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Folks, I have a '99 ML320 with 44,000 miles. Of late, the SUV has started consuming a lot of oil. I haven't noticed any drips/leaks on my garage floor but I've had to add about 2 quarts in the last 30-40 days (approx 1500-1800 miles). Has anyone had a similar problem? My concern is that the warranty is due to expire at 50K miles - I have only 6K miles left to have the problem resolved. The obvious concern is also the quality/longevity of this SUV.

    Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I would think the 320 engine is the one part about the ML that has lived up to every longevity expectation people have in Mercedes - it's the same engine that you'd get in everything from the C to the S series (the latter the European version only). I'd call the service department, quick.
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    Out of curiosity, how often did you change your oil? My guess is that you may have adhered to the FSS changing schedule and it has been reported that before Mercedes mandated that one use synthetic oil, there were a number of reported engine problems and you may have one of them. I would get your ML in immediately to have it repaired under warranty.
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Wniel, thanks for the response. I've changed the oil when indicated by the odometer service notification system and based on dealer recommendations. I believe the dealership has only used the synthetic oil. I'm taking the truck in to the dealership tomorrow for an oil consumption test. If it turns out that the piston rings need to be replaced, i.e., the engine needs to be rebuilt, should I plan to keep the car, or get rid of it?
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    If the car has been good in every other respect, I would keep it. I have a 1998 ML that I bought new and now has 56K on it and runs like a top with no oil burning. I run Mobil 1 in it and change it myself every 5,000 miles. Using the FSS system depending on the kind of driving you do, the engine could go up to 12,000 mile between oil changes and that is too much. Ask any good independent mechanic and they will tell you the same. I don't recall what year your ML is but Mercedes only came out with the mandate to use Synthetic about a year or 18 months ago or so and before the switch they used dino oil resulting in some problems, hence the switch to synthetic. During the time while I was using dino oil, I changed the oil every 3,000 miles. I have been driving Mercedes for the last 15 years and have adhered to this schedule and have never had an engine problem. But none the less, get it in and have it fixed and it should be fine. For what it's worth, I would then change oil every 5,000 miles with the synthetic, ideally Mobil 1.
    Hope that this helps.
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    I agree with you - its a great car! I just drove back from Toronto - reached speeds in excess of 95MPH and the darn thing drove like a charm!!! I have a '99 and MB has recommended synthetic oil. Since the filter sits on the top, it should be quite simple to change the oil and the filter. Where did you purchase the oil filter wrench?
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    (Where did you purchase the oil filter wrench?)
    I ordered mine from my independent mechanic, but I'm sure that you could get it from the MB parts dept. or a auto tool store.
    I would highly recommend that you get a Topsider that sucks out the oil through the dipstick tube instead of unscrewing the drainplug as it's terribly messy, getting oil all over the tire and the cross members. Any marine supply store would sell it or you can call them directly at 1-800-225-2224 and order it directly. The name is Airpower America. I'm told that you can also get it at They also are a marine supplier. Many of the MB dealerships use a system that sucks out the oil. If you want to contact me directly you may.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Hi Folks. When I was filling up my ML500 on a very very hot day in the desert, I left the vehicle running to keep the air on. As I unscrewed the gas cap, it ran across my mind that the "check engine" light might come on. (remember reading that in the manual) Anyway, I filled the Mercedes up and then notice that my gas level was showing a little over half full. I put in over $35.00 so I knew it was full. I thought, uh oh, by letting the vehicle run while putting in fuel, I must have messed up something. Well, I watched the gauge for a while (going on a 120 mile trip) and it stayed in the same place for a long time. Then, the needle went up towards full mark where it should be after about an hour of driving. So, since then, no problems and it has measured fine since then.

    Someone above mentioned about a "green fluid" on the garage floor. It happened to me too. I noticed I was leaking windshield fluid. (mine was greenish-blue) Apparently, it's a problem on some of these SUV's. A friend of mine had the same problem on his 2001 S500. The dealer replaced it and I'm good as new.

    Happy Motoring. M.
    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
  • awlucasawlucas Posts: 1
    Now I know I am not crazy!!!! I have had the exact same problem of an oil consumption issue. I had taken the car in to MB over 6 times only to be told that it does not exist. They ran oil consumption test to determine if results. I just accepted that this car burned oil faster than most. I had the '99 ML 430 also until it was totaled about 3 weeks ago. Good was absolutely incredible in handling the accident....I am buying another...hopefully without the oil consumption issue.
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    I'll try the sources for the topsider and wrench. Went to the dealership this morning to have the oil consumption problem checked out. I was told that adding 3-4 quarts of synthetic oil for every 7,000-8,000 miles was "normal". Also, I was told that they'd be happy to perform the oil consumption test - but I'd have to pay for it! So much for MB's legendary service.

    I find it appalling that a Mercedes engine would consume that much oil. Maybe I'm just unrealistic - I'd like to get others' opinion on this.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Almost running out of oil between oil changes is WAY too much. A colleague of mine has a '90 500SL with 43,000 miles in perfect condition... uses NOT one drop of oil. My '91 560SEL began to use oil after 53,000 miles because of a leak in the gasket. While on the interstate, the red light came on and I was not able to stop.... drove it home, put oil in. After that, it would consume about a quart every 1,500 miles then increased usage to a quart every 800 miles by the time I got rid of it at 83,000 miles. The car was beautiful (Black with Palomino hides) but the oil usage drove me crazy.

    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
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Finally spoke to a not so friendly "Customer Service Rep" at MBUSA. Who very matter-of-factly said that oil consumption of upto a quart for every 600 miles was normal and within MB's specs. If the consumption falls below 1qt/600 miles, then I should have the SUV checked.

    Needless to say, I was stunned!! We've all heard about the Enrons and Worldcoms of the world, I guess in this day and age it's also ok for large corporations to bend reality and stake any position they desire.

    Can't do much but vote with my wallet. If anyone's interested, I now have a '99 Silver/Grey Leather ML320 for sale with 44K miles, 3rd row seat, upgraded Bose, and the sun-roof, etc.
  • nikkynikky Posts: 2
    Has anyone had this problem?
    I have a 99 ML320 that is out of warranty. Recently I noticed that the exterior plastic posts on either side of the lift gate were cracked. The seam runs horizontally midway on the posts. I noticed one post had the crack approximately 8,000 miles ago. The opposite post did not have the problem. Upon returning from a 1,900 mile trip, I noticed that the remaining post had the same defect at a similar location.
    Today, I contacted my dealership to be told by one person that she was not aware of a structural defect or that other MLs had this problem. I then contacted MBUSA and was advised that they would not advise as the ML was out of warranty and that the dealership should make a determination as to whether it should be repaired by MB as their problem and not mine. The manager of the local dealership contacted me and stated that he had seen similar cracks but because I was out of warranty, they would replace at my expense. They also indicated that if I wanted the regional office to examine it, I would have to pay the fare.
    My question at this time is: Has anyone seen a similar defect and what causes the fracture. I don't want to have it repaired only to find that I am doing something to cause the crack
  • sencsenc Posts: 44
    This was a very common issue on this board between 1 and 2 years ago. I have a '99 ML320 and have not had that problem, but many here did and got them replaced under warranty in 2000 and 2001. My guess is that it has to do with the material strength and the stress it takes on the body, but I'm no engineer. I have 63,000 on mine(original owner) and no cracks. I would just fix them if it looks bad and costs less than $500. You shouldn't have to, but we have all realized that we were guinny pigs for buying 1998/1999 models anyway. I learned my lesson no more 1st year models!!! After a couple of years of rattling door latches, sunroof wind noise, mine is very reliable and drives better than most vehicles would with 63,000 on it. I'd trade it but I'm too afraid of all the new junk on the market today and of course, mine being a 1999, they NAIL me on a trade for a new ML, so I may be driving it for awhile.
  • Anyone have a website where one can purchase a new single(for in dash) and rear 6 CD changer? My local MB dealer wants a fortune for these. Also, there is news that the whole MCS/Nav System for 2003 will be upgraded to DVD. Can anyone confirm?
    Thank You.
  • poc911poc911 Posts: 3
    For what it's worth, many of the Porsche 911s have this characteristic, too. One quart of oil per 600 miles is considered normal (although many 911s can go up to 2k on one quart of oil. my '86 911 consumes 1 quart per 1k miles ). Anything less than that could indicate a valve problem.

  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Nikky, My friend/dentist has a 2000 ML430 and had the same cracks that you mentioned in your post. His was replaced under warranty.

    Hopefully, the dealership will work with you on the repair, maybe you pay labor and they supply the parts (seems fair). But, out of warranty, is... out of warranty. In my opinion, a good dealer would work with you.

    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
  • I'm new to this message board so please forgive me if this is a repeat.

    I'm currently looking for a new mid size suv and test drove a 03 ML 320. The sales person advised me and read from a memo that the displacement would be increased with about 25 additional hp. He indicated this would take place around Dec. and the model would be known as a ML 350.

    Has anyone else heard anything about this?
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    That is true. It will be upgraded to a 3.7 litre engine with more hp and torque.
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Anyone have updates on pricing for '02 models - now that the ML350 should be out very soon? Any aggressive discounting out there??
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