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



  • I've never liked the idea that I don't have a reset button somewhere to re-boot the computer on this car. My guess has always been that I would be SOL if stuck in the back woods and something went wrong with the computer. Sure would like hear more about a way around this problem.
  • with the new engine, will they improve braking distances and handling?

    Would like to buy this vehicle but was very unimpressed with the mush ride and soft brakes of the 02 ML320 when compared to the 02 x5 6 cyl.
  • tabotabo Posts: 2
    Actually U don't need a computer to reset your ml320 all u have to do is unplug your battery for 20 seconds =)
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I have a 99 430 ML that is approaching 4 years and am considering the purchase of a 2003 500 ML. Although I had numerous problems initially it has been reliable for the last few years except for a few rattles. Have owners of the newer models 2002/2003 found fewer initial problems? Also, have you been able to get discounts from MSRP. I live in S. Calif.
  • bertram60bertram60 Posts: 113
    Does anyone have a good wholesale source for MB parts. My wife was just rear-ended in a hit and run and I need a new rear bumper skin, impact brackets - the whole nine yards. I know Clair parts, but wanted to see if anyone new of any other source.

  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    If you don't mind used parts, try ebay.
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    I have bought many cars from Mercedes of Laguna Niguel in So. Calif. and have always bought below MSRP. If you wish, drop me a note. I would be happy to give you the particulars and who to call.
  • We looked at

    and my wife likes the x5, but the rear cargo space takes it out of the picture... has info on a special edition model. Is this the new base 320 in 2004?

  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    How come all of the ML's come with the folding key and all of the other Mercedes come with Smartkey.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Not much info that I see about the new ML350 other than it's going to have more horsepower I guess. We're lumping all the M-Class discussion in here so people will be able to find it easily, btw, until we can a ML350 board started up in the Future Models discussion. Stay tuned.

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  • I have a ML 430 w/25 - 26K just getting a service...say i need new rear rotors and pads (first change)...was wondering what kind of mileage folks have been getting before pad change.... it seems much shorter than I have experienced with other cars i have owned
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    It's a common symptom that MLs eat break pads fast, I meant "FAST". Many people have complained about this. Part of the reason is due to the soft pads that MLs have.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I am quite certain that driving style and roads make a huge difference in the brake pad life. My 99 ML320 with 52,000 miles is still on the original brake pads. I have to admit though that 80 percent of my driving has been on Highways. Besides I don't have a lead foot. Must also mention that I am still on my original General Tyres. I will be swithing to Michelin 4X4 XPC soon.
  • I am contemplating about purchasing a 2000 or 2001 ML320 with Sunroof and heated seats. Has anyone bought one used, have you had may problems, and what price am I looking to pay?
  • 1wiseguy1wiseguy Posts: 120
    I bought one used in March, 2002- A 1999 ML 320 Elegance with sunroof and heated seats. The roof broke after 2 months but MB fixed it under warranty. Likely that the previous owner never used it since the first time I opened it it sounded strained. Otherwise, the car's been fine. It rattles a bit (according to this board most of them do)and doesn't have the smoothest, most "car like" ride, but it's not supposed to.

    So far I really like mine. I was just out of town and had the car sit idle for 2 weeks. Unlike some other cars I've had, you'd never know it hadn't been used the day before. No funny noises or anything. I bought it with 40,000 km (25000 miles) and got a good deal. Since I bought it in Canada for CAD$, the price wouldnt be relevant.

    I'll admit, though, I'm in my early 30's and I get some funny looks driving it.
  • Hey. I have two - 2000 I bought new and 2002 I bought used. There are some great deals on used MLs - check ebay, etc. I have seen low mile 2000 for $27,000 nicely equipped and miles around 20k. I have also noticed that the MB dealers have gotten a little more realistic on their starmark cars - similar cars for $29.5K or so. If you buy 2000 or later you won't have many issues, in general.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Speaking of eBay, here's a plug for a fun article. I wonder if all sellers are like this!

    Steve, Host

  • I am in Canada too and wouldlike to know what you paid in CANDOLS for you 1999 ml320
  • I have a 2000 ML320 about 23,000 miles. While driving the situation has happened twice in 2 days. The BAS/ESP Malfunction lamp comes on. ( also the yellow ETS/ESP lamp ) The vehicle
    instantiously learches to side ( as if hard braking ) A clunking also is heard. I stop to check for any signs, but found none. This lasted from 1 - 3 seconds.Light goes out after restart.
    I am scared to drive it.
    Anyone got advice or similar symptoms? How about
    a goood transporter to the dealer?
  • with each start up, and get to service at MB asap. Make sure the yellow triangle is lit on your dash panel every time you put the car in drive.
  • patrikkpatrikk Posts: 13
    I am in the market for a 99 or 00 ML 320. Edmunds TMV estimates $27K for an 00 MY. Searching local (Boston area) classifieds proves this is very close.
    I am currently driving a 99 Mitsubishi Montero Sport w/115K miles (which started out as my company vehicle that I purchased from a former employer). Nedless to say, the Benz will be a tremendous upgrade for me.
    There seem to be many vehicles to choose from on the seconday market. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. I am interested in hearing current owner's experiences with 99 & 00 model years. My research revealed that these years are recommended. Are there any problem areas to be aware of? My inclination is toward the newer model, though there seem to be an abundance of 99's available (likely just off 36 mo lease). Any help would be appreciated.


    newburyport, ma
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 1,041
    Mercedes-Benz ML sales in the tank

    Good news for those interested in getting a 2003 ML.
  • rs64rs64 Posts: 64
    Patrikk, do not get a 99, go for the 2000 or newer. Many complaints on the first two years (98-99). Not as many on the 00's, and improves for 01-02. Plus there is the 4 yr, 50k free service included in 2000 or newer models.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Can't set the clock back one hour. Follow the owner's guide step by step. Just noticed that I can't check the engine oil level on the instrument too. Yes, did the following...
    1. open the driver side dooor
    2. press the left switch
    3. turn the key to I or II for oil level.

    Also, to set the clock...
    Pull the right knob and turn left for the hour and right for the minute.

    Nope, both didn't work. Is this a common problem on MLs? Mine is still under warrenty, but kindda afraid to let the shop to do such a delicate fix. I may end up with lots of rattles after putting in a new instrument panal.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Crikey, I understand the ML350's are right on schedule for December production with the concurrent phase out of the ML320's at that time.

    That could explain the lessened demand for the ML320, and also make it an a good time to get one with some money knocked off the price.

    Steve, Host
  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    Just purhased a 1999 ML 430 for my wife. It seems to run great with none of the problems discussed over the years with this model (may have been corrected by previous owner). Can anyone tell me the purpose of the ESP control switch located below the climate control knobs? What is this intended to be used for? I have been unable to find any description on this switch in the owner's manual.

  • derel2derel2 Posts: 49
    Can a 1999 ML 430 be programmed to have the doors auto lock above a certain mph?

  • I recently introduced my ML430 to a fence while parking. Now there are scratches on the front. The dealer said they were not deep into the paint itself but just the clear coat. How do I get rid off these? Are there any compounds in the market that I can use to rub them out? Do I need to take this to an auto detailing business to fix? Thanks.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    I got some light scratches on the hood. The damage is only on the clear coat not deep into the color paint. You may want to try Maguire's X-scratch. It's a black tube costs about $8. It works okay. The stuff hides scratches quite well, but don't expect the scratches to disappear totally. Also, don't forget to wax after using X-scratch. This will hide the damage even better.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    ESP is Electronic Stability Program. It keeps the ML on the intended course. When the ML starts to skid, ESP will work with ABS to break 1, 2, or 3 wheels to stop the skid. You can keep your foot on the accelerator, the computer will apply the break to individual wheels by itself. It's recommended to keep the ESP on the whole time for safety. If it's off, you will see a orange triangle on the dash board.
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