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



  • joeindenverjoeindenver Posts: 31
    Is it a Desino edition? Don't know when these were first available (give me time) but I've read elsewhere that if the leather get's really hot it can smell odd. Something to do with the different tanning process for that kind of leather.
  • she1122she1122 Posts: 33
    We live in Portland,Oregon and it has not been hot ! The smell seems to come from the ventilation system with the fan on. It is not the air conditioning system as we have not used it. It is a smell like alcohol on a person's breath esp. when you have not been drinking and you smell it on someone else!!
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    It couldn't be caused by a reaction of the interior to hot weather: we also have an '00 ML430, purchased new in May 2000, and have been in over 100 deg heat for one week per year since the Summer of '02.

    If it only appears after start-up, I'd guess it must be caused by a leak of something or some contamination in the ventilation system, e.g., engine coolant; otherwise, someone must have spilled something, in which case, maybe you could nose around the cargo area.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Most probably is the windshield washing solution, when delivered it comes in full strength, some of the vapors in hot weather are sucked by the ventilation system. As the solution is used up and diluted with just plain water the smell goes away.
  • she1122she1122 Posts: 33
    Thanks everyone for input. The smell has suddenly gone away. I do remember using the washer fluid once or twice recently, and I do not use it often. I wonder if that could be the culprit as thor8 suggests. We will use the washer fluid tomorrow and wait and see if the smell comes back. I will post if that happens !! Thanks!!
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    A few years ago, I heard the ML320 qualified for an accelerated depreciation schedule since it weighed 6000 lbs. Evidently there's an IRS guideline that allows a tax payer to accelerate the depreciation of a vehicle that weighs in at 6000lbs, or more. I have a '99 ML320 and the sticker in the driver's door sill says that the GVAW(?) is 6005 lbs. Do the new ML350s weigh the same? Does anyone know whether or not these SUVs qualify for the accelerate ddepreciation?

    Also, I understand there are some aggressive prices out there. Anybody here get a good deal in the NY/NJ area? How about $41K with M1, M5, M7, Xenon, and Silver metallic?
  • kxs1kxs1 Posts: 6
    Khoon, I just got a 2003ML350 last week in NJ for 41870. It has P38 (which is m1+m2), runroof, heated seats, bose sound, silver paint and xeon light.
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Kxs1 thanks for sharing your information.
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    Go to my entry in the ML vs Acura vs, etc., etc.
    area. Then page 21. Look for entry #391. This
    outlines the accellerated depreciation for cars
    with GVLW of 6,000 + lbs.
  • djdragandjdragan Posts: 3
    i am taking it in to the dealer for the 1st time on monday, anyone have the same problems?


    My ML350 when stopped at a red light keeps wanting to go forward from time to time even though I press on the brakes. It jolts forward, stops, then jolts forward again. It does this for about 10 seconds and stops. I feel that when this happens I have to press the brakes very hard in order to not hit the car in front of me while at a red light. It doesn't do this everytime, but regardless it's a huge concern that a brand new truck is doing this. I counted the # of times this happened was about 4 so far.
    Possible causes: Owners of Mercedes-Benz vehicles mentioned these to me:
    Someone told me this could be due to the throttle actuator which wouldn't trigger any check engine lights.
     It could be that the engine idle is not smooth and steady so far as rpms are concerned. No check engine lights came on at all when this happens.
    The engine computer is running the air/fuel mixture too lean partly due to the air in the region. The engine would then almost stall, causing the computer to dump a higher than usual amount of fuel in to prevent it from dying. This resulted in the "jolt" at the traffic light.

    Problem #2
    Dates of occurences:

    My ML350 was stopped at a red light. The light turned green so I took my foot off of the brakes and pressed the accelerator pedal. While still pressing on the accelerator pedal the car didn't move forward but instead it started to shake just a little bit and stalled for about 4 seconds. I seriously thought the engine was going to shut down and cars behind me were beeping their horns since I wasn't moving forward at all. After about 4 seconds of the car being stalled this stopped and I kept on driving home. No check engine lights came on at all when this happened. Also, another huge concern of mine since this is a brand new truck.

    Possible causes:
    The engine computer is running the air/fuel mixture too lean partly due to the air in the region. The engine would then almost stall, causing the computer to dump a higher than usual amount of fuel in to prevent it from dying. This resulted in the "jolt" at the traffic light.
  • quinndquinnd Posts: 4
    While looking at used ML's I have noticed that some of them have a brownish discolored spots or areas on the top middle of the engine. It's the metal you see when you open the hood and look down on the middle of the engine, between the two black covers on either side. Some ML's are discolored there and some are not.

    Does it mean anything? Was it caused by overheating or ?

  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    I've forgotten what I read years ago, but if I remember correctly, the valve covers and intake manifolds aren't metal: they're plastic, and it still looks the way I remember on our '00 ML430, e.g., a flat, grainy, silvery color. Our free yearly detail probably gets rid of any smudges.
  • joeindenverjoeindenver Posts: 31
    Hi Mark,

    You said this in your last message about the tranny in regards to my braking issues:

    "There are only two "odd" aspects of the ML's transmission I notice. First, it has much less "creep" at a stop. I think this has something to do with the transmission "stall speed" although I'm not very familiar with the engineering involved. If you are on level ground and release the brake, the car barely moves - most transmissions "push harder" at a stop. (This can cause issues when stopped on a severe uphill - you have much more of a tendency to roll backwards starting from a stop. This requires that you re-polish your skills of left foot braking as you feed it throttle on an uphill start.)"

    This is an interesting comment because I am having exactly the opposite experience. I must hold decent brake pedal pressure to keep the truck from creeping when stopped. In fact, it appears I'm having some of the same issues as described in msg# 6943 - although I don't have the lurching issue as described, although the truck has nearly stalled - but only once at around 400 miles or so on the odo - it has not happened since.

    Well now that I'm back in town I'm going back to the dealer and we'll be driving a loaner ML350 today to see if it's me or the truck. At least I'll be able to compare apples to apples - more or less...
    Other than this issue I'm still very happy : )
  • hariaumhariaum Posts: 1
    I am one of the 95% (is it 97%?) that don't take their SUV off road ever. So I was interested in a more car like SUV. Also I'm looking to take advantage of the 'Light Truck' deduction. GX470 interested me the most. But then I was told that it doesn't qualify as it is not heavy enough. Only other LUX SUV in the same price range that interested me is ML350...

    Car shopping makes me nervous. I dread negotiating. I hope to get the price nailed down (via Internet and Phone) before I show up at the show room. I intend to buy fully loaded. Is it reasonable to expect a deal below invoice? What is the best strategy?
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    Below invoice? I wouldn't think so but you could try for practice. If I was buying a new 500, I'd want at least $5K off MSRP--that's how much we bargained off on a cheaper 430 in May '00. A 350 should be less ... maybe $3,500 or more.

    I wonder how a weaker dollar will effect this equation--ML sales are down in the US , but the stronger Euro currency maybe makes them an even better deal to foreign buyers and they're already popular as an export item.

    I've read about how to buy a car and it works for me, i.e., really know exactly what you want, down to the color and options; (2) know how much you'll offer and if they do not accept, you just have to leave (you probably won't have to leave if you've done the research and know what they'll take, but if you do, the lot may call you later or you might even buy it elsewhere for less than they turned down); (3) don't have a trade-in because that will confuse matters; and (4) the lot has to already have the very car you've decided to buy so they actually can accept your offer and deliver.

    My problem would be that they probably would not have the very 500 I'd want but if they did, I sure wouldn't let them know it. Good luck.
  • My local tire store is trying to sell me tires sized 255/70R16 for my ML320. I know the Orignial's are 255/65R16. The guy is telling me that it is a little taller but no risk and is giving me a great price on Michelin's. Is going for slightly taller (sounds good) tires worth the risk? Any comments?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    The slightly taller tire will ride a little better but handle a little worse.

    While I'm sure you'd be Ok with this tire, I'd go with the stock size. With SUVs and their rollover tendencies, I'd just feel more comfortable not adding a variable to the handling equation.

    Tires in the stock size are not hard to find. Your tire dealer should be willing to order them and have them in a day or two. If they are unwilling, find another tire store. I've had good luck with Discount Tire.

    Costco runs special deals with Michelin every so often. Typically $60 off if you buy four. Their standard prices are Ok, but nothing special.

    - Mark
  • joeindenverjoeindenver Posts: 31
    With all of the discussion on the power steering hose/clamp issue, I thought I'd pass along that while I had my 350 in for service today they replaced the power steering clamp on the lower hose (to the radiator). The work order indicated this:

    RECALL #200304005 W163 Power steering hose

    They put on a new clamp and cranked it down pretty good - much more apparent force than the original clamp. If I had a digital camera I'd take a picture, but I don't... Now I wonder if it is too tight.

    In any event I hope the above data will help those who are being told it is a service advisory. I'm pretty sure they would not say recall unless it was a recall, lawyers, you know.
  • kullenbergkullenberg Posts: 283
    There are several reasons to stay with a tire that is the stock diameter, not the least of which is that if it is a leased vehicle, you could get grief on turn in, because the mileage will be inaccurate. I had larger on my vehicle for a while, and it had a bad effect on the handling, and it could effect the stability control. Altogether a bad idea. Have a look at Michelin Cross Terrains, great traction quiet and long tread life.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    I was thinking about getting 255/70/16 before. For some reason, 70 is less expensive than 65. Maybe 65 is specially for ML?? Anyhow, after thinking over and over, I decided to go with the original size. 70 will bring up the center of gravity. It may increase the risk of roll over.
  • karld1karld1 Posts: 22
    Few questions on my Dad's 2001 ML430.
    My Dad owns one of them and with over 30K he already had a few warranty repairs (nothing major) he really enjoys the car but we have a few questions.
    1. What do you think about keeping the engine oil to 10-13K miles between oil changes, what oil is MB dealer using? is it really Mobil1?
    I have had used Mobil1 and Amsoil oils and I know that with about 5K miles those overall great oils have to be changed.
    What do you do?

    2. Tranny fluid
    Tranny is sealed so fluid can't never be changed!?!?!
    Sounds liks a non-sense, do you ML owners really belive it?
    Do you really thing that your car will be OK at 150K miles after never changing the fluid in your tranny?
    If not, did any of you changed your tranny fluid yet. If you did, what brand (Mobil 1 ATF?) and how did you do it?
    (Dealer, independent shop)

    3. Do you recommend buying extended warranty for another 5 years up to 100K miles?

    Personaly knowing ML series from Edmunds forum and my Dad's case I would not buy but lease it for 3 years.

    Help greatly apreciated.
  • joeindenverjoeindenver Posts: 31
    I took my ML350 up to the mountains the other day and had just way too much fun. Handling on twisty roads was wonderful and the selectable tranny gear was very useful for going up and down steep grades. Going downhill was really nice as I didn't have to ride the brake at all.


    NEVER, EVER cruise on dusty roads with the rear quarter windows open : ) Makes for a really dusty cargo area and creates a dirty head liner near the windows!
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    1. While I don't think you'll harm the engine by leaving a good synthetic in there for 10K, I don't think it is the best policy if you're looking to keep the vehicle for a very long time. My FSS is showing about 10K between services and the dealer seems fine with me fudging by bringing it in at 8.5-9K, so I've been Ok with this interval. But when the truck is out of the free maintenance period, I'm going to be changing between 6K-8K. To be ultra-safe, 5K would be ideal, but probably not cost effective. I think the dealers do all use Mobil 1 now, after the sludging problems were discovered when going 10K+ with conventional oils.

    2. MB says the system is lifetime, but every five years or 100K miles sounds appropriate to me. (MB isn't alone here - most mfgs say that tranny fluid is lifetime.) You change it by dropping the pan. They changed mine when my truck was brand new to fix a leak. I'm not hot on a system that has no drain plug or dipstick either, but the fluid can be changed.

    3. Normally, extended warranties are a poor value, but the ML doesn't have a great repair record and service is expensive, so it might be a good idea. I'm about to go out of warranty and the truck has been ultra-reliable that last 30K, so I'm just going to risk it until I trade in a year or two.

    - Mark
  • tiger2dolltiger2doll Posts: 39
    Hello Everyone,

    Just bought a 2002 ML500 with only 7K miles on it. Its Brilliant Silver with Grey Leather interior. Has the Navigation, Bose, 6 CD Changer, Moonroof and Memory Seats. Paid 36K plus Tax, Title, etc - is it a good deal for 40K out the door ? Drove it back from Las Vegas to San Jose - love this SUV. Tremendous power - just step on the gas and it literally just takes off !!!

    This has been a great board for this SUV - really interesting experiences. Does anyone have a list of recalls on this SUV ?

  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I would agree with Markjenn. I too change oil in the 6K - 8K range. I am not confortable with following the FSS and changing only between 10-12K. I use only Mobil 1. I know that this topic has been discussed to great length on this board. I believe it is a personal preference. I have no problem in spendind the 100 dollars every 7K for an oil change. It's peace of mind as far as I am concerened.

    I had the same concerns about the Tranny fluid too. The last time I took my 99 ML320 in for a major service at 52K miles, I told them I would like to change the tranny fluid event though MB doesn't recomend you do it untill 100K or 5 years. But the service rep adviced me against wasting my money and said that it is the same transmission in the S-Class and 100K tranny service intereveals are no problem. I went with his advice and didn't service the tranny.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    I would not worry about sticking with the FSS interval. We're going on 70K and I think our '00 ML430 is just starting to get broken in. It never uses oil between intervals and the oil looks as clean at change time as when it went in.

    '00 was the first year of delivering MLs with synthetic from the factory and providing free oil changes during the warranty period. I'm sold that it is good engineering.

    On the last oil change, Mobil 1 was available if asked for; otherwise, Valvoline's synthetic was used--there are several brands that make synthetics meeting MB's spec.

    I don't see a problem with anyone changing their engine oil early--it's all recycled anyway--and for a dirty engine, unlike MB's 430s, maybe it would help extend the life. I knew a guy that changed the dino oil in his Datsun 240Z every 5K. By comparison, though, the tolerences wouldn't have been anything like the 430 and the revs would have been much greater by comparison and it wasn't synthetic to begin with, and would not have had 8 qts. to deal with, and would not have had MB's silica-impregnated cylinder liners, and probably had more than 10 compression--plus: the guy was a nut.
  • doseidosei Posts: 11
    I was wondering if anyone is experiencing this problem. I have a 2002 ML500, and I get an occasional shrieking noise, seemingly from behind the steering wheel. I am waiting for my Autobahn dealer service shop to call me back to report the problem.
  • rover96rover96 Posts: 33
    As the tiltle said. I bought a after-market oil filter for my ML320. I did the oil change & rest the on dash counter back to 10000.

    There is no oil leak whatsoever. Driven it for 20~30 miles. And now my "check engine" stay on!!
    I am thinking about the oil filter element causing the light stay on(may be restrict pressure flow)!?

    Any 1 have any suggestion?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    My guess is the CEL is unrelated to the oil change.

    - Mark
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