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



  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Rick, no, never worked for MB, just an owner who has been forced to get pretty involved with his car to keep costs under control.

    I doubt the extended warranty would apply to your car, although it might be ammunition to use to get MB to cover it under goodwill. I don't think the car being a used car is any problem; the issue would be that the warranty is probably specific to the USA since it came from MBUSA. Also, the warranty covers cars which were serviced with conventional (rather than synthetic) oil. Your car was probably built and serviced after MB started using and recommending synthetic oil exclusively.

    The warranty was part of MBUSA's settlement with US owners after a class action lawsuit was filed. Basically, it extends the engine warranty to 150K and 10 years for problems related to sludging and other oil problems attributable to the use of conventional (rather than synthetic) motor oils as MB originally specified and as was commonly used in MB's "free scheduled maintenance" program. In March 2001 MB changed their recommendations to always require synthetic oil.

    Good luck with your car,

    - Mark
  • jborsjbors Posts: 6
    Dear Mark,

    I have a 99 ML 320 with the same symptoms (high altitude loss of power). The engine runs fine at low rpms but revs extremely roughly with almost no power. Most times you are forced to pull over quickly as the power loss comes on suddenly (not fun it you are on a 2 lane mountain highway with little shoulder). Some times you can limp along on the reduced power; other times you have to shut the car down for some time and the problem usually goes away. I believed the issue could be related to the fuel pump, which has been known to overheat and have issues on the early MLs (I have not replaced the pump). But the problem doesn't occur on every trip to elevation, but probably more than half.

    I figured that this is just a difficult intermittent idiosyncrasy that would never be successfully diagnosed as I live in the SF Bay Area (where the problem has never occurred). But I travel often to Lake Tahoe and LA and both destinations have passes from 4000-7000 ft elevation.

    I recently learned about the fuel filter update from my independent repair shop and believed that the update might also take care of the high altitude problem. Nope: the stall problem occurred again when I recently drove up to about 8000 ft. in order to climb Mt Whitney. But then, returning home through Lk Tahoe, it didn't stall at 7000 ft.

    So, my guess is that this nagging problem lives on, at least for me. Let me know if your car's trouble at elevation has been permanently solved.

    --John B
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142

    Now you've got me worred again! ;-)

    I'm cautiously optimistic that the problem is gone. I've taken a couple trips since the repair in situations where the problem would often occur and had no issues. But as you are noting, that's no guarantee - I've had instance where the problem would happen early in a trip, I'd limp along for an hour or so, and then be fine for a thousand miles afterwards. Extremely frustrating. But since the repair (about one year and 15K miles ago), not a hiccup.

    There may be some interaction between a marginal fuel pump (which as you note has been very problematic, especially on the early models) and the filter as well. Perhaps a new fuel filter on mine has masked a fuel pump problem that is still there. On one of my repair trips, I pushed MB hard just to get a new/updated fuel pump, but for some reason then pushed back hard, did a bunch of diagnostic work, and decided to replace the crankshaft position sensor. At this time, they said they'd replace the pump if the problem re-occurred, but when it did a year later, I got a new service advisor that said all they'd do is the fuel filter update. Needless to say, I'm never buying another MB product.

    When I started to have the problem, it seemed temperature related in that high/hot was the likely scenario, but just before the new fuel filter, I had it happen on a winter ski trip, so this sorta blew the overheating theory out of the water.

    And on one trip, the problem was especially severe and we tried leaving the gas cap off. This seemed to solve the problem on this trip. This made me think the perhaps it was related to fuel tank venting.

    If the problem ever comes back, I'll sell the car. I've given this issue all the time and trouble I care to. Life's too short.

    - Mark
  • I have an '03 ML 500 and have the whistling noise cited in this message--happens at startup, comes from behind left dash behind instrument panel, usually in the morning upon first startup of the day, lasts 30 seconds or so. Very annoying and getting more consistent--is now happening every morning when I start up. tiger2doll mentions replacing the "famous Aspirator Motor". I can't find a reference to this object anywhere else in this forum. If it is "famous" I assume it has been talked about somewhere. Could someone please provide me with some information about this problem that I can provide my dealer. Based on previous experience I can guarantee their response is going to be that they "can't duplicate" the problem so I want to go in armed with information about what they need to fix. Thanks in advance for any help!

  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    Recently replaced one on a 2000 ML320. I picked up the part at the dealer (about $80) and a nearby garage did the labor (about $20). You may hear different
    pricing numbers; when my garage called MB they were quoted $115 for the blower, but when I went there to pick it up ">they charged $75 plus tax.

  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Msonntag, I had the same problem on cold mornings in 2002 ML500..... I can't remember what the problem was but the dealer took care of it. They didn't have to duplicate the problem, when I mentioned the noise, they knew what it was.

    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
  • 500e500e Posts: 13
    I need to re-fill my power steering fluid, but want to make sure I am filling the right reservoir! The manual does not point it out, but I think it is just in fornt of and below where you put oil in the crankcase (on the right side of the engine as you look at it).

    Can someone confirm this for me?
  • Hi Mark,
    I seem to be getting somewhere with this - slowly but surely. After dismantling the engine (it took them 3 weeks to get round to this) it appears that the number 3 piston was siezed due to no oil in the barrel. There seems to have been enough oil in the rest of them but not in this one. Very strange.......... Anyway, they say they hope to have the repair completed by Wednesday of this week (only 5 1/2 weeks so far as opposed to the 3 day initial estimate). I'll let you know if it works out, but I'm not betting on it!
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Rick, hope this works out - yes, like to know the final outcome.

    500e, sounds like you have it - on the 320, it's the gizmo below and slightly right of the oil filter. You have to pop the plastic beauty shroud slightly up to get the cap off.

    - Mark
  • With Mercedes recall notice I had the dealer Barrier Mercedes in Bellevue , Washington replace the harmonic balancer on our 2000 ML320.

    Few days later, the car lost power after breaking at a stop and 3 weeks later when I was driving downhill. My parktronic isn't working since that work on the harmonic balancer.

    So I am left with two questions:

    1- Are these mere coincidence or the work wasn't done properly?
    2- Given that this is the second time we've experience bad work with this dealership, is there any place we could check on their reputation?

    Best, Steve
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Barrier did the same work on my ML320 a few weeks back. As I drove off the lot, I noticed one of my instrument panel backlighting bulbs was burned out. I can't see a connection between my failure and the ones you're reporting, but it makes one wonder.

    I've heard equally bad things about Smart in Seattle. I don't have a good solution for repairs that require the dealer. For routine stuff, I either do it myself or use the local gas station that has a guy who knows the ML's pertty well.

    - Mark
  • Mark (and anyone else following this),
    You are just going to love this. Phoned MB today to ask them when my car will be ready to collect.....guess what...... not today!! (as promised). Apparently the engine has been removed from the car and sent away to a specialist (obviously MB are not specialists at their own cars). The "Specialist" has got the part on order (I presume from MB) and cannot START the work until he has the part,. There is no way on gods earth that I will ever buy another MB and when this Jaloppy is back its going straight into the nearest showroom. Bah Humbug!!">
  • MB today have delivered the fateful blow....................The engine is dead......I'm not suprised after doing all of those 110,000 KM (68,000 Miles) in 3 and a half years. It must have been such a drain on the poor car. The solution..............they say it can be repaired at a cost of 12,000 Euros (14,400 US) or replace for 30,000 Euros (36,000 US). This now leaves me in a bit of a position. The garage that I bought the car from don't want to spend that much on either solution (obviously I think they're gonna be well out of pocket on this one) I see their point of view, but feel a bit sorry for them. So what's everyones advice? 1. Insist that the engine is repaired? 2. Insist that it is replaced with a new one? (Bit unlikely I think) 3. Let them replace the engine with one from a write off iff they can find one? All suggestions welcome and the best one wins a quart of Sangria! By The Way, If anyone knows of an ML55 AMG engine hanging around, let me know!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    It's not clear to me if you have some sort of warranty on the '02? It sounds like you purchased it used from the garage?

    If there's some sort of warranty, then maybe you can ask for your money back less a per mile usage fee so you can buy something else.

    Steve, Host
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Typically in situations like these, you find a good used engine from a wreck - this is almost always the most cost effiective solution. I'm also unclear as to whether MB or the garage is participating in some kind of warranty situation.

    - Mark
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Steve, I know this isn't the proper place for a bug report, but it only seems to occur in this particular forum so here goes.

    On the "left column" there is a "Helpful Links" section. Only in this ML forum, there seems to be an odd "Consumer Rating" bar in this section - it is fairly wide, so it shoves the center main column over so far that it ends up underneath the right "Inside Line" column, obsuring the the text of the forum. BTW, this erroenous "Consumer Rating" bar has a hyperlink which links to some information about the BMW M5. Latest version of IE.

    Please forward as appopriate. Again, I'm active in perhaps ten forums and this ML one is the only one I've noted the problem in.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Thanks for the comments. Our systems people are aware of the problem and are working on it.

    tidester, host
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    (trying to narrow my message because
    of that intrusive advertisement)

    Rickknight1, when you say "garage",
    I don't think it has the same meaning
    as it does here in the US. A garage
    here is a local repair shop that, if
    they sold any vehicles, would be used
    and generally with no warranty.

    Hopefully you will have a positive
    outcome with your ML.

    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
  • Hi Mark,
    Sorry, yes when I said garage, I meant the dealer
    that I bought the heap from. Although they are not
    an MB dealer, they are opposite - luckily. They
    provided me with a 12 month warranty. I discussed
    this as well last night with my wife and we are of
    the opinion that a refund is in order. I'll let
    you know what occurs. (Really annoying that ad,
    isn't it). Rick.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The forum size fix is supposed to be rolled in this morning. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Steve, Host
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Rick, understand,sorry about the terminology misunderstanding. Yes, if you've got a 12-month written warranty, I'd be pressing the issue a bit. Generally, these are written as "repair or replace" at the shop's discretion. Since repair doesn't appear to be economical, it probably will be a situation where replace could mean replace new or replace used. Typically, the standard is to "make you whole" which means the replacement should be approximately equivalent to what you have earlier. So a good used engine might be fair all way around. I'd bet you are going to have trouble pressing for a brand new engine, although I wonder if you might be able to work out a three way agreement between you, MB, and the dealer to get you a new engine with some participation on you part. I think you want to be firm, but fair and reasonably flexible. If you go in with guns blazing, I suspect they'll just blow the whole thing off as cheaper to pay the lawyers. Good luck.

    Steve, the problem appeared gone initially, but when I went into compose mode, it returned. Thanks for your help. Edmunds rocks.

    - Mark
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Yeah, it was looking good until you had to go and post something, LOL.

    I'll report it and cross my toes this time.

    Steve, Host
  • Hello all, new to this forum. I just got married and now own (not sure if proud or not yet) a 2001 Mercedes ML320, my wifes car going into the marriage.

    Of course, I worry about the cost to maintain this car, but then again Mercedes generally last long right?

    My question related to maintenance. She has 68,000 miles on the car, and her "double wrench" lit up, which she says means its time for maintenance. She doesnt have the book that came with the car? What might I expect the car needing for this maintenance? Oil and what else? Should I bring to a MB Dealer or private mechanic? (there are a few in my area).

    What did everyone else pay for this service?

    thanks so much in advance.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Congrats on the marriage!

    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide will tell you what needs to be done for an A service or a B service. And it'll tell what we think the service should cost.

    Steve, Host
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    Expect about $500 for the bigger service. My 1999 ML320 was fairly trouble free.
  • cctdicctdi Posts: 82
    Somehow I just like to drive the diesel equipped cars; the only car that I put over 45k miles was the 97 E300D. When VW’s Touareg V10 tdi came in, I wasted no time to get one and so for the E320 CDI and the Passat tdi. Now, the M is coming with the diesel(s) in 06 as 07 models; it is interesting, what is the displacement of the engine(s)? A 4.2 CDI installed in the M will create the long waiting list of the new kind buyers! :mad:
  • I am interested in adding Sat Radio to my '04 ML350, but I don't want to pay the dealer $1k to install it. Is their and after market radio that links to the existing Sat. set up on the radio???? If so where do I find it? Any help would be appreciated.
  • Considering another ML for '06 and questioned M-B about diesel.
    No straight answer if they ever will be available for NY registration.
    2 trips to FL from NY recently in premium fueled cars.
    Of course the gas price drops by 35 cents once out of NY and more as you travel south.
    But guess what?
    Diesel was 75 cents to one dollar higher than premium gas in the south.
    I have read just yesterday of the refinery problems related solely to diesel and the Louisiana huricanes but my M-B S430 4-Matic got 28.7 mpg fully loaded with people and cats and stuff and my BMW 330xi got 29.6 mpg also loaded. And these are round trip numbers.
    The diesel and its premium acquisition cost is making less and lees sense for me. I may not wait for 07.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Certainly understandable. Those are some very impressive numbers, especially for the S430.

    I think we all often forget that German cars are very efficient when it comes to highway travel, which is what they're really made for in the first place.

    Now just think what a S420 CDI would get on the highway! That is once diesel fuel comes back down in price. If I mean.

  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Before you believe what the read-out is telling you about the gas mileage, put pencil to paper to see what the actual mileage is.

    I was just on a trip in my 2002 ML500 and the read-out was telling me 21 mpg but I was actually getting 18 or so. I never really checked it after all these years but the computer seems to be very optimistic. Calculate the mileage manually to get the real figure.

    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
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