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



  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Hello Fast... I can understand your frustration but I have not heard of transmission problems in Mercedes cars/trucks. I have a 2000 E430 and have never had a transmission problem. I just traded in my 2002 ML500 with 48,700 miles and not one problem with the transmission. Before my "E", I had a 1991 560SEL... again no transmission problems in the 83,000 miles that I had it.

    My 2000 E430 has been a very good trouble free car in the 6.5 years that I have owned it (bought new). :)

    Granted, Mercedes-Benz have had their share of glitches, etc. but many owners have good cars. A friend of mine bought a used Mercedes SLK 320 and it runs like a champ. The top works perfectly as does the transmission.

    Good luck in the future in whatever you decide to drive. Mark :D
    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
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,076
    A major national newspaper would like to interview those who recently purchased a new Mercedes ML or a Lexus RX/400H. Please respond to [email protected] before Wednesday, March 1, 2006 with your daytime contact info and a few words about the model you chose.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • sgt_k1sgt_k1 Posts: 14
    Hi Mark, I agree with you on the 2002 ML500. I just got one and I think it's the nicest think I ever owned. What are your advices, and how can I keep my ML for a longer period? My ML500 is at 51,000 right now, didn't the owner before me did lots of maints at 48,000. Because I know most beople will do maints at 18k and 48k. My because I should wait up until I reach in the 7oKs zone....


  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    Our 2000 ML320 has been mechanically trouble-free during it's nearly 70K miles. Just oil and filter changes so far. Yes, we've had the occasional jerky transmission shifting, but otherwise very trouble free mechanically. We just had a complete brake job performed, first time replacement in almost 70K miles. The dealer did try to get us to do it much earlier, but we waited until the brake light indicator told us it was time. We didn't have to the replace the rotors either.

    Note that I stated "mechanically". The trim and body problems have been way more problematic. The black trim on the doors have been replaced several times, the black glass trim around the hatch replaced, the steering wheel replaced due to the leather flaking off, the struts for the back hatch replaced, and now the roof rack is starting to peel it's outer layer.

    Since it been mechanically trouble-free, we're keeping ours until the wheel fall off, which will probably be many years down the road. Oil changes are still running at about 12k miles or so, and it will probably need it's 3rd set of tires in another 15k miles, so the upkeep costs are very low at this point. :shades:
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    I think with any car/suv, if you follow the regular maintenance schedule you shouldn't have too many problems. I kept my 2002 ML500 until 48,700 miles so I didn't have any huge maintenance issues. I replaced the tires and brakes and did the regular oil changes.

    Generally, I like to keep cars up to about 50,000 miles then trade.

    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
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Looks like you have had pretty good luck with yours ML so keep on truck'in!

    Mark :D
    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
  • sgt_k1sgt_k1 Posts: 14
    My rear tires are wearing off faster then my front. I took my ML500 for an aliment and the shop told me that only the front wheels can be adjustable. He said some cars are made like that, however, here said my rear wheels are not adjustable. My rear tires are wearing on the outside of the tire. Can you please give me some advices

    Thanks, Pres. Bush!
  • It could be a problem with the all wheel drive system giving too much power to the rear wheels.
  • sgt_k1sgt_k1 Posts: 14
    So do you think my AWD has a problem or its just something little...
  • smwls8smwls8 Posts: 103
    I have been away for at least a year, as I have been so content with the performance and service of my last 2 cars I had no need for Edmunds. Out of boredom on an early Sunday morning I snoop in here, mainly because of rumors of an ML diesel coming out. What was I thinking?

    How soon we forget. My last mercedes, a 1997 E320, was the deathnail to my relationship with mercedes benz. At 61,000, the car was BLOWING OIL out of the front main seal all over my garage floor. When I went back to HBL, Tysons, VA, the service advisor informed me someone must have put too much oil in the crankcase. The problem? They had just performed my 60K service($1800) less than 2 weeks prior, which included $500 for a mass air flow sensor, which had also "FAILED" at the 60K mark. I took the car to an independent shop and for a very reasonable $250 they replaced the main seal, which MBZ refused to rectify because the car was out of warranty.

    Unlike many others here, I did not let this experience send me across the Pacific to the land of the rising sun. Instead I bought my first BMW. After 9 years, I traded this car in on an 06 BMW. The 1997 BMW still had the original headlights, brakelights, window motors, and AC compressor, ALL sensors, etc. So much for the urban myth of BMW's and electrical problems. I did nothing but put gas and brakes in this car for 9 years.

    Now I am not saying BMW's are perfect. I am well aware of the nickasil blocks and the ZF transmission problems, but ask anyone who experienced those unfortunate incidents back in the 90's, and see how they were treated by BMW. New entire engines and transmissions installed by BMW at no cost to the customer. Why? Because BMW evidently still looks at a customer as a lifelong relationship. But it has been my experience, that instead of trying to build 15 different models and move 15 million units worldwide, they have concentrated on getting the small things right, and their marketshare and profitability have been rewarded as a result.

    Just my experience over the last 20 years...
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    smwls8, your "one" experience with your 1997 Mercedes and you think they are all like that? I have had 3 Mercedes.. a 1991 560SEL that was nine years old when I traded it, a 2000 E430 sport (still own) and a 2002 ML500 (just traded for a Land Rover)... the first Mercedes was smooth sailing until it was over 7 years old and approaching 80,000 miles... I kept it until 83,000 and put money in to it. The 2000 E430 has been flawless for almost 7 years. The 2002 ML500 ran well, never left me stranded, served me well for 48,000 miles. You had bad luck with your '97, things like that happen and your dealer was not there to support you. My dealer has been really good.

    I like BMW's but my friends who have had them are not telling the same story you are telling about your 1997 BMW.

    Every manufacturer has the lemons and apples.

    Mark :)
    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
  • bon_bonbon_bon Posts: 20
    I am trying to determine what is the latest NAV CD for an 02 ML500. I called the number on the Mercedes website and they told me that 03/04 was was the last CD made for ML as it uses the old Alpine system. And that they have stopped making any more versions of it. Is this true ? Can any fellow ML owner help me on this matter. I was planning to buy a 01/05 or 11/05 version of the CD from this forum or eBay. It would be great to know if someone has successfully been able to use a later CD. I would so much like to buy a more recent version if I am spending $$ on it. Shame on Mercedes on leaving their customers stuck like this with 3 year old CD.

    I also read on some other forum that we coud use Audi CDs on ML NAV systems. Should I look that way ? Let me know if anyone has done that.

    Thanks for all your help,

    --Bon Bon
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    The check engine light came on on my 99 ML320. I have an OBDC II scan tool. Does anyone know where the connector to plug in the code reader is?
  • jerry40jerry40 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 ML320. Today it wouldn't start. It would turn over but wouldn't start. Seemed like it wasn't getting any fuel. Does anyone know how to check the fuel pump to see if it is still pumping. It may be a clogged filter, but I would like to check the pump first.
  • pscarbpscarb Posts: 2
    Hi, my wife has a 2000 ml 320 that has 2 problems we can't figure out. We have a excellent mechanic who works at the MB dealership and he don't have the answers. Also we took the car to a very reputable MB service center and spent $400 bucks for nothing, he said everything in the car is functioning properly and can't explain why its happening.

    The car for no apparent reason gives ABS, Brake, BAS/ESP ETS, lights and the chime beeper comes on while driving. There are no reasons that cause them to come on and no way to get them to go off other than pulling over, turning off the engine and waiting for 2 to 3 minutes before restarting. Its very annoying and I'm worried it may not be safe to drive.
    The second problem is in the undercarriage, the is a creaking sound that all the same people can not figure out where it is coming from??? Its very noticeable and happens when you put the car in gear, start from a stop or come to a stop. it seems to be coming from everywhere on the underneath of the car.
  • sgt_k1sgt_k1 Posts: 14
    Hello, can sommeone tell me where is the Drainage tray for the mercedes benz ml500 located at. whenever it rain my suv get wet inside. Some one told me that ML500 2002 has a drainage tray. Can some one please help me on this.
  • luotuo866luotuo866 Posts: 1
    my girl friend's 2000 ML320 shut down by itself twice when she stopped at parking garage gate. She had to wait a while to restart. My 1999 ML320 never had such problem. Have some one experienced such problem before? And, how did you fix it.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    The common stalling causes on the early ML's are fuel pump problems and the crankshaft position sensor. My guess would be CPS - when the car is idling at the parking gate it loses cooling air in the engine compartment and causes the CPS to overheat and fault. After waiting awhile, it cools down and works again. Keep in mind what you paid for this diagnosis.

    - Mark
  • sazodadasazodada Posts: 1
    Re: BAS/ESF problem -> change out your brake switch it's defective. This same switch also works the malfunction sensor of the ABS/ESF and it's causing your issue.
  • Hi, I am told that I have a bad CPS on my ml320. Can anyone tell me exactly where it is located and is it a big job to replace? Thanks
  • sgt_k1sgt_k1 Posts: 14
  • torievanstorievans Posts: 7
    Hi,I was wondering if youo guys ever firgured out this problem with all the lights and chime beeper? It started this way now it will not start and the dealer can't find the problem after 1 1/2 weeks. Thanks for any information you might have.
  • woodsonwoodson Posts: 2
    Hi all,

    I need your advice really bad--I'm in the market for a ML350. I got an offer from a MB dealer for a silver 2005 SE(was an loner car) for $32K with 13500 milages on it. It has sunroof package and NAV and it's certified. Also, I got another offer from another dealer for a black used 2006 with Nav, it has about 14k milages but it's not certified. May I ask which one is better deal? Is it worth to pay over 9K more on an 06? Any input I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
    Sorry I forgot to say the offer for 06 is 41K. Thanks!
  • 99 percent chance that a crankshaft position sensor on the ml will fix your stalling problem or a no start problem. I work for mercedes benz and everytime a car comes in for that complaint its an automatic crankshaft sensor. they heat up and it creates an open. the sensor is at the drivers side rear of the engine near the bell housing of the transmission, takes about 5 minutes to replace. The creaking from the underneath of the ML is also very common. the job isnt as easy though. it comes from the torsion bar housings rubbing against the frame. must drop torsion housings install plastic between housing and frame and apply grease. sound will go away. Also bas/esp lights are 99 percent of the time caused by the stop lamp switch, under the dash, presses against the brake pedal. just pull the under dash panel and its right there.
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    This has been going on for a couple of months. When stopped, at idle, get groaning-clattering noise.

    Corner garage says replace system at $1,800

    MB dealer says it might be a valve or the compressor
    at $2,000.

    Local AC specialist says to try replacing the serpentine belt first, then see.

    I happen to be due for regular service and mentioned
    the serpentine belt to MB serviceman. They did not comment on the belt - rather, they are guessing at the aforementioned valve OR compressor and recommend replacing the system.

    The system output is very good in terms of cold air.

    As soon as I turn off the AC, the noise goes away. If I bring us the RPM a tiny bit, the noise goes away. (Is it possible to simply adjust up the idle on these cars?)

  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    In the vein of starting with the cheaper systems first, I'd replace the serpentine belt and belt tensioner and hope for the best. These are things you'd replace anyway, even if you were to replace the compressor, so you have little to lose by starting with this - you probably will get lucky.

    You have to find a good independent mechanic to own one of these things out of warranty unless you don't care about outrageous service costs - MB dealers are set up to simply replace expensive systems without doing much diagnosis or repair.

    - Mark
  • glfhlicglfhlic Posts: 3
    we bought a 2006. it is a lot nicer than the 2005's that we drove. mercedes says the 2006 is entirely new and it sure drives like it is.
  • Hi,

    Just want to know how did you get the problem fixed. My warning light came in about a month ago and it keeps come back on after reset!

  • sgt_k1sgt_k1 Posts: 14
    Here what you should do about the BAS/ESP light. Order for a brakes light switch and reach under the brakes paddle and repleace it. After you have do so that should solve your proble. It will cause you anywhere from $8 to 10 bucks
  • kcml320kcml320 Posts: 5
    Hi Everyone,
    My 98 ML320 has 80K miles and is in need of struts all around..Can someone reccomend a brand I should replace the originals with..? I will have a mechanic install them(Not at Mercedes)so where is a good place to buy them from too?
    I have the same question as far as rubber goes...I live in Park City,Utah where the winters are pretty bad but fortunatly I dont have to use the ML every day....Can someone reccomend a good all season tire with good all around capabilities.Is the Tire Rack a good place to get this reccomended rubber at a fair price.? Thanks in advance for any help in these 2 matters...Kevin
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