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



  • I added some Dextron 1103 ATF to it and it made a grinding sound when I started up the engine, so I drained some fluid off, based on what I saw on the dipstick according to temperature now it has a grinding sound when I turn the steering wheel. But quiet when it is idle. So does it have too much or not enough fluid?
  • pkunk1pkunk1 Posts: 8
    I added some Dextron 1103 ATF to it and it made a grinding sound when I started up the engine, so I drained some fluid off, based on what I saw on the dipstick according to temperature now it has a grinding sound when I turn the steering wheel. But quiet when it is idle. So does it have too much or not enough fluid?)

    Get power steering fluid for it. Then you'll need to drain the ATF. Fill with fluid and work the steering wheel back and forth to purge the air out. Refill the resevoir as needed. When the air is gone & the fluid is full the gringing sound will stop.
  • pkunk1, I saw an earlier post of yours suggesting that I work the steering wheel back and forth. I have done that today after letting the engine warm up to normal operating temp and then added fluid as needed.

    My MB Operators Manual specifically listed Dextron 1103 ATF and to verify this, I called a service rep and yes he says that is what is used.....he had no idea why MB uses ATF versus power steering fluid.
  • pkunk1pkunk1 Posts: 8
    I'll stand corrected. I never looked at my manual!
    So, all is well with your steering now?
  • Yes, it seems to functioning fine now. No noise and is steering smoothly.

    So, just so I know, do you have Mclass 320 and does your manual specifiy ATF?
  • pkunk1pkunk1 Posts: 8
    2000 ML320 & my book calls for MB power steering fluid. Power steering fluid is power steering fluid, & other than color there is probably only additive differences between it and ATF. What I lost was not pink like Dextron ATF.
  • Hmm, interesting point, my power steering fluid wasn't pink either.
  • Hi, I'm having the same problem with my 2001 ML320. It died on me twice, wouldn't start again, but was OK after 20 minutes. Came home from town (about 80 ks') and would not start again. Did you find out what the problem was?
  • My car has 130,000 Ks' on the clock and has given me no trouble up until a month ago. Having travelled 3,000 kilometres from Cairns to Sydney ( Australia) I noticed a couple of misses in the motor on the trip. Thinking it was dirty petrol I refilled at the next Gas Station with top grade fuel 98 always used, the rest of the journey was OK. The following week whilst driving to the mountains the BAS/ESP light came on the Instrument panel.Getting to our destination we parked the car and when we were ready to leave and started the engine,I could not get the gear lever out of Park. Yes I had my foot on the brake! Having called the Roadside Patrol he stated it was an electrical fault, no stoplights, but could not rectify the problem.
    We released the parking lock by inserting a pencil into the opening behing the flap below the D position on the gear indicator and pressed down.Lucky I had my manual with me or I might still be there now.The problem was fixed by a top Auto Electrician who new the answer by saying ,you need a new stoplight switch.Cost all up $80.00.Mercedes Benz reckoned it was a damaged nut under the gear lever All up cost $1900.00
    My problem now is that the vehicle will run for about 60-70 ks' and cut out completely. a not pleasant experience if you are overtaking someone at 100 kilometres an hour.The motor will not start. If left for 20 minutes starting is as normal.I will get Mercedes Benz Service dept. to put it on the computer check but would really appreciate it if someone could help me with this.
    Thank You Jabiru1
  • This came up after an oil change at a trusted garage. The truck has 125,000 miles.

    Coming off the line, if I accellerate slowly, there is no problem. If I accellerate with slighly more juice I hear and feel a slight "crump" (similar to running over a soda can) within the first half-revolution of my wheels, and then all is normal. If I accellerate with lots of juice, then I get the same "crump". Comes from the front of the truck.

    I do not get a crump in reverse.

    This has gone on for three months without any sign of worsening, or self-repairing.
    I've looked at the edmunds boards with no luck.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Hello,
    I have a 2002 Mercedes ML320. I've just shipped my SUV from San Francisco to New York City. It appears that as I am driving down the street, I hear some noise but it's like putting a playing card on the wheel of a bicycle but more like a metal knock and you can hear it. Anyway, when I had the car on the rack, we noticed that a long cable was hanging along the side of the crank shaft. What is that cable and do you believe that the transportation broke something that was holding that cable in place. How should this be fixed? Any help is appreciated. It's really cold out here in New York City.

  • We have a 2000 Mercedes SUV. While the car is running, it will die for no apparent reason. Then it will crank over, but will not start. There is no fuel pressure and no voltage at the fuel pump relay. After about 1/2 hr or more it will start.
  • fmfc1fmfc1 Posts: 4
    There are 2 likely causes. The first is the module box blower were the ME control and fuse box are located. This can be checked by removing the motor and switching on the key, it should run. It could be a crankshaft position sensor that is going open when it gets hot. A scan tool hooked to the truck would not show any rpm while cranking when the sensor is open. When the blower stops working it causes the ME to overheat and cause it to shut down.
  • I was looking at a "new to me" ML320, but the mileage is what scares me. It has 132K miles on it and I know repairs will dent my pocket if things start to go wrong. They are willing to sell it to me with a 1 yr/12K mile bumper to bumper warranty. I have heard mixed reviews on the truck and I just don't want it to die on me.

    I have heard that a mercedes isn't "broken in" until after 50K and that I will die before it does and that mileage doesn't apply to mercedes and BMW. Heard this from the dealer and other owners.

    Question is: Will I be investing in a MAJOR problem based on the mileage? :confuse:
  • I have '98 with 208K miles on it. I couldn't be happier with the vehicle. Other then standard maintenance, we haven't had any issues with the truck. I realize that not everyone has such a positive view, but I think it's a great vehicle.
  • ccweemsccweems Posts: 33
    Most likely the brake switch (long known for problems) or transmission interlock switch. It is the electrics which are keeping the starter quiet.
  • ccweemsccweems Posts: 33
    I think you mean driveshaft and yes there cables to be messed with by a transport driver. They throw chains over the axle and can screw up all sorts of things. My guess is the emergency brake cable. If it doesn't work you have found it. A nice long road trip may prove to be a cheaper alternative.
  • lugolugo Posts: 1
    I am also considering to purchase a '98 ML 320 with 125,000 miles. I realllly like the car but the miles scare me as well.
  • artisteartiste Posts: 1
    The ignition will start and turn over but the car dies right away. I am very low on gas. I thought this was the problem and put an additional 2 gallons in but the problem persists. The fuel pump was replaced in 2006. I am wondering if the fuel filter is clogged or I have a fuel pump problem. It is in the garage and wondering if I need to have it towed or is there something we can check out. Your assistance is appreciated.
  • hollobonhollobon Posts: 1
    Does anyone know the location in the fusebox of the fuse for the rear power outlet, the one by the rear tailgate?

    A. Hollobon
  • mbzfan06mbzfan06 Posts: 15
    If you let fuel level get too close to empty, you will burn up the fuel pump.... it will turn to toast in an instant because it relies on the fuel for lubrication....

    you have every symptom of a shot pump. :cry: never let your fuel get below the 1/8 level
  • nyml55nyml55 Posts: 1
    I have an 02 ML55....for some reasons my rear passenger side door lock is jam! It won't lock automaticly or manually(it anoying when it come to a slow speed,the door try to automatic set the lock) anyways have anyone ever took the paneling off the door?.. someone told me there is 2 clips at the rearend of the door, any other clips?. Any help would be highly appreciated!...
  • mercado3mercado3 Posts: 1
    I know what you mean. I was looking at the ML500 2003. The price is right but I wanted to know when problems tend to happen at a particular mileage point. I cannot afford to be riding cute and have my truck blow up. Also, I have heard that they only get between 21-25 miles to the gallon. If anyone knows differently, please let me know. I am interested in the truck but I don't want any other issues other than normal wear & tear!
  • deborahndeborahn Posts: 4
    After my initial post, we replaced the Crankshaft Positioning Sensor and the car was finally fixed!

    What we did: We invested in a code reader (bought it at Checkers for $129 with a $30 rebate). The reader showed codes which pointed to the Crandkshaft Positioning Sensor which cause the misfire codes, etc. and in turn turned the computer/engine off. Buying the code reader was well worth it the investment!
  • awrhodyawrhody Posts: 1
    My ML is due for its schedule C service: Does anyone know the approximate cost of this and can it be done by a certified independent MB mechanic without voiding the warranty?
  • My apologies, i seem to be in the wrong thread, my question is pretty general as far as Maintenence, dis reguard the model mentioned below, thanks.

    Hello all, im looking for a newer car. I have been eyeing the 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML320, i have seen quite a few with what looks like an incredibly low price, Prices ranging from $8000 to $12000.

    I absolutely love the look of this vehicle, but i have no idea how to go about looking for one used.

    Before asking anything specific about this vehicle post what my main concern is first off.

    Main concern, will i be able to keep up the maintenance on this vehicle given my current Earnings. I earn roughly 38000 a year and live alone, if i had to guess how much money will be on hand for normal wear and tear i would have to say approximately 2000 - 4000 a year.

    Is it possible for me to keep up with that amount, i love this vehicle, but if keeping it in excellent running condition means i will likely be spending alot more i may have to reconsider.

    This is all for now as depending on the answer i may not need to bug you guys much more.

    Thanks in advance, any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
  • 0435004350 Posts: 26
    It is a rainy Sat. morning, and I occasionally read these threads, so here's my response to you bobbi digitali:
    1) See if you can buy an extended service contract whether from the dealer
    or online. If you buy it online, that won't kick in for 30 days and 1,000 miles.
    2) My rule of thumb is for every 1,000 miles that you drive expect to spend
    $ 100 for routine upkeep and repairs on this or any other moderate luxury/premium type vehicle. The service and upkeep on this should be cheaper than on the Porsche SUV.
    3) If the one you're buying has Dunlop tires (which were standard on mine), buy
    a new set of some other brand with a UTQG rating of over 500. The Dunlop tires
    get only about 20,000 to 30,000 miles. You also must buy the exact same tire
    for all 4 tires so you can't mix brands such as Goodyear with Michelin because
    of the AWD. It has to be the same brand, the same tire.
    4) Brakes seem to wear fast. Dealer recommends that rotors always be replaced.
    An independent shop told me "mostly yes, but not always" on rotors. Brakes are not covered on extended service plans.
    5) Oil changes: Fortunately, only every 10,500 miles. Simple oil change at MB
    dealer is about $ 200, major oil change next 10.5K miles from MB dealer is about $400. Why so high? The MB dealer checks everything plus using Mobil1 synthetic for I think between 7 and 8 quarts. I got a quote from an independent dealer about 20% to 25% less, so I'll probably try the independent next time, since I'm out of regular warranty.
    6) I have avoided 2 possible accidents since I've had my ML350 that I would not
    have been able to avoid with my prior SUV vehicle. 2 separate people pulled out on
    me from a side street when I had the right of way on the same stretch of highway
    and I was able to take evasive action to avoid a collision (On one I had to cross
    the center line to avoid an elderly woman driving a van who was making a left hand turn but she was blocking oncoming traffic).
    7) I don't know where you live but (assuming that you have the right set of tires)
    these MLs are great in snow. If I lived in the South, I likely would not buy an ML
    nor any other 4 WD/allwheel drive/SUV, with the price of gas what it is today.
    8) The power steering hose has a tendency to "pop out". It happened to me
    once while backing out of the driveway and was covered under original warranty.
    9) MLs are great for long highway trips.
    10) I do have some other mechanical issues with my ML, which my extended
    service plan mostly covered.

    Hope this helps you. I suspect that like other SUVs that there are some real bargains now available if you shop around such as the Edmunds used vehicles list.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    They are telling you utter nonsense. I have two 80's Mercedes diesel sedans (85 300D and 83 300SD) which are considered by many to be the most durable cars ever built. However, just like any other car, they require maintenance as time goes on. Rubber parts in the suspension crack and wear out, timing chains stretch, rubber hoses deteriorate, plastic clips disintegrate, ac. compressors and vacuum actuators wear out. These cars may last a long time but they will not do so without investing money in repairs and maintenance. Same holds for the ML class or any other Benz cars. Even more so, because new vehicles have a lot of electronic components.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I was looking at a used ML 350 with about 34k miles on the clock. It drove fine, except when the engine was cold, it stumbled several times (RPMs went down) as I stopped at an intersection). The engine subsequently recovered, but for a moment it seemed like it was going to stall. The fuel level in the vehicle was very low at the time. Is this stumbling normal for a cold engine? It did not do it after warming up.

    Does this vehicle have a 5 speed transmission? What would be a fair price for this vehicle in excellent condition? I just saw one similar to this one sold on eBAy for $ 15,400 with even lower mileage. I am not sure what features were optional on this model, but this one has navigation, sunroof, leather seats, and heated power seats,
  • zxedzxed Posts: 17
    I actually have an 03 ml 350, the rough idle you described id because the person used a lower than premium grade gas., trying to save a few $$'s....

    i am also selling mine :) $15k.... i live 1.5 miles away from work, but it has 67k ., dont need it anymore.,

    you have to be carefull when shopping and comparing prices.... benz is known for its packages., so while 2 identical benz will be selling for $1-2k appart., check the options., for example i had a buyer call me claiming that he could get the SAME car for $13k., so i said go ahead., bring it to me and ill give you $500 if we have the same options...

    his did not have dual power seats, nor did it have teleaid, it was teleaid "ready"... it also did not have the little thingy near the rear view mirror that tells you how much mpg you are getting or how many miles you have before you go empty., nor did his side mirror turn down when he put it in reverse... couple of other things that i cant remember.... and oh., it had an obvious cover up paint job :) to either make it look newer or to hide damage...

    all in all., its a great car,. maintenance isnt to bad., ill be replacing a window regulator this weekend (myself)

    it has power,. it responds when you hit the accelerator., its a beast of a suv.,
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