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



  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214

    I'm not sure whether this has been discussed here before but while I was on the plane from SD to DC, I happen to read an article regarding recalls and one of the listed ones was for the M-Class, for the seatbelt anchor - rear folding middle seat, for manufacture date of Sept.99 to Jan.2000. The NHTSA recall # 00V352 and MB 200100007.
  • I just(December 2000) bought my first MB after years of Audis and Lexus. My S500 is the best driving auto I have ever had. Recently when I was in to have my 18" wheels/tires installed, I was given a ML430 loaner.
    Needless to say, I was very impressed. The ML has that same MB "FEEL" that all MB vehicles seem to have. My wife's Toyota Land Cruiser lease is just about up and I want to get her something with a little sporty flair but also with the capability of 7 passengers.
    I saw a ML430 sport on the lot that I know she would love. Does anyone know if you can get the ML430 sport with the third seat option? How about the ML55?
    Is there any truth to an upcoming ML500?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, my '00 ML320 Elegance (1st decade October '99 build) was in the affected group for the middle 2nd row seatbelt anchor recall. What MB found was that a batch of their centre rear seatbelt anchors may have been made out of tolerance, so they decided to replace the anchor and add a reinforcement piece just to be sure. The driver's seatbelt chime staying on a second or two longer after the seatbelt was buckled was also part of the recall (notice); not all vehicles in the Sept '99 to Jan '00 period were affected by this either.

    Since my centre rear position is very rarely used (maybe 12 times in the past 15 months), and my ML didn't appear to have the seatbelt chime problem, I put off going in for the recall fixes until Service A, which was done on Jan 30th.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You're welcome. Glad your dealership managed to order the proper mats. I'm surprised that your H7 bulbs were Osrams and GEs. I knew about the latter, but not the former. Both left and right sides of my low beam H7 headlamp bulbs actually went out one day after the other (after the first one went out I went to the dealership, only to have to return the next day) and they were replaced by Hella H7s, same as the ones previous fitted at the factory. The service advisor only took about 5 minutes to R&R each bulb.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    If you have not figured out already, the ML uses H7s for low beams, H1s for high beams, and H3s for the foglamps. AFAIK, all late model MB vehicles with halogen headlamps also use H7 bulbs for low beams (since they're the latest and greatest in halogen technology). Some use H7s for the high beams as well, and H1s for the foglamps (ex. the '96-current E-class).
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    One of the E-class owners in Town Hall's E-class topic ordered and received his H7 Phillips VisionPlus bulbs from Fosmo. He remarked that Fosmo's service was a little lacking (and somewhat slow), but other than that, they were excellent. Since Fosmo is based in the UK, I think you actually get the European-spec bulbs that were in that bulb test, instead of the US-spec ones, which I don't think would be as good.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Have you tried resetting the ESP system? If your ML's battery has been unplugged in the past, this would be an expected error. The exact procedure is in your owner's manual, but you basically turn the steering wheel full lock to the left, back to the centre, full lock to the right, and then back to the centre. Please refer to your owner's manual to verify this. If this doesn't work, it may be your steering angle sensor that has gone bad.

    Good luck and please keep us updated!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I've heard it happen a few times in the past on '98 and '99 models, but yours is the first '00 to be affected. Hopefully it's just one of those random glitches. A few months ago when the ML was 13 months old, I did notice that the coolant level was about an inch or so below the maximum mark. When I brought it in for servicing, I had them look at it; they did a pressure test and found no leaks, so it was just topped up. Seems to be okay so far.

    Please keep us updated as well
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Welcome to the ML topic. Regarding your questions, 1) Yes, you can get the ML430 Sport with the 3rd row seating package, 2) No, because of the internal spare tire carrier in the ML55, 3rd row seats cannot be fitted (the underside is taken up by the slightly larger fuel tank and the 2nd muffler for the twin exhausts), 3) It looks like the ML430 will be replaced by the ML500 for model year 2002.

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  • Had to replace one of my halogen backup lights( bought aftermarket). I came across a similar one I bought before, but this time the clerk asked me if I wanted regular or the one with "Backup alert". Well I bought one of each, the regular as a spare. It works wonderful, gives me piece of mine that in case someone is behind the ML, they will hear me backing up. Cost only $20.00 and just inserts in socket. Regular halogen B/U is $7,
    all in USA dollars.

    I sure others already have known this but, I just wanted to share for those who may wish to consider this low cost safety enhancement.

    PS. I always thought the backup beeping, was some kind of expensive item and never had time to research it.

    I waiting for my son to notice the Beeping later today, I certain he will hehehe :)

  • #1859 of 1863  Fosmo by drew_ HOST  Feb 23, 2001 (11:04 am)
    One of the E-class owners in Town Hall's E-class topic ordered and received his H7 Phillips VisionPlus bulbs from Fosmo. He remarked that Fosmo's service was a little lacking (and somewhat slow), but other than that, they were excellent. Since Fosmo is based in the UK, I think you actually get the European-spec bulbs that were in that bulb test, instead of the US-spec ones, which I don't think would be as good. >>
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    OOps, my mistake. I think I was looking at another Phillips bulb that didn't meet the ECE R37 regulationl for use in Europe.

    BTW, Beetlebug, must you quote EVERY single message in its entirety that you respond to? A simple one line would've surficed, especially since I wrote it only a few hours ago. I haven't forgotten about it yet ;-)

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  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    My sig is part of the requirement of being a host. :-p FYI, all Town Hall hosts are required to sign off :-) Even if I don't like doing it, I have to. If I post multiple messages in a row, I usually only sign off on the last message.

    As for the pictures, they're part of what makes this topic (as well as Town Hall) interesting and unique. You'll find many owner's club topics across this community doing the same.

    Regarding chroming, , I've purposely kept it subtle and in line with other MB vehicles (i.e. door handles, trunk lid handle, grill). Many have done the same.

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  • Fasten your seatbelt, it's going to be a very bumpy ride.
  • Please don't stop including your pictures -- I find them quite helpful.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I thought netiquette was to only quote what's needed to provide enough context for your reply. That's what I always do at last (not in this type of forum, but in mailing lists). Some mailing lists have footers and when people do replies, they sometimes include the footers when quoting entire msgs :-P
  • <<#1870 of 1871  Quoting by kenyee  Feb 23, 2001 (03:09 pm)
    I thought netiquette was to only quote what's needed to provide enough context for your reply. >>

    ...and exactly my style. Contrary to what Drew said, I do not "quote EVERY single message in its entirety", I edit them and leave only the part I respond to.

    On nested message boards, it is easy to follow a whole thread from beginning to end without having to scroll around. On this message board, it is incredibly hard to follow any discussion without quotes. I don't know why others don't do it, but it's common net practice.

    The unwarranted criticism that I quote messages in their entirety is all about wasting bandwidth. If the original critic were so concerned about wasted bandwidth, he would do well to look in the mirror.
  • In response to hhm1644's post #1842 with questions about Info Services: Yes, Info Services work without the MB TimePort phone. I signed up my 2001 ML430 and have been using for two months now. I have the MB TimePort but it does not need to be plugged in for the Info Services to work. You do the setup using the TeleAid pages on I have mine set up to give financial headlines, my stock portfolio quotes, and local weather.

    My review of Info Services so far: nice toy, not flexible enough yet to be of great practical use.
    - Limited choice and flexibility of info items (those which exist, except for stock quotes and weather, are very general and not customizable e.g. 'news','sports headlines', 'financial headlines').
    - Limited memory in the MCS restricts you to about 3 picks from the list of info choices.
    - Takes up to 5 minutes to update info after you press the button.
    - Works in urban areas with coverage only.
    - Costs $135/year, and not worth that yet.

    Just mirroring the web microbrowser capabilities of the TimePort on the MCS display would better meet my needs. This would also appear to be simpler for MB to implement and not require them to maintain a large Info Services infrastructure on the TeleAid website. So I'm saying I would actually like it to require the MB TimePort!
  • Hell wrong with you Beetlebug62. Join other boring forum that doesn't have pics or M-Class enthusiasts... You're the one wasting the bandwidth with non ML related posts.
  • Beetlebug: Keep it up

    Drew: Get even. Post the frenzel series AND your fuzzy pix of your 328 cleaning compounds again. Maybe do it twice with a different comment this time.

    Ometofu: >> Hell wrong with you Beetlebug62. Join other boring forum that doesn't have pics or M-Class enthusiasts... You're the one wasting the bandwidth with non ML related posts. <<<

    Not! You are wrong, and out of line. Go meditate a while. Better yet, go get some food and you might feel better. Be careful not to spill anything on your car seats, however, or Drew will show his cleaning fluids again. Ome, may I call you Ome? Anyway, catch on, anything done to add clarity IS productive.

    BTW, guys, we are mostly beyond the age of 300 baud modems. So this "extra bandwidth" you are sniveling about using amounts to, what? anywhere between a millisecond and maybe 1 second. No where near as bad as the drag you are creating with this bickering blather.

    Lighten up!

  • dennettdennett Posts: 332
    Talk about unwarranted criticism. It's much more common to to just include the post number when refering to other posts, but when it's the previous post, why quote anything? Drew has helped so many people here and in dozens if not hundreds of other threads. I can't believe anyone would have the gall to insult him. You ought to quit before you alienate yourself with everyone. Peace!

    Drew keep the pics coming, and thanks for all the help over the past 5 months!!!
  • yickwoyickwo Posts: 54
    Well, after almost a year of research, we finally bought the ML320 last night - Brilliant Silver, M1, M2, M7, Sunroof and Bose/CD. And to answer an earlier post, with some tough negotiation, I was able to get that for $500 below invoice here in Southern California. We are very happy with the purchase. Thank you all for the good advice and information on this board, and I look forward to participate in the discussion in the future.
  • I am interested in know which dealer you purchased it from. Can you email me the dealers name? [email protected]
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    It's true that the Hosts are required to id themselves with a sig at the end of our posts. I think the reason you don't see many quotes of prior messages is that this forum is "conversation" based instead of nested or threaded, and many folks come in and read through a bunch of posts at one sitting. So they don't feel the need to repost other's messages so much.

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  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Just received my new Autoweek and on Page 4 is this article along with a picture.

    In Mid-season form. This facelift freshens the M-Class for the second half of its production cycle, before an all-new model is introduced in late 2004.

    "Mercedes' US-built M-Class sport/utility vehicle is undergoing a major redesign prior to arriving in dealerships in October. Key features of the styling facelift and technical redesign include a revised front bumper with a differently shaped air intake and insets around the exposed corners of the vehicle (along with similarly modified rear bumper); a revamped radiator grille, headlights with projector-style twin circular lamps behind a clear cover; diamond style bi-chromatic taillights; outside rear view mirror mounted turn signal indicators; a completely reworked interior and dashboard; improved suspension and a more advanced AWD system. This falls debut will also mark the arrival of the ML400 with 250 hp and 412 lb-ft of torque from a twin turbocharged V8 diesel engine."

    WOW!!!! can't wait to see it.
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    Went to to see the article, could not find it, do they comment on whether the ML400 twin turbo diesel will be sold in the USA? I wonder what that would sell for. Too bad you couldn't post a PICTURE.
  • ..., I would point out that Drew is free to have his personal preferences, as am I. However, if he is going to START this debacle by critiquing my use of "quotes", and incorrectly stating that I "quote" posts in their entirety, he's opened Pandora's box for me to comment back and critique his posting style.

    My posting style is common net practice, and it's always been considered good net practice to not waste bandwidth, regardless of how fast one's connection is.

    Given the difficulty in navigating this particular style of message board, it makes good practical sense to use quotes.
  • <<#1875 of 1882  Damn. by ometofu  Feb 24, 2001 (08:21 am)
    Hell wrong with you Beetlebug62. ... You're the one wasting the bandwidth with non ML related posts. >>

    I'd wager you violated a Town Hall Terms of Use with your above profane use of the language.

    As far as wasting bandwidth, I've always been on-topic, except this thread which Drew broached to begin with.
  • With Dale Earnhardt on the cover. The ML story/picture is not on their website yet. The 2002 facelift is very subtle, next to nothing from the picture. I wonder I can retrofit my ML with the new "mirror-mounted turn signal indicators"

    Hookups: Do you know if you sign up, you can turn your frequent travel miles that you gathered from flying, phone calls and creditcard charges into 100% free magazine subscription like autoweek. That's how I got over 30 different subscription each year... check it out (be careful, is and not
  • achatachat Posts: 1
    Can anyone suggest if ML 320 is worth over Acura MDX with touring? We are planning for the following in the ML320 :
    M1,M7,Third Row,Bose Audio.
    The dealer here at Jersey quotes around $39K.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    "is worth" is relative and an individual perference. I'd suggest making a list of features you like for the ML over the MDX and list them in priority order for yourself and us. We can discuss the ones you think are important.
  • image
  • dennettdennett Posts: 332
    The 02 ML sounds like more than a facelift, "a completely reworked interior and dashboard; improved suspenion and a more advanced awd system..." The artical also mentions the new front bumper, different air intake, new rear bumper, new grill, headlights with projector style twin lamps,new rear tail lights, and rear view mirror mounted turn signals. I think it looks real sharp, if it were me, I'd either bring in the artical and use it to get a deal on an 01, or wait for the 02.

    Oh and by the way, GIVE IT UP Beatlebug! Drew makes one valid, and minor, critical comment and you respond with personal insults? I don't want to say anything I'll regret, nor get my post deleted, so I'll just say you're now invisible to me and hopefully everyone else here. Good Bye!
  • I think that even if the side mirror retrofit was available some complications come into play.

    This including the current side marker that the ML has on the front fenders. It would be redundant to have so many turn blinkers. And if we wanted to remove the old side blinkers that may actually lead to two holes (in the location of the mounting point) left in the fender.

    I would also like to add the mirror signal indicators on my ML but it seems more trouble than its worth.

  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Flamewars should never be allowed on discussion forums IMHO. This includes name calling and ad hominem attacks. But I'm not the admin of these forums ;-)
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Please check your e-mail account. You can reply via the address that I wrote to you with. If you cannot find that e-mail address, it is [email protected]

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  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    My original comment was indeed tongue-in-cheek and rather innocuous (or so I thought). I certainly didn't expect such responses, and if I offended you in anyway, I apologise.

    For the record, as indicated in my signature, I co-host the Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards with my venerable co-host, Steve. This includes this (great) M-class discussion topic

    As for chroming, all I have to say is that the only chromed parts are the door handles, the grill, the trunk lid handle, and the outlines of the taillamps. The rear mudflap stars are painted silver, and the MB stars on the brake calipers are accented with silver paint as well.

    If you have any problems with the pictures being posted in this topic, feel free to discuss this with me via my e-mail address above, and I will see what I can do to rectify the situation.


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  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    let's put all of that behind, and get on with M-class talk again! :-)
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Congrats on your new truck! I look forward to your posts in the future. If you have any questions about anything, please ask.

    You may also want to introduce yourself in the "Meet the members" topic in the M-class owner's club area.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    For your future reference, please do not post copyrighted images or text (verbatim; a few lines with the proper attributions is okay) in Town Hall (unless you own the copyright, of course). Instead, the URL to the picture or text would surfice.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Thanks for the info Bill, and the picture, Louis.

    Autoweek's text seems like it is describing the next generation M-class, for MY2005. AFAIK, the next generation 4-matic system will not be available till 2002, and it will first make its debut on the European-spec C-class. The Airmatic based suspension is also said to be in the works for the next generaton ML.

    WRT projector headlamps, those look like the regular headlamps that we have right now, but with covers on them. The LED turn signals are certain a possibility though, especially since just about all of the other MB vehicles have it now. I'm not sure if it would be worth it to retrofit though, as Chris said. It will be mostly for looks too, since our current fender mounted turn signals do basically the same function.

    Frank, any thoughts?

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  • yickwoyickwo Posts: 54
    I compared MDX, RX300, Sequoia and ML320, and I liked the Sequoia the best. However I cannot find a decent deal on the Sequoia and do not really need that much room. On the other hand, I really didn't care much for the MDX. I just cannot see why so many people think that it is the next best thing since the sliced bread. The MDX looked cheap (faux wood) and had way too much road noise. It is a fine SUV over all, but I really don't thing it is really worth the MSRP. If it were $1500 or $2K less, the scale may tilt. The RX300 was okay, but I was not really impressed with it (it felt like a jacked up camary stationwagon). Originally I was not very serious about the ML (I didn't want to spend too much on a SUV), but after looking into it more, I found that the price is very reasonalbe right now and that the ride and the quality is not too far behind my E320 (actually I think the ride is better than the E320). I am very happy with my decision. For roughly the same price as a fully loaded MDX, much less than a Sequoia Limited, the ML320 is a great value. Also, the the extra benefit of driving a Mercedes and knowing that you are in one of the safest SUV's around is just icing on the cake.
  • All,

    If MB does decide to include volume/MCS controls on the next generation MLs steering wheel, does anyone know or think that this feature will be retrofittable to the 01 MLs? Frankly, this is the only shortcoming to my 430.

    TIA for any insights. Regards, Bill
  • I have a feeling the 2002 ML will share interior components with the 2001 C-Class. Just look at the G-Class, which was revised for this year in Europe. The gauges, climate control, headlight switch, center consol switches, etc. are from the C. Maybe the 2002 ML will gets its auto climate control in the same way. Just theorizing, but far fetched?


  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Sorry Drew... I thought as long as I posted where it was from and used "quote" marks it was OK to post.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    No problem, just as long as you're aware of it now :-) Many T.H participants make that mistake anyway, so you're not the only one.

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  • Thanks ever so much for the advice and taking the time to post. I should be purchasing in Atlanta and I will definitely tell Tony at Carriage House that you think very highly of him.

    Also I am grateful to Kenyee for the marvelous suggestion. I would have never thought of asking for recommendations of particular service experiences.

    In light of this knowledge, I would like to ask if anyone lives near or in Newport Beach / Corona Del Mar, California. We will be moving there sometime in the near future.
  • I was looking into getting a pair of H3 bulbs for my ML and found what appears to be a pretty good pair. They're Xenon bulbs that put out a white/hint of blue light. It's not a HID setup, but it's not $600-$2000 either. My friend bought a pair for his ML and they look pretty good. My I've found cheaper bulbs (by only a few dollars), but these contain a higher percentage of xenon gas than the others so I think it's worth the extra money.

    Looks like I can get a pair for around $25-$30 + shipping. If anyone's interested in getting in on the order, drop me an email at [email protected] and I'll see what we can get.
  • photo3photo3 Posts: 26
    I am also trying to decide between the ML 320 and the MDX. I am not too particular..I just want a SUV that will tow a tent trailer (2400 lbs.) be safe, have a third row of seats, go off paved road (dirt, ungraded, bumps, ruts, holes,mud but not over untrampled terrain, through low creeks, etc.) I do not want too big of a vehicle, ok gas mileage, functional suv. I also like a sunroof. I had also been looking at the full-size Montero but am afraid of the reliability (so many mechanics will not work on them) I would like to decide soon.
    Any feedback?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You may want to read Jerry's MDX vs. ML vs. RX post here:
    yickwo Feb 24, 2001 11:06pm

    How often do you plan to tow that trailer and over what sort of distances. Would it be over those "off-road" sections? If you do plan to tow frequently and over fairly long distances, I think you may be better off with a body-on-frame vehicle such as the ML since towing puts quite a lot of stress on a unibody design. Over time, that could prematurely loosen/wear out things with a unibody structure. Does your trailer have brakes?

    Since you mentioned that those off-road sections have bumps/ruts, mud and creeks, you may be better off with the ML, since the MDX is not mean for driving on those sort of surfaces where its softish suspension can bottom out easily and make all sorts of noises. Car & Driver TV stressed this and they showed footage of an MDX driving though the kinds of trails that you were describing above. There was on particular spot where the MDX bottomed out and ran into its bumps stops very hard. Ouch! You should be aware that a section of the MDX's exhaust pipe also runs under the rear axle, where it could be vulnerable to damage in those situations. BTW, the ML320 can't really climb over boulders either :-)

    Good luck with your decision!
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