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



  • Don't listen to Frank - he doesn't know what he's talking Gregg Eisenberg at EuroMotorcars instead (301-215-6061). :-) Seriously, I live closer to both HBL and ASC but go to Euro for everything. They have the absolute best customer service and are reportedly one of the top five MB dealers in the US. There's a reason for this.

    I just bought my 01 ML430 Sport from Gregg several weeks ago (my third MB from Gregg and this dealership). While I'm sure I didn't dip into Euro's holdback, it was damn close.

    Hope this helps. Regards, Bill Shaw
  • I had my '00 ML430 in for the "A" service at 12,700 miles. In addition to the usual servicing, I asked about the rear brakes squeaking, especially in reverse. I was told that the pads would be replaced under warranty and that this was a problem well known to MB. I asked about tire rotation and balancing and was told to wait for the brakes to be replaced as they would be removing the rear wheels at that time. So three weeks later the pads are in. I drive 65 miles to the dealer. The service manager tells me that they would replace the pads at no charge but balancing, tire rotation, and wheel alignment "beyond 12,000" miles is a "wear and tear" item and that will cost 150.00 Is he correct? Does MB have a different definition of "All maintenance included" than Audi? I have an '98 A6q that has had it's wheels balanced and rotated at every oil change and never a charge for alignment in 37,000 miles.
  • quipquip Posts: 3

    Thanks. You can buy these at suvaccessories4less, currently it onsale for $575.00 and here is the link:

    Take care


  • planomlplanoml Posts: 244
    There is a lot of discussion on the new models, but does anyone know any detail. Will there be external design modifications? I'm getting ready to buy a MY2001, and don't want to have the entire design change. If that's the case, I'd rather wait. Thanks, in advance, for the feedback.
  • What exactly is auot leveling, I saw a level gage on my 98 head light housing (outboard side). Is this mean I can adjust it or ??? How?
  • dt77dt77 Posts: 232
    That wouldn't be autoleveling.
    That's just a leveling gauge to help you aim or level your headlights. Instructions on how to use the gauge should be in the manual.

    Autoleveling usually only comes with Xenons where glare to drivers in front must be avoided. Sensors are placed on the rear axle which sense if the ML is level or not and adjusts the aim accordingly.

    I know some who went of roading on some pretty bumpy roads with an X5 and everyone in the car felt sick cuz the xenons were just constantly autoleveling up and down ...barf =)

  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    While there is still not any official information on the upcoming 2002 ML line. It is for certain that there will be some fairly substantial "amenities" upgrades... for example... Digital Climate control.. perhaps with 2 zones... xenon lights being available or standard without purchase of Sport Package... probably changes to incorporate steering wheel controls for radio, phone... as most all other of MB line has already...

    Regarding the exterior change there have been a few pictures of minor bumper changes that may incorporate fog/driving lights in the bumper as the ML55 and sport editions have... but not the same bumper as the ML55 or Sport... BUT we really don't know yet.... there was one report that production at the Vance facility had been cut for 2001 production by a couple thousand units in preparation for major changes to the 2002 product line.

    You can read into that statement in many ways... any different dash components to accommodate the climate control system could be considered major to some. So this does not mean that any additional cosmetic changes will occur... but we just don't have the facts yet!!

    If you think you can hold off for a bit it would be to your best advantage for several reasons...1) Once any official info. is released on the 2002 changes this will automatically reduce interest in the 2001's making them "better deals" to get them out of the dealers inventory prior to new models. 2) Mercedes may help with this by giving a dealer incentive $$$$ to enable dealers to discount as in past year end sales (i. e. buying at or a bit below dealer invoice). 3) If you wait you can see the new 2002 ML and it's changes and determine if these really matter to you. 4) It is a given that all ML's will depreciate to some extent with any significant improvement of the ML such as Digital Climate control... so by waiting you can reduce your capital investment and take advantage of year end model closeout pricing reducing your imminent depreciation.

    IF you wait you will have more info. to make a better educated and informed decision.

    Good Luck - Frank
  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    The next true generation of ML redesign from the ground up is not due until 2004/2005. So if this is the type of change you were inquiring about than "NO" 2002 ML's will not be based on a new platform.

    However, as I stated above there may be more than one good reason to wait a bit. You might also find that a particular change for 2002 is really worth waiting for but won't have this option if you buy before you know more.

    I can tell you from my personal experience - we purchase a 1999 ML430 which we love.. but!! in 2000 the interior was redesigned and included GPS..more trim appointments in line with a "high line" MB. Better sound deadening, additional side air bags for rear passengers.

    My point is that there will be similar scenario with MY2002 and you might just be pissed that you did not wait if you really could have waited. Again, the pricing on MY2001 will be impacted by changes and you will serve your pocket book better to wait...

    It has also been speculated that the MY2002 might incorporate side air bag head impact curtains... once again not confirmed but could be important to you and your family to wait and see.

    See you - Frank
  • bcl1bcl1 Posts: 3
    Tis the season. Tax time that is.
    FYI... Maybe this is old news, but any of you business owners who have purchased an ML can qualify for heavy vehicle depreciations. Because the "loaded" Gross Weight exceeds 6000 lbs., "6352 on the 430 to be exact" The depreciation at 100% business use is as much as $23,000.00 in the first year alone instead of $4,900.00 in 2001 for luxury-class autos.

    Talk to your tax professionals
    P.S. Those MDX owners are out of luck. Oh well!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Have been busy. Will finally be able to post more in this topic tonight and this weekend. The Friday's Freeways is starting in under an hour's time. Hope to see you there!

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • <<#1722 of 1723  FYI - ML Tax Advantages by bcl1  Feb 16, 2001 (02:47 pm)
    Tis the season. Tax time that is.
    FYI... Maybe this is old news, but any of you business owners who have purchased an ML can qualify for heavy vehicle depreciations. Because the "loaded" Gross Weight exceeds 6000 lbs., "6352 on the 430 to be exact" The depreciation at 100% business use is as much as $23,000.00 in the first year alone instead of $4,900.00 in 2001 for luxury-class autos.

    Talk to your tax professionals>>

    ...would anyone really want to depreciate at 100% business use in Year One?!? Doesn't your tax professional, advise you to depreciate at a rate based upon the useful life of the item? Otherwise, wouldn't you have to go thru the hassle of calculating the depreciation recapture, upon eventual disposal?
  • bcl1bcl1 Posts: 3
    Your right, more than likely you would only be able to write off 80 to 90% which is still 16M to 18M + the base 3M depreciation. Remember, this is just in year one. The balance of the depreciation is over the next 5 years. It would take you over 10 years to depreciate the luxury auto as much as the Heavy SUV in the first year alone. You only have to have more than 50% Business usage to use this method, and of course be willing to keep good logs. If you plan on keeping the vehicle for more than 5 years it may not make sense, but how many of us do. I am certainly not a tax advisor, I just thought it was a good piece of info worth sharing.

    Good luck!
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    I believe the alignment is free up to 12,000 miles, after that it is a cost to you. Seems like they could have let you passed by on this one as they had you wait the three weeks before scheduling your pad replacement. Either way, the tire rotation could have been done with no skin off their nose. On the positive side, you did get new pads which is considered a wear part and not normally replaced for free.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    so to get the discussions moving again, what does everyone thing of my latest project? I think it compliments the chrome around the taillamps.


  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    Is it tape or do you have a source for it? Specifically I'm speaking of the center license plate chrome cover strip.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Thanks, Frank. It's just chrome tape, but is supposed to be weather and heat resistant.
  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    Did you remove the piece to apply tape or did you apply it carefully on the vehicle... if you did take off said part how did you do it?

    Thanks - Frank

    Not much going on the ML forum... we need some scoop on the 2002 Models to get things going again...I hope by the end of March we will have more "real" info!
  • dennettdennett Posts: 332
    That really looks sharp. I've never heard of chrome tape, where do you get it? Costs? What widths is it available in? Also, I don't recall ever seeing the 4 Matic badging on the US model MLs, am I blind or is it a Canadian thing? It was fun hanging with you at Friday Freeway!
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I think that fluorescent red sticky will definitely get people to stop ;-)

    Don't think we'll know until late May. At least that's how it's been so far...
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Originally I wanted to take off the entire rear hatch lever piece. Unfortunately, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to do it. Rather than risk damaging or misaligning the rear hatch mechanism, I just tried to place the tape on as carefully as I could and trim off the excess (I scratched the clear coat a little with the knife. Oops!!). It was a real PITA, and my thumb is sore from squeezing out all of the air bubbles.

    This is actually my third and final attempt (I've run out of tape), and I still have a few small air bubbles here and there. In any case, I'll see how well it stays on and if not I'll just have to remove it and try again with tape that is less wide. The main problem is that the plastic trim piece is curved outwards and the tape, being metallic, does not like to bend. Dimensions are 52 cm, by 1.5 inches. If it doesn't work, I'll try 52cm X 3/4" tape the next time around, even though not all of the piece will be covered.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I could only find one variety in Canada. Your auto parts store may have different kinds. No, the "4-matic" badging is my little customisation :-) I was not an easy part to get, and I had to special order it for months (from Austria, where the E-class 4-matic is built) before it came.

    The Friday Freeways chat was fun, as always! Will you be at the Town Hall chat brake chat on Tuesday, Feb 20th (5-6pm Pacific)? It's basically Fridays Freeways style, but no trivia! Maybe the MB owners can show up and take it over ;-) ;-) Shhh...
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    That fluorescent red thing hanging from the garage ceiling is for me to know when I've gone far enough (usually the ML is parked head first). Unlike you, I don't usually touch park :-) Actually, if the brushguard pushes the shelf in front, I know it's too far! The ParkZone device would probably get smooshed if I used it on this side of the garage.

    I aligned the tag with the right edge of the left wiper blade so I can tell if there is enough room for me to get out of the cabin without problems. Since there is a support pillar in the middle of the garage, I then also know when there is enough room to open the front passenger door without having to fold in the mirrors :-) The ML's door rubstrips are used at least twice daily! An MDX could fit, but not easily (shelves on the left side); the lack of rubstrips or power folding mirrors would make it tricky to get in and out. It's rather amusing since a Ford Excursion could fit into the other (right) lot of my garage without any problems! There is far more than enough height, width and length.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    WRT the reverse warning system, I would recommend the Poron USA 3 sensor system ( with the beeping (inside the car) & visual indicator. If it's too expensive, the 2 sensor system with the voice distance indicator is also another less expensive option. FYI, the 3 sensor system can also accomodate a splitter/sensor, bringing it up to 4 sensors altogether.

    If a several people (in this topic or in Townhall) would like to do a group purchase, I'm sure Poron could knock down the price. has excellent DIY instructions + pictures of the 2 sensor system on an ML. I referred to these directions extensively.

    Picture of the Poron system installed on the ML:

    This CBC Marketplace report was actually the main motivator for me to get the reverse warning system. Have a look at the video clip of the TV, if you have the time. It's quite interesting.
  • slee7slee7 Posts: 7
    To all ML owners, should I buy a ML. I've also looked at the X5, MDX and RX300. I guess I'm worried about the quality issue as well as maintenance costs. Didn't really consider the ML, but with the sport package, it's worth another look. One more thing, should I pay sticker or is there room for negotiating?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    It's more or less done, but collecting "dust" in a folder on my hard drive. I'll dig it up, revise some things, and post it when I have the time (soon hopefully!) :-)
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    One of our Australian ML owners hit a kangaroo at 110 km/hr! Fortunately, his brushguard (it was the smaller dealer installed accessory kind) saved his ML from extensive damage. Apparently he didn't even stop since there wasn't time.

    WRT the Fresnel mirror, I placed mine in the same spot that David has his. Here's a picture:
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Enough pictures of my cleaning products for now :-) I use a sheepskin wash mitt, and also a long handled soft wash brush. I don't use an exotic car wash soap...just RainX's car wash solution.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Congrats on your new truck! Hope to see you posting more in the near future! You may also want to introduce yourself in the "Meet the Members" topic in the M-class owner's club area. There is also a Photo Gallery topic where you can post a picture of your new ride.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You may want to check your MB warranty booklet for specifics of the light truck warranty/servicing. All of the details that you are looking for should be in there.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • Dan: I'm just back from Mexico and getting caught up on the old posts. Congratulations on the new (to you) truck! You will enjoy it and it is a much better vehicle than the 98 you had looked at earlier. Dave
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