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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • mlsuvmlsuv Posts: 3
    kiiwii: yes, the steering shakes only during breaking. I just talked to the service rep recently and he also agreed. Do you know if the rotor repair is under warranty? I have a friend who owns the X5 and their warranty does cover it.
  • fembiefembie Posts: 4
    My 99 ML-320 with 32,000 miles sounds like a loaded beer truck going up a steep hill. Sometimes it seems as if I can feel each piston moving. Of course the dealer cannot find any problems. Comments please.
  • vdmboyvdmboy Posts: 2
    I love my 2000 ML 55 - nice and fast, very reliable, but the CD player is intermittent, It seems whatever CDs I put in slots 1-4 skip, and the sound cuts in and out - not the skipping like a stuck or dirty CD, but on and off sound. Sometimes the counter doesn't advance, and other times it works fine. I've changed CDs, cleaned CDs, and cleaned the laser

    The dealer replaced the CD unit and now its worse. Anyone having similar problems?
    Thanks in advance for any help
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    are you using premium grade fuel as described in the user's guide? many people don't believe the fuel grade will make any difference. they are WRONG! i experienced with low grade fuel and it makes the engine noisy.
  • I was really shocked to read some of the stories on this car. We have a 2002 ML 320 that is a year old and now has about 10,000 miles on it. Actually, my wife drives it, but I have to admit that I thought about buying one also. Excluding an auto accident, we've had zero problems with it. The auto accident involved being hit broad side (in the driver's side) by a Suburban. My wife and 3 year old son didn't suffer one scratch. Not a scratch. Everything worked - the side air curtain, the door beams, the seat belts. And this is the reason I bought this car. Safety. And it did its job and did it well!!!! I would pay as much as I could to have made this fateful decision a year ago.
  • slictusslictus Posts: 1
    Our 2001 ML430 also shakes a bit during highway braking...Is it a warranty repair??
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    sorry about the late reply. i read some posts on a different site. some people mentioned about the same rotor probs with their mls. according to their descriptions, the problem is covered under the warranty.

    i think the x5 warranty you were talking about is the "wear and tear" warranty. BMW covers pretty much everything, including break pads in the first 3 or 4 yrs.
  • jfk430jfk430 Posts: 2
    Pardon the double post. If you drive an ML, you need to know about this:


    My wife and family barely escaped serious injury several days ago when the power steering failed while on the freeway. Fortunately, she was on a straight freeway section, but the failure occurred during traffic and she changed several lanes involuntarily and ended up in the median. Vehicle is a 2001 ML-430 with 32.5K miles.

    After giving up on TeleAid (do they have more then one employee?), I tried to muscle the car home and was amazed at the difficulty in steering.

    When the steering fails - and it fails very fast - the car cannot be controlled by a 5'2", 90lb female!!! I can bench-press well into the 200's (even at my age) and I could not control the vehicle.

    I reported this to 800-Call-Merc the following morning as well as to my local dealer. While both were polite and apologetic, neither really seemed to be concerned about safety issue. I was astonished. My entire family could have been killed.

    Someone will be killed or seriously injured under this failure scenario. Don't let it be you or your family. I'm reporting it here for your safety.

    My wife said that she heard a noise like a high-performance motorcycle and was looking for it in the rear-view when the steering just "disappeared". Apparently, this was the power steering pump failing. You've got about three seconds after you hear that sound to get your life in order.

    I'm not comfortable trusting my family in an ML any more. The reliability of this vehicle has been abysmal. However, I draw the line with my family's safety. This is a severe safety flaw, and Mercedes does not appear to care. Someone else will own this car by the weekend.

    Be safe & good luck!

    Joel King
    San Antonio, Texas.
    Models: M CLASS
    Years: 1998-2003
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V121000
    Recall Date: MAR 26, 2003
    Potential Number Of Units Affected: 211000






    CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.


  • delureydelurey Posts: 1
    2003 ML320 has an intermittent hesitation on acceleration low speed (5-10 mph) and rapid acceleration (hiway on ramp). Have tried switching brands of premium gas - no difference. Hard to tell if engine problem or transmission shifting problem, Anyone else experiencing same?
  • rickyrxrickyrx Posts: 1
    I have noticed rust spots on my headliner above the drivers seat and continuing on a line down 1 side of the car. The only reason I noticed it, is because I have beige interior and headliner. Has anyone else seen anything like this and what did the dealer do?
  • suvlisa1suvlisa1 Posts: 1
    I have experienced many of the problems discussed here, my latest being that I have a bad catalytic converter (>$750 to fix). Has anyone had similar issues? My engine started sounding like a diesel engine (or a motor cycle). Any suggestions - I'm already considering trading it in as fast as I can. And, NO, I did not buy an extended warranty (I have about 56K miles and I hit the 4yr mark next month). Thanks.
  • mcqueen4mcqueen4 Posts: 6
    Both my next door neighbor and I have 2001 ML320's. She has had mulitple problems with hers and I have had no major problems (knock on wood). Her brake light came on this weekend and the MB dealer told her that it is common for the brake pads needing replacing due to "wear and tear". She has just under 20,000 miles on it. Is this true? She is so upset with her ML that she will never buy another MB ever again. Lithia just purchased MB of Omaha late last year and have changed most of service people. Not the same class and treatment as we used to get. It will be 2 weeks before they can even look at her truck. I am very nervous about my vehicle and resale value.
  • Brake pad life is highly dependent upon the type of driving (city vs highway) and driving style (fast starts - quick stops). It is true that Mercedes uses softer brake pads that result in less life but these softer pads offer the advantage of better braking with less fade and longer brake rotor life. My preference would be for "safer" brakes that will get you stopped faster in an emergency before a crash that brakes that would not get you stopped in time but last longer.

    I own a 2000 ML320 with 36,000 miles and have yet to replace the brake pads. I know of others who have gotten 50,000 miles before replacing brakes and I also know of some who have replaced their brake pads at 15,000 miles. It all depends on your driving style and whether the miles are mostly city or highway.

    The other thing you must consider is that you are stopping a 4,600 lb. vehicle versus most cars that weigh only 3,200 lb. Breaking more weight results in faster break pad wear.
  • mcqueen4mcqueen4 Posts: 6
    Thank you for your help. Would that be what the black dust on my front rims is from? MB of Omaha wants $360 to replace brake pads and Brake Masters only charges $160 parts and labor. Does it matter who changes them?
  • Yes, that is what the black dust is on your front rims. Actually, the same dust appears on the rear rims but since most braking is done by the front wheels on any car, the dust builds faster on the front than the rear. Most european cars use similar brake pads and that is why you see this black dust on Mercedes, BMW, Volvo and the like.

    Whether you drive a M-Class, C-Class, E-Class or S-Class, you usually can figure about $200 per axle to replace the brake pads. Usually, rotors do not have to be replaced on the first brake pad change. Was the Mercedes dealer going to replace both front and rear pads? Was "Brake Masters" going to use OEM Mercedes pads or something cheaper? I would not use anything other than OEM parts since cheaper pads won't stop the vehicle as well, may accelerate rotor wear and may squeal when stopping.

    By the way, don't complain about Mercedes brake pad replacement cost. If you owned a BMW, you need to change both the pads and rotors which usually runs around $800.
  • mcqueen4mcqueen4 Posts: 6
    Thanks once again. Brake Masters could only replace the front brake pads (Using MB part). They were told the back brake pads could only be done at a MB dealership. MB would not sell them to anyone besides a MB dearler for the next 17 months. Brake Masters told my neighbor that the roters were fine. She has 21,000 on her ML and I have 17,000 on mine. The brake light came on last weekend and Brake Masters told her that all 4 are 80% gone. She had planned on driving 500 miles this coming weekend. He told her not to take the ML, could be dangerous. The MB dealer said that the brake light come on way ahead of any danger and told her that the ML would be just fine. The first available time to bring in her ML would be May 7. Would you be concerned, I know I would. I really appreciate your opinion and help. Thank you in advance.
  • Once the brake light comes on you usually can go 2,000 to 3,000 miles before you wear the pad completely down and start damaging the rotors. They have designed the system to allow you plenty of time to schedule the vehicle for servicing. Listen to Mercedes Service on this one.

    One reason that all four(4) pads need replacing is that all Mercedes vehicles have a very advanced braking system that "reads" the braking force on each wheel and adjusts braking pressure to provide equal braking by each wheel. This provides superior braking than a vehicle without this system. The braking systems employed by Mercedes are much more technologically advanced than most other vehicles and that is another reason I would not want to use anything other than Mercedes OEM pads.

    "You can drive a car or drive a Benz ... a car for a few years ... a Benz for a lifetime." Once you have driven a Benz, it has a certain feel that makes it hard to drive anything else again.
  • hermantamhermantam Posts: 14
    Hi, I live in the Pacific Springs subdivision in West Omaha. I bought my ML320 back in August 2000. Changed my front and rear brake pads and rotors at 30K mile (7/29/02) - MB of Omaha charged me $837 (too expensive).

    I agree with you that after the change of ownership MB of Omaha's service has been going downhill...Couple weeks ago when I brought my ML for another repair (noise from center air vent) they promised me a loaner but did not give one to me...also the two-week leadtime in scheduling service is just unbelievable...

    Did you check with MB of Omaha regarding the result of the class action lawsuit?

    If you would, keep in touch regarding the ML problems and send me an e-mail at [email protected] Thanks!
  • mloser1mloser1 Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my 2002 ML. After second trip to the dealer, they replaced the fuel injection control module. Even after replacement, the vehicle did not run properly until the wiped the program and reloaded it. That was at about 14000 mi. Now have 22K and problem seems to be reappearing.

    While I'm on the subject, the car is a $40k piece of junk. Powersteering doesn't work at low speed, unrelated to recent recall on hose. MB acknowledges the problem exists but labels it a "characteristic" of the vehicle. I believe serious design flaw in vehicle. Good thing lemon law worked. Hope to hear from MBUSA soon about repurchase of car. After the way I was treated by MBUSA (dealer was OK), I would never purchase another MB, no matter how safe, reliable, cool... I have had problems with mold in the AC unit, AC fan bearing failed, glove box door replaced, windshield seal failed, driver seat creaks around base(no solution), windshield fluid reservoir cracked, oil pan seal failed, used Teleaid once to find a toys r us for XMAS shopping while out of town - wound up in an industrial park. All total 18 days in shop, not including the A service.
  • djdragandjdragan Posts: 3
    i am taking it in to the dealer for the 1st time on monday, anyone have the same problems?


    My ML350 when stopped at a red light keeps wanting to go forward from time to time even though I press on the brakes. It jolts forward, stops, then jolts forward again. It does this for about 10 seconds and stops. I feel that when this happens I have to press the brakes very hard in order to not hit the car in front of me while at a red light. It doesn't do this everytime, but regardless it's a huge concern that a brand new truck is doing this. I counted the # of times this happened was about 4 so far.
    Possible causes: Owners of Mercedes-Benz vehicles mentioned these to me:
    Someone told me this could be due to the throttle actuator which wouldn't trigger any check engine lights.
     It could be that the engine idle is not smooth and steady so far as rpms are concerned. No check engine lights came on at all when this happens.
    The engine computer is running the air/fuel mixture too lean partly due to the air in the region. The engine would then almost stall, causing the computer to dump a higher than usual amount of fuel in to prevent it from dying. This resulted in the "jolt" at the traffic light.

    Problem #2
    Dates of occurences:

    My ML350 was stopped at a red light. The light turned green so I took my foot off of the brakes and pressed the accelerator pedal. While still pressing on the accelerator pedal the car didn't move forward but instead it started to shake just a little bit and stalled for about 4 seconds. I seriously thought the engine was going to shut down and cars behind me were beeping their horns since I wasn't moving forward at all. After about 4 seconds of the car being stalled this stopped and I kept on driving home. No check engine lights came on at all when this happened. Also, another huge concern of mine since this is a brand new truck.

    Possible causes:
    The engine computer is running the air/fuel mixture too lean partly due to the air in the region. The engine would then almost stall, causing the computer to dump a higher than usual amount of fuel in to prevent it from dying. This resulted in the "jolt" at the traffic light.
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    Twice in the last two months the radio volume
    shot to near maximum volume. Both times on the
    AM band. I've heard that there is a cicuit that
    detects increased or decreased cabin noise, and
    thus makes automatic compensating volume adjustments. In both instances there was no change in cabin noise.

    Secondly, also twice in two months, I started the car and the radio wants my PIN code, like it lost
    power or something.

    I'll be bringing it in under warrantee, but just wanted to know if others have seen either of these problems.

    What a great car for the money - in spite of a short list of design shortcomings and minor problems, this has been one nice utility vehicle!
  • karld1karld1 Posts: 22
    Few questions on my Dad's 2001 ML430.
    My Dad owns one of them and with over 30K he already had a few warranty repairs (nothing major) he really enjoys the car but we have a few questions.
    1. What do you think about keeping the engine oil to 10-13K miles between oil changes, what oil is MB dealer using? is it really Mobil1?
    I have had used Mobil1 and Amsoil oils and I know that with about 5K miles those overall great oils have to be changed.
    What do you do?

    2. Tranny fluid
    Tranny is sealed so fluid can't never be changed!?!?!
    Sounds liks a non-sense, do you ML owners really belive it?
    Do you really thing that your car will be OK at 150K miles after never changing the fluid in your tranny?
    If not, did any of you changed your tranny fluid yet. If you did, what brand (Mobil 1 ATF?) and how did you do it?
    (Dealer, independent shop)

    3. Do you recommend buying extended warranty for another 5 years up to 100K miles?

    Personaly knowing ML series from Edmunds forum and my Dad's case I would not buy but lease it for 3 years.

    Help greatly apreciated.
  • doseidosei Posts: 11
    I was wondering if anyone is experiencing this problem. I have a 2002 ML500, and I get an occasional shrieking noise, seemingly from behind the steering wheel. I am waiting for my Autobahn dealer service shop to call me back to report the problem.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    I have a 2000 ML430 that I just took in for service. The dealer told me I need new front brakes & rotors. I only have 23,000 miles on it. They quoted me $572 to replace front brakes & rotors. So far the brake lights have not gone off and the breaks work fine without a squeek.

    Since they are telling me that I need both the brakes and rotors should I just keep driving until the brake light goes on? Whats the worst that can happen? I'll need new rotors :).

    I had also had to replace my rear brakes at 11,000 miles. Never heard of having to replace the rear brakes before the fronts.

  • roberto11roberto11 Posts: 4
    We have recently experienced the same shrieking noise as noted in message #123 by dosei with our 1999 ML320. It reminds me of the old "emergency broadcast" sirens that used to be played occasionally on the radio.

    The noise is very intermittent and does not stop when the vehicle is turned off. It started about two weeks ago and has occured randomly about 4 times since then.

    If anyone has any information regarding this problem please post the details.

  • jckalachejckalache Posts: 6
    Unfortunately, the noise you're hearing is very typical of M class SUVs. I own a 1999 ml320 and I've taken it to the dealer at least 20 times for squeaks and rattles. The dissapointing thing is that I recentley drove a 2003 ML350 and it has similar rattles. I've personally asked to see a regional manager to go over these issues and was promised that all can be fixed. 3 years later sad to say I've totally given up hope.
  • jckalachejckalache Posts: 6
    Sorry to say I've had the problem too and yes 1998-2001 ml320 are full of problems.
  • jckalachejckalache Posts: 6
    Hi all,

    I just finished reading all 125 messages and I have to admit I am kinda of relieved. I thought that my 1999 ml320 was one of few plagued with problems but now it looks like 90% of the drivers are experiencing the same. Now, the reason I paid $45k for a Mercedes is to bypass all that headache and in retrospect I should've like some of you recommended, paid half for a Kia or Civic but I was fooled into the stylish look of MLs (which is still one the best looking SUVs). Personally, I believe Mercedes is misleading people using false advertising, claiming in one commercial that finally this is an SUV that drives like a Mercedes. My experience was so bad that 6 months after purchasing my car I asked to meet with a regional manager with the hope to get rid of this car and get my money back but instead I was promised that all these problems would be fixed. None of them has been fixed, in fact on several occasions I've taken the car back 3 or 4 times to fix the same problem and now I've given up.
    I plan to park my car in front of MB and contact my local newspaper and tv station to let the future buyers know what a "crappy" deal they're getting and I urge you to do the same. In fact if many of you are interested we should set a date and do it simultaneously. The resale value of these cars speaks for itself. Most of us are stuck with them unless we're willing to swallow our pride and admit a $25k loss.
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