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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • I have a MY02 ML320 with 6K on it. I really haven't had any problems with the truck. However, I've had to take it in several times for very small things - water leak into the turn signal lens, water leak into both rear lamps, torn seat fabric. The biggest problem I had was just a few weeks ago - I went to adjust the rear passenger side seat and its darn support piston mechanism fell apart. Part was ordered and was fixed several days later. It really depends on the dealer. In my case, I have nothing to complain 'cause I always get a MB for loaner and they treat me nice.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Can't set the clock back one hour. Follow the owner's guide step by step. Just noticed that I can't check the engine oil level on the instrument too. Yes, did the following...
    1. open the driver side dooor
    2. press the left switch
    3. turn the key to I or II for oil level.

    Also, to set the clock...
    Pull the right knob and turn left for the hour and right for the minute.

    Nope, both didn't work. Is this a common problem on MLs? Mine is still under warrenty, but kindda afraid to let the shop to do such a delicate fix. I may end up with lots of rattles after putting in a new instrument panal.
  • wep2wep2 Posts: 6
    My 02 320 (7000 mi) has developed an annoying rattle in the rear seats. I have removed the lampshade cover & the floor plates that cover the storage, but it is neither. Any suggestions?
    Also, lots of condensation inside driver side headlamp, anybody w/same problem? Other than that I love it, except for the auto volume control on the stereo.
  • wradawrada Posts: 1
    The ABS and ETS lights on the dashboard came on during a long drive. I read the owner's manual and it says the ETS automatically disconnects (and the light comes on) when there is an ABS fault (which means the cruise control, which is on the same circuit, also goes out.) A couple of strange things have happened since: once the ML wouldn't shift out of first (I restarted the car and it worked fine) and a couple of times now the interior lights don't go out after the door has been closed for a few seconds. It seems like a voltage or relay problem rather than an ABS problem. I put in a new battery, but no change. Before I take it into the dealer (hate to do it, because it's out of warranty) does anyone have an idea what might be going on?
  • You have to use more force than you think you have to to change the clock. It works, but really crank on it.
  • I purchased a 2000 ML320 with 27000 miles on it last Nov. 2001. Since I've had this vehicle:
    1.The brakes have had to be replaced
    2. The power steering line has ruptured WHILE DRIVING
    3. The hatch back door wouldn't lock, resulting in it flying open while driving
    4. After the hatch was fixed, none of the doors would lock
    5. The BAS, ETS lights continually going on
    6. The CD player has had to be replaced
    7. A plastic panel on the drivers seat fell off and was replaced
    8.After backing out of a parking space, when you turn the steering wheel back into driving position, there is a very loud noise ( the car noise has drawn attention of pedestrians in parking lots) The MB dealership still can't figure this one out.
    9. Yesterday the brake warning light just came on

    With the newest warning light coming on, I had decided to try taking it to a MB dealer in a larger city to be fixed. I started having my doubts about the mechanics at our local dealer. But today I stumble onto this message forum and realize that lots of other owners are having the same problems!
    This car is fun to drive, comfortable on long trips, and handles great in the snow. I hate to get rid of it, but when my warranty expires I can't afford to repair this car.
  • My 2002 ML320 has 1700 miles. I have paint chips on both fenders, driver's side door and all over the hood, especially close to the windshield. What I'm about to tell you all is like a nightmare.

    When I first noticed these chips they were like water spots. These water spots slowly bubble up and crack open. I can see all the way to the metal now. Dealership claimed that only way to take care of this is to paint the hood (hood was the first place where paint started bubbling)and this will be covered under warranty. So I agreed for a hood paint job since this was my only choice. Car came back looking really good. 2-3 days later, believe or not the spots came back and eventually paint starting chipping again. This time on the fenders as well.

    Has anyone experienced this sort of a paint problem?

    Dealer says they have not seen anything like this before? I will post the rest of this nightmare under "Dealer & Service". You won't believe what I'm going through right now. Thanks to the Lemon Law, I'm pretty close to qualifying for it. I love the car, I HATE this dealership.

    Bora
  • Oh, that should of been another mention on my previous post. My 2000 ML320 gets paint dings easier than my Ford Escort did. Now if I try to trade it in it will be a reduced trade-in because of all the paint problems.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Thanks. I'll give it a try tomorrow morning.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    That's a common problem on the ML. As far as I understand, ML is the only MB that uses water based paint. The reason is the strict environment protection laws in the states. All other MBs made outside of the states have oil based paint. Water based paint won't last as long as oil based paint.
  • Wep2, I had a similar rattle and it turned out to be the rear seatbelt buckles. I had adjusted it low for one of my kids and never readjusted it. Turns out the buckle was making contact with the "C" pillar interior and causing the rattle.

    On the condensation issue, I have had it on both turn signal glass (integrated into outside mirrors) and both rear tail lamps. Both sets were replaced under warranty. Take her in!!!
  • While I haven't had this problem on my ML, a friend had it on his e-class a couple of years ago. Seems something had gotten on the car between priming and painting, as a result dull spots would appear, then the paint would flake off exposing the primer. MB ended up paying him the cost for a full strip and repaint on the car (big dollars) and he immediately sold the car. I'd get MBNA involved at this point as there must be something on the panels. The only way to solve the problem is to strip down to bare metal, re-prime and paint.
  • I HEAR LOTS OF COMPLAINS ABOUT ML'S IN GENERAL. I JUST GOT ONE TODAY 11/14/02, AN ML '03 AT 37K ALMOST FULLY LOADED. MAY I ASK YOU GUYS IF I SHOULD PURCHASE AM EXTENDED WARRANTY? AND ALSO IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT?
    BUNCH OF THANKS!
  • Check out www.carsdirect.com. They are selling the 03' 320's at around 2500 below invoice. Catch is... You have to live in California.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    zalmoxes,

    How long do you plan to keep the car? I have a 99 model 320 with 52K miles. It is out of warranty now. Had three problems so far all covered by warrnanty. Drivers side power window switch failed.. replaced. Odometer bulb fused.. replaced. Hard downshifting when slowing down. Few items replaced. Besides that I never really got the chance to use the warranty. If you can get a good deal on the warranty buy it. You don't have to get it from the same dealer. Shop around. I think you have upto a year to buy it. It also adds to the re-sale.
  • MY FRIEND MERCARA, ALLOW ME TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGE. I'VE GOT $3500.00 DISCOUNT ON 2003 MB320.ALMOST FULLY LOADED. I THINK I 'VE GOT A GOOD DEAL. I'M STILL PUZZLED WITH THE WARRANTY THING. IPLAN TO KEEP THE CAR FOR 5 YRS. .YOU THINK I SHOULD BUY IT OR TO BUY THAT LATER?
    THANKS!
  • My question is has anyone installed or have installed an electric brake controler on their ML. I do a lot of towing and the new trailer has electric brakes. The dealer refuses to install the controler, they state the electrical system is to fragile and Mercedes will not back this install.

    If anyone has any information I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks a bunch
    Neil
    [email protected]
  • wep2wep2 Posts: 6
    darkmann:
    Thanks 4 response. Took it in, it was rear hatch locking latch (replaced, lubed), headlite assy. replaced as well, had the auto volume control disabled (all warranty). Contemporary Motor Cars in Little Silver, NJ, great place!!!!
  • Hi guys!
    I just got a brand new ML 320. IT IS AN IMPRESSIVE CAR. The only thing I am concerned at this point is the power of 3.2 engine. I traded in a 01 nissan pathfinder with 240 hp. Even if the ML is 500 lb heavier I still think that the car needs little bit more. Do you think that MERCEDES-BENZ factory has a kit to improve the HP or what can I do to enhance the power from 215 to 230,240 hp. Cordially.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    The basic warranty covers you 4 years. I believe the lease expensive extended warranty by MB is 6 yrs. If you are planning on keep the car for 5 yrs, the 6 yr term is probably the way to go. Plus, the truck may have a higher resell value if you still have warranty coverage.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    I generally don't recommand any serious modification to the engine component. 215 HP is probably optimum power for this engine. Any modification may lower the gas mileage or add extra stress to the engine. MB warranty won't cover the damage caused by aftermarket parts.
  • Appreciate your response my friend. Indeed these things taken from the aftermarket would avoid the warranty. Do you feel like me that 215 HP for this very heavy car is not enough even if it is a peppy engine?
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I agree. I prefer more power. I purchased a 99 ML 430 instead of the 320 for that reason. After 4 years I just replaced it with a ML500 which feels even more "adequate". I would suggest that upgrading to a ML500 would make more sense rather than trying to modify a 320. You might give it a while though since many owners of 320's feel they have enough power. Did you drive the two before getiing the 320?
  • janoojanoo Posts: 15
    Hey Guys,
    I am about to pick up my new ML320 this Saturday from the dealer. Has anyone bought a new one recently? Any suggestions as to what I can expect?
    Also has anyone got an extended Warranty from HERITAGE? IS is the only other warranty besides STARMARK that the Mercedes dealer honors. Any experiences?
    thanks all
  • Allow me to thank you for your response. Well, I did not drive a 430 or 500 for a very simple fact that I did not have money, or , better put it my wife would of had a heart attack. Sure that would be my next car. I still think that 320 is underpwerd. What do you think? thanks again!
  • amer8amer8 Posts: 1
    Hi, Everyone,
    This is my first message here.
    I purchased a new 03'ML320 in October. The salesman was very nice. But the second day my son found the third braking light was not on, and the lift gate didn't lock. The dealer fixed it for me right way and explained to me both problems were due to "loose connection". My question is "are the airbags also loose connected ? How do I know they are well connected. Did any body have the same problem ?
    Tks
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    As a owner of a 99 ML430 for 4 years I often vented my displeasure with the vehicle during the first year of ownership as well as ongoing squeaks and rattles. I probably would have tried the new Lexus GX 430 which I saw in Monterey this summer but my wife who is the primary driver wanted to upgrade to the 500 ML before the GX was available. After about 5 weeks and 1000 miles the new ML seems to be put together much better than the 99. I hope this continues. I just noticed that Mercedes has fallen to below average in defects for 98 according to the latest J.D. Powers survey. I can't help to think that the ML contributed greatly to the fall.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    The only way to check the airbags by yourself is the "SRS" light. If the bags are malfunction, the orange SRS light will be turned on. I'd guess the light will be on if any bag wire is not connected properly.
  • Pathdoc, I totally agree that the ML has cost MB in the JD Power survey. Your 02 ML500 is a much much better truck that the 98. I have a 02 320 and it's been rock solid for the past 8900 miles. I have had to take it in for minor issues but overall, the truck has performed as I expected. The reliability of the newer ones is much better. Happy trucking.
  • After spending an hour reading all these wonderful stories I decided to add mine.
    My 98 ML has been a dependable SUV until 1 month ago. It would not start just cranked but no pop. After about 20 minutes it finally started. Took it to the dealer they said could not find anything wrong. Week later same thing, but this time interior lights an alarm indicator was flashing. Dealer replaced some sensor ($200). Two days later same thing, New key. A day later same thing, new sensor(updated one). Two days later something different, died on the highway, than same scenario. Towed to dealer, "we can't find anything" but they suggest replacing the fuel pump and some other sensor($1000), but they are not sure this will fix this gremlin. The SUV has 68k miles on it and I'm out of warranty. Any body have some answers that can help me. Don't suggest trading it in. They only want to give me 15 thousand for it. One other note every time I had the car serviced there was a $2.50 charge for window washer fluid. So I got smart and topped it off before I brought it in, and guess what? a $2.50 charge for the fluid again. I brought this to there attention. boy did they have a red face! THANKS FOR LETTING ME VENT.
  • cuznvin1cuznvin1 Long IslandPosts: 59
    Anyone have any problems with static on certain radio stations? I have continual static on a radio station that I have always listened to in the past without any problems. The station is not out of range either......
  • Buy one of these SUV's. I bought a 99 brand new and ended up having to give it back to the dealer after less than a year because of numerous problems. I thought it was an aberration so I got a 2000. To date, there have been 13 malfunctions on the vehicle, ranging from minor annoyances (cruise control quit, heated seat quit, etc.) to more major things (key won't go into the ignition, and today, power steering just quit). I can't keep the vehicle running long enough to sell it.

    My advice is, to save yourself lots of $$$ and headaches, go buy yourself a Kia Sportage and tape a Mercedes star to the front of it. You will then have the Mercedes ML "look" on a vehicle that will run a good portion of the time, and for maybe a third of the cost.

    Best of luck.
  • Agree with you 100%. Also have a 1999 ML320. Unfortunately, the MAJOR things did not start going wrong until close to being out of warranty. Am waiting for it to go off lease and have it stored until then (because of mileage). Things gone wrong in 4 1/2 years:

    Brake lights kept malfunctioning (saw others on this board with same problem). Took three visits to fix.

    Like others on this board, had funny noise in power steering. Took to dealer twice and they couldn't find anything, made me feel really stupid.

    Seat belt buckle replaced every time I had it serviced at dealership (I was never advised of this until afterward each time; it was involved in a recall, but how many times does it need to be replaced?).

    Very loud squeaky rear end when going over bumps. Shocks replaced 3 times before 50,000 miles.

    Drivers window power switch quit; replaced.

    Heater varies wildly as to how much heat comes out. Hard to adjust for even temp.

    Gas line disconnected TWICE while driving!!! First time almost was plowed into from behind by semi-truck going 70 mph on major interstate during rush hour - really thought my daughter and I were a goner. Obviously wasn't fixed properly and it happened again. When trying to get help from Roadside Assistance that first time, was told by the dealership that they referred me to that, "Do you have AAA? I would call them and have them tow you back to our place." !!!!!!!!!

    Cup holder came out.

    Key does not want to turn more times than not.

    Integral phone I had installed when I got the ML320 was analog - now obsolete.

    Paint peeled off front bumper. Was told by 3 independent shops that it most likely was a defective paint job; my dealer told me it was because of stone chips. Very badly stone-chipped on front hood; I agree it seems prone to this.

    One week before putting into storage, the air conditioner quit.

    Got absolutely no consideration when I complained to Mercedes. One of the regional managers contacted me and insinuated that I was not properly doing the maintenance since I had regular servicing done locally (MB dealer was too far away (and too expensive!)for routine servicing). I have written a 5 page complaint letter to Mercedes detailing the problems I have had with this vehicle. My experiences with this company have turned me off forever as to ever owning another Mercedes anything!

    PS (Made a major mistake in leasing this vehicle. At end of 54 months, the buyout is $28,000+, and when I looked at Kelly Blue Book I could only expect to sell it privately for around $17,000. Bad reports on this vehicle have really hurt the values.)
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I had a 99 ML430 that initially had quite a few problems but all that could be fixed were except for the squeaks. I would not have gotten another but my wife (her vehicle) insisted on a new ML500. So far (2.5 months) the new one has been perfect except for an intermittently malfunctioning gas gauge (one of the 99 ML's recurring problems). I drive it infrequently but feel it is much better built than the earlier models. I also have a 99 S500 that has been very reliable(last year of model production).
    I think you are lucky to have leased the ML since you can just turn it in. If you had purchased you'd be stuck with a greater depreciation if you wanted out.
  • tyke1tyke1 Posts: 1
    I am stunned to read these posts. For the last 2 days my wife and I have been test driving new SUV's to replace our 99 ML320. We have had significant problems with our ML - each and everyone listed within these posts - and when we went to test drive the new ML350 the dealer had no independent validation of an improvement in quality. Best he could offer was comments from other sales people (not quite JD Power). Additionally, they seemed to be giving these away. We told him we weren't going to buy for another couple of months but before we left they had made 2 offers with the final being $6,000 off the sticker. THIS WAS LESS THAN WE PAID IN 1999 FOR A LESS EQUIPPED VERSION! Funny thing was, we never asked about price. The sales man just said that his manager made him tell us what they would sell it for. Not what I would expect from MB.

    The question is, has anyone seen an independent confirmation on the improvement in quality for the 2002's or 2003's?
  • I, too, am looking at purchasing a used 2001 320, new 2002 320, a new 2003 320 or a 350. But, I did have some quality problems as mentioned by others on my 98 320. I am also interested in whether quality has improved with the newer model years. Or, is it just salesman hype. Any thoughts? Or should I be looking at the competition? Reason for looking is my 98 got rear-ended and sandwiched. I am told I should get rid of the 98 now to establish market value loss due to damage declaration on title, and have the other driver's insurance pay for it. Anyone have experience in this area?
    As to pricing - my local dealer is of course trying to get me to purchase either a 2002 320 or a 2003 320 to get them off his lot and have just 2003 350's. He is offering a whopping 2 to 2,500 off sticker for each. Shouldn't there be a bigger discount on a 2002 being purchased in January 2003? Is $2k a decent discount off a 2003 320, or should I do more shopping. I am in Des Moines and would need to travel to Mpls, Kansas City, Chicago to find additional dealers.
    Thanks for any replies.
    mvhanson
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Does anyone have any updates on the Oil Sludging Class Action suit filed against MB? I am specifically trying to ascertain whether this suit will also cover what I deem excessive oil consumption. I have a 99 ML320 and it is an oil guzzler! MBUSA contends that 1 quart of synthetic oil for every 1,000 mile is "within permissible specifications" I wish they'd shared those specs with us before they duped us of our money.

    For all those looking to purchase the ML320 - take your cues from us poor suckers and steer clear!!!
  • mlsuvmlsuv Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 ML430 with 24000 miles. The break paddle pulses in/out and the steering also shakes violently. It gets worst when go faster. Has anyone experience anything similar? Is there any hidden recal for such? And will standard waranty cover?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Does the steering shakes only when you brake? If it shakes all the time, you may need to balance your wheels.
  • 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:

     SERIOUS SAFETY WARNING FOR ALL ML OWNERS

    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.
  • Make: MERCEDES BENZ
    Models: M CLASS
    Years: 1998-2003
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V121000
    Recall Date: MAR 26, 2003
    Component: STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST:HOSE, PIPING, AND CONNECTIONS
    Potential Number Of Units Affected: 211000

    Summary:

    ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE HOSE CLAMP USED TO SECURE THE POWER
    STEERING FLUID COOLING HOSE TO THE POWER STEERING FLUID COOLER MAY NOT
    PROVIDE SUFFICIENT CLAMPING FORCE FOR THIS CONNECTION.

    Consequence:

    THE LOSS OF POWER STEERING FLUID MAY RESULT IN DIMINISHED POWER STEERING
    OVER TIME AND ULTIMATELY CAN DAMAGE THE POWER STEERING PUMP.

    Remedy:

    DEALERS WILL INSTALL A NEW HOSE CLAMP ON THE POWER STEERING HOSE TO THE
    POWER STEERING COOLER. DURING CLAMP REPLACEMENT, THE POWER STEERING
    COOLING HOSE WILL BE INSPECTED AND REPLACED AS NECESSARY. MERCEDES-BENZ
    HAS NOT YET PROVIDED AN OWNER NOTIFICATION SCHEDULE. OWNERS WHO TAKE
    THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE
    AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD
    CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.

    Notes:

    CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY
    ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
  • 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?
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