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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • New to this forum and feeling some doubts about the M-class brake issues mentioned in past postings. Some work mates I know with M-class MB's have had to change their brakes at rather low mileage( 20,000 mi??!!). Have you experienced any problems with the brakes? Thanks for your attention
  • It's funny, I think my wife and I are almost waiting for something terrible to go wrong with our's like every little noise or rattle may be the sign of an impending reliability crisis. Actually, this is an overstatement, because we love the vehicle and it's running perfectly.

    Some food for thought on reliability. The survey that consumer reports does for reliability has usually hated all the mercedes products, especially the suvs. However, this is alargely unscientific survey that has a 10% response rate, which clearly will over-estimate the very unhappy consumers who are probably more likely to respond. Also, it is worth noting that the difference between a CR reliable vehicle and an unreliable one can be only a few % points in a relatively un-scientific survey. However it's always made me a bit nervous to own a mercedes because you don't see these poorer results in most of the luxury Japanesse vehicles.

    JD Power also has had some concerns with Mercedes as well.

    Bottom line is that it's almost impossible to get completely accurate reliability ratings from any source. As well, it probably depends on the year of the vehicle and how you drive and maintain it.

    There is an interesting site from some of the Chrysler people who discuss the full limitations of CR reliability studies, but what else is there that's a better estimate?

    Just making conversation.

  • claymore1,

    My ML has only 2000+ miles, so I might not be the best person to give you brake advice. But so far, it has been fantastic. I live in sunny and dry Orange County, California, so I have not tested the SUV's braking ability.

    I'll be taking my wife and daughter to Yosemite National Park in a couple of weeks for several days. I plan to test the SUV in snow and off-road. It's going to be fun and dirty.

  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    Chains were required. However, AWD with M+S tires didn't need to put them on.

    [img] 6/Yosemite.JPG[/img]
  • I barely have 6800 miles on my '03 ML and it is too early to say anything but:
    1) The braking is phenomenal
    2) The not so good thing is is that I see a lot of brake dust on the front wheels everytime I wash them. Never seen so much, ever, on my Camry though...
    Like Diesel pointed out, after all the bad rap, It's like you keep looking for something to go wrong with the truck...
    I must say though that my gas guage issue is unresolved and i had to get my CD changer eplaced 2 days after taking delivery of the truck - I never tested it before delivery - My fault really - I was conscientious enough to see if there was a spare in the wheel well, but ignored the CD changer...
    Other than these, I have been very happy so far - I am also happiER with my Camry - It is a MY2000 and pushing 92K miles....
  • hi! Lcoollai,
    Here's what I found:
    I drove 260 HWY miles on a full tank of gas before my next fill up. There was some idling at rest stops, for about 20 minutes in all.
    I hit half tank at 120 miles and the low gas indicator came on at 252 miles. I filled up again at 260 and it took roughly 17 gals, netting me just above 15 MPG. I was driving in the 77-83 MPH range except for occasional spurts to 90+ during passing. Made sure I stayed below the 3000 RPM peak torque band always, unless I wanted to pass. There were 4 adults and one infant plus light luggage in all.
    The gas mileage doesn't upset me very much since I DO have a heavy foot. The low gas light came on roughly with 6 gallons to empty... Not sure if this is correct though.
    The thing that really is useful is that, I don't have to psyche unless the trip meter hits 250.
    Bottom Line: Guage display is still not right but, I know what to expect, at least...
    Good Luck!
  • I had a 2002 ML320. I required pads around 30,000 miles. At 38,000 miles, while in for warranty work, they said I needed new pads all around and rotors all around. I questioned that how do I need new pads after only 8,000 miles? They stated I did and I ok'd the work. When the work was completed, they 're-examined' the front pads and rotors and stated that they could probably go awhile more. The bottom line is that it seems ML's eat pads and rotors for breakfast and at $1,000/full set, it's a meal fit for a king. Too bad it's a pretender to the throne.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    wow after how many years until the ML improved to "average", Geeee MB how competitive.
    MB should be a lot better jd powers also thinks so.

    brakes--go to sears, and for 15$ they check the specs, did this with my lexus because lexus told me i needed brakes all around and to replace all pads. sears said (and they quantitated it against lexus specs) --i had 30k miles left and put it in writing(sears saved me $420). you still need to confirm all dealer recommended Ronald Reagan said "trust but confirm" next time try sears for a second opinion. I liked my lexus but i feel the service depts can "push" you into more frequent services, same at my local MB dealer. how many dealers don't???
  • I have a 2000 ML430 and I am a fairly good mechanic. The brakes cost $300.00 per set at the Mercedes Dealer and that is the only place I found the right pads.... $150.00 front, $150.00 rear. They wear out fast because they are relatively small for such a heavy vehicle and it has the traction control which pulses the brakes to reduce wheel spin/slippage. With bad driving habits you could replace every 15K. My gage is non-linear so I just fill up when the light comes on; this is an obvious defect but MB will never admit it. I want to sell my ML430 and buy a Toyota Sequoia so anybody reading this is welcome to buy or trade with me.
  • Finally got some response out of MBUSA on problems (accelerator hesitation and a transmission that downshifts at will) on our 2002 ML-320. They are going to pay off our lease (14 months left out of 36) IF we move into another MB product.

    My wife really likes the ML (when it is working) and it is her daily driver. My question is this:

    How much does the 04 ML-500 share with her 02 ML-320 in terms of mechanicals that could have been the cause of the problems?



    McAllen, Texas
  • msonntagmsonntag Posts: 3
    Just bought a 2003 ML500 Inspiration Edition. Tried to "train" two of the garage door opener buttons to activate each of my Genie garage door openers (one button for left door, another button for right door). I have a C-class that can be trained very easily to my doors, and I've never had problems with it. The instructions for training the ML500 are exactly like those of the C, but I can't get the ML to train. Any similar experiences? How did you get the problem fixed? Any suggests about what to try? Thanks in advance.
  • I need some advice ... I need to tow my boat from Pittsburgh to New Jersey and was considering installing a hitch on my ML350. My boat has a dry weight of 3500 pounds and the towing capacity is stated at 5,000 lbs. I'm a bit worried about towing close to the 5,000 lb capacity (boat + trailer + misc load) across PA since there are some fairly steep up-hill climbs coming out of Pittsburgh. Any advice on whether or not I should attempt this. If it were a flat route I would have no problem towing this boat.
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    I misplaced our manual and wound up going to
    the MB web site which, after clicking on a few
    buttons, had instructions to program the ML
    buttons. The instructions worked fine.
  • mmhmmh Posts: 9
    I am considering purchasing an ML 350. I am currently torn between the ML and the MDX. Has the reliability of the 2004 improved over the previous years? The activity on this board has certainly slowed down.
  • oohaypuoohaypu Posts: 7
    My 2002 ML 500 had both problem described here.
    My brake system was changed around 5K because there was some squeak noise.
    Dealer said the problem was with the special circuit of brake system.
    Then at 20K now, dealer changed pad/rotor for $690 because they were worn out.
    That was a surprise to me because I didn't drive the truck that much and 90% are highway mileage.
    The gas gauge was changed around 15K and it seems to have problem again.
    The last time I only filled 16G when the needle pointed under the amber light.
    Normally, it needs at least 20 to 21 G at that position.
    I enjoyed the truck for only 1 year, after that, many problems showed up.
    I just gave the dealer a big list of problems on Monday. My truck is only in for the first Plan B service.
    Sigh, I wish I had chose Lexus LX470.
  • I had a 2002 ML320 and the dealer was *constantly* telling me I needed new pads and rotors. I'm convinced it's a freebie tactic they use to get you when you bring in your car for scheduled service or warranty work. Tell them you're going to get them double checked at an independent brake shop. I finally traded in my ML320. Too many problems.
  • adplusoneadplusone Posts: 66
    No Scheduled Maintainence With 2005 Models? I keep seeing this rumor that MBUSA will no longer include scheduled maintainence with the 2005 models...that they cost will go back to the owner.

    Can anyone confirm this?

  • will1will1 Posts: 2
    This is 1999 M-class. One day the lock button on the driver's door is stuck down. May have been caused by using the key in the door at the same time someone else used the remote. Neither remote nor central unlock nor key nor pulling on the button would unlock it. The door did open from inside, but remained locked. The fix was to just turn the key really hard to unlocked position, that caused the button to finally pop up. Might be smart to use the back-up key for this...
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    Our 2000 ML320 was in for B-Service and the service advisor called to say they recommended
    replacement of the fuel filter at 60,000 miles
    and the fuel lines which are now "new and improved". The cost quoted was $485.00. And,
    they couldn't just replace the filter because
    they don't supply the old style - the new style
    requires fuel line replacement.

    I asked the advisor to double check the price or see if this was something M-B should pay for and
    nothing changed.

    Has anyone heard of this?
  • gatortomgatortom Posts: 3
    In April 2001 M-B sent out Tech Service Information (T-SI-47,10/13) Subj: Installing Supplemental Lines for Large Capacity Fuel Filter with Pressure Regulator. The retrofit should have been done at the vehicle's next service visit after April 2001. I'm with you...they should have done it during the period when maintenance was free (i.e. before 4 yr/50,000). My 2000 ML 320 (65,500 miles) has been acting up on and off for two weeks+ and the dealer tech's haven't been able to sort out the problem. A non-M-B technician checked out the problem first and concluded it was the fuel pump. He priced the repair work at about $950. The other likely culprit is the crankshaft position sensor (about $350). We got stranded again today and towed it to the dealer again! On Monday hopefully, it still won't start so they can figure it out and fix it once and for all. I've been a good customer (two cars and all the repair work) and they offered to help with "after warranty assistance" if I covered about $450 of the cost.) We'll see how it goes.
  • she1122she1122 Posts: 33
    Hey everyone,

     Does anyone know if or when the ML will come out with a diesel motor? I am thinking of looking at the Lexus 330 and the BMW X3 and not getting another ML, even though I have been happy with it. If Mercedes is going to put it out with a Diesel, I will wait

      This gas price upward spiral is getting expensive!

    p.s. I was told yesterday by a Mercedes dealer, that Mercedes will not pay for routine service on 05 Mercedes, after the 1st service. They will continue to pay for all warranty work but not routine service. those of us with 04 and older ML's under warranty will continue to receive the free services.
  • peter2peter2 Posts: 1
    The fuel gauge on 2001 ML 320 (about 61K miles) has taken on a life of it's own and unfortunately it has no longer has a relationship with the amount of fuel in my tank. I was advised by an independent MB service center that it was a problem with the sending unit but replacement of a lot of other things (like the fuel pump, filter and hoses) was necessary in order get a fix. The bottom line...about $900. He also advised that this was a common problem. Does anyone know of any TSBs out on this and given that this seems to be a recurring problem, is MB willing to make the repairs or at least do the repair at a reasonable price.
  • gatortomgatortom Posts: 3
    Turns out that it was the fuel pump and the dealer covered half the repair costs (plus the towing charge). Only took three weeks to get it back. It worked fine after that for a month, but today the check engine light came on--Great, what next! Still love the car, but getting fed up with the repair costs (time & money).
  • halofanhalofan Posts: 37
    In the two years, I have owned my 2002 ML 320 (only 18.5K miles!), I have been in the shop at least 10 times. I've had the BAS/ESP light come on, this needed to be fixed 3 times, with the last being the ABS pump being replaced to resolve the problem. I've had 3 throttle cables, blower motor behind dash needing to be replaced, I've had seats that have bubbled, last week it was a relay switch in the A/c fans that stuck, killing the battery, I needed new front pads and rotors at 14K miles, $600...There is a rattle somewhere in the interior that I can't and the dealer can't find. Dollar for dollar, the ML has not been worth it, although I do admit, I do like the way it drives...
  • amarceliaamarcelia Posts: 1
    I have a 99ML. My current problem is body squeaks, mostly coming from the seals around the rear doors. I had this problem under warranty and they replaced the seals and it was fine for over a year but the problem is back. It squeaks when driving over any uneven surface.
  • don99lhsdon99lhs Posts: 9
    Today my check engine light came on. It appears my Mass Air Meter needs replacement. Has anybody done this before, themselves? I have priced the part through the benz bin for $290 with free shipping, is this a good price?

    2000 ML320
  • don99lhsdon99lhs Posts: 9
    Where did you find the mass air meter for $211. I found it at the benz bin for $290.

    Was it easy to install?

    don smith
    2000 ML320
  • rkurellarkurella Posts: 3
    I have a 99 ML320 which I took to the dealership for Flexible Service B. I also wanted them to look int the Check Engine light that lights up at random.

    They charged me $89 for diagnostic and told me that it was the Oxygen Sensor that needs replacing and gave me an estimate of about $384.

    Has anyone had to replace this Oxygen Sensor and if so, what is the price you paid for the replacement? Also when is it due for the Spark Plugs to be replaced?

  • jysimjysim Posts: 1
    Did you ever get the squeaking fixed? About how much should that run? I have a 99ML that's doing the same thing. It squeaks like a rusty hinge with any little bump in the road.
  • gatortomgatortom Posts: 3
    2002 ML 320. Anyone familiar with a passenger seat sensor failure that causes the passenger side air bag to disable? We seem to get the SRS and ABS lights coming on and off as we drive. Is there a way to override the baby safe sensor so the air bag would deploy in an accident? (We would never think of driving with our grand kids car seats in the front.) The dealer said the passenger seat had to be taken apart to fix it (~$550). He didn't know if it could be reprogrammed in the computer.
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