MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I drove my 99ML320 for 70K miles without any major problems. Had a few small issues sorted out mostly under warrantly. Have had only one out warranty repair which was partly covered by the dealer.
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    We've had our 2000 ML320 for 52K miles with no mechanical problems whatsoever. Yes, we've had the little problems that seem to be an ongoing issue with Mercedes in general. Thankfully, the only electrical problem we had was a light bulb going out on the trip computer so we couldn't see it at night. Most of the problems we have had relate to fit and finish items, and Mercedes has been excellent about fixing those problems. We did have the goop on the driver and passenger door windows during the last 1.5 years, and Mercedes fixed it with a new seal in the window motor. The drivetrain has never failed us, and it feels like it will go on forever. We haven't done any special maintenance other than taking it in when the maintenance indicator tells us to. We have been averaging 12k mile between oil changes, replaced the front brakes, and put on a new set of tires. What other vehicle can give you low maintenance costs like that? Hmmm, probably any Toyota, Nissan, or Honda product. In the long haul, I think our Merc is just as reliable as any Japanese brand out there.
  • mpjfilmpjfil Posts: 6
    Same here, I had a 2004 ML 500 with 11,000 miles. I was towed once because of ignition electrical problems. Then, I had the loud brake squeal and transmission pan leak. I paid $ 50,000 for the suv. I traded it in for a an Acura MDX. Feb 11, 2005 issue of the Wall Street Journal had an article why Daimler Chrysler's net profit dropped 63 % due to Mercedes Woes. Good riddance !
  • I've thought that my problem with 2000 ML320 was resolved after 3 trips for ABS/BAS/ETS/Brake lights being lit, joined by an audible alarm when driven above 2mph. Well, after replacing a leaking windshield wiper fluid reservoid, hydraulic motor that provided the oil to the subject systems, and fuse assembly circuit card, now it's back in the shop with the same problem. I also have not resolved the low humming sound coming from the fuse box located in the engine compartment.
    I'm driving a 2005 C240 stationwagon, it's a much better ride.
    I'm about fed up with this car. I love this car. I love the way it drives, handles, and the solid feel it provides. It drove well throughout this bad East Coast weather. I drove it in the snow without a single problem.
    What to do. . . What to do. . .
  • donrossdonross Posts: 1
    Occasionally I have a strange noise in the cabin of my 2002 ML 320 that sounds like a cricket or grasshopper on the driver's side of the dash. It doesnt happen all of the time, and lasts about 15 minutes. This has been going on about 6 mos. Has anyone else experienced this? Any clue as to the problem? Planning to have MB service look into this at next scheduled service. Thanks!
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    If you concentrate on the noise, The crickets/grasshoppers are actually saying "Made in Alabama"
  • mpjfilmpjfil Posts: 6
    When I still had my ML 500, this cricket sound happens every start up especially in cold weather. They replaced the fuse box cooling fan and the sound was gone forever.
  • Just bought a 2001 Lexus ES300. Sold my 2000 ML320 with 67K miles for $14,000 at the local dealership. I love the ride, but cannot handle the headache (ran out of aspirin and patience).
    Good luck to the other ML owners.
  • myoldmlmyoldml Posts: 2
    My wife's '99ML320 seems to be stuck in low gear, and she's lost the owners manual. I'm going to call the dealer on Monday, but I thought I'd ask: Does low range automatically shut off when the ignition is turned off? It might solve her problem. Thanks
  • My 2000 ML 320 has been unreliable, but my latest experience is beyond belief.

    The engine just stopped. I was on the freeway driving 60 MPH when the engine died. Luckily, we were able to move over to a safe place and stop the car safely. I consider this a very dangerous failure mode. Since the car would not start, it was towed to Sacramento Mercedes.

    The second, and perhaps more important, issue is the way the dealer insisted on documenting the problem. I told the dealer that no warning lights illuminated, “the engine just stopped”. After reading what the dealer wrote in their maintenance system I told the dealer they must have misheard me. I repeated that no warning lights were on. The dealer then said that when they started the car and the warning lights were on at that time. Since I left the dealership, I cannot verify whether they started the car, or not, and if it started whether the warning light was on, or not. I told the dealer they could document that they observed a warning light, but they should not erroneously document that I stated the warning light was on.

    However, when I picked up the car the documentation contained both statements. I asked them to remove the portion that I had stated the warning light was illuminated and they refused.

    I have to believe that they have been “trained” to falsely report these problems, perhaps to avoid problems being brought to the attention of the NHTSA. I think this is potentially fraudulent and should be thoroughly investigated.

    I was told the problem was a crank-angle sensor. I was told that I was paying 50% of the cost and the “factory” was taking care of the other 50%.
  • wpotterwpotter Posts: 1
    Hubcentric rings are the answer. $35 for 4 look on eBay. They are either metal or Plastic. Remove your wheels, slide one ring over the hub and install the wheel and it will center the wheel perfectly and stop all vibration. I did it on an M class I had and now my Range Rover. Good Luck!
  • hatmbshatmbs Posts: 1
    Did you notice a difference in the stopping power of the ML when the ABS/BAS/ETS light came on. We have a 2001 with the same issues and agree with all that you have said
  • wizer1wizer1 Posts: 3
  • dlipsiusdlipsius Posts: 2
    I have an 1999 ML320 and have put 96,000+ miles on it. No problems noted!!!!!! However, I bought the BASE ML without all the doodads. (I don't need leather/wood, etc to go fishing and pull a boat and haul a kayak. But I have had MBs since 1967 and all have been great vehicles.
  • mezecamezeca Posts: 66
    This is the easiest fix ever!!! There is a small blower motor mounted in the engine compartment fuse box that keeps the control modules cool. When it collects enough dust, it starts to make a chirping sound.
  • mezecamezeca Posts: 66
    So lets see: You had one problem that required a tow.
    A brake noise, and probably a slight transmission
    leak in 11,000 and you dumped it? How many times
    were you in the shop? Probably once or twice? Once for the tow, and the second time was when you went in for your A-service(free) and they took care of your brake noise and slight leak.
  • mpjfilmpjfil Posts: 6
    I had more problems that might take up the whole page if I mention it, windshield fluid reservoir leaking, ABS sensor, crank sensor, etc. At 11,000 miles, do you think all these problems should occur at this low mileage ?
  • halofanhalofan Posts: 37
    I had a (important word "had") a 2002 ML 320 here is a partial list of the problems I encountered in a car that had only 23K when I got rid of it last week.
    -ABS/ESP/BAS Light on about 3-4x, ultimately an ABS pump replacement (2,500 I'm told to fix, warranty)
    -Wiper reservoir leak (warranty)
    -Front seat frame break 2x (warranty)
    -Power windows/locks 2x (both warranty)
    -The "chirp" behind the dash (warranty)
    -Unable to locate a "rattle" in the interior, had this one the life of the car, was told "that's the way it is".
    -pads and rotors at 15K, $950!

    The list is larger, this is all I can remember right now. MBZ service people were great to me, they saw me about every other month. I wanted to buy an E series, something actually engineered and produced in Germany, but I had such a bad taste in my mouth, I couldn't do it again. So I bout an 05 Audi A6 (Gulp, I hope it is better, but time will tell, initial fit and finish there is absolutely no comparision).

    Some may say that all these repairs were warrantied, but my time is worth something and I couldn't deal with it anymore after 3 1/2 years. Good luck ML owners you'll need it.
  • mpjfilmpjfil Posts: 6
    I agree with you strongly, it's more than the warranty, it's the time you spent going back and forth to the shop. I forgot to mention before my ML 500, I had a 2002 ML 320. The funny thing is I got rid of it at 21,000, very close to your mileage, I almost had a fatal accident because of the power steering hose clamp defect.
  • Can you direct me to a source of info regarding this power steering defect?

    My 2000 ML430 has had FIVE power steering failures in the past year, the most recent while on vacation, stranding us 1600 kms from home (I am an American living in Cape Town, South Africa, but my car was built in Alabama). Getting repairs out of my dealership has been like pulling teeth. We thought the problem was finally resolved when they ordered an entire power steering system from Germany (11 days to deliver...they've never heard of DHL, I suppose) and installed it. No such luck...last Thursday it failed again, this time (according to the Durban dealership) caused by a high pressure hose being cut by a pulley rubbing against it. Thank goodness my husband was driving, as I do not have the upper body strength to manhandle this beast without the power steering and we were just turning into a parking space.

    I'm fairly car-savvy (managed to keep a TR-6 on the road for 15.5 years and 110,000 miles!) so I'd like to locate a source of info on the power steering fault on the ML. We are debating whether or not to keep the car after it is repaired (Durban has sent to Germany for parts but they say only 3 days for delivery, unlike Cape Town) and returned to us.

    I must give kudos to Daimler-Chrysler's roadside assistance guys, though. They provided a free tow and a free rental (a Vito...an 8-passenger diesel bus, for heaven's sake!) to get us back home and will deliver the car to us (sending it back via rail) when it is repaired. But still---five power steering failures in less than a year? What am I dealing with here???
  • Dear hatmbs,
    I did not notice any stopping power. I did notice that the transmission shifts were bit rougher. I couldn't take the loud beeping alarm sound while the car is in motion. I love the car, but I got rid of it three weeks ago. Now, I'm driving in serenity provided by a certified Lexus ES300.
    Good luck with your ML.
  • My 2001 320ML Has 34000 Miles on it. I put Winter tires every year about 4months. So, my regular tire have even less milage on than 34000miles.
    I was at the dealer last week to get my regular tires back on, they told me that I need new set of tires which is about $550. I didn't get to see my tires since they keep it for me at their place for the winter. My original tire which came with the car was General brand. Dealer said the one they gonna put on for $550 is Continent which in their opinion last longer than General brand. I'm wondering that if this sounds normal or not?
  • Don't do it. The best tires for ML320 in my humble opinion is Michelin SUV Cross-Terrain (can't remember the actual name). I got them at tirerack.com. Just go to the website and enter your vehicle information and it will give you all the tire choices. I replaced my tires at 45,000 miles (mostly highway miles) and I immediately noticed the ride difference. Highly recommend reading the reviews on the website to get a better idea of what people think of the different tires.
    Good luck.
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    Ditto on Michelin Cross Terrain. I bought our tires at Sam's Club for
    about $150/each.. Much better than the OEM Dunlops. Very quiet,
    excellent road feel and 65K warranty.

    I think we now have about 40K on them and they appear to be good as new.
  • Hi, I have another question.
    I am really hoping to get some advices here...
    I don't really care for the moon roof or some other added fancy options. But I'm confused. What will be the MUST HAVE options?
  • mcaleermcaleer Posts: 11
    I have a '99 ML 320 with 70,000 miles. Occasionally, the car noisily vibrates. Dealer couldn't find any problems with drive train. The problem is getting worse and more frequent. Now, it includes a clicking sound when turning and pulling. Are there known problems with CV joints?
  • Hello,

    I am thinking about purchasing a 2000 ML 430 with 56K on it. I have reviewed the service records and ran a carfax and all is well.

    However, I have read several posts that makes me think perhaps I should go with another vehicle.

    Please advise me on what I should be concerned about.
  • halofanhalofan Posts: 37
    Well, this area of the board is typically filled with unhappy owners, or former owners, me included. You might well be suited to go to another area if you want to hear good things about the ML because I in good conscience, couldn't recommend this vehicle to anyone. You should be doubly concerned with this particular year as well as the fact that this vehicle is out of warranty.

    Don't let me persuade you, heck you don't even know me, but I don't think the ML is a good bet :( . See my post about 3-4 up for the littany of problems I encountered in my 3+ years of ownership with my ML. Good luck with your choice.

  • Not sure if you had the answers already but for low range to work you must first put your ML to "N" neutral and then press the low range button and select drive. Do the same to deactiveate since you will not pass the third gear on low range.
  • Diesel is avilable for Europe only, though there has been talk about sending the diesel to US to market for a more powerful and more fuel efficient ML. The problem is emissions may not be up to US standards so for the next few years don't expect the diesel engine to be on the new ML just yet. Funny as it may sound but the brethern of the ML the Jeep Liberty will have a diesel engine coming up later this year.
  • There were over 1000 new redesigned parts for the 2002 ML. This is the year where they have made major changes to the body drivetrain, suspension and the interior. I have a 2002 ML320 with 60K miles and so far so good. The only thing I replaced were the front gas shocks which were covered under warranty.

    If you are thinking about getting the 2005 you should get significant discount since the 2006 are out.
  • The fuse box is located in the engine compartment. Open the hood and look to the right of the engine and the fuses are within the black box.
  • Well, the ML is engineered in Germany but it is build in Alabama. I also have a 2002 ML with 60K miles and the only thing I had to replace was the front shocks and ther were covered under warranty. From what I read on the bulletin board, either they love their ML's or they hated it. I suspect your ML was put together on either a Mondat or Friday.
  • The Conteinental tires have long been in Mercedes line up, especially the ML. These tires are very quiet and the tread will last given that you inflate them with the factory recommended pressure (F29 and R29 for regular load and F32 and R39 for maximum load. With these tires you want to have them higher than 29 though. (I have mine at 30F and 37R) For $550, darn good price for a set of four tires that can last up to 50K.
  • I have a 2002 ML320 and I did replace the front shocks at 56K miles under warranty. The shocks are gas filles so you may have a leak. I noticed the wobblyness you described and yes it still go over the rough pavement OK but you would notice that the car will lean a bit more on turns. My advise is tha :) t you drive it over a speed bump in a faster speed and if you notice that it bottoms out then you will need to replace the shocks.
  • No not sludging but the fact that you have a 215 HP on an almost 5000 lbs. The engine does have plenty of power (but not too smart) so next time when you need to pass someone, just take advantage of the automatic trasmission. Upshift to 4 and shift back to D after you have finished passing.
  • halofanhalofan Posts: 37
    If I only had to replace the shocks, then I'd still own the car...There is another 6 - 8 things that went wrong with the ML when I had it but I won't bore you. I must admit, I loved how it drove, heavy, sure-footed but I just couldn't believe that I was driving a car that cost 45K when new and had SO many problems. And obviously I'm not alone with some of the negative posters on this board. LOL about the Mon. - Fri. build, probably true though.
  • wannalnwannaln Posts: 4
    I understand your frustration mercpaully, I have ML 430 yr 2000 and I get really mad when some parts break down... and sometimes I wish I had other cars like Lexus. Toyota, Honda, etc... but you know what!!! ...it is always greener on the other side, ... when you get there... (guess what?), ... it is probably "brown" like your side! :)

    Look at what the "other" guys are complaining about their cars: -

    Volvo XC90
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef21566!make=Volvo&model=XC90&ed_makeindex=.- ef21566

    VW Touareg

    Toyota 4Runner

    Lexus RX 330
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef22a65!make=Lexus&model=RX%20330&ed_makeind- ex=.ef22a65

    Honda Pilot

    My philosophy right now is to be positive, ...enjoy the car as much as possible!...
    If it is broke fix it!... period.

    Thanks and enjoy your ride!... :)
  • miket99miket99 Posts: 6

    Separately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said DaimlerChrysler AG (DCXGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) (DCX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is recalling 7,191 of its 2006 model-year Mercedes M-Class sport utility vehicles because a clamp that secures the power steering fluid cooling hose may be defective and could cause a loss of the fluid.

    This could diminish power steering and lead to a crash, the NHTSA said.
  • exo425exo425 Posts: 15
    I have a 2001 ML320 with 36K miles on it. it has been a really good and reliable truck but i just found a problem on it the other day. when i went to pop the hood on my truck, the hood release popped but the hood did not release. does anyone else have this problem? if so tell me how i can fix it.
  • sierrasonicsierrasonic Posts: 26
    MSRP 48825, Invoice Price $45959, Offered Price $44581 for 2006 ML350,

    Is this good price? Can somebody give me the more feedback about the vehicle. Is there any recalls? Thanks in Advance.
  • Does anyone know or maybe have already heard of serious engine problems with the new M CLass? your help would be greatly appreciated. My firend just got one and is having serious engine -acceleration problems :lemon: ?
  • Hi,
    DId a search but found nothing on my problem. The speedometer vibrates/flutters for about five seconds when starting and when shutting down.It then seems to work normally when driving. If you turn the ignition on and off repeatedly it goes away for a while. anyone hear of such an issue. It is a MY 00 ML430 130,000 miles.
    I did take to the dealer and svc writer said it would be cheaper to take it to speedo shop. So I took it to a Speedo shop, (that they recommended), they said take it to the dealer. Dealer says thirteen hundered dollars to replace instrument cluster.

  • Ok, as a follow up on this, I had the squeaky/funny noise that was coming from the driver side footwell area. It looks like it is apparently an exhaust fan for the fuse box from what I have read here.The speedometer problem seems to have started when the noise from that area stopped. So could the fan finally freezing up possibly be related to this speedo prob.

  • gm1120gm1120 Posts: 22
    So far I love it. Although I already have a couple of complaints....I don't know if your friend has experienced this, but I live in an area with LOTS of hills and when I'm going downhill at about 30-35 mph, it would suddenly jerk and downshift. Also, yesterday, I was at a stop sign and was making left and it jerked again. I think something's up with the 7 speed automatic shift (or whatever that's called). I had a 10 year old Lexus prior to this car and never had that kind of problem. My husband was also saying that when he goes 80 mph, he feels it trying to slow him down, since I don't go that fast, I haven't had that experience. Then, there's the brake pedal, it seems too low, like I have to press halfway before the brake engages. Has your friend noticed that? I had a couple of people test drive the car and they both mentioned the same thing (without me bringing it up). I had it serviced today for the safety recall (hose clamp for power steering fluid) and had them check out the brakes, they said they bled it, may have had air pockets and should be working just fine, but I haven't noticed any difference. I'm still happy though and excited. I did buy the car for the looks :)
  • ynottdynottd Posts: 1
    We paid 45k even for 2006 ml 350 msrp 47500, we did get one recall on a power steering hose. We also had a problem with a short for all the maps lights and sun roof switch, they had to replace the overhead control module that work all the inside lights and the sunroof. we have about 2k mile. I still love it.
  • As for the radio staying on, I had the same problem with my 1998 ML320. Turned out to be a fuse. Just had to replace the fuse, and has been fine since.
  • michael25michael25 Posts: 3
    I began to experience this today on a 2000 ML 320 w/98000 miles. I have a pretty good dealer nearby. I will inquire tomorrow and get back to you. Let me know if you find anything out.

  • Similiar problem on my 2002 ML320. The tires showed unusual wear after only 20K Kms (12K miles). Took it in for alignment at the dealer, no luck. Got a new set of tires and same problem after 5k kms (3k miles). Took it to a local tire dealer and they made the adjustment to be just outside specs and has been fine ever since and that was 15k kms (10k miles ago).
  • mpjfilmpjfil Posts: 6
    I used to have a 2002 ML 320 and I still remember there was a power steering hose recall. Now, I have read on the NHTSA website that there is another power steering hose recall on the 2006 ML. Does this mean MB has not fixed the problem after 4 years ?
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