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MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • If you want a navigation system, stay away from the MLs. I have a 2006 ML500 with nav purchased in July. It came with a DVD for a 2005 C Class and was horrible. When the new DVD came out in August, the dealer said that MB would not update the disk to the 2006 ML DVD, but the dealer purchased one for me. I just used it this week on a trip from Tampabay to the North Carolina outer banks and back via 2 different routes. You need a paper map, because the Alpine system in the MB is not reliable. Its not just that most of the country isn't well mapped - the directions are nuts!. It sends you south to go north, doesn't recognize large segments of major federal highways, etc. I have a Lexus, which has a great touch screen nav system that works very well, as does my son's Infiniti SUV. In addition, the transmission is terrible at low speeds. I have had 2 MBs before that were great, but this will be my last MB. It just doesn't come up to the competition. It looks great, and rides reasonably well and accelerates fine, but all in all is not up to the competition. I bought it because of past good MB experience, and thought that it would be the leading edge of technology. The initial reviews made it sound like a great vehicle What an error!
  • Is there a law that protects consumers from manufacturers selling defective vehicles?
    Could we actually exchange the vehicle for a different one? Through who? the dealer? or through MB directly?
    What can we get from MB to settle these inconveniences? waive a few payments?

    I have 303 miles on my '06 ML350 and it has been in the shop for almost a week now due to a lost power steering. i haven't even experience/notice those jerky motions on the tranny at a low speed. its been in the shop for too long since i used it for 4 days.. i dont even remember how it looks like anymore :confuse: and i paid 48k for it!!!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    This article may be helpful.

    Getting Some Lemon-Aid From Your Lemon Maker
  • Looking to buy a new 2006 Mercedes ML 500 but have read some negative reviews and some positive reviews. I am a little confused. If anyone owns a 2006 ML 500, Please advise me of any problems you may have had or should I go ahead a buy this car.
  • I have a 2006 ML500 with 2800 miles on it. The navigation system is terrible compared to my Lexus, and the transmission isn't smooth. I wouldn't get it if I had it to do over again.
  • I must be the only ML350 owner who has an ML350 that works fine..... based on above comments. I agree the Nav system lacks the detail info on my Lexus, but it's destination program works fine and it can be programmed on the move... in normal map mode; it won't tell me where I am at or what key intersections are a head...etc.. so they need to hire a Japanese software guy.
    The engine, suspension, and tranny are great. On the RX330Lexus board. Lexus owners complain about a slow unresponsive tranny... and the ML350/500 guys complain about abrupt downshifts.. while I get a shifting clunk slipping down into D1 at slow speeds; it is what you should expect when you slide into a very low gear and I prefer the quick shift up & down as opposed to the Lexus spinning into gear issue. I do not have any surge problems or shifting issues that are abnormal. This vehicle sticks to the road like it's on a rail and it will run all day at 90plus. It's quite and comfortable with plenty of power... if you get a klunck when it drops into D!... don't worry about it... this is a very low gear and remember the tranny is a mechanical device...with gears, clutches and valves, etc
  • I have a new 2006 ML 500. I ordered it in April of this year and got it on 8/13/05 (had to wait for alpine rain). My car has the jerkiness when you slow down, don't come to a complete stop and then accelerate again. I mentioned it to the dealer when I brought it in for the first visit @ 1900 miles. They called me later that day and told me that the transmission has to be replaced - I have now been waiting for 3 days to get my car back.
    I have the nav system with the 2005 c-class DVD and it is a BIG disappointment. For my previous car I bought a Garmin 2610 which is far superior to what Mercedes has - the MB map data seem out of date - the routing is not what you would normally pick as you drive in familiar areas and here in PA it has me make left turns across center divided highways .
    My previous car was a 1999 ML430 which I loved - after this experience I don't think I'll go with Mercedes again.
  • My ML500 came with the 2005 DVD. MB wouldn't update it free, but my dealer purchased the August 2005 release for the M Class and R Class for me. Its no better! With regard to the transmission, my service advisor told me yesterday at 2,800 miles that it has to "learn" your driving style and they will check it at the 6,500 mile tire rotation. I told him that there are 2 drivers, and my wife's driving style is different from mine. He sort of shook his head and said that it will probably learn the style of who ever drives it the most.
  • gm1120gm1120 Posts: 22
    I have been having this issue with the jerkiness since Day 1, I hate it, I do feel like I'm getting rear ended and my heart beats so fast. Although when I was driving the car everyday, for some reason, the jerkiness almost disappeared, either I was getting adjusted to it or it was getting adjusted to my driving (if that's possible). Now, I drive the car about 2-3 times per week instead of 5-6 days and I've been experiencing the jerkiness again, which reminded me to come back in this website. I also hate the fact that when we shift from park to drive or vice versa, the transmission has this loud grinding noise. For me, it's irritating as well as an embarrassment - an MB making these noises.

    What should we do? What can we do? Can we contact Consumer Reports or some type of media to expose this problem? I'm feeling like such a sucker. Prior to this ML350, I have a 1994 Lexus LS400 and have had nothing but praises for it. I thought it was a step up in luxury to be driving the MB rather than Lexus but now with these problems.....
  • On the Klunky Tranny issue... Make sure you are not in the Off-Road Mode within your Control System Menu selection... Also make sure your DSR(DownHill Speed Regulator) is turned off. These items can cause rapid downshifts and jerky action, with your tranny, when used during normal street driving.
  • I know that your car has to be in for the same problem at least three times. I am fighting Mercedes now to replace my new ML350. I am so disgusted and disappointed in how Mercedes Handles there customer service issues. They seem to want to mask the problem by preventing you from getting a hold of the right person. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER MERCEDES AGAIN. Mercedes should change their slogan to " HATE WHAT I DRIVE" This would befit their cars a lot better.
  • My car is not in the off road mode nor is the down hill regulator on. I've checked everything. Mercedes just has to be honest about this huge inherent problem they are dealing with on the transmission in their new 2006 ML's. They are accutely aware of this problem and are trying to pass it off to the consumer as something that is normal. This is not acceptable to me. NO car should jerk you when you stop. I know for a fact that the differential locks up when you stop.....dont be fooled. They have a huge problem here and are trying to keep it under wraps. I want everyone to know this before they think about buying a new ML350 or ML500...
  • I highly suggest you wait a year or more till Mercedes fixes their transmission issues with both the new 2006 ML350 and ML500. Don't be fooled by anyone. These transmissions are giving customers like myself major problems.
  • In regards to your issue. Believe me, the dealer is not replacing your transmission. They are replacing the valve-throttle body that they seem to think is the fix for this car. I had the valve-throttle body replaced on my car and it still, jerks, and lunges when you come to a stop and also jerks into second gear when accelerating. I am very displeased with Mercedes. If I knew this was a problem I would never have purchased this vehicle.
  • I would be happy to contact consumer reports and the better business bereau about this issue. This is an inherent problem with this 7speed transmission in all the new 2006 ML's and last years 2005 S model. Mercedes is highly aware of this problem, but they are trying to tell you it's normal. Well this is not acceptable to me. NO CAR SHOULD JERK OR SHUTTER WHEN YOU STOP PERIOD REGARDLESS IF ITS A $10,000 CAR OF A $50,000. I WILL BE HAPPY TO FILE A COMPAINT WITH YOU. I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO NOTIFY THE CAR MAGAZINES ABOUT THIS HUGE ISSUE. LET'S TALK
  • I would be happy to contact consumer reports and the better business bureau about this issue. This is an inherent problem with this 7speed transmission in all the new 2006 ML's and last years 2005 S model. Mercedes is highly aware of this problem, but they are trying to tell you it's normal. Well this is not acceptable to me. NO CAR SHOULD JERK OR SHUTTER WHEN YOU STOP PERIOD REGARDLESS IF ITS A $10,000 CAR OF A $50,000. I WILL BE HAPPY TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH YOU. I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO NOTIFY THE CAR MAGAZINES ABOUT THIS HUGE ISSUE. LET'S TALK
  • It has taken me a while, but I am back, with my transmission jerking again. My vehicle was first towed in because the tranny failed. Since then, I took it back twice for the abrupt jerkiness. I see others are having the same problems. I think we need to do something collectively, we will have better force in numbers. A class action lawsuit would be great, so we need to identify a firm that could handle that and do it on a contingency, since it could be expensive. Has anyone had any success dealing individually with MBUSA? By the way, the CHECK ENGINE light during that fail was allegedly caused by the gas cap, and unrelated to the transmission.
  • Just to look at the other side. I am buzzing along after 2 months and 3000 miles with no klunking, no surging, and no ParkShift groaning. Getting more accustomed to the MBZ Nav, but it's still not Lexus like... more to come.
  • I am happy for you MBZ fan, I hope I just got a bad one, because the vehicle is amazing otherwise. But I just can't go on driving getting a jerky drive and without confidence that when i hit the gas it will go.
  • "hitting the gas"... that could be a problem if you are literally hitting the gas. I think these fly by wire systems like to be applied as opposed to hit. I think a hit would cause jerking and surging... I will try a "hit" on mine to see what the response is. I got into the applied habit with Lexus...which only likes applied power; not instantaneous power. Once you are rolling you can do the hit stuff, but not before; from my experience.
  • I have a 2002 ML 320 with 29K miles on it and I had the same jerkines problem anytime I came to a stop and start again.... I took it to the MB dealer and they fixed it, apparantly MB has posted a software online and when downloaded and installed, it will fix the problem...the software controls the tranny so it won't jerk when you start. Since the dealer installed the software, my truck shifts smoothly and it doesn't jerk anymore when I come to a stop light and start when the lights change.....I still have the wobbly issue that needs to be corrected, I will ask them to check the harmonic balancer to see if it's bad.

    BTW, since the software install am averaging out about 18 mpg all city driving - prior to the install it was about 16.5mpg on avg.

    I hope this reply helps....Good luck.
  • I have a 2004 ML 350 with the same problem. What was the fix?
  • puremlpureml Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem. Have you figured this out yet? I hear a swishing noise and then when I make a turn water comes pouring out onto the driver/passenger floor. It's really a pain. Today I had to get a wet vac to vacuum out the water even though I have rubber mats to protect my rug the water managed to leak under the mats. I'm not sure if the leak is also in the back because the back rug areas were wet as well. Let me know if you've seen the dealer yet. t/r.
  • MBZ fan, I didn't mean literally hit the gas pedal, I think one would get jerked that way regardless of the automobile. I apply force to the gas pedal, and even more gently at times to prevent the jerk, but that makes no difference, the vehicle jerks anyhow. I saw that someone wrote they have proof of the tranny problems. Can you please direct me where I can get it? Thanks.
  • All those 2006 ML owners who are having transmission issues and jerky rides, we should all go to the National Safety website and file complaints and our experiences. The site is Here you can see other people have issues and surging as well. Let's do it people! :lemon:
  • I haven't gone to dealer yet. Thanks for the tip on the rugs though. I also discovered that mine were soaked. . I will let you know what the dealer says. I was hoping that someone else had already figured it out so I wouldn't have to play 20 questions with the dealer. I suspect that it is a clogged drain hose for the air conditioning compressor/refrigeration unit evaporation tray. It collects the water that the unit pulls out of the air before sending it into the car. If I could figure out where the drain hose is I could probably fix it my self.
  • Hi everyone,

    I dropped off my ML500 on 9/26/05 for the routine 1000-3000 mile inspection. The following day the dealer called me to say that the transmission had to be replaced (I had complained about the jerkiness - see previous post).
    Every week they kept calling me telling me that the "part" was not available - the service guy said it was a whole transmission, but I really don't know - in any case, last week, just after it had been in the shop for 30 days my sales rep called me and explained the options. I told her that I wanted my money back and I just got it today - full price - no deductions for usage or anything like that - I did not even have to say the word "lemon" . They claim that all new cars coming out of Alabama have a "re-worked" transmission ,but I am staying away from it for at least another 6 to 12 months - then I'll make a decision.
  • That is great that you got your money back, and that you are out of the vehicle. MB needs to fix their bugs on their own time. :lemon:
  • justaskme, wanted to see how things were progressing with your situation. Please update us.
  • gm1120gm1120 Posts: 22
    Sorry I haven't been back in the forum for awhile. I also haven't been driving the MB much - I've gone back to my old car for commuting purposes. I checked my records and found that my complaint wasn't written up in the service, that's probably because I mentioned it in passing and ignorant me asked if it was normal and they said it was. My husband says I should just bring it in for the noise and complain about the jerkiness. I'm afraid if they tinker with it, it may get worse. The jerkiness doesn't sound as bad as other people's
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