MB M Class Owners Maintenance and Repair

drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
Hello everyone,

This is the topic to discuss any problems that your M-class has (had) and any solutions to the problems.

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  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I've collected a list of known problems at the M-Class Outpost.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Spraying some silicon spray into that area (along the base of the windshield/dash) and letting it work its way in for a few days solved the probem for me. However, I did mention it at Service A. FYI, according to the work order, "A-pillar trim fit foam under dash corner to realign corner of dash. Refit A-pillar trim". The slight amount of play that used to be there is now completely gone. It is as tight as the A-pillar trim/dashboard on the driver's side. No squeaks, no creaks. :-)

    Vans and SUVs message boards
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    There was an engineering oil class action against MB. Not sure what the model year coverage is, instead of 50k miles, I belive the engine warranty is extended to 100k for the engine oil problem.
  • jmsintxjmsintx Posts: 41
    How do I get to the cabin air filter for replacement ? Is it behind the glove box like on the E's ? TIA. JMSinTX
  • lsl1207lsl1207 Posts: 6
    I have a '00 and at 10k it needed new brakes and at 26k it needed a new transmission. At one time or another all of the computer lights go on for no reason. Next time I'll buy Japanese...
  • dietmikedietmike Posts: 7
    My upgraded Bose stereo on my 2001 ML320 Sport seems to have a reception problem. Most of the major stations in the Dallas, Texas area come in "weak". It sounds as if the treble cuts in and out just a bit. The CD works fine so I know it has something to do w/the antenna/tuner.

    Where is the antenna, in the windshield? .. and has anyone else had this problem?

  • tlwwsotlwwso Posts: 12
    I'm getting a popping noise coming from somewhere at the base of the windshield on the passenger side. I saw the post from Jan. and didn't know if this is the same problem. The service department can't seem to fix the noise. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    In the general M-class commentary I have read that several owners have had problems with false readings appearing.

    OIL HI frequently comes up because it takes 8.5 bottle of oil and somedays mechanics pour in 9 whole bottle.

    But the problem could result from a bad sensor.

    After a 4 day battle with my dealer, the truth came out that this sensor is frequently defective. Mine read "OIL HI" and then "-2.0".

    The sensor needs to be replaced and it happens so often the dealers keep a number of the replacements on their shelves.
  • I have a 2000 ML320 and this is the second time that I have been stranded due to a seized fuel pump. Am I alone? Also, I have had numerous problems with the air conditioner, side door film, easily chipped paint, cracked rear support, etc. I never expected the MB to have so many problems.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Hey, Buddy You are not alone, It happened to me twice also, if you read my post a few months back, my fuel hose busted on me while I'm driving in a high speed on a highway my ML just died and that was one of the scariest moment of my life I have my family with me. I just thank god and I managed to pull my ML to the safe side of the highway. They replace it twice and so far up to this date I don't have any problem. Take it back to the dealer and have them replace.
    Good Luck,
  • Did anyone experience this problem? I was driving on the highway, a couple of days ago, and I noticed the ETS light (second left on the dashboard) being ON. It stayed like that eversince, when the engine is started, with the exception of 2-3 seconds right after I started the engine ytesterday day.
    I thought it may be a fuse, and this is how I saw in the fuse box that F22 coresponds to cruise control + traction control (ETS) + ...
    The fuse was fine, but this is how I got to test the cruise control, that I don't usually use, and found out it's not working anymore.
    So, please, if anyone had this problem before me, tell me, what should I expect if I go to the dealer? Is the diagnostic free of charge? This would be my first time going to the dealership with a problem...

    Thank you in advance,
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    If your vehicle is still under warranty take it in and have thenm check it. I had aproblem on my BAS but not ETS.got fixed under warranty.
  • I have a 99 ML 320 and recently the fuel pump also died as I was trying to get the car out of the garage, I am so fortunate that I was not on the highway as "biker5" above! The dealer replaced it under warranty, however the other things - rattles in the rear door and the electrical problems (all warning lights go on for no reason, window motor dying, rear wiper motor quitting)I have had it with this vehicle & I am turning it in when the lease is up. This is my first Mercedes and I have really been disappointed by the experience. I am looking at Toyotas and VWs now.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Lucky you, that you are still in your garage when that fuel pump failure happened to you. So you read my experience Huh!. But since they replaced mine I don't have any more problem...knock on wood.;-) anyway have the dealer fix all the problem, yours still under warranty right.
  • rpalabarpalaba Posts: 1
    Need information on ML320 2002. Inside air circulations turns off by itself every few minutes. Benz dealer says it is a feature, although it took a while for them to tell us it is a feature (over the weekend for the salesman). Can't find the feature documented elsewhere. Is this true?
  • mclass4mclass4 Posts: 3
    My new ML320 had a power steering leak and a faulty fuel pump after 11 days of driving. Anyone else heard of this happening?
  • don99lhsdon99lhs Posts: 9
    Last week my 2000 ML320 developed a tranny leak. It seams to be leaking around the rubber seal on the trans. pan. The bolts that hold the pan on seam a little loose but when you tighten them it leaks worse. What should I do?
  • rnursernurse Posts: 3
    Wow! I was really keen on buying a used, err uh, previously owned 2001 ML430. But after reading all this, I'm not so sure anymore. Is there a place where I can find out if there have been any recalls on this vehicle?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Check this Edmunds.com article for info:

    Recalls, Technical Service Bulletins, and Other Good Stuff

    Owners Clubs
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    trying to sell my used ML320.
    Having by far the lowest priced Y2k car in the paper tells me these cars are not selling,
    because the only interest I get is people who want to pay $26k for a car that sold for over $40k just 2 years ago.

    The dealer I bought it from offered $25k - and said only on a trade. I was so pissed off that
    I told him I would park it out in front of his lot with giant for sale signs on it and a price much lower than the $35k he asks for the very same car. The MBZ dealer thinks he adds value by certifying a car that is fully under warranty and has been meticulously maintained.
  • aiyeeaiyee Posts: 2
    I have a 98 ML320, when I'm driving with the AC on and I make a right/left turn, water comes out into the driver/passenger side. Dealer wants $100 to look into it. Any suggestions before I authorize the work. Thanks.
  • I have a 1999 ML430 equipped with about every option including the now discontinued/not supported 1st Gen slapped on Nav GPS system. To date:

    Wind noise at door seals - warr service
    CD failure - replaced unit warr
    Nav system failure - replaced unit warr
    Transmission computer keeps ML in kicked down passing gear after I back off on gas pedal. Asking dealer about this..
    Seat belt recall - factory warr service
    Front brakes replace at 25K
    Sunroof failed - full replace under warr
    Sun visor bracket breakage - warr serviced
    Spring failure in rear seats
    Cup holders knocked out of alignment by long legged passengers
    Nose angle of hood is prone to rock chips from other cars

    Overall the vehicle has been great. Outstanding power, handles like a car, unbelievable traction control especially in rain. Can get interesting in extreme emergency maneuvers like any HCG SUV. Short wheelbase makes it still bounce you more than one likes for extended highway cruising. Seats in this model are not as comfortable as my Explorer was or 2000 model ML is. I have 6 yr 100K extended warranty. Am looking forward to 2004 larger SUV Mercedes has in design right now.
  • Just bought a brand new 02 ML320. I occassionaly have an issue where it feels like the engine is not getting enough fuel so it starts shaking and eventually die. The feeling is similar to a manual trans where you are trying to mix the clutch and the gas so it won't die on you. They replaced the fuel pump at 4k miles and now at 5.5k miles, the problem is showing up again.

    Has any one seen this?
  • ckim72ckim72 Posts: 6
    have a problem w/ my 2002 ML320. the passenger side mirror supposed to tilt down when you put the gear in reverse and you can program it(angle of the mirror) to your memory seat. I tried to
    follow the manual for programming but didn't work. called the dealer and they said the manual was misprint and you can't program the mirror. I got the convenient pak. just for that feature b/c it is really useful when you do parallel parking in city. Is this true? They said I was the first one noticed it. Seems like nobody knows how to fix this problem.
  • orlandorland Posts: 9
    The sales brochure implied that it was standard. When I called 1-800-MERCEDES to ask about it, they said that the tilt-down function was part of the M2 package, which I do not have but you do. I would definitely call Mercedes and ask about it. I would also ask your salesman and/or another dealer.
  • ckim72ckim72 Posts: 6
    I've finally got an answer from the MB. regarding malfunctioning passenger side mirror. In order to activate the tilt down feature, you need to press memory button under driver's seat every single time you get in the car. I think it is the most ridiculous feature I've ever seen in my life. They keep saying that it was just engineered like that, no further explanation! I thought owning a MB. would give me a piece of mind, in terms of service and quality, but I was wrong. I've learned my lesson in a very expensive way. Think twice when you buy a MB.
  • jlangmdjlangmd Posts: 6
    I have no problems with my mirror tilt down feature. You do need to have the passenger side mirror selected on the center console switch for it to work. I have never pressed my memory button.
  • ckim72ckim72 Posts: 6
    Yes, I know that you need to select the passenger side mirror button to mobilize the tilt down feature. It seems like the mirror is working when I program it, but it doesn't tilt down once I restart the engine. Is my ML only one doing that?
  • Hi, we use our 99 ML320 for commuting to work and nothing else - all freeway driving. The fuel service pump died - but we thought it was a service issue - now we realize that it was not. It died twice. Every door lock has been replaced. And now the engine died at 80,000 and has to be replaced. Cost of new engine? 20,000 buckaroos for a new one, 9,000 for a used. We do have extended warranty coverage and they want to put in a used engine. I figure once the engine is in, I will have almost a completely rebuilt car!
    Mercedes has been extremely unhelpful about all the problems,except that the service guys have admitted that all of my problems (except the engine failure) are common to the ML320 - and not just in the 99 year.
    I had a jag before this, so I guess that this is just part of the "charm" of owning an ML320. But it irks me because I thought Mercedes was more reliable than jags. Looks like I made a mistake!
  • A Class Action Lawsuit was filed against Mercedes Benz that effects owners of all 1999, 2000 and 2001 Mercedes Benz vehicles. When Mercedes Benz implemented the Flexible Service System (FSS) in 1999, which permitted extended oil change intervals of up to 20,000 miles, they recommended changes with regular (fossil) oils. By 2001 they experienced some engines with excessive sludge deposits and early engine failures. They then recommended oil changes with only specific brands of synthetic motor oils to address this problem. Since Mercedes Benz initial recommendation for use of fossil oils resulted in not only engine failures of 1999, 2000 and 2001 vehicles, but also premature wear in others, a class action suited was filed against Mercedes Benz. Approximately 2 weeks ago, Mercedes Benz agreed to settle this suit by agreeing to extend the warranty on all 1999, 2000 and 2001 Mercedes Benz vehicles to 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. In addition, the owners of 1999 vehicles will receive a total of $3,500 of service, of their choice, at a Mercedes Benz dealer.

    Hope this information shows that Mercedes Benz plans to stand behind their vehicles. I would think the Mercedes will be contacting owners of 1999, 2000 and 2001 vehicles in the very near future.
  • Where can I find information about this. I searched on the net and could not find any references. A friend of mine mentioned that he also heard this story on local news channel.
  • brdrbrdr Posts: 7
    I have a 1998 ML320 that has thru so many problems that I am just about to give up on it. Will love to trade this for Lexus or some other reliable brand. Anyway does the lawsuit cover 98 models as well.

  • I own a 1999 ML320 that have had a myriad of problems since the first minute I owned it (the alarm kept on going off for no reason after it was delivered (ended up that the dealer was not aware of the recall when I bought it)). I have had the stupid BAS light go on and had to pull off to take care of it... stupid stuff. But, we need to check into this class action suit on the FSS. There are too many different stories going around. The post said that 1999 owners will get a $3500 credit for future service (that makes sense since I called the service rep and he mentioned that 1999 owners had to pay for all service related to oil). But, I called Mercedes directly and they mentioned that all owners will receive a $35 coupon for future oil change. Big difference in amounts.
  • Just got my notification from MBUSA. I will quote relevant sections from cover letter and suit documents.

    "Dear Mercedes-Benz Owner or Lessee:

    In March, 2001, we wrote to inform you of our recommendation to use only certain pure synthetic motor oils in your 2000 or 2001 model year Mercedes-Benz vehicle equipped with FSS.


    After our March 2001 letter, a Mercedes-Benz owner filed a class action lawsuit claiming that the use of conventional oil could result in engine damage. In fact, a very small number of Mercedes-Benz owners have experienced oil sludge and fewer still experienced related engine damage from the earlier use of conventional motor oil, particularly when FSS service intervals were not carefully followed.

    ....Nonetheless, without admitting any wrongdoing, we have agreed to settle the class action in order to return our focus to providing our customers the exceptional ownership experience we know you expect when purchasing a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.

    To demonstrate our commitment to superior performance and quality, we will cover your vehicle up to ten years from the date of first purchase or lease or 150,000 miles (whichever occurs first) under the terms of your existing warranty or any extended warranty you have purchased from MBUSA in the unlikely event of any future oil sludging or related engine damage in your vehicle from the earlier use of conventional, approved motor oil (API SH or S). MBUSA will also encourage its dealers to maintain their regular policy on loaner vehicles and other customer care benefits during any needed repairs. This coverage applies as long as you maintain your vehicle in accordance with our recommendations, including making the switch to approved pure synthetic motor oil as recommended in the March 23, 2001 letter. The specifics of this warranty coverage are outlined in the enclosed Notice of Class Action Settlement which we urge you to read carefully.


    You can rest assured that some of the world's best automotive engineers stand behind your Mercedes-Benz. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at 1-800-367-6372.

    Mark Juron
    MBUSA General Manager
    Product Management
    Parts and Services"


    "TO: All persons throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories who at the time of Final Settlement approval own or lease a model year 1998,1999,2000 or 2001 (first purchased or leased before March 31, 2001) Mercedes-Benz vehicle equipped with the Flexible Service System ("FSS")(the "Settlement Class" or "Class")

    YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED of a class action lawsuit that is pending in this Court and which parties propose to settle on a class-wide basis on the terms set forth below.

    If approved by the Court, the proposed settlement ("Settlement") will offer to all members of the class warranty coverage for oil sludging and related engine damage which may result from the use of API SH or SJ conventional motor oil in 1998 through 201 model year FSS-equipped Mercedes-Benz vehicles first purchased or leased before March 31, 2001 ("Vehicles"). It will also provide for the distribution of Maintenance Service Certificates in the amount of $35 each to owners and lessees of 1998 and 1999 vehicles usable as credit toward future scheduled service at an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer which includes an oil change (A or B Service). Owners and lessees of 2000 and 2001 vehicles are already covered for these expenses under the Mercedes-Benz Maintenance Commitment.

    If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you have the right to participate in the proposed Settlement. You may choose to exclude yourself from the Class. If you elect to exclude yourself from the Class, you will not receive all the benefits of the proposed Settlement.

    On August 7, 2002, the parties filed their proposed Global Class Action Settlement Agreement with the Court. By order dated August 12, 2002, and entered on August 14, 2002, the court conditionally certified the Class for settlement purposes only, approved this form of notice to the Class, and scheduled a hearing on the settlement for November 25, 2002.

    None of the actions taken by the court in connection with the issuance of this notice constitute an opinion of the court as to the validity or truth of any plaintiff's legal or factual allegations or of the positions taken by any party in this action.


    the details go on, but as this is a huge post, and effected owners will get notice, that is the bulk of it.
  • I have 01 ML 430 that just had it's 3rd set of rear brakes installed at the 26,000 mile mark. The dealer and MBUSA says that is normal wear. The fronts are at %80 and are original. They say the wear is tied to the anti-slip system that is activated under acceleration, which causes the rear break to pulse. My problem is that this system is continually functioning even when there is no tire slipping apparent. Does anyone have any thoughts or additional info on this problem.
  • Does this class action cover ML's purchased used from third party dealers. I purchased mine at a dealers auction.
  • bertram60bertram60 Posts: 113
    Here is the plaintiff's lead counsels web site with the full details of the suit. Just click on Mercedes.


  • I found the info on this settlement very helpful and I immediatly contacted the Warranty people at MB USA to ask if owners of 1999-2001 ML 320's would be notified. The answer I got was no but that on regular service visits the dealer service staff would check for either engine damage or "sludging " and if this occured the warranty would be extended to 10 years or 150,000 miles . The "hooker" for me was when he said that this was the case only if the car was still under warranty whe the check was made.........and my warrranty expires this month......!!!
    I just got off the phone to my dealer service dept. and they didn't have a clue as to what I was talking about! They agreed to register my call on their records so that I don't get screwed when I take my car in next month when the warranty "JUST EXPIRED". SO I advise all 1999 Canadian owners to check their warranty expiry date and get hold of the dealer.
  • I was about to test drive a M-Class. After reading all the reports here, no-way. Thanks to all and thanks to Edmunds for this site.
  • she1122she1122 Posts: 33
    Two months ago, I bought a 2000 ML 430. It only had 19000 miles on it, so I still have about a year of Mercedes warranty left. I heard ( rumor ) that Mercedes offers a 100,000 mile extended warranty on the ML,if I apply for it before the car hits 25000 miles , but I can not verify that. Does any one know if this is true and where I would go to sign up?
  • bertram60bertram60 Posts: 113
    I assume you bought this car from either a private party or a Non MB dealer, otherwise it would be Starmarked, giving you 5 years/100,000 miles.

    You may want to see if your local dealer will do that for you. Mine told me it would cost $900 to Starmark a truck and they would do it as a courtesy since i was going to use them for service ( I ended up buying one off their lot anyway so it was a moot point).

    Also if you scroll back you will that with the pending settlement offer on the class action suit, you may have 10 years 150,000 on the vehicle, but the details are not finalized and i have not received any word as to what the warranty covers (is it just power train, or is it comprehensive?).

    There are also some posts about warranties and the pricing on this board, do a quick search and maybe you'll be able to find them.

    Good luck
  • brdrbrdr Posts: 7
    I had the brakes replaced on my '98 ML320 3 times,
    all before 45000 miles. The dealer said the same thing, ie. it is normal wear and tear. It is mostly driven to work and back and to the mountains in winter time. Either way it is freeway driving, so this "normal wear and tear" just doesn't sound normal to me.
  • she1122she1122 Posts: 33
    Thank you for your advice. I just emailed MBUSA and inquired about an extended warranty. I will post what they have to say. You are right. I bought the 430 used from a high end used car dealer , but not a Mercedes dealer. I am very impressed with the existing warranty and the way the Mercedes service department treats me. I would like to keep that protection to 100,000 miles. By the way, I looked at a Starmarked 430 and they told me that it cost them 3500 dollars to Starmark a car. Interesting!
  • Unless you were the original purchaser of the ML AND it has less than 12,000 miles on it (and 1 year from in service date) you cannot purchase an MB extended warranty.
  • bertram60bertram60 Posts: 113
    I'd also check on the lawsuit info. If I'm not mistaken you will be covered under that. I'm still not clear on whether it only covers you for engine sludge related repairs, or if it extends the complete warranty... I have an insider checking on that and will report back when I know more.
  • sj9197sj9197 Posts: 3
    Can someone come forward and relate me their experiences with a 2002 ML500? Has there been any recalls, service problems, manufacturing problems, etc?

  • pooliopoolio Posts: 18
    Talked to MBUSA,and was told that only the engine pertaining to sludge build up is covered.If it is determained that it is the fault of MB,they will cover the engine only.Doesn't warrent enything else.
  • I need to replace the original DunLops on my 99 ML 320. Any suggestions ?
  • I have a 2000 ml 320. within the last two days, the BAS/ESP lamp came on twice.( also the ets/esp warning lamp) while driving between 30 and 50 mph.
    Instantiously the vehicle learched to on side, as if full brakes had been applied.I also heard a clunk sound. This lasted 1 - 3 seconds. The bas/esp light stayed on, the ets lamp went out.
    when you restart the vehicle the BAS/ESP lamp is out. Stopped to check for any problems, but found none.
    Iam scared to drive it. Any body with similar
    problems? or a good transporter to my dealer?
  • Try the Michelin LTX M+S 255 x 65 R16
    Great handling and milage
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