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Mercedes-Benz M-class (ML320, ML350, ML500 and ML55) 2005 and earlier



  • I am getting ready to purchase a 99 ML430. I know there have been some reliability/quality issues with some of the 98/99 models. I would like a 2000 or 2001, but the budget wont allow. I just want to get rid of the Blazer I currently have before it falls apart. I figure a 99 ML would be better than any Blazer. Can anyone give me any key things to look for?
  • chitomchitom Posts: 6
    Does anyone have a recommendation for a source for floor mats and other accessories for the ML series? I have a 2002 ML 320 and the front floor mats don't cover as much of the carpet as I would like, so I am trying to find a good alternative. Am also hunting for a liner for the rear area.
  • thecpathecpa Posts: 16
    I have spent a lot of time on the boards before and after my purchase. The fuel pump is a major complaint, it just stops. The replacement includes some changes to the fuel lines as well as the pump.(lots of posts) The next item is the window switches which leave you stuck with a window down until fixed.(lots again) The third is a rattle in the right side of the rear seat and the rear door.( a couple) Fourth is wind noise from faulty door seals.(several) Fifth is the dash doesn't settle in properly and leaves you with a loud noise when the dash shifts. (two)

    I've got a 2000 320ML with none of the above. Nothing at all in 18 months.(knock on wood)!
    The only one I have is the right rear seat belt rattles when it rewinds and hangs on the outside edge of the seat. The rattles mentioned in the above list were not the belt but required parts to fix. HAPPY TRUCKING!
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    This might be usefull for those of you who are looking for replacment Tires for your ML320.
    The only All-Terrain tire I could find for the size 255/65/16, was the Michelin XPC
    and they where over $130 at I recently found
    a good tire: TOYO OPEN COUNTRY A/T from for
    $83. I checked the Toyo web-site and the Tread Patern looks
    good. I will probably get this tire.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Mercara, email me if you want an extra set of wheel/rims for your snow tire, so you don't need to take off your all season tire, email me if you are interested and I will send you a picture.
  • Thanks for the info. I would really like to get a 2000 model and have been searching. I have found a 2000 ML430, it just has more miles than I wanted for that year, but the price is right. It has 48,800 miles, mostly highway. I figure I can get any issues addressed in the next month or so, and purchase an extended warranty to take care of anything else. Anyone have any comments on buying one with that miles in 2 years?
    Thanks again
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    IMHO, don't buy it, even all those miles is mostly hiway, that ML is consider 4 years old any thing lower that 30K miles should be OK with dealer record for maintenance. that's My .02 cents.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    I have a 2000 ML 430 with about 17,000 miles on it. At my last service visit at around 11,000 miles the service rep told me that I needed new rear brakes. He also indicated that I will probably need new front brakes at the next service appointment.

    I just scheduled a new service appointment with a different dealer and he was asking me what I had done on the car, service wise, I told him that I had the rear brakes changed. He was very surprised, especially considering the mileage. He asked me if the brake change indicator had gone off on the dash. It had not. I didnt even know there was such an indicator. He said that that was very unusual and that the rear brakes should last about 35,000 - 40,000 miles.

    I live in central NJ suburbs and most of my driving is highway driving.

    Has anyone else experienced this? I feel either something was defective with the vehicle or that I got screwed by that dealer.

    I am thinking about writing a letter to the dealer and/or MBUSA and asking for a refund. If it was due to some defect it should have been covered under warranty and if the dealer screwed me they should refund my fee anyway.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience? Please post when you changed the brakes on your M class and how you would characterize your driving habits nand what part of the country you live in.

  • cielciel Posts: 2
    I just had the same thing happen to me yesterday with regards to my brakes on the ML 430 - 18K miles on it! They say I have only 10% left on the rear ones! I really think that they are faulty.

    I have never replaced any brakes this early. They replaced the front ones free of charge, "as a courtesy", because they haven't stopped squealing since the day I bought it!(it has been in over four times for this problem and they already changed them too about 4k ago)

    I have decided that since this car is in the shop more than on the road and since they expect that I will be changing the brakes every 15-20K, I am much better off selling it now.

    Most concerning - when all the BAS/ and other brake lights going off while driving on the freeway far from home. They say that the indicator lights are just inadvertently going off.

    Due to this poor experience, of saving pennies to buy what was supposed to be a great car, I will never buy another Mercedes again! but good luck to you!
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    11,000 miles is really early for changing rear brakes. Assuming they really needed replacing, there must have been someting wrong that caused them to wear down so quickly. In daily use I didn't smell the brakes burning or anything.

    And as I have stated earlier the service rep was particullarly surprised at the rear brakes wearing down. Apparently usually the front brakes wear down much sooner than rear brakes.

    Also, the rear hatch lock does not lock with the automatic lock switch or the remote unless I open up the hatch and manually lock it. This is annoying since whenever you stop the car and turn off the ignition all of the locks automatically unlock including the hatch. I then have to go and manually lock it each time. I will have this fixed as well.
  • This is a copy of a posting I made to another list on 10-29-'01:

    I read so often of poor brake pad wear life on the M-Class. I just inspected my pads with 39,550 miles on my 1998 ML-320 and the front pads are 0.263" thick and the rears are 0.308" thick. New pads are 0.383" thick, and the allowable minimum wear is 0.120". This calculates to my brake wear being 40% for the front and 30% for the rear. If the wear was linear it would mean I could expect to reach almost 100,000 miles before the front pads require replacement, and 138,000 miles for the rears. I don't expect this since the rotor surfaces are no longer perfectly smooth, and the wear rate should increase somewhat.

    My driving is mostly highway, with few hills, except for the two trips to California across the Rockies. Also, I'm a conservative driver and usually get excellent brake and tire life.
  • cielciel Posts: 2
    Tomhock - TWO separate MB service managers stated to me specifically just yesterday that they are replacing brakes in these cars as early as 10K. Most are making it to 20K.

    How did you manage to measure brake pad width? And what do you make of all the brake noise and dirt that they give off? What about the BAS lights going off - separate system I realize but still related to turning & braking....

    AKIN67 - I never had a door latch problem but beware - my GPS died on two separate occasions (faulty) And check the trim around the two front doors - it may start to buckle (defective).
  • ciel: I measured the brake pad thickness the last time I rotated the tires. I used a dial calipers with a depth measuring rod. Using the depth measuring feature it was easy to determine the thickness of the pad material without removing any brake components. This probibly isn't clear, but if you remove a wheel and just look at the pads you can get a very good feel for the material remaining on the pads. I looked at a set of new pads, that I purchased in anticipation of needing them after reading all the reports of early replacements, and measured the pad material that would remain once the wear indicator was contacted. This "minimum" allowable pad thickness is 0.120 inches(on the set I measured). Keep in mind that when this point is reached it is just a reminder that your brake pads will need replacing soon. They still have 30% of the new pad thickness, and thousands of miles of use remaining once the "Brake pads" dash light comes on.
    On my vehicle I never had any brake noise. My brakes have always been smooth and quiet. The brake dust is another problem I guess we all have. I spot clean the wheels with a paper towel and WD-40 when it bothers me and I'm going someplace where I want it to look good.
    Regarding the "BSA" lights. I don't know what that is. I have no indication while driving that my ABS is malfunctioning, and the ETS warning light only flashes (very infrequently) when I drive on snow covered Wisconsin roads.
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    I have a 1998 ML and now have 51K on it and have replaced the front pads at about 30K and the back pads haven't been replaced at this time. However, I'm expecting that they will need replacing in the not too distant future. One can look through the opening of the wheels with a flash light and see the pads and get an estimation on the amount of wear left in the pads. My truck gets a mixed amount of highway and town driving but do not drive too aggressively requiring heavy braking.
  • pooliopoolio Posts: 18
    I would like to know if enyone has ever attached the ML wing on the back of there Benz,if it would obstruct the opening of the rear door if you had the ML phone antenna.
  • I have the rear wing (roof mounted spoiler) on my 2002 ML500, and it does not impede the rear hatch opening or the roof antenna in any way.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Roger23.... how do you compare your 2002 with the 2000 ML that you had?

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • Having had both, I can honestly say that my 2000 ml was a significant improvement over my 1998 ml320,and the new 2002 takes a similar leap in terms of fit and finish, new technology, and driver/owner satisfaction.
  • pooliopoolio Posts: 18
    Thanks Roger23.I'm really considering getting the ML wing now.Might help keep some of the dirt off the back window
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