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



  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    Months ago I introduced to this forum the problem of hesitation with the 01 ML320, MB has acknowledge (finally)this problem, and replaced my ECU with a 02 ECU. They stated the ECU coding was unable to read the "blends" of gasoline. Apparently gas comes in summer, winter, and mixed blends. The ECU codes read the gas and sends it to the injectors, and what have you to distribute to the engine. In my truck and others with this problem this either wasn't happening, or the communication was happening too slowly.

    If you are experiencing hesitation (after coming to a complete stop) please don't take "no" for an answer - it took me 9 months to get them to listen to me. Each time they returned my truck they stated there was nothing wrong.....then I called Montvale NJ (MB CORP) and things got done.

  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    In the 01 ML the coin holder is a useless piece of black rubber found under the console top. I have removed mine as it impaired the ability to freely store and remove CD's. Since I don't smoke I put change in the ash tray (much to my husbands dismay) but be careful small coins fall between the console and removable ashtray spaces and are difficult to remove. This IS NOT an option for large hands, as it's difficult for my hubby to remove coins when he borrows (yikes)my truck.

  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    What changes are in store, do you think they will ever get a DVD based Nav system?
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I had the same problem. Had the Shift Control Module replaced under warranty and it is fine now. Had to leave the car for a day as they had to order the Shift Control Module. Nothing to get worried about, but get it done when your car is still under warranty.
  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    Thought we'd have a little fun in this forum by listing the things we feel would transform our truck into the "ultimate ML".

    I'll go first:

    My name is Denise (aka Neicey)I own a desert silver, 2001 ML 320 with 17,000+ miles. My dream ML would possess:

    headlights like those on the 02 (performance products)

    hella fog lamps (my

    new burl vent covers/door handles (my

    sun roof wind deflecter (performance products)

    mud flaps

    mobile audio system (tv in headrests)
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    Does anyone know how much it costs to add the 3rd row jump seats on an ML320?
    Do you have a source other than the dealer who can provide this accessory?

    I'm trying to sell my 2000ML320 and everyone who calls says they want the jump seats.

  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    First of all ML's third row is a lot more than a "jump seat" the third row is two FULL seats which can comfortably hold an adult for short trips. I use the 3rd row for my grandson, and he now has no desire to move to the 2nd row.

    The third row can be taken out, or folded out of the way for groceries or cargo, they have been crashed and safety tested and have a full seatbelt feature. Adding them can be done, but you will catch hell trying to get into the 3rd row.

    When a ML is designed with the third row the second row folds down at least 3 different ways to gain access to the last seat.
  • eric95eric95 Posts: 4
    I have a 99 ml320. It now has 54,000 miles and so far has been a great car. I change my own oil, filters, fluids, etc.

    Has anyone ever changed their own fuel filter.

    If you have please tell me where it is and the simplest way to change it.

  • mcqpmcqp Posts: 1
    I had front brake pads changed at 20k, 30k and now 40k miles at the MB dealer shop. These pads lasted only 10k miles???. Rear brake shoes lasted 20k miles. My wife drives the car mostly on the freeway to work in Orange County, CA. I asked the Service Manager at MB dealer and he said it is normal; sometimes they last only 8k miles. What kind of MB products quality is this???. I mean I could get 40k miles on the brake pads/shoes that I replaced on my 99 Toyota 4runner . Had anyone have the same experience/problem?. Please reply. Thanks
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    Any idea what is would cost to add the seats?
    I don't really care how functional they are, just to inform a prospective buyer that it can be done
    and how much it costs. When you say they can comfortably seat adults, are you referring to midgets?

    mcqp; I just had my 20k mile maintenence done on our 2000ML320 and they said the front pads needed to be replaced. They quoted us $280 to replace them! to just replace 2 pads.
    After we declined to have MBZ do it, because it's less than $100 down the street, they called back to say they were going to replace the steering column, the sunroof motor and the front shocks (all covered by warranty). I guess this is good revenue for them since they can bill the factory.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Thanks for the info. I'll mention that to the service manager on my next service.
  • digital_bdigital_b Posts: 129
    does anyone know when the production run for a given year ends for the m class? also wont after market HID lights work on the m class? what is the REAL difference between HID lights that I can get installed from a local franchised trim shop [just rite auto trim, cheezy name but very good workmanship] and the mb specific ones?
  • unsure3unsure3 Posts: 8
    Heard this week that the ML320 will be replaced by a larger-engined ML370 starting with the 2003 model year. Production for the existing 320 stops at the end of May or June (can't remember which), meaning that the new car should be in dealer showrooms late summer/early fall.

    Only change to ML500 is apparently a DVD-based navigation system.

    Prices are expected to increase slightly for the ML500 - $500 - $1000, but it's unclear how far above the current 320's MSRP the 370 will be priced.
  • unsure3unsure3 Posts: 8
    Apparently the MB-installed are self-levelling, unlike typical aftermarket lights. I'm sure std xenon bulbs could be fitted to any model year card, but you'd lose the benefits associated with self-levelling.
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    Any information regarding the increase in hp/torque? MB needed to do something to keep up with the competition in this department. Will this engine be shared with the C and/or E?

    Is the full redesign scheduled for 2005? Have we heard what direction MB is going to take the ML at that time. The GST will be coming out at approximately the same time.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • brightwellbrightwell Posts: 1
    I am considering the purchase of a used ML320 with 48,000 miles. Know the previous problems there. I would like to hear from all you current 1999 320 owners regarding any serious problems...Especially from any of you with high mileage (aka lots of experience with this vehicle). I REALLY need to know what to expect as it will take me about 10 years to pay off!!
    Please help.. I appreciate your advice!
  • troyy2ktroyy2k Posts: 91
    What type of fuel does Mercedes officially recommend for the ML320 - Premium, or Regular?
  • carstuff3carstuff3 Posts: 11
    I have a early 1998 ML320, purchased 12/97. I have 80,000 miles on the truck. Some early issues in the warranty period, under 50,000 miles, but the last 30,000 have been trouble free. The brakes pads have been replaced only once since new. This is not a babied ML320, always maintained properly by the dealer, but a lot of real off road driving. I still cannot believe how versatile this vehicle is compared to the competition. Definitely the best all around SUV available new or used. Good Luck!
  • procterprocter Posts: 19
    91 Octane min. Doesn't matter how you get it. Could be Reg. w/ octane inhancer but simpler to just buy what the pump says is the posted octane. Lower octane will cause pre-ignition and valve damage.
  • procterprocter Posts: 19
    Mine - 1999 ML 320 - 25K mi.
    Great traction system.
    Lots of rattles.
    Great off road and on snow/ice. Never driven better, though I would rather have more control.
    Two coolant leaks.
    Radio antenna bad - replace rear window twice.
    Don't ever expect the dealer to have a part -- you'll have to go back to get it fixed.
    High warranty maintenance cost. Second reg. Maintenance $500K. Mercd. will not sell me a manual so I can do my own!!!!!!
  • procterprocter Posts: 19
    How about the same creature comforts that came on the 1994 Mercury Sable.

    Cruise control on the steering wheel that does not interfere with the turn signal.
    Auto on-off lights with variable "On" after ignition off, so you can get to your house front door with light.
    Key pad drivers side door entry so if you lock a key inside you can still enter the car.
    Smaller key.
    Cup holders that you don't hit getting in and out.
    Adjustable variable timing on windshield wipers.
    Completely switchable dash cluster between metric and English.
    Trip computer integrated with dash cluster.
    Sun visor that overs both the side window and the windshield (including the corner) at the same time.
    Climate control (available on post 2001 Mercedes models). Does it work? The Mercury certainly does.
    No rattles.
    Trunk net bags so groceries don't roll around.
    Adjustable lumbar air bag support.

    These are other things I've seen and like:
    Separate rear seat climate adjustment.
    Back seats that go down as easy as on the GMC Jimmy.
    Two driver complete memory of seats and mirrors at the push of the button as on the Jimmy.
    Right side rear view mirror that "looks down" to help see the curb when parking.

    This is the most important.
    I've tied to get a maintenance manual for this car to do some of my own maintenance. These people refuse to sell me one, even on CD which they say is the only way it is published.
  • procterprocter Posts: 19
    What size new tires? I want to go bigger on the '99 17 in. rims. Any help?
  • john_168john_168 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 ML320. Few days ago, I broke the mirror frame (the black plastic part surrounding the mirror) on the passenger side view mirror when I tried to back my truck from the garage. The part itself only costs $26 and try to replace it by myself. However when I attemp to remove the mirror frame, the mirror (the glass part) is preventing me doing it. Does anyone know how to remove the mirror from its housing ?
  • orlandorland Posts: 9
    The 2002 ML addresses several items of your wish list:
    Auto on-off lights with variable "On" after ignition off.
    There is a "large" cupholder in the center console in addition to the two under the side vents from previous years.
    The variable wipers "automatically adjust" as the vehicle velocity increases--I prefer manual adjustment.
    Automatic climate control with rear vents and adjustments.
    Cargo nets are available at additional cost from them dealer.
    Available as part of the M2 package are memory seats/mirrors and a tilt-down right mirror in reverse.
    All four windows now have an auto down/up feature.

    I happen to prefer the cruise control lever on the ML over one in the steering wheel because it is always in the same location. I do wish it had a cruise control light for when it is engaged. I also wished it had a warning light for when a door is not properly closed.

    Each manufacturer has certain design preferences and no one makes a "perfect" car. Mercedes does charge exorbitant amounts for convenience features that American and Asian manufacturers include as standard equipment, such as a CD player. On the other hand, Mercedes vehicles usually have extensive safety and performance features that are often not available from other manufacturers, such as side and curtain airbags, ESP, Brake Assist, roofs that do not collapse on a rollover, etc.

    It depends on how much you can (or are willing to) pay and on your priorities.
  • bon_bonbon_bon Posts: 20
    OK I went to the Merc Dealer for the first time near Boston, in Sommerville. Just wanted a few things done on the ML 500 so made the effort of going to them. This is how they treat a customer with $54K car.
    1) First Shock, they do not give Loaner cars. Instead they offer limo service in which first you have to wait in line with 5 other persons. Then the driver asks all of them to hop in, and starts dropping them one by one. I could not believe this was happing to me. I talked to the manager and he said they allow their loaner cars to be rented by Thrifty (which BTW is in the same building) and if the Service department/Sales department decides to give a loaner car to the customer, the department is charged around $37 perday. I am really pissed about this. This was despite the fact that I had over $1000 worth of additional equipment being installed. Later I felt that I should have asked about the loaner car, but being a previous lexus owner, I kinda assumed that when you give a car for a day's worth of work, they give you a loaner.

    2) Second Shock, when I reached in the evening (my wife picked me up 'as the limousine would not show up in time, how predictable) I found that the car was not washed and one of the few things that I had asked was not done either. The service agent was gone for the day and the boys who were delievering the car had no idea and asked me to call back the next day. I just did not waste any more time and came back.

    3) Third Shock, there was no juice, soft drink in the waiting lounge. There was a broken coffe machine with no creamer. No food either. Not that I went there to stuff myself but this is totally unheard of.

    Is there someplace I can complain with Mercedes ? Are all dealers in Massachusetts like this or is this one an exception ? Any comments from fellow Merc owners would be very helpful. I surely won't go there anymore, would try the other one somewhere on route 1, its far from my place though. And finally I thanked myself that I did not buy the car from a dealer in Massachusetts, not only I saved a lot of money, I also got excellent service. I think Mercedes should send their staff to Lexus dealership to learn something.
  • procterprocter Posts: 19
    Yes, the ML is probably safer than the 1994 Sable. However the ABS on the Sable is very good. And the most important part of the safety equation is the driver.

    But .....

    The 1994 Sable cost $20K out the door in 1994. It has more creature features by far than even the M2, ML 2002, and at sticker price.
    The dealer service was about the same except it cost less. I just paid $500 for Service B on the ML!!!! I've had as many visits back for warranty as with the car that cost 1/2.

    The ML rattles really annoy me. The car cost nearly twice as much. The Sable is quitter even after 8 years.

    Another feature for the ML that I would like is on demand locking differentials, and transfer case. Dia-Christler offer it on a $65K back county monster that ordinary people would not want. (see my earlier posting on traction). Toyota 4-runners offer locking differentials as an option.

    I've concluded you buy a Mercedes ML for the traction system, and to get coffee in the lobby. (see the posting above this one.)
  • procterprocter Posts: 19
    My wife did the same thing on a telephone pole. I could tell you how to fix it except MB will not sell the maintenance manual for the car. See my wish list above. Good luck!

    Add to the wish list:
    A folding mirror that collapses both ways. (probably not a big item for most!)
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    My headlights on my 2002 ML500 were too high. I had people flashing me at night (with their headlights that is!) The dealer said they had a new machine that could adjust them. Ever since I had it done, I've not been flashed.

    I've got 5,400 miles now and I'm very pleased so far. No rattles, excellent power... gas mileage is 11.5 city, 18 highway. With 288hp... how can anyone complain. The third seat works excellent when needed. I would like to see controls on the steering wheel for the radio volume, etc.

    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
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