5th Jan 2014, 15:25
Original poster again. I still have the ML320. I passed 140K miles a bit ago. The Mercedes is still running great. We have had heavy snow the last few days, and the ML320 drives through like a champ. Just unbelievable. No repairs since my last update - oil changes etc. Every maintenance item has been done as per the mileage specified by Mercedes Benz.
I have driven this vehicle cross country several times now. Taken the family with me.
13th Jun 2015, 00:23
Original poster. Closing in on 160K miles. Still running smooth. I mostly use the ML320 in the winter now and to haul a trailer when I need to. We purchased a GL450 for family trips etc. The ML has presented no serious problems outside of needing a new catalytic converter. After 8 years of ownership, I am very pleased.
5th Dec 2015, 16:22
Original poster: After all this time, I traded the ML320 in. I passed 160K miles, so by far the majority of the miles on this vehicle was done by me. I also did all of the work myself over the years.
Easily one of the best vehicles I have owned. Winters here can be bad. Lots of snow. The ML never had a problem. It was fantastic in the snow. The down side to that is the salt on the roads that eventually results in rust. I repaired some of the rust and repainted the ML a few years ago, but once again there were a few spots showing up. I opted to replace it with a Mercedes E350 4matic.
For those of you considering a ML320, do the maintenance and it will treat you well. Buy parts that are supposed to go on the vehicle. I see a lot of people who complain about their W163s, but have bought non-OEM parts on eBay (like mass air flow sensors) and complain about the quality of the Mercedes.
You will have to replace catalytic converters on this vehicle from time to time. You have to use the correct oil filter - not the one you get at the local parts store. You have to use the proper oil as recommended by Mercedes. I used Mobil 1 0w40 and had no issues with the drivetrain. Again, the engine and transmission did not have an issue at all in all of years I owned the vehicle. I had to replace sensors as they went bad, yes. I replaced them with the proper parts, so some were pricey.
The fuel gauge can stop working and will need to be reset. Eventually the reset does not work anymore and a new fuel pump will have to be installed. The fuel level sensor is embedded in the fuel pump and the entire unit needs to be replaced. Still, the unit is original, so after all those years - big deal.
Change your spark plugs and wires! Do the transfer case and differential service! There is plenty of DIY information out there or find a good Mercedes independent shop in your area. The forum on Benzworld is an excellent source of information. They can also point you in the right direction for where to get the right parts at a better price than the dealership.
When I consider the original buy price on the vehicle, everything I spent on parts and maintenance over the years and what I got when I traded it in, this Mercedes was very cost effective. I keep a table on my computer of every service and repair done to all of my vehicles, along with the cost.
Would I buy another? Yes. I have owned two now and would get another if it came with records. It is a tank on the road. Just solidly built. Do not expect exceptional gas mileage - USE PREMIUM. I got about 17 MPG in mixed driving over almost 9 years.