Bought a ML320 in 2000 and have been surprised about how many problems we have had with the vehicle given the reputation of Mercedes as a well made vehicle. Brakes need replacing often, trouble lights come on often, power windows broke, latest problem was with recalled Catalytic Converter (both cracked) that our dealer cannot get in stock. We found a great local mechanic specializing in German vehicles who thinks he can get the parts now, since the dealer has had them on backorder for two months. We would be reluctant to purchase another product from Mercedes given the service issues and weak dealer network in our area of the Western US.
I know a salesman at a Lexus dealer and he has told me more and more Mercedes Drivers are switching over to Lexus. That tells you something right there. The main reason people want a Mercedes is for the status. Lexus has a new styling called L-Finesse which is working for their sales. I see more Lexus than Mercedes on the road here in LA.
I bought my 2000 ML320 about 6 months ago, and I must say it is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. I'm about to call the bank tomorrow and find out what the pay out is on it and sale it for that amount and get rid of it. I just took it to the shop last week to have a couple of sensors replaced because it was shaking and paid $2000. Today, less than a week later, the same problem arises! Don't ask me what exactly is wrong with it because I don't know anything about cars, but I really hate this car. Like some others said, I bought it thinking that Mercedes was a car built to last, but boy oh boy, was I wrong! Anyways, I will NEVER buy a Benz again in my life...
I bought my 2000 ML 320 new in 12/00. 52k miles. Brake pads replaced at 49k. Minimal problems. Drive train locked up a few months after purchase. Could not back vehicle out of garage. Not sure why, but Mercedes repaired the problem and has never happened again. Oil sending unit started leaking about five years after owning. Easy repair. Granted these things shouldn't have happened, but I have had 6 years of pleasure with the vehicle. Considering a new one, but there are a lot of choices out there.
I have had many vehicles over the years and the last 3 have all been Mercedes. I still own 2 of them, I gave the other one to my brother. We have had normal ware-and-tear on the majority of our 2000 ML320. I do agree that the standard brake pads wear very quickly, however I had the dealer put harder after market brake pads on and now they last about 35,000 to 40,000 miles. The dealer has always been honest and helpful in providing answers for any questions I had (he suggested the brake pads). We have had the oxygen sensor go out once in 198,000 miles. It's being serviced right now and getting its first refill on the AC. We have had the oil changed every 10,000 miles as the maintenance requires, usually at 9000. After owning this vehicle for 7 years I am ready to get another Mercedes and maybe give this one to my other brother. By the way I do like my brothers.
Did any one have problems with the Starter or Ignition Switch? My starter went bad after 106k miles, is that normal? Also, you know they had a recall on the catalytic converters...
I wish I had checked out this site before I bought my ML320 brand spanking new in 2001. I too had the ill-conceived notion that Mercedes used the gold standard for all their parts. I waited all my life to buy this car and I have had one disappointment after another - windows that would not go up (all four) once down, horns (there are 2) that did not work when I absolutely needed them (I was told that the failure could have happened because I did not use them very much!) air conditioner failure two years in a row (Dealership recharged and it worked temporarily to the tune of $138+ each charge). To "fix the problem" properly will cost $900 more. Break pad replacements (45,000 miles) and the beat goes on. I give up. I wish I had spent my $41,000 on something other than a Mercedes.
I have had my 2000 ML320 for six years, it has 86,000 miles and I absolutely love it. Had to replace the brakes once, but I live in the Hollywood Hills and have many steep streets to get to the flats. Other than the brakes no problems whatsoever, in fact, when it hit 50,000 miles the dealership replaced - for free - the center console lid, and various other items that had only normal wear and tear. I could not be happier with mine.
Purchased Ml 320 18 months ago. I wish I had read your comments before purchasing. I have had nothing, but problems. Brought car because I am on the road a lot and thought Mercedes were realiable. Problems started almost immediately. They include everything that has been mentioned on this site, cc problems, cloth interior around window coming apart, power steering issues (my current issue), worn brake pads, it goes on and on. Has been a very bad experience. My '96 Honda Accord has had only 1 issue (air conditioner) and I now will drive it until I can get rid of this GERMAN LEMON. What a waste of my hard earned money!!!
I am looking for someone who knows how I can use my handsfree telephone with ML 320 Year 2000? I bought it already used, last year. No way to make it works. What should I buy? A CD? Plus, where can I buy a CD changer for that car? Tx to assist guys.
I've had my 2000 ML320 for a while now and it's been trouble-free. I happen to work at a non-Mercedes dealership and I see the sort of problems everybody's describing here come in and out of our service department every day of the week. Now, should we expect better from this particular vehicle based on it's nameplate and purchase price? Maybe we should, but keep in mind that the ML320 is NOT a sedan... it's a truck. Brake pads and tires wear out quicker on trucks. Try telling the owner of an F250 that you "only" got 25,000 miles out of your brake pads and watch him burst into uncontrollable laughter. I understand that things like heated seats and catalytic converters are not the sort of thing that should fail at regular intervals, but the cats are covered under a recall AND an 8 year/80,000 mile warranty. Besides, anybody who complains about a part failing after 8 years or 80,000 miles needs to get their head checked.
I'm not sure I'm buying a few of these stories anyway. The ML320 has a timing chain, not a belt. Even if it did have a timing belt, they're always located behind a solid cover (usually aluminum, but sometimes plastic) and would not be likely to "take out" any other belts if it breaks.