I bought my ML320 new in 2000 after months of research. To say I have been disappointed would be a gross understatement.
Within the first month the main computer died and I had to have the car towed to the dealership and then I waited 3 weeks for the new part to be delivered.
In the 9 years I have owned this car I have replaced/repaired the door lock switches twice (they are currently acting up again), the window switches twice, the sun roof no longer works, the CD player no longer works (it was replaced within the first year), the brakes 3 times, the air conditioner twice, the power steering pump, the driver side power seat unit, and of course all of the recall items.
Just last month it was back in the shop because the engine turned over but would not start. On average this car costs me $2,000 per year in repairs. That does not include routine maintenance. I promised that I would drive this car for 10 years and in one more year and probably another $2,000, my time will be up.
I purchased a 1998 ML 320 4 years ago, and all I do is get the oil change that cost me $180.00 at the dealer.
I had my brakes and sensor replaced once, and had my windows gear box replaced. Other than that, I enjoy my SUV very much and would purchase another one.
I have been thinking about selling my 2000 ML320 but was hesitant because I didn't want another car payment - until I came here and saw all the problems my truck has had and then some on people's lists. I got the car with 44,000 miles and I have put 40,000 miles on since.
- My catalytic converter broke recently.
- I've lost two door actuators ($600 if you take it to the dealership - I just found out the part is only $30) The dealer told me the parts were bad and that they go out all the time. No recall though...
- Brake light switch.
- Airbag sensors - I was also told by the dealer that these went bad frequently.
- My power steering reservoir cracked (still haven't fixed).
- I'm losing oil.
- CD changer has errors all the time.
- The cloth has come unglued from the ceiling and from around the dashboard in places.
- The door pockets are loose and rattle when my music is on. I have big pieces of Styrofoam in both front pockets to keep them from rattling.
- The gas gauge is wrong but I haven't taken it in. I ran out of gas once. That was fun.
Now the transmission is shifting funny. Like someone else's, mine is hesitating and then shifting abruptly and hard. I read on another site that the transmissions are bad on these early ML models (1998-2001). I'm sick of something going wrong every flipping month. I might as well have a payment! I am getting a 4Runner ASAP!!! And yes, I've done my maintenance as did the person before me... these cars are not decent quality! This is not what I expected from MB.
I've had my 2000 ML320 since day one.
Up until a year ago all MX was done by the dealer. Then I started to notice that every oil change was ~ $1300 due to other "problems" the dealer found and needed to fix. Now I am doing all of the work myself since I don't trust the dealer.
In the last year I've had to replace the mass airflow sensor twice (the first replacement was faulty).
The power steering hose (covered under recall).
Half of my plastics are cracked such as the drivers side control panel that now drags on the floor.
The sunroof switch is cracked, but I don't use it, because the arms that hold the wind breaker up rusted through years ago.
As a precautionary measure, I just replaced the spark plugs, front and rear differential fluid, transfer case fluid, radiator fluid, and transmission fluid. I've just hit 65k miles.
I ran across this forum trying to find a replacement lock for my front passenger door. If you are a fan of patterns, you may notice an unusual amount of problems for 65k.
Oh, and I replaced the battery twice and the front window pillar fabric is peeling off.
My father in law has a newer ~ 2008 ML and the quality has much improved. I would stay away from the early years. I'm looking for something else as we speak. Now if I could just keep it from breaking long enough to sell it!
I had a Toyota Prado for 4 years, and did nothing except replace the radio antenna and normal oil changes etc.
Brilliant car, it had done 295k klms when I sold it (big mistake), then I sold it and bought an X5 BMW, it's on the market now for 40K.
I've had it five months, and so far the driver's side window shattered, one of the tyres split and I locked my keys in the boot, so I had to smash a window, no other way to get in.
It seems to jump at the back wheels when I hit a bump, it handles like crap, and I replaced the battery two days ago. I'm scared to drive it for fear of more going wrong.
I was about to buy an ML320 when I came across this forum. What's going wrong with European cars? Looks like a Jeep for me; they have a good reputation except for the ones that catch fire.
I'd buy another Prado, but everyone seems to hold on to them because they are so well made.
My 2000 Mercedes ML320 is the worst car I've ever owned. Very unreliable and expensive to repair.
The problems that occur are ones almost unheard of in other vehicles, and I can't believe the factory would produce such a lemon.
At one point it would stall out when stopped for a light, then couldn't be started for at least 15 minutes. I was the lead car at a red light blocking traffic on the main drag in Coeur d'alene Idaho (summer, busiest time) and tried to push it out of the way (by standing outside the drivers rolled-down window and steering/pushing at same time). I nearly fell under the wheels when I slipped and was almost killed. Had to rent a car to continue trip to Colorado.
The drivers electric window switch had failed twice and had to be replaced. Now car had to be towed to dealer with "start error" and dealer can't fix it. (I am without car for a week).
Have the same problem with really bad wander on slippery (icy) roads. Handles great on dry roads. Tires are Nokian snow. It seems to try to induce a sway. Tried turning off the stability control, but it doesn't make a difference. Any ideas?
PS I live in the far north where the roads are bad 6 months a year, and I've been driving for 36 years on these roads.
Got my 2000 ML 320 in December 2009. In the 2nd week, the fuel pump went up. Next week, it needed brakes and the locks were malfunctioning. Airbag light with ESP happened at the same time. In March, fuel pump went up again. Fixed under warranty this time. November 9th 2010, the fuel pump went up again, replaced. ON November 29th (today), the fuel pump went up yet again.
Now they just don't understand... 110,000 miles.