2001 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML320 from North America - Comments

9th Jan 2010, 17:01

I own a 2000 ML320. The drive shaft carrier bearing has been replaced 4 times. Lately have been replacing it once a year. Only 90000 miles on the vehicle.

Along with the last replacement, which was done at the same time as an all around brake replacement, the car developed a shimmy or vibration between 35 and 40 miles per hour, which the mechanics can't fix. It goes away above 40 mph. They think the problem is related to the carrier bearing replacement, not the brake job. The tires have all been balanced properly. Has anyone had a similar problem or have a thought as to what is causing this?

Is there any way that the brake job could have caused alignment issues or some other problem resulting in this?

21st Jan 2010, 18:26

I purchased my ML320 in 2003 w/50,000 miles on it. I have replaced the MAF sensor, the window switch the brake pads several times (DIY), and the power steering hose (DIY). But I have 273,338 miles on the vehicle and in the last year alone, have driven from Richmond, VA to Rhode Island, Johsntown, PA 6 times in 7 months, 41 times to Charlottesville in two years, 3 times to Charlotte NC, and countless other road trips without a breakdown. I've owned Toyotas that were not as reliable. I'm still using the original plugs. My neighbor owns a Lexus RX300 that has been in the shop more than it has on the road. If my ML stops working tomorrow it has been the best vehicle I have ever owned. I guess I got one of the good ones.

7th Feb 2010, 19:36

I own an ML320, and I was shocked at how cheaply these cars are made ,and how easily the car can break.

I am average weight and height, at about 170lbs 5 feet 11 inches tall, and yet the plastic housing under the driver's seat that houses the power seat controls broke twice in the first 6 months that I owned the car.

The dealership knew of the problem, and when I balked at the 300 dollar estimate to fix it, they installed a plastic washer as a "courtesy fix", but it too broke in about a week.

Second week I owned the vehicle, the plastic compartment housing in the drivers side door fell inside the door panel. It happened after I placed the Mercedes-Benz ML-320 owners manual inside it for about a week straight. Seems like the book was too heavy for the compartment housing and it eventually gave way. Cost 300 dollars to repair.

Next the fuel gauge broke, and I never know for sure how much gas is in the tank, and must fill it full and then guess. Since my wife sometimes drives the car, it really can be guesswork. Seems the fuel gauge is inside the fuel pump, and the whole thing needs to be replaced at a high cost. Wife ran out of gas on the highway once, and it was very dangerous as she had to be towed. The yellow empty warning light stays lit even when you fill the gas tank up full - very crazy. The other light that comes a lot is the check engine light. Dealership replaced a switch said it wasn't covered by warranty and it cost 300 dollars. It flashed on again after the fix, so either they didn't fix the problem properly and ripped me off, or the part is faulty.

My battery went out going to a Friday evening movie in the middle of a busy parking garage. The Mercedes was a laughing stock as it was funny to see it broke down going up a busy parking ramp on a date night. A guy came from Mercedes, and after changing the battery tried all the power equipment and immediately the sunroof broke. Guy said it happens often (asked me if I used it very often) and the repair was 800.

A year later, the car was rear ended, and after the dealer body shop fixed the body, I got home and found the spare tire was tossed in the back hatchback area instead of putting it back under the car. When questioned, I was given a story about the tire holder could not be replaced as it was produced in Alabama, and they didn't have any parts left, nor did any junk yards have parts when the supposedly searched. I was told you didn't need the spare anyway as it was too hard to access it when you needed it. So no spare tire.

I wish I never purchased a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. This is an exception to the American rule that "you get what you pay for", as I paid premium price and received an inferior product from Mercedes.

I wish I had my 15 year old reliable Mercury Cougar back. I had a few problems with my Ford cars, but never anything on this level! I owned 3 years - Ford Torino, 10 years, a Ford Maverick, 3 years, a Ford Mustang, 4 years, a Mercury Gran Marquis, and the 15 year old Cougar I bought used and owned about 7 years. All were far more dependable and reliable, and overall superior cars compared to this ML-320 Mercedes-Benz.

I am thankful that I owned a Mercedes as it helped me to get over the inferior American car complex I had. But I will never own a Mercedes again! Hope this warns others, and you will not make the same mistake as I did, or maybe I just had bad luck, but judging from what others have said (same troubles I experienced), I think not.

Sincerely.

8th Feb 2010, 11:44

I'm glad you got over your inferior American car complex, but the real fact of the matter is this -- the MLs were made in America, for Mercedes-Benz.

Could it be likely the root of the problem is the American worker?

This theory has credence, because government bailouts were needed for the American automakers ~after~ Mercedes had dropped their American partner, Chrysler.

In any regard, since going it alone, Mercedes-Benz has returned to the respectable standards and quality the company had always been renowned for.

18th Mar 2010, 04:05

I bought a 2000 ML320 recently, and took it to the dealership for an oil change, cost $110 dollars, but they gave me an estimate of $6200 in repairs needed. I laughed. I paid about 500 in material, and replaced all brake pads, and just tightened the loose gearbox bolts.

I have all the ALLDATA and Mitchell Manuals, and do the repairs myself, otherwise I would have been forced to spend an exorbitant amount of money on the vehicle.

The electronics are the root cause of the problems; thank GOD I am a trained electrician/electronics mechanic.

MBZ wanted about $3500 to replace my old radio, I spent only $420 and installed a brand new in dash 7 inch DVD with headrests, but it was very difficult, not a job for the average mechanic.

The MBZ dealerships are very expensive, find a good local MBZ experienced mechanic.

Overall the mechanical systems are very well built, and it can be a very reliable car. This is the best car I have owned, but the most complicated electrically.

Recently the gas door solenoid failed and I could not open the gas fuel door, but luckily I have all the manuals and opened the side door where the first aid kit is located, and lifted the solenoid manually, then removed the coil and replaced it with common drywall screws. The original ones had fallen off, but the MBZ dealership had quoted me $600 dollars for the repair, only cost me about 10 cents in parts.

Oh and by the way I did the brakes myself, MBZ quoted over $750 and I only paid $150 for parts, but it is not an easy task.

Anyway, enough here, it is a great automobile, but expensive to maintain, I plan on getting over 200K miles on this one.

And PS. the German wiring diagrams are the most difficult to read and understand, and I have a Masters.