Hi Guys and Gals, I'm ready to buy my ML500. The Mercedes dealer initially offered $1,000 of the $52,615 MSRP. I'm checking at another dealer to see which will give the best price. I'm thinking I'll commit if they go $1,500 off. I'm sure there might be better deals to be had but I'm OK with this one for $1,500 off. I have to order because I want parktronic,M3,M5,M7,Xenon,Bose,etc with an arrival date of mid Nov.
Currently I'm trying to sell my '99 Jeep GC Ltd. I'd rather sell it myself than trade it if I can.
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I have a 2000 ml 430 with 60k. I have been experiencing oil consumption problems with the vehicle, especially recently. I purchased the vehicle with 35k from a private seller in January 2001 and have been able to verify that the prior service was done at the recommended service intervals. I do a disproportionate amount of highway driving estimate: 85%/15% The vehicle oil light came on at 40k. I called Mercedes dealer who had done all of the previous service to inquire if there might be a problem. The service advisor advised me to add a quart and bring the vehicle in. After checking the service history the advisor seemed to be perplexed by the situation. He offered to place the vehicle in an oil consumption study that Mercedes was currently conducting and said at the next scheduled service they would change the oil to Mobil 1 synthetic. When I pressed the issue as to if he had seen other ML's with similar problems, he offered the information that Mercedes had been forced to address the consumption problem on the ML. He further stated that his dealership had even rebuilt and replaced some engines due to oil consumption.
I then had the ML serviced at 49K when the service indicator came on. The oil was changed to Mobil 1. Since then the oil light came on at approx 55k (-1.5L), 59.4K (-1.5L) & now at 60.5K (-1.0L). The dealer states that this consumption pattern is "within MB tolerances". I think this is absurd. I believe that the oil consumption is likely directly related to the fact that MB is pushing the oil change intervals way too long, probably corellated to the fact that they are paying the bill for the oil change under warranty. I have to question whether MB expects that most owners will trade vehicle before situation manifests itself or in my situation, the previous owner was leasing. I also find it interesting that MB issued a service bulletin in early 2001 advising dealers to switch to synthetic. I believe that this is clear evidence that MB has come to realize that they have overextended the oil change intervals, thus causing premature engine wear and oil consumption issues. However, at the dealership they aknowledge my belief that the oil consumption is a problem, but the dealer states that MB only considers oil consumption a problem if the vehicle is using more than 1L every 600 miles!, are you kidding? This is a $50K vehicle. Thankfully,the local dealer did note way back in March that I was expereincing oil consumption issues while the ML430 was still under warrantly. The latest time the indicator light came on, the dealer is now recommending that I have the oil changed again (even though my service indicator says the are still 4500 miles before service). The dealer say the want to better document the problem for MB. I feel there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate significant oil consumption. My opinion is that the damage has already been done and is not likely to be reversed. In fact, as you would expect, it appears to be getting worse. I have asked to speak with the regional MB rep to discuss the problem. My concern is that if I let the dealer continue to draw the situation out by putting new oil in the ML, MB will take position that it is a high-mileage situation that they should have been been alerted to sooner. I have owned several vehicles that I have driven to upwards of 175K, always changing the oil at NO MORE THAN 5K INTERVALS. Not surprisingly, this is the first oil usage issue I have ever had. The dealer answer to that statement is that those vehicles used oil as well, but I didn't notice it since I changed the oil so frequently. I feel like my inteligence is being challenged. I have never heard of any oil manufacturer suggesting going up to 16K between changes. As a sales rep I typically drive 30-40K each year. As such I pay particular attention to the fluid levels, even between services. My livlihood depends upon by thoroughness on maintenance issues. Let me know if anyone has had similar experiences and if anyone had MB rebuild or replace their engines as was reported to me.
"I believe that the oil consumption is likely directly related to the fact that MB is pushing the oil change intervals way too long, probably corellated to the fact that they are paying the bill for the oil change under warranty."
Pre-'00 MLs in the US did not have free scheduled maintenance. In Canada, oil changes are not free either, even for the '00 and newer models, so the above is not the case at all. Additionally, other manufacturers such as BMW also have a flexible oil change system which tailors the intervals based on the actual driving conditions of the vehicle.
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#5354 of 8199 Rear side airbag and child safety
Oct 09, 2001 (11:36 am)
The rear air side bag is a concern if you have a child who is leaning on the door. Even restrained in a child sdafety seat my daughter's head can touches the door if she dose off. That is why I am keeping my 1999 ML. I have two daughter and one of them will have to sit next to a door.
Attach is a link regarding rear side airbag and children. http://www.parentingplace.com/carsafety/Carsafety11.htm
#5355 of 8199 Rear side airbag and child safety
Oct 09, 2001 (11:53 am)
So, what happens to children who sit there (assuming that middle seat is taken)when the vehicle gets hit on that side? Do you just risk having them hit the hard plastics, metals , etc of the door? Or would you risk the side airbags deploying and hurting them?
#5356 of 8199 Rear side airbag and child safety
Oct 09, 2001 (12:34 pm)
NHTSA is suppose to come up with proper testing of these side airbag using standard child dummies this year. Once they are deem safe I'll get the latest ML. For now the only thing I'll do is to make sure my kid is properly strap in their child seat. BMW is shipping the X5 with the rear side airbag deactivated, probably to avoid litigation. Yoy have to pay 750 canadian to have them activated and only after you have sign your life away.
The NHTSA has already tested the side impact airbags with child dummies, AFAIK. After their testing, they asked that any manufacturers, who have found that their side impact airbags do harm properly restrained children, to de-activate them. MB's position is that if the rear occupants children or adults alike, are properly restrained, that the side impact airbags are far more beneficial than the risks involved, and as such they refuse to de-activate any side airbags. As was mentioned above, if you do not have any side impact airbags, it is the hard door structure, even though it has some energy absorbing padding, that will make contact with the outboard passenger, rather than the airbag.
As the driver, you still do have the responsibility of making sure that any adults or kids are not falling asleep leaning against the doors. Instead, get them to lean towards the centre armrest instead. Personally, I have not found this to be an issue; hink of it like making sure that your passengers are properly buckled up.
Side curtain head protection airbags are not a problem since they deploy downwards from the headliner not so much outwards. They also extend down only about the window/door sill height.
As for the BMW X5, rear side impact airbags are optional. If you do order them, they come from the factory de-activated and you have to sign a document saying that you understand the risks involved with BMW's side airbags and that you cannot sue the company in the event of an injury. You do not have to pay $750 to activate the airbags, but you do (obviously) have to pay for the option.
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