Last post on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG, SUV
#6881 of 8199 ML-320 Oil Burning
Apr 02, 2003 (2:26 pm)
Any oil burning is definitely a problem. The Mercedes manual says oil should not have to be added between required oil changes. The oil level light on my 1999 ML-320 flashed on in Jan 2002 after a round trip of 2000 miles. The dealer has been conducting their so called "oil consumption test" for the past year. They are now on test 2 of part 2. This is related to the class action against Maercedes involving engine problems due to use of natural oil rather than synthetic oil in FSS equipped vehicles. Now my engine sounds like a beer truck hauling a full load up a steep hill & I am visiting my dealer on April 4 2003 about this. Just like a lot of you I like this "truck". It handles beautifully,it is sure footed in all kinds of bad weather, it looks good. Mercedes has made a big mistake by using cheap parts,(tires,brakes) and poor quality control. I am selling this 1999 ML-320 with 33,500 miles on it before the warranty expires in July 2003. It has the roof rack & towing package,brand new Michelin XC tires plus other
goodies. Asking price $2600. I am located near Utica NY.
#6882 of 8199 Any oil burning
Apr 02, 2003 (2:46 pm)
"Any oil burning" is not necessarily a problem and I've never seen MB say that engines can't use oil between oil changes.
Most mfgs publish max oil consumption figures that are quite high - in the range of qt/1K. At this level, I'd complain and they will usually do something, but once I was in the range of qt/3K, I'd just live with it. Oil consumption is an annoyance, but as long as it isn't excessive, it has nothing to do with how "good" the engine is or how reliable it will be. It's just one of those things that varies from engine to engine.
The class action suit has to do with extended oil changes when non-synthetic was used. If you suffer a lubrication related failure and non-syn was used when serviced by MB, then they'll fix it up to (I recall) 100K.
#6883 of 8199 ML-320 Oil Burning
Apr 02, 2003 (3:13 pm)
I paid about $40,000 for this so called "high quality vehicle". I don't intend to carry a few quarts of oil in the back especially when I never had any oil related problems in Chevrolets, Fords,VW's - all costing much less than the ML-320.
#6884 of 8199 Oil consumption not a quality indicator
Apr 02, 2003 (5:43 pm)
Suit yourself, but having to carry a $4 qt of oil and put it the engine every four-months or so seems like a hell of a reason to reject an otherwise good car.
My point: People get all excited about oil consumption, WAY out of proportion to the neglible expense/hassle. And it has virtually nothing to do with the overall quality of a vehicle. In fact, there is some evidence that engine features in more expensive Euro cars that promote long life and durability (e.g., Nikasil cylinder coatings) do tend to make break-in more difficult and somewhat increase the chances of higher oil consumption.
But mostly a random noise thing across samples, whether it is Chevy, Ford, VW, or MB. The oil consumption you get with a new car is mostly a roll of the dice, with some minor influence on how the car was broken in. It has nothing to do with quality.
#6885 of 8199 CAUTION: Serious Safety Flaw
Apr 02, 2003 (6:14 pm)
SERIOUS SAFETY WARNING FOR ALL ML OWNERS
My wife and family barely escaped serious injury several days ago when the power steering failed while on the freeway. Fortunately, she was on a straight freeway section, but the failure occurred during traffic and she changed several lanes involuntarily and ended up in the median. Vehicle is a 2001 ML-430 with 32.5K miles.
After giving up on TeleAid (do they have more then one employee?), I tried to muscle the car home and was amazed at the difficulty in steering.
When the steering fails - and it fails very fast - the car cannot be controlled by a 5'2", 90lb female!!! I can bench-press well into the 200's (even at my age) and I could not control the vehicle.
I reported this to 800-Call-Merc the following morning as well as to my local dealer. While both were polite and apologetic, neither really seemed to be concerned about safety issue. I was astonished. My entire family could have been killed.
Someone will be killed or seriously injured under this failure scenario. Don't let it be you or your family. I'm reporting it here for your safety.
My wife said that she heard a noise like a high-performance motorcycle and was looking for it in the rear-view when the steering just "disappeared". Apparently, this was the power steering pump failing. You've got about three seconds after you hear that sound to get your life in order.
I'm not comfortable trusting my family in an ML any more. The reliability of this vehicle has been abysmal. However, I draw the line with my family's safety. This is a severe safety flaw, and Mercedes does not appear to care. Someone else will own this car by the weekend.
Be safe & good luck!
San Antonio, Texas.
#6886 of 8199 power steering clamps
Apr 02, 2003 (7:35 pm)
You've had the infamous clamp failure. We've known about it for a good 6-8 months already on most of the ML forums. MB still hasn't issued a recall
Apr 03, 2003 (12:01 am)
Joel, sorry about your scare, but I'm skeptical that the ML has a power steering failure mode that is any worse than most cars.
1. How did power steering failure cause your wife to involuntarily change lanes on a straight freeway section? Didn't the failure cause the steering to become very hard to turn? If so, I'm perplexed how the car started changing lanes involuntarily.
2. How do you know you personally can't physically turn and control the car if the failure occurred while your wife was driving? Did you intentionally turn off the engine while in motion and check it yourself? If you attempted to turn it while the vehicle was stopped, then you're adding the static tire friction to the resistance which isn't representative of the effort required when the vehicle is moving.
I agree that the ML has a poor reliability record and that the power steering clamps are a trouble spot. But I'm skeptical that that ML is any worse than other vehicles if the power steering fails.
Apr 03, 2003 (4:18 am)
Markjenn-Do you work for Mercedes-Benz?
#6890 of 8199 No - Just an ML320 Owner
Apr 03, 2003 (10:55 am)
Others may disagree, but I just try and seek a balanced view about the car. I've posted some very critical things about the car too.
We've had two owners come in and say that the ML is unsafe and say that any oil consumption is unacceptable. Their entitled to their opinions, but I think it useful to see if their positions are reasonable.
My ML has had a few problems (mostly early on), but overall 45K miles later, it has been a pretty good vehicle. Of course, any one person's experiences are anecdotal.