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
#7102 of 8199 Power Steering
Aug 10, 2003 (4:55 am)
Markjenn, I just received my recall notice for my 2002 ML500 (18,000 miles). I had heard in the past that there was a problem with the hose clamp. So, thinking that it might happen to me, I rolled the ML out of the garage, as it rolled down the driveway without the motor running (small down slope), I tried turning the steering wheel. It was SO difficult I could barely turn it. There is no way you can steer this vehicle without power steering. I'm not a power weight lifter but I'm in good physical health and have good strength, I could not steer this vehicle! As the vehicle reached the street it began to slow down so maybe that made it harder than if the ML was going down the street. Even when I park the ML in a tight turn situations (like parallel parking) the power steering is a little hard to turn. That is the only thing on this Mercedes that I don't like, my E430 is very easy in all situations. I know that the ML500 has large tires so maybe that's the reason for little extra effort in tight parking.
#7103 of 8199 Power steering
Aug 10, 2003 (5:27 pm)
I'd turn the ignition to off (but not to lock!) while rolling at 25-mph or so to get a truer feel of the effort required if the power steering should fail. I think the issue is that the effort rise is so dramatic that most drivers react to the change in effort (which seems huge), rather than the absolute effort (which is manageable).
All vehicles are required by federal motor vehicle safety standards to be steerable if the power steering is not working (which will happen if the engine stalls) so I don't know what to tell you if you say that you can't phsically do it. I'd probably advise you to get a different car and maybe even one without power steering - I wouldn't want to drive a car where steering control was quetionable whenver the engine stalled.
#7104 of 8199 window switch finally failed - question
Aug 11, 2003 (11:21 am)
Well, I've been waiting for this to happen, and it finally did. I had to use some force on the driver's side window switch to get the window to close. It's going in for service next week, but does anybody know if they will replace the switch with an updated model, or will they basically replace it with the same switch that will eventually fail as well?
#7105 of 8199 P/S Clamp ... anyone else?
Aug 11, 2003 (6:48 pm)
I tightened up the clamp on our '00 ML430 a ways back when I'd read on the group that the hose could come off under pressure. I also took the truck in for the recall.
It seems like most persons who experienced the problem were in colder climes and the car had just been started and was cold.
Anyway, we never had problems. We recently traded the truck in great shape with about 72K miles on it for a '03 ML500. We had a tow hitch installed from the beginning and I noticed on the work order that the dealer had taken care of performing the p/s recall. We now have over 2,000 miles on the "500."
I just looked at the clamp and there is no way that the replaced clamp will ever blow off. The hose is still pushed firmly against the stop with a slight bulge and the clamp is wide and tight and looks very much to me like it clearly is there to stay.
#7106 of 8199 Window Switches
Aug 11, 2003 (7:33 pm)
According to this site,
a new switch part number became available Oct '01. Presumably, it has been improved.
On this site there is also a DIY instructions on rebending the contacts to extend the life of the problematic switches. But if I went to all the trouble to get in there, I'd replace the switch.
#7107 of 8199 Clamp Failure on Power Steering
Aug 12, 2003 (9:32 am)
It is true. You CAN NOT steer the ML if you have a power steering failure. My clamp to the power steering failed on my 2000 ML320 with 25000 miles (lucky in failed in the parking lot of my office building where I work--my office is 1/4 mile from the local MB dealer). I attempted to drive out of my parking lot to the dealer and could not steer the vehicle at all. I felt wierd calling road side assistance since I am only 1/4 mile from the dealership. The service tech told me NOT to attempt to drive the vehicle since it is virtually impossible to steer the vehicle with out the power steering working (he fixed it in my parking lot with a next day visit to the dealership for a more permanent fix). I am not ARNOLD (the next CA Gov.?) but I work out often and pump some heavy iron.
#7108 of 8199 Power Steering Clamp Failure
Aug 12, 2003 (11:36 am)
I also have a 2000 ML 320 with 37,000 miles. So far the power steering clamp has not failed and I have been waiting for the next FSS servicing to take it in for the Recall Notice. What I would like to know is how did the clamp fail? Did it break or did it just become loose and the power steering hose slip off?
#7109 of 8199 power steering test
Aug 12, 2003 (7:09 pm)
Markjeen, you must be the next power weight lifter champion if you could steer the ML without power steering. It was amazing to me how difficult it was as "mtrauman" stated.
I'm thinking of trading the ML for a larger SUV. I've been looking at the Lincoln Navigator but will decide at the end of the year if I want that particular vehicle. The ML is OK but just "OK" in my opinion. I've enjoyed it but would like a "fold flat" third seat and the power liftgate on the Lincoln is something I would like.
Just my .02. Mark
#7110 of 8199 Power Steering Test
Aug 13, 2003 (8:05 pm)
I wonder if some of you who think you can't steer your ML without power steering are judging the effort by how hard it is to steer at a dead stop, or worse yet, while the steering column is locked.
To confirm that the ML is steerable with reasonable effort without power steering, I did some tests this evening with my 2000 ML320. I got on a deserted road with a downhill grade and coasted down the hill at about 25-mph with the transmission in neutral and the ignition off.
The steering is definitely stiff, but I would be surprised if any normal strength man or woman would have any trouble whatsoever steering the vehicle. At one point, I coasted into a park entrance and did some sharp turns at low speed in the parking lot. As the vehicle's speed decreased, the steering did become stiffer (as you'd expect), but it only got really difficult to turn as the vehicle was coasting to a stop.
My other car is a Lexus sedan and I did the same test. It steers with slightly less effort, but the difference is not significant. You'd expect this as it is a lighter car with smaller tires.
If you haven't done this test, I suggest you do to assure yourself that the vehicle is steerable if the power steering would fail. Specifically:
1. Find a deserted road or parking lot, perferrable downhill a bit so your speed doesn't bleed off so quicky after you turn the engine off.
2. Accelerate the vehicle to about 25 mph.
3. Let off the accelerator and place the transmission in neutral.
4. Turn the ignition off by turning the key ONE NOTCH CCW. (Warning: Do not turn the key to the LOCK position.) The engine will stall.
5. The steering will become stiffer, but you should easily be able to steer the car.
Warning: If you do this test, be careful restarting the car while it is rolling. On mine, you have to turn the key one more click CCW to allow you to turn it CW to engage the starter. When you do this, you're only one click from the LOCK position. To be safe, you might just want to let the car coast to a stop before restarting.
Aug 14, 2003 (8:52 am)
Mark, I did let my ML roll down the driveway with the ignition in the "unlock" position and almost had to stand up to turn the wheel. I did get it to turn but I would never want to be caught in the situation where it stopped working. I was going a little slower than you, maybe 10 mph. I'll check it again when I get a chance. I keep that vehicle at my other home and will not be there for another month.
Maybe the extra weight of the 5.0 liter engine vs. the 3.2 liter makes the difference in our experiments. Also, my tires are really wide which will add in extra weight.