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
Oct 07, 2004 (9:04 pm)
Djdj, wow, I have had only minor adjustments on my 2002 ML500 which currently has 31,300 miles. I don't think your situation is the norm. Yes, there are a few adjustments that have to be made occaisionally, but I wouldn't tell someone to "run away" from the Merdedes dealer. Every manufacturer has their share of problem cars but Mercedes are generally good and trouble free. I have 5 Mercedes currently in my household and 1 Rolls.
A good friend of mine who has a 2003 Honda Accord has had more problems on his than I've had on my ML. He has had radio problems, a trunk latch problem, a CV joint problem and has become disgusted since this is his third Honda Accord. The others were really good with only a minor problem here and there.
Since we have had many Mercedes products the last few years, I was thinking of trying a different brand just have something different.
You know these boards have a tendency to attract negative information, you have to weigh the problems for your own use.
#7538 of 8199 mark 156
Oct 08, 2004 (9:01 am)
Originally I felt the same way you did. The ML drove great and had fantastic seats. I wanted to love this car and keep for the 250,000km badge.
The first bad experience occurred the third(!) day I had the Starmark'd car when the g-sensor went. Actually it had gone already but the dealer's mechanic didn't follow procedures and ignored the warning sign when they certified it. I couldn't believe they had a procedure for this kind of problem but the service manager told me that part on the ML goes out a lot so they have to be prepared and he apologized profusely. The first month I owned this car, the dealer had it as much as I did. I assumed it was a one time deal and everything would be great with Mercedes.
Then more things started to go and I began to read and hear about an alarming number of repairs. If one reads back through this bulletin board you will see a lot of people who list all the problems they had over the entire life of the car. A neighbor in town (who for some reason owns about 9 cars himself), saw my ML, liked the skyview roof but said his friend had just spent $6,000 to repair the transmission on his.
Then more things continued to break, some warrantied and some not. In the three years I have had the car, there is only one time when the car went in only for scheduled service without something being broken. Then I started to listen to the people bringing in their cars when my car was going in. I was surprised how many were ML's getting non-maintenance work, including new ones. When the power window switch broke (driver's window, in winter, down), the service tech told me I was lucky it was only one because usually it is more. Lucky?! None of this surprised the guys when I came in. Half the time they knew what had gone already and how long the repair would be!
I agree with you about all cars having problems. The worse car I owned before this was an Accord. Then a used car dealer I know said that Honda's had (in the mid-90's, I don't know if it is better) weak transmissions that broke easily compared to Toyotas and Nissans. My mother-in-law's Acura TL needed a transmission at 2 years and so did her brother's. Everyone I know with a Lexus GX470 had to have the driveshaft replaced on a design flaw. Yes, they have some problems, but not as many as this ML.
My resentment now is their cavalier attitude about something like a catalytic converting breaking apart. The service manager said "yes, both of them; when one goes the other does too. They crack apart and sometimes we can't reweld them." To me, for Mercedes to have a definite policy on this item to separate it from the Starmark warranty shows a lot of thought, and experience, with this problem with no intention for correction.
Let me ask a question: Does anyone reading this bulletin board know of any other cars where the converters just crack apart?
One contributor already said his went too but under warranty. My serivce manager wasn't surprised. Maybe I am naive and lots of brands converters just crack, but I have never heard of any, premium brand or not.
I wanted to keep this car a long time and pass it down. My kids love the skyview roof. This is really bothering me to have to sell it now but I am not going to get stuck with more repair bills.
Sorry this is repeating, but my brother-in-law had the same types of experiences with his 1999 ML320, which he also loved when he got, but finally got rid of his too because of the problems.
So, no, I don't think I am an isolated case. I am very glad to hear yours is working well. I was half thinking about getting another a newer one but would feel like a fool the first time anything went. And the next generation! Have you seen that picture on Edmunds? Really sharp, but could I trust another early year of the model run?
Speaking of which, it is time to call the dealer and see if it is done yet (in the shop since 9/28).
Oct 08, 2004 (1:13 pm)
Djdj, I certainly understand your frustration because I would feel the same way if mine was giving me trouble. The last two times I had the ML in the shop was just for scheduled maintenance with no other adjustments. I think it is well known that the '98 and '99 ML's had problems and I feel Mercedes made a very big mistake letting those out with continued known problems.
I had have much better luck with my 2002 ML than I did with my 1996 Jeep GC and the 1999 Jeep GC. Both of my Jeeps left me stranded, twice on the '96 and once on the '99. The air conditioning on the '99 was worthless.
What kind of car are you going to next?
#7540 of 8199 Picked up the car tonight
Oct 08, 2004 (3:36 pm)
I asked to see the catalytic converters. They are a two piece can where the upper side overlaps the the lower side. One had totally pulled apart and the other was starting to do the same thing. It seems to me that if were properly welded to begin with it couldn't come apart at all.
I asked the mechanic if this was a common problems.
He replied "Not very common, but we were doing another truck at the same time we were doing yours". (But two at time isn't unusual?)
I asked the service rep if it were less likely to happen down south (this being Ohio and very salt-prone).
She responded "It would be a lot less common down south". (A lot less?)
An earlier post recommended having these boxes checked if any ML's were approaching 80K miles. I just read it recently, but after my experience I would recommend all readers to do just that the next time they go in.
I talked to the dealer's general manager. His opinion was that the 1998 and 1999 were "a learning experience", the 2000 "better" and 2002 and on have been very good. Then he showed me two 2001's for sale. I kind of doubt his opinion. He offered $13,500 as a trade-in.
He then showed me the 2005's (even though I drove one for 10 days). They aren't different enough from my 2000.
Then I asked to see something that really blew out any chance of getting another ML. This is a Mercedes-Infiniti dealership. I sat in the FX45. Wow! No, there is no cargo space at all, but this is a luxury vehicle. Compared to the FX, the ML is just a truck. Didn't drive it but the leather seats wrap around you, tilt & telescope power wheel, reclining rear seats, all the stuff Mercedes should put in their vehicles. (the G35 coupe with stick was also really nice, but that's a definite no-go).
FX is not really practical, but it showed me how dated the ML got. They may finally have the quality, but now it is old-fashioned compared to the competition.
Don't know what I'll buy. I can't say that getting a Highlander excites me, but it would be nice to have a car with a reputation for lasting. My wife's opinion was that she doesn't care what she drives as long as it is reliable. I do not want to bother with this now but have to dump the ML before the warranty expires in December because I am afraid of what is next.
We'll look at the Acura MDX, Highlander, Pilot. I really disliked the RX300 so will probably skip the RX330. My wife likes the looks of the Volvo but I don't consider them a standard for reliability either. Hertz rents their CrossCountry wagons; not too powerful, nice seats, doubt my wife wants a wagon.
Oh, yeah, driving home tonight I had forgotten how much my ML rattles. So I guess the new ones are better but not different enough.
#7541 of 8199 Re: 2003 ML350 stalls and sometimes jolts forward while stopped at a red light [djdragan]
Oct 13, 2004 (12:05 am)
I am writing from Geneva. my ML320 (2001, 75,000km)had exactly the same problem. It one week that is blocked at the Mercedes Benz dealership and being checked all over (fuel injection, spark plugs/cabling, fuel tank, etc). But as usual they are unable to efficiently find out a solution.
Please let me know asap what happened in your case. What was the problem and how was it solved? Did Mercedes Benz take care of repair costs?
Oct 13, 2004 (10:18 am)
Do any Mercedes Dealers or their service techs follow this thread? I'd be embarrassed to be associated with such a product.
Trust me when I tell you that I make quite a scene each time I have to push, pull or drag my ML to the dealership.
I spend my hours in the "waiting room" exchanging horror stories with other owners. When I see folks looking at them in the showroom, I make it a point to show them mine.
Mercedes doesn't care.
#7543 of 8199 Re: 2006 ML vs GX 470
Oct 13, 2004 (10:06 pm)
We are nearing the end of our warranty and we are reluctant to own the car without a warranty. We have been happy with our ML 320, but the drive is rough and the potential maintenance off-warranty is concerning. We are considering extending the warranty in anticipation of the 2006 model which we understand is on a unibody frame and will drive more like a car. However, we have reservations about buying the first generation of the 2006 ML, and losing value due to the model change. We are also considering buying either a 2004 GX 470 or a used 2002/2003 GX 470. We know Lexus is a good car, but we have no experience with owning one and what the maintenance/problems may be. Any feedback is much appreciated.
#7544 of 8199 GX470 vs ML
Oct 15, 2004 (6:39 pm)
I know two people with GX's. Both had to have their drive shafts replaced.
As the car slows down, right before it comes to a stop, the car feels like it is being rear-ended. Not hard, just like a light tap. One owner thought that was how Lexus's rode. The other put up with it up the time the car 'triple tapped' to a stop. Then he read on a Lexus owners' website that most of them need to have needed to have their drive shafts replaced. He told the other driver. Both got the drive shaft replaced with no question by the dealer. New shaft is supposedly a new design.
Other than that they both love the cars. Beige interior is so light it seems to attract dirt. Gets detailed a lot. Drive shaft seemed to be the only problem they had.
One owner got the third seat and never used it because there is no footwell and her rather small 7 year old couldn't even fit there.
We drove the Acura MDX and really liked. Might buy one next week.
#7545 of 8199 Re: 2003 ML350 stalls and sometimes jolts forward while stopped at a red light [geneva2]
Oct 16, 2004 (7:41 pm)
Have 'em flash the ME control unit memory. Also, check the EGR valve for sticking open/partially open. The MY '01 was too early to flash.
#7546 of 8199 Re: Safety Vs Quality [mercara]
Oct 16, 2004 (7:45 pm)
The ML is built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. ROLL TIDE!!!