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
#7928 of 8199 Re: Question Re: ML [atr7277]
Dec 05, 2005 (5:15 am)
Kelly, I'm not a mechanical person per se, but if you are looking for a used ML, go for a 2002 or newer.
2002 was the year that the ML was "refreshened" with a new front bumper and headlights, turning signals on the mirrors, refreshened tail-light covers and rear bumper update.
The air conditioner dash controls are better as is the location of the power window switches on the console. In 2002, Mercedes added rear air conditioner vents for the second row.
My 2002 ML500 has never left me stranded and I'm approaching 50,000 miles. It has been a really good vehicle. I'm getting ready to trade as I usually change out my "traveling" vehicle every 3-4 years. I would consider a new 2006 ML but they don't offer a third seat like I have in my 2002. And, I don't want an R-class, to "van-ish".
I have not had any problems with my transmission or any electrical problems. I have other very minor issues like the rear cupholder breaking, light behind the speedometer went out, wrinkle in the console cover, a tailgate latch, washer fluid container leak (twice) and the black piece under the front bumper came loose twice.... EVERYTHING was fixed under warranty and have had no issues in a long time.
#7929 of 8199 Choice between Unwanted Options
Dec 05, 2005 (11:57 am)
If you had to take EITHER the upgraded Harmon Kardon sound system $1080 or the MB-NAV system $1250, which would you take and why?
Is the upgraded stereo THAT much better than the stock stereo? Is the MB-NAV now user friendly enough to be useful?
#7930 of 8199 Brakes and Rotors
Dec 07, 2005 (5:54 am)
This is my first time on this site. Hopefully, someone out there can help me. I have a 2004 ML500 with 18,000 miles and Mercedes-Benz Manhattan is stating that I must replace the brake pads and rotors for $1,300.00. It seems rather early in the life of the vehicle to be performing such an extensive repair. Any thoughts? Thanks.
#7931 of 8199 Re: Brakes and Rotors [johnp5]
Dec 07, 2005 (10:51 am)
First thing I'd do is confirm how much brake pad you have left. Don't take the dealer's word for this.
If you get under the car with a flashlight, it's very easy to see how much pad is left, by shining a light into the caliper from the plane of the wheel. (Turning the wheels full lock may help on the fronts.) As long as you can see a groove still remaining in the pad, then you're within spec. The dealers are generally very aggressive in pitching a brake job when the pads may be only 60% worn or so. Also, if there is no brake warning light (the pads have sensors that illuminate a warning light when they get near replacement time), that's usually a good indication that they're still okay.
Typically, the front wear is heavier than the rear, although not always. My guess is that with 18K and unless you're really hard on brakes, you'll find that you have about 40% of your fronts left and well over half of your rears. Which means you probably can go onto about 30K or 35K on the fronts, and 50K on the rears.
If you do need pads, dealers are also extremely aggressive about recommending new rotors. Because the rotors have very little extra "meat", they don't want to machine rotors anymore, so they just recommend new rotors as a matter of course. In reality, your rotors are probably within spec and unless visibly grooved, you can probably fit new pads and not do a thing to rotors. Many of us are getting 100K miles out of rotors this way without any squealing problems.
Now the dealer may not be willing to do brakes without replacing rotors. They'll say that it won't be safe, or won't meet spec, or will always squeal. If they insist on rotor replacement, then I'd push for having it done under warranty as getting 18K out of a rotor can be considered a defect in materials. Some folks have even managed to get early pad replacement done under warranty, but this is a harder push.
If you can't get MB to cover anything, I'd recommend you find a good independent garage that knows Mercedes to give your business to and only go to the dealer for warranty work. Finding someone who will work with you to find lower cost solutions is key to owning a MB at something approaching reasonable cost. My experience is that MB dealers consider $1300 spent every 18K miles on brakes is just "routine maintenance costs". They even gave me a dirty look when I suggested this was too high, like I was being a cheapskate or something. Which is one reason, I just traded my ML yesterday. Absolutely loved the truck, but it just was too expensive to keep it running.
#7933 of 8199 I traded too yesterday!!!
Dec 07, 2005 (6:52 pm)
Markjenn, what did you get?
I picked up a 2006 Land Rover LR3 HSE, Java Black Pearlescent with Alpaca beige leather, Cold package, Heavy duty package... added a wood dash and thick black rubber mats on all three rows.
I liked my 2002 ML500 (48,700 miles) but it was just about out of warranty and I was ready for something else.
The Land Rover has a 4 yr. 50K warranty that incudes all maintenance... My ML had that but Mercedes doesn't offer that anymore. Also, my local Mercedes dealer doesn't offer loaner cars. I made sure that the Land Rover did and my salesman said "sure".
I hope my luck with the Land Rover is good, I just didn't want a Mercedes this time, especially, for the lack of included service and no loaner cars.
#7934 of 8199 Re: I traded too yesterday!!! [mark156]
Dec 07, 2005 (10:36 pm)
I took a breather from pricey and fussy Euro makes and went with the milk toast SUV: Honda Pilot.
#7935 of 8199 Re: I traded too yesterday!!! [markjenn]
Dec 08, 2005 (3:51 am)
Thank you very much for your response. It gives me some good insights. Unfortunately, I did succumb to the "we won't release your car to you because it is not safe" argument from the dealer, and paid the nearly-$1,500.00 cost.
Good luck with your new purchase.
#7936 of 8199 The ML brakes
Dec 08, 2005 (6:33 am)
John, the same thing happened to me with my 2002 ML500. I took my ML in the shop for service and they told me that my rear brakes were needing replacement; I had 18,000 miles on it. Since I was about to go on a driving trip, I let them do it at a cost of about $250. Apparently, it didn't need rotors.
Then at about 26,000 miles, while I had the ML in for service, they wanted to replace the front brakes, I said no. I figured that is what the "brake pad" replacement light is for.
Well, what do you know, I waited until 46,000 miles to replace the front brakes (and rear). The light never came on. The service tech couldn't believe I never had the pads replaced. He asked me if I had them replaced by another shop and I said no. I told him that I was waiting for the light to come on. He didn't like that.
Since the dealer, in my opinion, tried to make me spend money WAY to early, I decided when the time came, they would NOT get my business. I had a private shop do it, replacing all pads, rotors and brake fluid at the cost of $1,100.
Next time, just wait until the light comes on. Always question the service guy, they are not their for your interest. Sure, they can be nice and all, but hold on to your wallet!
#7937 of 8199 Re: I traded too yesterday!!! [johnp5]
Dec 08, 2005 (9:13 am)
John, I did the same thing the first time the dealer recommended new brakes. I think it was at 20K. No big deal.
They are very subtle with their tactics to get you to perform excessive service - they'll have the service techs write things in the work order in all caps like "CAR IS NOT CURRENTLY SAFE TO DRIVE", which to a new owner is pretty intimindating. And who wants to have a service record for the vehicle which shows you ignored such advice?
In their weak defense, they will argue that the car is serviced so infrequently that if the pads are more than half worn, there is some risk that they may be under spec before the next service visit. This reflects an attitude of "Cost is unimportant to our customers and the inconvenience of having to schedule an extra service visit between routine visits is." Which is probably true for some, but not me.