Last post on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:05 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
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Mercedes-Benz M-Class, SUV
#173 of 699 1999 ML430 - "The worst vehicle I ever owned"
Oct 04, 2003 (8:34 am)
I leased a 1999 ML430 last year and did not research this vehicle enough before signing the lease. I assumed that the name Mercedes Benz would account for quality. I also had a BMW for the past 3 years and never had one problem. There has been one issue after another with this vehicle for the past 10 months that I've had it.
- Door panel fell off on driver's side
- Power steering hose recall
- Transmission fluid leak. (Vehicle would roll back when parked on a hill)
- Battery died with no dashboard notice (this one left me stranded)
- In 10 months time I have added 6 quarts of oil. (This is apparently within the spec according to MB)
- Crankshaft pulley fell off the vehicle one morning when I was returning home from the pediatrician with my daughter. The steering wheel locked up and the car began to stall when I was traveling at 40 miles an hour.
I don't know what to expect next. I leased this vehicle for my family's safety. Now I won't even let my wife drive it.
MB has offered me a 2000 year model for an additional $3000. I was appalled that I have to pay more money because they developed and sold a faulty product.
According to MB if I terminated the lease, I would be liable for a penalty and the remainder of lease payments (15k+).
I am at a loss. Does anyway think I should go for the 2000 model and pay the extra money or should I try to get rid of this vehicle altogether. I am assuming a trade in for an Acura or BMW would be just as bad finacially as the early termination.
One thing I am most concerned with is the power steering hose issue. Does anyone know if this problem returns once the it is fixed under the recall?
I could use some advice from others on this board that have experienced the same frustrations.
If you any suggestions please email me privately at inet_engyahoo.com
Oct 06, 2003 (9:39 am)
I too had a 99 430 ML and had too many issues to even list. I have had numerous Mercedes dating back to a 79 450 SEL. They have been S coupes , sedans and SL's. I still have several of them and am a MB enthusiast. I had always had a SUV as well and after 2 Jeeps (91 Cherokee and 95 Grand Cherokee both of which were both much more trouble free than the ML)I got a ML430. I got rid of it after 4 years. Since it was not my primary vehicle I could afford to have it sitting at the dealer. They could never get rid of the squeaks. I understand that the 2000's are improved but I don't think I'd consider anything older than a 2003 and I still think there are unresolved issues. I know of a 2003 that had peeling door trim that seems to be a new issue. If you can afford it I would get rid of the ML since I'm not convinced the 2000's are any better.
#175 of 699 ML320 Brake Pad Rapid Wear
Oct 09, 2003 (6:24 pm)
On another post I wrote about ML Dunlop tire problems. On this post, I am
wondering about the brake pads. My friend with the 2002 ML320 is going on
his THIRD set of brake pads at 15,000 miles. While he does admit to driving
almost all city (Pittsburgh hills) up-and-down driving, is it normal for the
Benz Truck to go thru brake pads every 7500 miles? I owned Benzes for years
but never the truck. Generally my "S" Class cars (S320...1999 then 1993
before that) went thru pads every 12,000 miles or so. Shouldn't the truck
get at least that many miles on front pads?
#176 of 699 daryll40
Oct 09, 2003 (8:16 pm)
My wife's ML has gone thru lots of disc pads (and rotors) over the 60,000 odd miles she has had it. Many more than I have had on my 1994 C280 which has over 160,000 miles on it. When I asked the dealer, he said that that was normal.
#177 of 699 sloshing sound
Oct 14, 2003 (11:52 am)
I also got a sloshing sound from my dashboard. sounds like stomach growling sometimes. my power steering clamp went and I completely lost steering. Driver side storage collapsed, and Passenger side door seal fell off twice after being replaced by the dealer and finally, it stalled one day during a bumpy road.
#178 of 699 ML Problems. It's all relative my dear Watson.
Oct 14, 2003 (5:35 pm)
Today I rode for two hours in a friend's
1999 Cadillac STS (sedan). It cost new
about the same cost as a new 1999 ML320.
The STS has 95,000 miles.
Here's the tale:
Replaced the engine at 90,000. Replaced the AC
compressor at 70,000. Fix "a dozen or more" small problems. The car now needs what sounds like a new AC compressor, new shocks front and rear (front shocks are $700 each, plus $200 labor -- the dealer quoted her $3,500 for front and rear shocks), the right rear view mirror spent a few minutes twitching at various points in our ride, remote entry is broken and the lcd display for the climate control is fried. This car still looks great but it easily needs another $5,000 to make it safe and functional in addition to the $15,000 they've already spent.
None of this is meant to excuse M-B for shoddy
work or unsatisfactory customer service. I doubt that any of the M-B models compare well to a Lexus
LS400 on reliability (at 185,000 we're on original
shocks, muffler, etc with our LS) but M-B offers
its own version of quality that, in my opinion
#179 of 699 Aftermarket running boards?
Oct 17, 2003 (5:19 am)
Anyone ever try buying / installing aftermarket running boards? It would be great if you could share your experience..
#180 of 699 99 ML320 Transmission Issue
Oct 29, 2003 (1:34 pm)
In addition to many of the common problems that members have written, I had a transmission failure at 98,000 miles while driving on Oct. 5. The transmission failed without any prior warning. Nearby M-B dealer quoted over $10,000 (the service adviser never quoted me the exact figure)to replace the transmisison and torque converter.
I used AAMCO and a used transmission from a junk yard. The cost? $5,510. This was the least expensive way to fix the problem.
As you may know, the transmission of ML320 is supposed to be maintenance free, and there is no dip stick to check the fluid.
I'm the original owner of the ML320, and I was waiting to trade the ML320 with 2004 E-class 4matic which I had to order and wait until Dec. This experience made me to stay away from M-B forever.
#181 of 699 '99 ML320 Crank Pulley
Nov 01, 2003 (5:05 am)
My wife was driving on I95 with my two young children yesterday when the power steering quit and the battery light came on. At 60 mph the car became all but uncontrollable. Fortunately she was able to get it to the side of the road and call me to come get her. Turns out the Crank Pulley had broken and basically fallen out of the bottom of the car (after wearing a deep gash in the oil pan) rendering all of the belt driven accessories useless. Anyone ever heard of this problem? I have the vehicle back in my garage with the radiator out. Seems like if I take the nut off I can get a direct bolt on replacement? Is this as simple as it seems? I'm mechanically adept. Do I need to be wary of a defective part going forward? This is very scary, potential loss of vehicle control, particulalry for an MB. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've had other (numerous problems) with this vehicle and am getting fed up.
#182 of 699 Crankshaft Balancer Failure
Nov 01, 2003 (3:48 pm)
What has happened is a known and common problem with with 1998, 1999 and early 2000 model E-Class and ML-Class vehicles. I would not try to repair it myself since Mercedes is repairing these problems under a goodwill warranty if you are the original owner. If you try to replace the crankshaft balancer yourself you will find it extremely difficult to remove the attaching bolt without the problem tools. The part itself is $83 and an hour of labor is allowed for the replacement. Even if you pay for it is easier to let Mercedes perform the repair. You are lucky it did not do further damage since when the crankshaft pulley normally comes apart it takes out the oil pan and timing cover. Depending upon how far it is driven before you shut down the engine it commonly causes $2,500 - $4,000 in damage.
Take it to your Mercedes dealer and you may also be able to get the gouged oil pan replaced.
You may also want to know that this part is constantly being updated and is now on revision 13.