Last post on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:05 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz M-Class, SUV
#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.
#183 of 699 2000 ML320 - 35,000 miles Sudden violent shaking
Nov 02, 2003 (9:42 am)
Last month, going 65 on dry freeway, suddenly car starts violent shaking - no warning lights went on. Drove home on side streets at 50 MPH with no further incident. MB dealer couldn't find any cause for this problem; tires checked out fine, but we needed to replace the brakes.
This week 6 intermittant incidents, going between 5 - 45 MPH -- hear loud clunk at 5 mph while parking, shuttering several different times at 35 on city streets, and shaking at 45 on freeway, all dry road conditions. ESP triangle and BAS/ESP warning lights appeared sometimes.
Any thoughts before we take it back to MB?
#184 of 699 Crankshaft Balancer Failure
Nov 03, 2003 (1:59 am)
Thank you for the feedback re my '99 ML320 Pulley/Balancer problem. I'm surprised MB did not issue a recall as when this part fails the vehicle becomes very difficult to control. You are correct, it is a real knuckle buster getting the pulley to come off. Is it a reverse thread or something? I guess I'm looking at a flat bed charge at this point to get the car to my dealer and then I'm certain to get whacked by the dealer because I am not the original owner. Not sure how deep the gouge is in the pan until the pulley comes off, if I'm looking at any further repairs this could get really ugly. Looks like I'll be arguing with the good old local folks at Mercedes Benz, AGAIN. What an enormous piece of crap.
Thanks again for your guidance.
#185 of 699 Crankshaft Balancer Failure
Nov 03, 2003 (6:01 am)
Blame Mercedes Benz not the ML!!!
This is really not an ML problem since the same problem exists on all Mercedes Benz products using this engine. There is a BIG difference between the old Mercedes Benz philosophy and the new. Under the old MB philosophy, if they had a problematic part, they would go ahead and replace it when it was in for servicing and you would not even know it. Under the new Mercedes Benz philosophy they do not replace it, do not recall it, and for many even refuse to admit a problem exists at all.
The crankshaft pulley on your vehicle ends with a suffix "00-00" and anyone having one of these crankshaft pulleys should have them replaced since they will come apart around 40K miles on a ML and 60K miles on a E. There are three replacement part numbers available that can be used to replace the ones suffixed "00-00." At this time it is hard to know if one is better than the other since time/mileage has not yet proven the new design with less rubber in the donut (although there are three part number all three appear identical).
It will be interesting to see how scored your oil pan is since usually when they go they cut through the oil pan requiring replacement of the pan. For do-it-yourselfers it is extremely difficult to replace the balancer since you almost need a breaker bar to get enough torque to remove the bolt and you have to be able to keep the crankshaft from turning at the same time.
Don't let them tell you that this is an unknown problem since that is what they will probably do. Appeal it to the MB zone service representative if you have to. Mercedes should be recalling these vehicles since, as you stated, the results could be very dangerous. At present, many people who are experiencing this problem are reporting it to the NHTSA on their website in an effort to force Mercedes into a recall. I suggest that you consider this action also.
#186 of 699 I need to get rid of this ML
Nov 03, 2003 (12:21 pm)
I purchased a "Starmark" certified 2000 ML320 in April; 03 with 40k. One week after taking it home it standed my wife and two kids in a torrential downpour. Some kind of sensor was to blame. Weeks after the oil light came on. They said at the dealership that this was common and if it happens again to just top it off. A month later the muffler sounded like a race car. They had to replace the catalytic converter. The oil light continues to come on once a month. My passenger side window is getting stuck and the rear window wiper is not working. T make matters worst this Sunday on our way to church the ML began to buck like I was learning hoe to drive a manual. When the tranny finally caught it jerked the car violently. The engine check light popped on and the car skipped again from first to second gear.
What a nightmare!! Here I thought I moving up in the class of vehicle I drove, what a mistake. My wife spends more time at the dealer than at home. I am meeting with the service Mgr. I want to get rid of this hunk of junk. Any advice for negotiating my return of this vhicle? Do I have any recourse with getting this car possibly taken back by the dealership. I would not mind gatting a different car, possibly a used E W/ 4matic. Any advice would be appreciated.
#187 of 699 Crankshaft Balancer Problem
Nov 04, 2003 (3:44 am)
So here is the final chapter in my trilogy. My Mercedes dealer (in Greenwich, CT) refused to acknowledge that there was a problem and were going to charge me to have the vehicle towed and the full labor and parts to do the service. Unbelievable but true and I have since sent a letter to MB North America, let's see what that turns up.
Meanwhile, I had previoulsy gone to my local car parts dealer, purhcased a 1/2" drive 17mm hex male socket, put a breaker bar on the end of it and.... no luck. That sucker was on there tight. Subsequently, I took a section of 1" pipe put it over the breaker bar and....voila, the bolt backed off. No wonder the thing was so tight, it was literally covered from end to end in loctite. (put something thru the exisitng pulley to brace it against the engine block to keep the engine from turning over - it is a standard thread, lefty loosey). Maybe not the most professial way to do it but it came off and with no harm done.
Went back to my MB dealer, swallowed my pride, purchased the new part for $78, (Hey guess what, he had one in stock, I pictured this huge parts bin full of them, waiting for unsuspecting customers to come in and buy them so MB can make more money off this travesty) reinstalled it, put my car back together, more loctite, radiator, front brace, hoses, etc. and it works perfectly.
The scoring on the oil pan was not severe (not severe enough to be leaking oil anyway). All told about 3 hours of my time including dealer visits, and I saved about $800. Who knows how long it will hold up, and who cares because I am immediately selling this disaster.
When I look at the design of the broken part I wonder what engineering genius came up with this idea. A pulley that drives all the engine components that is connected to the crank rotor by a flimsy rubber ring. The ring was so heat damaged and cracked it practically came apart in my hands.
A very bad customer service experience indeed. Buyer beware. Anyone want a slightly used ML320?
#188 of 699 Starmark Certified
Nov 04, 2003 (7:10 am)
I own a 1999 ML320. But I am still hesitant to recommend a used M-Class to anyone. I think Starmark Certification is crap anyway. I dont't think they do the 175 point inspection or whatever. They just add 2500 dollars and hope that they get to keep the money. If something does go wrong they will try to badger you into paying for the repairs. How good is the warranty if you are spending every week at the dealer. Time is money too.
#189 of 699 99 ML320 power steering fluid leak
Nov 04, 2003 (4:27 pm)
There is a leak on my 99 ML320 power steering rack and pinion system. Does any one know how much it will cost to replace it? I got a quote about $2K. Is it true? Boy, I should have stayed with Toyota for good. Is there any recall on 99 ML320 related to power steering other than clamp? Thank you for the info.
#190 of 699 Lemon Law Notice - 2002 ML-320
Nov 20, 2003 (8:09 am)
We have finally gotten to filing an official Lemon Law buy-back notice with MB on my wife's 2002 ML-320 (23,000 miles - built in April 2002). There are two issues each of which meet the requirements of Lemon under Texas law. The dealer has been great but they just can't fix the problems.
Does anyone have any updated info on a possible fix on these two problems....
1) On almost a daily basis there will be an incident of accelerator hesitation. From a standing start you step on the gas and nothing happens...no hesitation, no chugging, no revving...nothing for perhaps two seconds. And then the vehicle takes off like normal. We use consistent gas source and it does not (after logging for a couple of months) to make any difference on temp, humidity or engine temp.
2) Much less frequently, maybe once a month or every six weeks the tranny will either suddenly shift down (like 5th- 1st) or it will not shift out of first at all.
My wife really loves this vehicle when it is working right...but it is scary to drive.
#191 of 699 Yet another crank pully 2000 ML320 (40K miles)
Nov 21, 2003 (7:31 pm)
I found this message board after doing a google search. Its a little scary to see others that with similar stories.
My wife and kids were stranded in our ML because of the crank pully problem like others. I was very suprised the MB did has not recalled this vehicle.
The Tow truck driver showed up and yelled "Crank pully!" He told me he picks up ML320s all the time with this problem. Also, he mentioned that the power steering hose breaks. Finally, he says Micheal Irvin runs out of gas all the time in his CLK.
How would MB feel knowing they got a ML320 stuck on a busy highway with the hood up and a whole family standing around? Hundreds of cars pass by and see a family stuck in the dirt!
After 40K miles here are our problems so far:
- window switches quit working.
- oil high light
- BASF/ESP light
- crank pully and damaged oil pan (stranded!)
Still unsure if I should sell this truck or risk going off warrenty next month.