Looking to purchase a used MB ML. But want to know of any service related issues folks have run into. Car will be used in rural Real-Estate business with many treks through the woods in rough terrain. Car will be a sacraficial tool of the business but I do want it to hold up for a few years.
Thanks in advance.
01-21-2004, 05:05 PM
i swear i answered this exact question in another section, but i can't seem to find it, so here goes. ML's are notorious for wondow switches breaking. you will replace at least one set in the life of the vehicle. luckily, these are not very expensive and very easy to replace. the power sttering cooling hose that runs from the pump to the radiator will probably (or has probably) popped off at one time. there was a recall on this where the hose clamp was replaced. now we are replacing the whole hose. this is not a huge problem provided there is not other damaged caused from the pump running while dry. so listen very closely for power steering noise. the pump and steering rack are suspect if noise exists. make sure (of course) that YOUR mechanic inspects the vehicle thoroughly for fluid leaks. both diffs are known to leak at times, as well as te oil level sensors, the transmission data port connector, lower oil pans and lower radiator cooling hoses. if there is a lamella roof on the vehicle, don't even look twice. these never worked, they are noisy, leaky and expensive. pay close attention to any vibrations felt when performing parking lot maneuvers. this signifies a worn transfer case. the positioner stepper motor for the case goes bad sometimes but is also pretty cheap to replace. listen closely for any noise from the rear suspension. the shock assemblies will squeak over bumps when they are worn and will get very loud if left unattended. these are expensive. avoid '98 and '99 model years as they were more suseptable to these problems. they really got this vehicle right in '02, but all the 2000's were alright. there can be a phantom noise heard from the front of the vehicle at times. this is a noisy fuse box blower motor. relatively cheap and easy to install. also, make sure the cowl modification for the climate control system has been performed, as it's an unnecessary expense to a new vehicle owner. there are cases of the ac drainage hoses in the passenger compartment becoming clogged and leaking water on the floor. this is an easy fix most dealers will do for free. the auxillary cooling fans will sometimes become inoperative, blowing fuse 44. there is a wiring modification that can be done to rectify this. all in all, the vehicle will only be as good as its maintenance. if it was taken care of, it will run like it. just spend the time and look for the right one. also, an extended warranty is probably in order due to the price of parts for these vehicles. i recommend MBP as they take good care of my customers and are easy to work with from a service center standpoint. starmarked ML's are also a big plus. that's the long and short (but mostly long ) of it. keep in mind i only see the ones that are broken, so not all of them have all of these problems. they are decent trucks and have exceptional off-road prowess. good luck and happy hunting
01-26-2004, 10:52 AM
as an addendum to my previous post, the ML55's (from my experiences), have far fewer problems. this holds true for all factory ///AMG tuned vehicles i've encountered.
01-29-2004, 02:17 PM
I think you forgot a couple significant issues with the ML. How about the crankshaft pulley/vibration absorber????? Or the oil consumption problem???
02-02-2004, 05:59 AM
you are absolutely correct, although all of the 112 and 113 series engines have issues with the vibation dampener coming apart, but as long as the scheduled services are kept up, a competent technician would spot that. definately a good point. the oil consumption issues are another big one, although more for the earlier models. mercedes has extended their warranty coverage on these models on engine failures due to excessive blow by or oil sludging.
Wow! I've decided to pass on a ML for now...
02-03-2004, 04:58 PM
it may seem like a lot, but this is the comprehensive list of every problem i've seen with any frequency. the newer ones have most of the bugs worked out. and really, they are no worse than any other SUV on the road right now.
02-03-2004, 06:03 PM
I recently purchased a 1999 ML. Overall, it is an OK vehicle. The glass sun roof, however, has become a topic of annoyance - at highway speeds it chatters like an old woman. With just 60,000 miles, the service tech at MBoA says that it is NOT an item covered by the MB warrantee or the StarMark warrantee or the additional purchased warrantee extension. For only $2,500 he will remove and replace the entire unit for me, and that MAY solve the problem. It is still annoying and I am looking for an alternative solution.
02-04-2004, 06:13 AM
for clarification, what position is the roof in when the chattering noise occurs? also, beyond the noise, is it functioning normally?