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Early ML's have a laundry list of problems. If it still has the original trans in it, expect the clutches to be worn and cause sloppy shifting. Mass air flow sensors go bad quite frequently. Your auxillary fan fuse (Fuse 44) tend to blow (updated fan harness available). You'll go through front brakes usually every 30k miles. Torsion bars tend to get noisey after a while (can be regreased). Catalytic converters crack (Recall campaign). Crankshaft pulley/vibration dampener come apart (Recall campaign). Fuel pumps tend to go bad (updated fuel pump and filter available). Sound dampeners in the doors tend to peal and leave glue all over your windows (updated sound dampeners available). Shift linkage bushings tend to crack and fall out. Occasionally they have a problem of burning excessive oil. Powersteering return hose likes to pop off the cooler (Recall campaign). B-pillar stickers like to wrinke, D-piller panels like to crack. Right rear differential side seals tend to leak alot. And like any 722.6 transmission, they tend to leak at the electrical connector. Did I forget anything?
Once you do get all the updated truck parts into an early ML, they become a very reliable vehicle. If the truck visited the dealer shop alot, chances are alot of these problems and updates have already been taken care of. Remember, you can always call your MB service department give them the VIN and have them run a VMI report to check for open campaigns as well look at service history.
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