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  #1  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:03 PM
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Prepurchase Advice

I'm considering selling my E-Class and buying a ML430. With about 85K miles on the E-Class, I think I should easily get $20K for it. I think I can find a nice '01 or '02 for under $25K, no?

Should I do it? You guys have had the experience with the ML's. What should I look out for? I value your opinions greatly. Thanks a lot.

Last edited by 95E320cab; 07-27-2004 at 09:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:23 PM
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Re: Prepurchase Advise

Quote:
Originally posted by 95E320cab
I'm considering selling my E-Class and buying a ML430. With about 85K miles on the E-Class, I think I should easily get $20K for it. I think I can find a nice '01 or '02 for under $25K, no?

Should I do it? You guys have had the experience with the ML's. What should I look out for? I value your opinions greatly. Thanks a lot.
I would only buy from a reputable dealer and it would have to be Starmarked Certified if it was not still under the factory warranty. Depending on the mileage, you might have to pay more than $25k for a '01 or '02. A dealer here in town http://www.crowneurocar.mercedescenter.com/mbcenter/b/preowned/preowned.jhtml?pageNum=2&sortVal=0 has a '00 ML430 with 39719 miles for $25980.

Last edited by azinn; 07-27-2004 at 01:41 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2004, 02:25 PM
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ML advise

I don't know if other Mercedes models have all the quality problem that the ML has. But if they do, the quality issue is moot. I've had two ML's (98, 2000). I like the vehicle, but not the quality. I'd advise getting the V6. Mine has pleny of power and I prefer better mileage. I would also get the newer headlights & rear bumper ( not sure if it was 01 or 02 model).
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Old 07-27-2004, 07:05 PM
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Thanks a bunch. I like the idea of the 6 cylinder too, but is it available with NAV? I sell real estate, and could use the directions from time to time. I also like the look of the wider tires and bigger wheels. What difference in mileage are we talking?

What are the quality issues? Rattles and squeaks? Real mechanical defects? Would really appreciate elaboration.

I hate when I misspell. Should have said prepurchase advice. Thanks again.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2004, 07:20 PM
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More details...

I believe that NAV is an option on any model. If it doesn't have it, it's a dealer upgrade. As far as the problems, it runs from all kinds of little issues (like glove box door broken) to actual mechanical breakdown (coils fail). Also, extremely fast wearing of the brake pads (learn to do this yourself for very little expense). Make sure you get a Starmark warranty and these won't bother you so much (just the aggrevation). As far as the tires on the V6, they are 17 inch, plenty big enough. If you want more, upgrade to bigger tires when they need to be replaced. Good luck.
PS. can't tell you about mileage on the V8, but it will be alot less than the 20 mpg I get (up to 24 on the highway).
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2004, 09:40 PM
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Azinn:

Buying from the dealer goes a little against my grain. Especially if there is a Starmark or remainder of factory warranty, and the vehicle history is available, I don't see the risk in buying private party. What am I missing? I am selling Private party. I'm just too much of a tight ass. I like doing "the deal". Don't like paying dealership overhead. That is for people with more discretionary income than me.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2004, 10:48 PM
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I hear the 1998 and 1999's had a lot of quality problems.

They were facelifted in 2000, and a lot of the problems were rectified, AFAIK.

The V6 might need the crankshaft balancer looked at.
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2004, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 95E320cab
Azinn:

Buying from the dealer goes a little against my grain. Especially if there is a Starmark or remainder of factory warranty, and the vehicle history is available, I don't see the risk in buying private party. What am I missing? I am selling Private party. I'm just too much of a tight ass. I like doing "the deal". Don't like paying dealership overhead. That is for people with more discretionary income than me.
You're not missing anything........... I agree with your thinking on stealerships also. Just make sure you have some kind of warranty on it, you'll probably need it sooner or later. Having had over $15,000 in warranty work done on my '00 ML430 during the first four years of ownership, I believe my truck is better than new. Just keeping my fingers crossed now the warranty is up. My first and last Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes Experience, Unlike Any Other.
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2004, 09:06 AM
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I am of the opinion that if discretionary income is an issue, the ML is absolutely the wrong way to go. Since '98 I've seen one problem vehicle after another. You'll be driving your real estate clients around in a loaner C-Class as much as you'll be driving them around in your ML (then again, with your stated aversion to dealerships, you may be in whatever rental car you get while it sits at the shop). This vehicle is not comparable in quality to your E Class at all. There are much more cost effective options available to you, and if you need to drive around in a percieved status symbol, check out the Lexus offerings. I love my MBs, but the ML is not what you've come to expect from this company.
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2004, 10:09 AM
Q Q is offline
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C-Class? Try a Kia. We've had a Kia, a TrailBlazer, a Volvo V70, and a Chrysler minivan, but never have we received an MB loaner.
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2004, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Q
C-Class? Try a Kia. We've had a Kia, a TrailBlazer, a Volvo V70, and a Chrysler minivan, but never have we received an MB loaner.

That is an absolute travesty. Great service department, huh? God, I've even got a couple of S 500's in my loaner fleet for certain high-end/multiple car clients. It nearly turns my stomach to think of the level of service these places are getting away with. There was a time when MB regulated the loaner vehicle program. Part of the appeal was that clients would get to drive new models to familiarize themselves with them and potentially buy a new one. What dealership put you in a KIA, and have you contacted 800.FORMERC(edes) about that yet?!
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2004, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Q
C-Class? Try a Kia. We've had a Kia, a TrailBlazer, a Volvo V70, and a Chrysler minivan, but never have we received an MB loaner.

That is an absolute travesty. Great service department, huh? God, I've even got a couple of S 500's in my loaner fleet for certain high-end/multiple car clients. It nearly turns my stomach to think of the level of service these places are getting away with. There was a time when MB regulated the loaner vehicle program. Part of the appeal was that clients would get to drive new models to familiarize themselves with them and potentially buy a new one. What dealership put you in a KIA, and have you contacted 800.FORMERC(edes) about that yet?!

Oh and very sorry to threadjack, as I was about to submit this I reaized what I was doing. Here's some common issues I posted on the forum I moderate (not mercedeshop, no plug) that I copied to make up for it. Also, don't forget about the harmonic balancer failures.

"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 the 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."
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  #13  
Old 07-28-2004, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 95E320cab
Buying from the dealer goes a little against my grain. Especially if there is a Starmark or remainder of factory warranty, and the vehicle history is available, I don't see the risk in buying private party. What am I missing? I am selling Private party. I'm just too much of a tight ass. I like doing "the deal". Don't like paying dealership overhead. That is for people with more discretionary income than me.
95E320cab: You say you're in real estate. So how do you feel about Mr. FSBO (realtor-slang for people who sell their house For Sale By Owner)?

I am not fond of my local dealer. But your two statements seem incongruous to me. Not trying to criticize you. I just think this is amusing.

PS: I at least owe you an answer to your question: I have a 99 ML320 and I would not buy another. It's an average SUV with an above-average problem history.
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  #14  
Old 07-28-2004, 10:22 PM
Q Q is offline
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The dealership I mentioned is Ewing in Plano, TX. They have an Enterprise Rental Car location in the building. That is who they get their loaners from.

Here is a link you might find interesting.

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