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Old 02-12-2006, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 163
M-Class Longevity

Having just turned over 90,000 miles on our 2000 ML320 I was curious what kind of miles owners are receiving from their M-Classes, particularily without major mechanical or electrical problems once the 50,000 mile warranty period has expired. Anyone care to share their history?

Jim W.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hella NorCal
Posts: 3,309

We have a 1998 ML320. People are always saying that the early ones are POS's, but I would like to correct them. There are some lemons out there, and then there are the ones that still have the heart and soul. For example, my 1998 ML320 has just about 135,000 miles and still runs strong. I would expect to see this thing making 200,000 miles and still running. She truly is an awesome car, and she is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

By the way, we are not in the majority of SUV owners. My ML leaves the road regularly. We have been stuck a few times, but nothing too bad.

01 Honda S2000 - dogs dd
07 MB ML320 CDI - dd
16 Lexus IS250 - wifes dd

it's automatic.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:20 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 72
245,000 and still going strong......
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:24 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: westchester, ny
Posts: 747
130,000 enjoyable miles
87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
99 clk320 (black/grey/black top)
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Washington D.C.
Posts: 22
my ml 320............2001

i have a 01 ml 320 i just had my b tune up it cost me about 900.00 dollars and i have about 106,000 miles on it and its running just fine it felt find before i had the work done but went and have the b tune up done anyway....
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:18 PM
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I had one but didn't like it
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Old 02-18-2006, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 88
'02 320 @ 86k miles. still feels like it can go for another 100k no problem.
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:20 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Naperville (Chicago suburb)
Posts: 26
I have a 2000 ML320 with 40K on it so reading this post thread makes me feel like I have a lot of road ahead of me
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:12 PM
Q Q is offline
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Posts: 839
2000 ML320 at 65k
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:31 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Lathrup Village, Michigan
Posts: 2,939
'98 with 155k miles on it.

Replaced the fuel pump twice, center drive shaft bearing once and the transfer case gets replaced this weekend.
Michael LaFleur

'05 E320 CDI - 86,000 miles
'86 300SDL - 360,000 miles
'85 300SD - 150,000 miles (sold)
'89 190D - 120,000 miles (sold)
'85 300SD - 317,000 miles (sold)
'98 ML320 - 270,000 miles (sold)
'75 300D - 170,000 miles (sold)
'83 Harley Davidson FLTC (Broken again) :-(
'61 Plymouth Valiant - 60k mikes
2004 Papillon (Oliver)
2005 Tzitzu (Griffon)
2009 Welsh Corgi (Buba)

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Old 02-22-2006, 12:40 AM
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have any of you near 100K had to replace the transmission yet? i have seen many that need one around that mileage.
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 5
Arrow '98 CrunkL320

I inherited it when my '98 Intrepid ES was totalled (not my fault - it was a superior and *much* higher quality vehicle by the way). It's currently sitting at 141K miles. This one seems to be about average in terms of reliability --- nothing has failed completely in the past couple of years. My Mom had it since it was new until Thanksgiving '05, she stole the car I bought and is now driving it with no intentions of ever driving the CrunkL again. I don't really like either vehicle very much, so it's all the same to me.

- Rattles, squeaks, etc, all fixed by the dealer under warranty, they've come back with a vengence post 100K.
-Lots of switches and controls (windows, rear wiper, seat heater, etc.) failed under warranty, none since.
- Driver's side seat heater completely failed once, now only the backrest heats up (better than nothing since I've never had seat heaters before ).
- Something broke with the HVAC blower motor or fan --- it sounded like a helicopter and had to be replaced once under warranty.
- Turn signal stalk goes on cancellation vacations every other day or so, it's been replaced twice already.
- Engine started burning lots of oil at 60K, replaced as a "gesture of goodwill," but I'm guessing it was just the piston ring seating problem that they call the sludge agreement. Hasn't burned oil since...Mobil 1 0W40 only.
- Both of the main keys went on a permanent engine starting strike, so for a while, my Mother had to carry around the Mickey Mouse key to start the car and one of the main keys to unlock the doors. She has since replaced the key with a new one to the tune of about $200.
- Harmonic Balancer failed once, I think it messed some other things up, but they didn't get that repaired --- I'm looking into that tomorrow. I think it's going to fail again since the engine is vibrating very badly (Hopefully it will be covered under TSB).
- The fuse for the pusher A/C condenser fans blows every couple of weeks in the summer.
- The condenser for the A/C broke and took the compressor with it at 95K ($2600 )
- Alternator died at about 100K (minor $400 job).
- The foam/sponge material that seals the flaps that close off the dash vents has deteriorated and no longer seals well. It's mildly annoying in the winter when your feet are cold and you don't want hot air on your face, not a problem in the summer.
- The part that holds the sunroof's built in wind deflector up (left side) broke off a couple of months ago and fell on my head.
- I think one or more of the catalytic convertors is splitting and spewing fumes into the interior of the car in stop and go traffic with the HVAC on "Fresh [Fumes]."
- The steering seems to be a bit loose, I think it's an inner or outer tie-rod bushing, It's speculation because it's the only thing that consistently breaks in an Intrepid.
- The trip computer lies about the fuel economy. It consistently reads about 1 - 2 mpg high.
- The light for the radio display and the clock are burned out. I can usually get the clock light to work by tapping the dash just right.

Transmission seems to be fine by the way, the software could stand to be updated, but it's good --- That's with a lot of ~4000# trailer pulling too (4th gear max --- don't use OD).

Hopefully you have better luck...

Last edited by dgcamero; 02-22-2006 at 01:02 AM. Reason: addition of transmission comment
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: sunrise, fl
Posts: 82
'99 ML 320, 96K miles and running great.

'99 ML320, '00 C280
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hella NorCal
Posts: 3,309
Nope, no trannie problems what-so-ever. But then again, I always take her out onto the back roads to put her through her paces every few months. Nothin like an italian tuneup to get things going good again.

01 Honda S2000 - dogs dd
07 MB ML320 CDI - dd
16 Lexus IS250 - wifes dd

it's automatic.
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Old 02-25-2006, 12:08 AM
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2 Kings 9:20
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Whitehall, Michigan
Posts: 259
145,000 plus on our '98. Tows a 5,000 lb. trailer to the racetrack several times every summer. Otherwise used to haul 5 - 7 people around town or across the country. Problems to date:

Dead battery @ 64K
Turn signal switch wouldn't cancel (even if forced), replaced @ 72K
The famous harmonic balancer failure @77K
Pinion shaft seals in both differentials leaked, replaced @ 107K
Driveshaft center bearing failed on highway, replaced @ 110K. At this point my wife branded this car a lemon....
Replaced transmission fluid 122K, shifting is back to normal again. Say what you want I don't buy the lifetime trans fluid story!
Cleaned egr tube 128K (set CEL)
Replaced MAF 129K (set CEL)
Replaced RH exh manifold 132K
Welded cracked catalytic converter 141K

All work performed by owner. Only problems now are squeaky rear shocks, squeaky hatchback latch, and the exterior d-pillar trim fell off in Chicago. Will address all when the weather gets warmer and the motivation runs higher. Not a trouble free vehicle, but I can't imagine what else would take its place.

There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games. --Ernest Hemingway

'10 GL550/'04 BMW 545/'99 BMW 323/'98 ML320/'87 VW GTI (race)
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