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  #1  
Old 11-04-2003, 10:09 PM
Q Q is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 839
Running list of failures during 6 years of ownership

09/04/07 - UPDATED LIST - 74k miles

Left side driver's seat plastic panel broke (big ass?)
1.5 year old battery failed abruptly
CD changer replaced due to intermittent errors
Catalytic converter seam cracked
Power steering hose clamp recall
Cracked windshield washer resevoir
Stop lamp switch failed, causing ABS/ESP lights to come on (replaced THREE TIMES)
Brake pads last 24k miles
Tail light bulb burned out in under a year (yes, it's an anal list)
Rear hatch lock failed causing "machine gun" locking/unlocking
Driver's window glass rattles in frame when partially down
Engine stumbled and quit (twice) after starting for no apparent reason (no resolution)
Blown A/C fan fuse. Wiring mod installed for fans and fuse
Ignition coil pack #2 failure at 55k miles
Spark plug wire failure (should be 2.2k ohms - read 8.5k ohms) at 55k miles
Power steering pump replaced due to leak
MAF sensor
Master cylinder replaced due to BAS/ESP lights on
Engine idles rough and occasionally loses power when cold (no codes dealer suggests different fuel brand)
Sunroof wind deflector jammed (replaced)


We are currently about $3k into a $4k extended warranty with 4 months remaining. Guess it was a dumb idea to get it after all. Live and learn.

Last edited by Q; 09-04-2007 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Update
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2003, 11:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: St. Louis area
Posts: 109
Q, I feel your pain. Here's the good news: most of your problems are not significant failures. I had a 1998 that had many problems, but I never got stranded and I still liked the overall vehicle. So, I bought a 2000. It's been much better. Still, some problems though. I only got 20K miles out of the first set of pads (and rotors!). I just switched to Mintex low dust pads. So far they're great, and they're supposed to last much longer. If you're a do-it-yourself-er, its an easy job. So, get your annoyances fixed while you still have warranty. Consider an extended warranty that covers engine/drive train, its cheaper than any major repair you might need. good luck.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2003, 10:30 AM
supradupe's Avatar
98 ML320
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: North Shore, IL
Posts: 253
>Left side driver's seat plastic panel broke (217 lb. ass to blame?)
Hasn't happened on my 98ML yet, maybe my ass is not heavy enought.
>Battery failed abruptly
happened to me after 2 years of ownership
>CD changer errors intermittently (no resolution)
happens to me now and then, it also get stuck and I couldn't take out the magazine. I suspect the mechanism is dirty and needs some cleansing.
>Catalytic converter leak
>Cracked windshield washer resevoir
>ABS/ESP lights came on for no apparent reason (no resolution)
hasn't happend yet.
>Brake pads last 24k miles
dealer changed mine at 22.5k miles while my battery went south, I asked for the inspection of old parts and found that there was still significant pad life left (at that time, I didn't know much, it was probably a dealer rip off). My second set of pads last approx. 30k when I changed them out myself, I think they could last 40k based on our driving habit. I concur with the other user that the Mintex pads are so much better in terms of less dusty and it is just as quiet and performed as well as the OEM pads.
>Tail light bulb burned out prior to 1 year ownership
it can happen to any manufacturers, afterall, the filament inside the bulb is pretty fragile.
>Rear hatch lock failed
my broke after 45k miles, it is a poor design in my opinion, the mechanism could use a better part (i.e. metal) instead of plastic.
>Driver's window glass rattles in frame when partially down
happened to mine too, it seems lots of cars have this rattle problem when window is partially open, Nissans are notorious on this. Too bad they don't make windows ride on a track, like some older German cars.
>Engine stumbled and quit after starting for no apparent reason (no resolution)
it is the security ring on the ignition, mine got replaced 3 times before it finally behaves properly.
>Still waiting for that harmonic balancer to let go.
I had the dealer changed it. cost $370 parts and labor. I have the old part and it ain't too bad after 53k miles of service.

I feel for your pain, lot of ML owners went through it. I think that my ML now is running better and more reliable than it was 5 years ago and I am going to keep it for at least 5 more years.

steve
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2003, 01:07 PM
Q Q is offline
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Update:

The CD changer was replaced and the ABS/ESP fault was due to a bad brake light switch.
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2003, 06:10 PM
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Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
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I believe the ABS / ESP light will illuminate when your voltage goes below a certain level.

The demise of your battery was the likely cause.
__________________
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2003, 10:11 PM
Q Q is offline
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Posts: 839
The ABS/ESP light was attributed to the "Stop Lamp Switch" which was replaced under warranty P/N 001-545-31-09.

Can't believe I missed this one too:

Blown A/C fan fuse. Wiring mod installed for fans and fuse
P/N 163-540-00-35 Electric Cable
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2003, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
That stop lamp switch may have caused it, but my mom's 1999 E430 states in the owner's manual that an illuminated ABS / ESP lamp is caused by a drop in voltage below a certain level.
__________________
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2003, 10:32 PM
Q Q is offline
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The battery failed about a month prior to the warning lights activating. The two were unrelated.

Here's another post on the same failure
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2003, 10:37 PM
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Posts: 8,508
Great. Thanks for tip.

The owner's manual also suggests that if the ABS / EPS light illuminates, it can be "re-set" by turning the wheel all the way from the left to the right. My memory is a little vague on the exact procedure, but I remember performing this procedure as described in the owner's manual.
__________________
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2003, 10:58 PM
Q Q is offline
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Sharing info in a place like this helps everyone involved.
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2003, 08:02 AM
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Posts: 31
3year ml problems

I have 84970 miles on my 98 ml 320. Here are a list of problems I have encountered during the last 3 years:
1. left front seat heater quit
2.rear windshield wiper assembly and motor replaced
3. transfer case seal replaced
4. air flow value replaced
5. front belt tensioner replaced
6.fuel pump replaced
7. sending unit replaced
8.new fuel filter replaced
9. pinion seal and rear axle seals replaced
10. shut off switch replaced ( near driveshaft )
11.window switch panel replaced
12. harmonic balancer replaced

All of this in the last 45,000 miles. I bought the ml used, at 41000 miles and had the signal light assembly replaced and the blower motor. I purchased an extended warranty( not mercedes)) and my dealer has been great fixing some problems outside of the 4 year 48000 warranty. ( light switch 70000,harmonic balancer 60000). My "restoration" is almost complete( the only way I keep my sanity ) but the other question is what use would you buy ?
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2003, 10:26 AM
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Location: Evansville WI
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Quote:
My "restoration" is almost complete( the only way I keep my sanity ) but the other question is what use would you buy ?
Did you mean "what SUV would you buy?".

Sad to say this all seems pretty typical.

Here are a few comments:

The seat heater pads seem prone to failure, especially on the bottom cushion.

Quote:
2.rear windshield wiper assembly and motor replaced
This is just one part, the motor is part of the assembly. The 2 usual problems are either the rear wiper squeaks when operating (usually quite loudly), OR the rear washer nozzle either breaks off or starts rotating with the arm, so the fluid isn't correctly directed to the rear glass. When it breaks off it may be a good way to get into trouble as it will spray rearwards about 20-30 ft!!!

Quote:
4. air flow value replaced
I assume the Mass Airflow Sensor here. ML isn't alone with this problem, nor is Mercedes-Benz.

Front belt tightener again is an MB problem, not just ML (doesn't make it any nicer for you, but don't blame just ML is what I'm trying to point out).

On the fuel pump and level sender, again this is the same part. Pretty common on especially the first few years to have this fail. They were constantly trying to get this part "right". Hopefully they finally do.......hopefully.

Quote:
8.new fuel filter replaced
The fuel filter was replaced......then replaced again? They did change to a different length fuel filter requiring a modification, which I thought was pretty dumb on their part. To have to remove the rear seat, etc etc to replace the fuel filter? Couldn't they make it wider or some weird oblong (oval profile or something) so that you wouldn't need to pull the rear seat? Maybe they thought the dealers would be replacing the fuel pumps often enough that they could just replace the fuel filter at that time!!!!!

Quote:
10. shut off switch replaced ( near driveshaft )
No idea what this refers to......

Quote:
11.window switch panel replaced
Yeah, that was another big problem, first thing I thought of was "What, only once?". I think the newest versions are holding up pretty good.

Quote:
12. harmonic balancer replaced
Another Mercedes-wide problem, not just ML.

Gilly
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2003, 02:21 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4
Re: Running list of failures during 3 years of ownership

Quote:
Originally posted by Q
I used to like our ML 320, but things just keep going wrong.

Left side driver's seat plastic panel broke (217 lb. ass to blame?)
Yes (only 296 lb.)
Battery failed abruptly
Not yet
CD changer errors intermittently (no resolution)
Yes (CD changer replaced by dealer)
Catalytic converter leak
Not yet
Cracked windshield washer resevoir
Yes twice (replaced by dealer)
ABS/ESP lights came on for no apparent reason (no resolution)
Yes
Brake pads last 24k miles
Yes
Tail light bulb burned out prior to 1 year ownership
Not yet
Rear hatch lock failed
Not yet
Driver's window glass rattles in frame when partially down
Yes (fixed by dealer)
Engine stumbled and quit after starting for no apparent reason Not yet
Still waiting for that harmonic balancer to let go.
Not yet
UGH!!
50 ML Problems In 4 Years
1. Brake system defect (pump leak)
2. Wiper motor defect
3. High pitch sound from rear of car (could be fuel pump)
4. Door problems (latch noises)
5. Door problems (maladjusted door)
6. Command center malfunction (dead navigation system)
7. Door lock malfunction (right rear door actuator)
8. Washer reservoir leaking
9. Lamp switch defect (stop lamp)
10. Fuel filter problem
11. Door lock malfunction (gas door actuator)
12. AC problem. (AC fan speed switch knob malfunction)
13. Door lock malfunction (gas door actuator)
14. Trim problem (sunroof seal fell off)
15. Door problem (Rattle from inside left rear door - loose metal washer)
16. Trim problem (3rd brake lamp cover pops off even when re-secured
17. Trim problem (rear inside trim panel defective)
18. Window washer nozzle defective on right side
19. Command center malfunction (dead navigation system)
20. Door lock problem
21. Lamp problem (defective check engine light - right rear 02 sensor)
22. Rotor in rear changed at only 27500 miles
23. Sunroof shade problems
24. Sunroof guide clip missing
25. Sunroof shade problems
26. Trim problem (left outer seat trim cracked)
27. Sun roof frame defect
28. Seatbelt jammed (left rear)
29. Brake system defect (pad wear sensor defect)
30. Defect fuel door lock actuator
31. Rear door latch replacement
32. AC problem (system not cooling properly)
33. Sunroof motor connectors rattling
34. AC problem (blower motor rattle)
35. Drivers window stuck down (bad switch)
36. Command center problem (CD changer error)
37. Window problem (clicking front left window)
38. Door lock problem (rear right/left door actuator defect)
39. Door problem (insulation inside right door damaged due to melting glue)
40. Command center problem (CD changer error)
41. Trim crack (leather on steering wheel cracked)
42. Door problem (rear right/left door actuator defect)
43. AC problems (blower rattle)
44. AC problems (clicking sounds)
45. Trim crack (cracks in duct tape on door)
46. Door problem (rear left door actuator defect)
47. Washer reservoir crack
48. Right window washer nozzle defect
49. Lock problem (front left door actuator defect)
50. Car manuals and registration card taken during service
51. Power steering problem (replacement of clamp for power steering hose due to possible fluid loss at radiator)
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2003, 02:36 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Missouri
Posts: 80
tcp??, yea, seems you change login ids accross sites, but at least always start with "tcp". you know, you might just deserve all those problems on your ML :-D cheers!
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2003, 04:13 PM
Q Q is offline
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Posts: 839
"you might just deserve all those problems on your ML" "crying baby"

I don't know what your problem is, but I found the list helpful, as I am sure others will to. I am at the crucial point of end of warranty. I need to make a decision as to whether or not I want to keep it without warranty, buy an extended warranty, or sell it.

If you don't care to read it, don't.

I'll never understand the sadistic poster:
"I'm tired of coming here every day and having to read all of your worthless tripe. See you tomorrow."
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