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Old 08-10-2001, 06:52 PM
96C220's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hamilton, NJ
Posts: 367
ML 320 Durability??

Ok folks,
I think it's time to get rid of the acura TL, especially since the recent accident.
I've been looking around, and noticing that the prices of the 98 ML 320's has been floating around the 22-25k range. This is with about 40 - 60 k miles. Now, I've had two benzes to well over 100k miles with no major problems, and my C class is at 94 k again with no major problems (knock on wood).
What im wondering is at these prices, the ML seems to be a lot of car for the money. Does anyone have experience with the ML as it gets up in the miles, or are they just too new?
What do you guys think of the ML as a used car (can't afford new)?

Best Wishes and Take Care,
George Androulakis

96 C220 94k mi
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Old 08-10-2001, 07:18 PM
Posts: n/a

George, if you can PLEASE buy a 99 or latter ml cause the 98s were the r+d /test vehicle as a now retired mb factory tech, my ml was a nightmare no one could fix it mb dsm mb rep or other dealers, a/c fogs up the windows,door panels fall off when you shut the doors,oil leaks at engine rear main seal, trans, transfercase,window regulators,sunroof leaking,warped rotors,drivers seat back broke twice,aam control unit twice, tow sensor sets alarm off by itself,rear sway bar fell off took out both rear wheels,stalling at times i drove it with the aam tester for days and nothing and when i removed it it would die replaced m.e. control unit and speed sensors and no fix .rattles,air leaks-wind noise ........ if you buy a early ml PLEASE use car fax and use mb net to see the repair history and to see if it is my old ml cause its tagged a lemon and its out there
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Old 08-10-2001, 11:28 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Whoa, whoa there!

I have a 99, and although I don't put many miles on the non-daily drivers (the ML is the weekend hauler), I haven't had problems that would be considered a candidate for the lemon law. I will concede that the fit and finish isn't up to par when you compare to other MB series, but it does serve its purpose well. Owners of these and earlier series complain about the cheap plastic components (which MB responded in later years by upgrading said parts), but I traded up from the first model year Honda Passport (which also served me well) so the MB was a big jump, no matter the quality.

The only real concern I could point out to you is IGNORE THE FSS INDICATOR!!! Change your oil as you would normally by the seat-of-the-pants method...3000 miles, 5000 miles, whatever. If you go by the little telltale spanner wrench that appears on the odometer, you will go about 15,000 miles between oil changes...a bit lax for a vehicle you may care about keeping.

I guess you take your chances as you would with any used car...the quality of the relationship will be partly based on the care and maintenance of the previous owner.
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 08-11-2001, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
As posted the 98's had many problems & the 99's are better BUT the real improvements did come in the 2000 models. NEVER buy one with the last 6 numbers of serial number below 020000. UNLESS you don't mind all kinds of nagging American car type of problems.
MERCEDES Benz Master Guild Technician (6 TIMES)
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Old 08-11-2001, 11:01 AM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
I would like to echo MB Docís comments: Donít buy a MB prior to the Y2K model year. Iím not a tech, but know of way toooooo many í98 and í99 MLís with problems to feel good about someone buying a used one. While the price might be right, you will most certainly get what you paid for and more, in the form of more problems than you ever wanted.

They are not all bad, but ask yourself, why would someone part with a honey of a car after 2 or 3 years?

Also, in any event, and for any model year, get the MB service history for the vehicle, plus run Car FAX, and unless the car has a complete service history, donít buy it. Lastly, if the only oil changes have been done under the FSS system, DO NOT BUY IT.

Good luck!

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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