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Old 10-02-1999, 02:47 PM
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I am approaching decision time on buying an extended warranty for my 99 ML320 and am having a hard time making a choice.

The MBUSA warranty (8 year, 100k miles) looks appealing, but it's hard to
tell what it really covers. There is a list of items that are covered and it clearly says that everything else is NOT covered. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with all the parts of my ML320. Has anyone looked into this and formed an opinion of how comprehensive this coverage really is?

One of the advantages of the aftermarket warranties is that you don't have to go to a dealer, but where I live, that's all there is. They also say that non-OEM parts may be used. THe MBUSA warranty does require going to a dealer, but will pay to get you there in case of a breakdown due to a covered part. It also quarantees the use of OEM parts. Each warranty covers things that the other does not. For example the MBUSA warranty covers shocks and struts.

Any techs out there who have looked at this issue?
Old 10-03-1999, 01:40 PM
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Can't speak to extended warranties in general, but if they are anything like the Starmark warranty then run, do not walk to get one! My car a '91 300 TE 4-matic has had, frankly, way too many visits to the repair shop. I literally have collected a 2 inch thick pile of paperwork from repairs. But they (the MB dealer) have been great about the whole thing. In addition, they have covered many, strictly speaking non-warranty related items by an "internal warranty." I would fully recommend getting a MB backed warranty. To that end, my next car will most likely be a used MB with about 20K on the odo and I'll buy 5 years/50K miles of Starmark warranty with the car. That should give me about 80K miles of exceptional warranty coverage! For cost estimate, I paid about 1,200 for 3 years/36K worth of warranty.
Old 10-03-1999, 02:34 PM
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The dealer says the new car extended warranty is the same as the Starmark but I haven't checked to be sure. MUUSA can't really tell me much about it.
Old 10-03-1999, 03:15 PM
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When I got my car/warranty there is a form that discloses everything that is covered. It's extensive. When shopping I asked one guy about this and he said that they don't disclose what is covered until you are ready to buy. The guy was real scum (IMHO). I asked someone else at the dealership and he showed me the Starmark form and said that in additon to the warranty, the dealer also offered their own bumper to bumper warranty for almost anything on the car, except normal wear related items. I've found that to be 100% true. BTW, I bought the car from the guy that showed me this form.

Also on the MBUSA web page there used to be something about what is included in the Starmark program. The page is transitioning to the my2000 stuff and is not completed yet, but worth checking anyway.
Old 10-03-1999, 06:00 PM
Jason Alexander
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I would recommend very carefully reading any extended warranty packages. Way too many times I've seen people spend a thousand or 1500 dollars for a warranty that doesn't cover much of anything. The aftermarket warranties are by far and large cost too much and don't cover much in the end. I would give serious consideration to a factory extended warranty if it's available.

ASE Master Technician, Lead Technician for Deutsch American Inc. Over 6 years of Import experience-specializing in German Automobiles.

Old 10-03-1999, 08:43 PM
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Seeing is believing, have the salesman show you the printed (by mercedes benz)literature. If he cannot produce this, ask him to introduce you to the service manager.

With a ML, or with any four wheel vehicle in its early years of production (2 years now) you are better off with doing your homework to verify that the transfer case and the differentials especially are covered.

Old 10-03-1999, 10:12 PM
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Let me try and get this back on track. There is no salesman trying to sell me anything. I am trying to decide which extended warranty to buy, MBUSA or aftermarket.

I have a copy of the MBUSA contract and several from aftermarket companies. The after market ones list what they don't cover. The MBUSA one lists what it does cover. The aftermarket one is straightforward but does not cover some things the MBUSA plan does cover, like shocks and struts. The MBUSA contract lists what it does cover. The problem is that since I do not have great familiarity with all the systems on the cars (I'm looking for coverage for an E320 and a ML320), I can't compare the two kinds of contracts. I don't know what kind of things on the cars might not be covered because I don't know all the things on the cars.

I was hoping that someone who is technically familiar with the 99 models would have looked at this and have formed an opinion of how extensive the MBUSA coverage is. It does look quite similar to the Starmark coverage.
Old 10-04-1999, 08:44 PM
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Go with the Factory product. Aftermarkets are not the way to go. Factory warr. is the best option out there.
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