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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your Mercedes-Benz ML320

Mercedes-Benz ML320 Models:

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Mercedes-Benz ML320 Problems

Miscellaneous -- Verified

Electrical switches in the door latches can fail, causing the door locks to rapidly actuate up and down multiple times when the locks are activated by either the keyless remote or door lock switch. The affected door latch should be replaced to correct this concern.

Electrical & Lights -- Verified

The ESP and BAS warning lights may illuminate due to a failed brake light switch. Replacement of the failed switch should correct this concern. A recall on certain 2000-2002 models have been recalled for a related issue - for more information please click here»

Electrical & Lights -- Verified

The power window switch may fail and the windows will not raise. The main switch at the front center console is commonly at fault. A failed switch will require replacement.

Miscellaneous -- Verified

Door mounted storage pockets can become unglued and fall into the door.

Engine -- Verified

The crankshaft position sensor may fail. Symptoms of this are: The engine will crank—but not start—especially when the engine is warm. The car may start again if it is left to cool off, but it may run roughly or have poor performance.

Mercedes-Benz ML320 Recalls (Recent)

Body, Interior & Misc., June 15, 1998

Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES. THE CERTIFICATION LABEL ON THESE VEHICLES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE LABELING REQUIREMENTS OF PART 567, "CERTIFICATION."

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Body, Interior & Misc., October 17, 2000

Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. THE SEAT BELT ANCHOR IN THE REAR FOLDING MIDDLE SEATING POSITION MAY HAVE BEEN MANUFACTURED WITH OUT-OF-TOLERANCE HARDWARE.

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Body, Interior & Misc., December 29, 2000

Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES. THE LATCHING MECHANISM ON THE SEAT BELT ASSEMBLY WAS NOT ASSEMBLED CORRECTLY. IF THE PLASTIC COVER IS LOOSE DURING THE ENGAGEMENT OF THE BUCKLE TONGUE TO THE LATCH MECHANISM, THE BUCKLE COULD UNLATCH.

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Body, Interior & Misc., November 17, 2000

Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FMVSS NO. 208, "OCCUPANT CRASH PROTECTION." AN AUDIBLE SEAT BELT BUZZER WARNING SOUNDS FOR APPROXIMATELY TWO SECONDS WHEN THE VEHICLE IGNITION IS TURNED TO THE ON OR START POSITION AND THE DRIVER SEAT BELT IS FASTENED. THIS BUZZER ACTIVATION EXCEEDS THE LIMITATIONS SET FORTH IN THE STANDARD.

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Suspension & Steering, June 16, 2003

Summary: ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE HOSE CLAMP USED TO SECURE THE POWER STEERING FLUID COOLING HOSE TO THE POWER STEERING FLUID COOLER MAY NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT CLAMPING FORCE FOR THIS CONNECTION.

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Mercedes-Benz ML320 Questions and Answers

mhassel, 1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320, Ballwin, MO

I'm installing new shoes...having fits - biggest spring is very difficult to install as are retaining clips - not sure if I'm catching the cable either and not sure how to adjust - any su...

mizuno, 1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320, Anaheim, CA

It blows heat when ac is on or off,take note even the ac is off ac prion is full.

garras, 1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320, Lakeland, FL

how can i reach the light bulbs at the license plates and if i need to change fuses, where is the fuse box. Thanks much

Geyendw, 1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320, Manvel, TX

When I turn on the air conditioner switch. A clicking sound come from the vents and extremly hot air blows from the vents. This occurs when the A/C is on. What could be the problem.

tnsteve, 1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320, Lenoir City, TN

leak getting worse front left under oil filter but not filter cap

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Mercedes-Benz ML320 Reviews

i have problem with key look door

Background: Wife got t-boned in a pt-cruiser and totaled it at less than 30mph with no airbag deployment and 3 year old daughter in car. Decided to get something extremely safe going forward, but money was tight. Found that you can get a reasonably good condition ml for well under 10k. We had crappy credit so went to a wholesale dealer knowing full well that we were not going to get one that was in perfect shape nor would it have been taken care of in the way it should. Research also showed that you can nail a tree head on in this vehicle at 60+mph and everyone walk away safely. Ok - sold - 109k mi, 2002 ml320 (11 yrs old) good tires, brakes rocked, no pings/knocks, good shape inside and above all - the right color (seems 95% of used Mercedes are silver...go figure)

Car ran perfectly until I made a run 40 miles from home. on the way back check engine light comes on and car is sputtering - sounds like a lawn mower at stoplight. I determined one of the cylinders isn't firing. Was almost ready to buy a new coil as that was said to be a common problem. Wife said no - take it to the mechanic across the street. I was hesitant until while speaking with him he said that he used to own a Mercedes graveyard (junkyard). I told him the front brakes needed to be changed and the oil was due plus the check engine problem. He called back and said there was a fouled plug and that cleared the check engine light - oil was due (mobile 1 synthetic) and he said it needed new plugs (12) and new plug wires (ouch - those were expensive) - add in the brakes and a complete checkout of the vehicle for $1000. Not bad actually if you tally up the parts:
plug wires - 120, brakes, 90, turn rotors - 50 (although supposedly not recommended), plugs $50, oil $50 , 1 brake wear sensor was bad ($10), plus labor, 120 for reading the code, etc - actually it was a lot of work and he had it ready the next morning. Cool - no issue since and he said keep up the maintenance if we expect it to last - that is the critical thing with the ml. He said of all the Mercedes these are one of the most unreliable, but will run forever if you just keep after them. He said sensors are the most common issue of failures and some can be expensive.

Ok - Inside the car: Rule 1: Change the stereo to something more modern. If you don't mind dropping some coin get one that interfaces with the OBDII system and it will tell you everything from fuel consumption to engine timing. The existing Command System from that era used analog cell service - the upgrade to the new tech is cost prohibitive and honestly isn't as good as you can get by spending a few hundred. If you have the ml320, you probably dint get navigation, nor did you get the trip computer. Buying a new stereo can include that - plus phone service (via Bluetooth), etc and bring you to a completely different experience. The other ml models all came with nav so unless it breaks there is no need to upgrade - just buy a Bluetooth kit or whatever to connect your phone in place of the factory phone.

2: Replace the 4 things that break: Door pockets, rear cup-holder, rear ashtray, front ashtray. You may want to swing by the local upholstery shop and have them re-pad and recover the center colsole lid....but that is more cosmetic usually.

3: The guage placement is very good, and tells you much of what you need to know - again - I suggest the OBDII interface for your radio. You can even get one that does hud by projecting onto the windshield if you hunt around a bit -

4: Seats are comfortable but are definitely designed for the shorter person in mind. Make sure you fit comfortably - i'm 5'10 and with the seat in the furthest back position i'm just barely comfortable. I would presume you can move the mounts back a tad or get some aftermarket thing to make them work for tall people, but you are more likely going to have to live with what you got so check it.

5: The steering wheel adjustment is really pretty lame as far as tilt but the fact that it doesn't telescope is my biggest complaint. Deal with it...its a nuance but still quite comfortable.

6: The cruise control has no indicator that it is engaged or disengaged and while comfortable and easy to use, the lever gets in the way if you are in a big hurry and not looking for the blinker - I almost ate it once by having cruise set at 85 then when exiting the freeway I reached for the blinker and accidentlly hit resume on the cruise lever - BE CAREFUL! It does reset each time the car is started.

7: This thing has more airbags than the Michelin Man and Stay Puff Marshmallows combined. You get seriously injured in this and it is probably an act of GOD! Seriously, I've spoken to people who rolled thiers 4+ times and walked away without so much as a bruise! That said - WEAR your seatbelt and drive safely!

8: The door lock button is in a very inconspicuous space....right in the middle of the console. After months of driving it - we still forget!

9: The rear seats can lock into a position close to the front seat (think back of a 80's-90s Camaro...this is to accommodate more room in the back for cargo and the third seat option (wish more of those were available) - be sure you lock it into place or anyone (including kids in car seats) are going to get squished hard by either the seat or their ankles twisted badly - i'm still stuck buying slurpees for my 4 year old on the "don't tell mom" bribe thing!

10: The rear headrests do not fold down like in the sedans and the center one can be more than a little annoying. However, Taking them out is inconvenient and a good way to loose one. Leaving them in - well it makes a big blind spot.

11: At slow speeds you may hear a clicking or something like that from the wheels or suspension. I don't know what it is, but it always has bugged me. I'm told it isn't a problem...so I cope - but it does bug me.

Those are all of my complaints - pretty short list for a 12 year old car with over 100k miles. The seats are amazingly comfortable.

Brakes:
OMFG! MAKE SURE PEOPLE HAVE THEIR SEATBELT ON BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT THE "HOW FAST DOES IT REALLY STOP" THING AND PRAY TO GOD YOU HAVE NOTHING BEHIND YOU WITH A LONGER STOPPING DISTANCE THAN A FERARRI! Total control during all braking conditions!

Drive Train:
A tad underpowered, but livable. the 5 spd tranny works great - smooth shifting through the entire RPM range...you could have your coffee in your hand from a full throttle start through top speed at wide open and never spill a drop from the shift!

Electrical and lights - Thank god we picked the 2002 as it comes with the cool HID lights and the nicer looking taillights. Very bright - excellent visibility. Only complaint is auto mode should've been default - not off. Also - why the hell cant they make the fog lamps work when auto is on? Seriously - you can make a car drive itself across Europe, but you cant turn on the friggin fog lights?

Engine: has a nice rumble and is reasonably powered - this motor in this vehicle would've benefited greatly from a turbo. Still - enough power an it isn't like there aren't larger motor options. Seems reliable and has a nice poppy sound - doesn't sound whoosh like the US sixers - this one sounds beefy, stout and the power is deliberate! HINT: Restart the vehicle to reset the ESP and you'll get a different feel. Don't forget - it remembers how you drive and adjusts the shiftpoints and acceleration to a match.

Exhaust - seems fine - fuel economy is above 20 - cant complain!

HEAT and A/C - Heat rocks - AC blows - just not very hard - different vent locations for the rear other than in the center console would've been better - but overall - it does the job nicely.

Suspension and steering - when Mercedes said they started with one of their normal auto platforms and built up from there - they were not lying. I've driven lowered and tricked out chevy tahoes that cant handle like this. So stable you feel like you are ina car! Center of gravity is low and it has no mushy SUV in its bones at all! This this was meant to perform! The simulated locking differential rectifies any articulation issues you might experience offroad by allowing wheels to come off the ground at the slightest offset - but - it handles it well! Who's really trying to do extreme off road in a Mercedes anyways? I'd expect you can get aftermarket parts to trick em out - but you'd lose the road stability. I would probably upgrade the rims to the newer 20" or so - they look so much nicer!

Overall - Serious - $8k? I've been in brand new cars that don't feel this tight! My other x has a liberty which is 4 years newer and built in the same plant. The liberty was even designed by Mercedes (cooperatively with Chrysler engineers), but there is just no comparison between the 2 vehicles. IT IS worth EVERY Penny!

If you can afford it - go with the post 2007 so you get the cooler/newer design. Personally - I'd like to have a GL - but cant separate with the cash for the time being. My overall recommendation - keep a grand int he bank and have a decent Mercedes mechanic nearby to handle any mishaps - look - if you want a new car - GO BUY ONE! IF you want a top of the line luxury SUV - You'll be hard pressed to do better!

One last note - I cannot stand the BMW FRIGGIN RED LIGHT INTERIOR! Makes me crazy! Also their massive footlong stereo is just way too funky and leaves no room for cheap upgrades.

Volvo just feels cheap inside - Thank you ford!

Audi is overpriced and didn't make that great of a machine in those years and still sports the stupid red dash light setup as BMW.

The Mercedes feels classy - IT feels like you expect it to...only you don't expect the stability and performance....I suppose it is after-all - a Mercedes!

You have no business buying a vehicle like this unless you have a lot of extr4a cash. It's a bouncy ride. The dealership is a rip off, as they all are. Parts are exorbitant. The need for hi test negates any cost-saving measures. And there are so maNY better vehicles you can get for much less money.

I have mercedes ml 320 2003 . i have problem while i drive the car the car lost the power i mean when i push down the gas pedal nothing happens its take about 3 to 5 second to get the power again, the problem come once or twise aweek.
I send the car to the dealer and they did the diagnos and replace the first time the throttel pedal sensor, and i still have the same problem and the second time they replace the air flow sensor ( mass flow sensor) and i still have the same problem,the third time they told me at the throttel pedal sensor that they replaced are defected and will replacet again and they did ........but i still have the same problem ..can somebody tell what is the problem

Other than dash not showing temp of engine does the coolant sensor have any other function when not working properly. After belt snaped wires going to sensor broke. I replaced belt now I have no engine temp reading electric fans are on ALL the time and a/c stopped working

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