2003 ML 350 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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2003 ML 350

Hello All,
I just received a hand-me-down car from my dad. I'm not complaining at all, but there are a few issues with it and I wanted to get some feedback at the best route to take regarding repairs and maintanence.

The car is a ML-350 with 72k. It has a chipped rear bumper and he doesn't know where the spare key is. It is no longer able to receive any extended warranty service through Mercedes. He had the car checked a couple of months ago at the dealership and it passed all the tests for a 3rd party warranty, but it would cost over $6,000 for 3 years which I'm not a big fan of. Especially because I've read some horror stories about having claims denied.

My questions are:
Should I take it in for a tune-up? (I'm not sure when the last one was done)
If I take it for a tune-up should I take it to the dealership or find a reputable mechanic?
What are the best things I should do to make there are no problems right now so I can get them fixed now rather than in 6 months?
How often should I go in for routine maintanence and what should the mechanic be doing during the routine mainenence?
What is the best and least costly way to get an extra key?
What is the best and least costly way to get the rear bumper fixed, if any?

Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

Christian
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 03:50 PM
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The best thing you could possibly do would be to sell the car. The first generation ML was a rolling-low-quality-drives-like-a-basketball-made-in-bama-wreck-on-wheels. Its not worth putting money into this. For the little you will get out of it, you could get into a MUCH better car.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 05:33 PM
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A good body shop can take care of your bumper. It should not be a big deal. Since it was your dad's vehicle, finding out if he kept up on the maintenance should be pretty easy. I would find a good independant mercedes shop and have them look your ML over. Sort of a post purchase inspection. If you decide to do some of the work yourself, spark/wire changes and oil changes are pretty easy to do on this model. A search should result in some instructions.

Mike
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 06:33 PM
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A 2003 is not a bad vehicle.

Respraying the rear bumper cover should not cost alot of money. You can save some by pulling the cover off yourself. Just climb underneath and unbolt the thing. But then you have to bring back and then reinstall the freshly painted cover without scratching it. So, just let the body shop take care of it.

I would never ever never bring my car to a stealership ever again. My experience. I do most of my own work anyway, but if I was going to have something done, I would use a reputable Indy, especially a small one or two man shop. They need you to come back as a return happy customer.

You should be able to go 100k on plugs. But, they are not that expensive. Change them now or at least before 100k.

Change the oil, use Mobil 1 Gold Cap.

Get the trans fluid changed if Dad did not yet.

You can get a spare key from the dealer, but it will be expensive - try Rusty at mbparts.biz. He or the dealer will need a copy of your title/registration to process the order.

Get the alignment checked, replace any worn parts. I like using an Indy, but others prefer dealers for the alignment. I myself never had any luck with any dealership's alignment, and I found a local Indy that is very particular about tires, wheels, and suspension.

Thanks!
Fred
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your responses. Mike and waybomb you were exactly right. Turns out I had a mechanic that works on Merecedes all the time right in my town and with whom i have mutual friends. He took a look and found my engine and transmision mounts being worn to be the only issue (there was some vibration in the car when idle or switching to reverse) and is going to replace them for a 1/3 of what the dealership quoted me.

Regarding the bumper would anyone know the exact part number or item description? I'm thinking of looking online for it then removing the old one myself and have someone else put it on if I can't.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 11:23 AM
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Take a look at this site:

Prime Parts Superstore Class&year=2003&graphicID=5768022&callout=1&catalo gid=2&displayCatalogid=0

Hope it helps.

Mike
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Mike sorry for the late response, I was away. I appreciate all your help and good advice. Thanks!

Christian
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