Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: Black 2005 ML 500
Location: Galveston, TX
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ml 320 transmission computer
Check your transmission fluid level and your battery/charging voltage, which are the basic steps you need to do first, before going to the MB Stealer.
Get a second opinion, the TCM is just a transmission controller that can be updated without the need to replace the ETC on ML's. Transmiission controllers are known to fail if the battery voltage is too low (in many vehicle brands, not just MB). The battery/charging voltage gets even lower when you try to start your vehicle, so the TCM may not be able to initialize correctly, so you may want to check your battery/charging state. If it is old and under specs, change it first.
Now you have a 1999 model, which had so many design and quality part issues/problems that Mercedes will not work on that transmission at all. They will replace it with a newer updated one, which may require so many other updates that they can string you for a lot of money..
Though what you need is an honest expert mechanic who understands MB transmissions and the electronics.
A well trained honest mechanic will understand/diagnose your transmission and electronics and find what is the real root of the problem is. they will not just change transmissions and controllers blindly.
Hopefully it will not be your transmission... Though ML's are known to have a whole set of issues (earlier and late models), and all of them are expensive with the MB Stealers...
2005 ML 500
Black, 18" AMG Wheels, 285/60R18 Yokohama Geolander HTS + Bi-Xenons(+ Drew's e-code mod, though the reflectors rusted off and do not give out much light anymore), Yakima roof bars, Akebono pads all around. Former vehicle 2001 ML 320 with 108K miles, when traded, and a large repair/defect history. After all these years of owning my current 2005 ML 500, it is a major unreliable vehicle with a very large/expensive repair/defect history and has been like this since brand new.