Should I buy 2003 ML500? Help please. - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Should I buy 2003 ML500? Help please.

A 2003 ML 500 just came up for sale withing 15 minutes of my home. I am looking for some insight as to whether I should buy and what I should be looking for as I look at it. It has 172K miles and the owner says it has been sitting for 6 months. Per the owner, the battery is dead and wont charge (I'm bringing a charged battery with me.) I have tried a search with no real luck .He parked it after several days of driving it and it lost total power and all dash warning lights came on. After turning off the ignition, it started back up and drove fine for a while when it repeated the same process. Eventually, he parked it. I currently own a 99 and an 02 ML 320's so I am familiar with the 6 cylinder engine. I plan on taking my scannner (Autel) with me but not sure what to research before I go to look at it Thursday (2 days from now). Is there anything specific to the V-8 engines I should look at? Does anyone have any insights into a possible problem. e did not take it to a mechanic for diagnosing. He is asking $1000 OBO (no lowballs) and the pictures look good for both interior and exterior. Thanks in advance for any help. Mike
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 07:34 PM
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Dead battery is always convenient way to hide existing problems. No codes, all cool. First thing to look at on any used vehicle is OBDII readiness status.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 04:04 AM
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Hmmm, a 17-year old, well-worn, non-running gas guzzler with no real market value. I would put my money elsewhere, but it sounds like you may like collecting them.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:52 AM
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Might be worth looking at.....

Is he original owner ? Does he have receipts from previous work ? Look those over carefully for telltales of serious money down the road.

What is cosmetic condition ? Pictures would be nice.......take a camera !!

Could EASILY become a MONEY PIT. Let the Buyer Beware !!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 07:29 AM
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This vehicle already sounds like it is a money pit.

Be mindful of a few things IF the ML was running and driveable:

• There will be no more key fobs—EVER! Your only option for a replacement key is the Mickey Mouse valet key with no remote function.
• Suspension components, if not already replaced, can be a heavy expense for such an old ML. My 2002 is way overdue ball joints and control arms.
• If he doesn't have the paperwork to prove maintenance has been regularly done, then you won't know what it will need in the future (even I don't have all this and to get it together would be quite painful. All I can do is recite by memory what I've done and that isn't proof)

You say you own two, a 99 and a 2002. I, too, owned a 99 ML430 and the 2002 ML320 I still have. I think we are both aware of all the things we've done to them and to bring another one into the fold could prove to be quite costly. I would pass unless he gave it away. A non functioning 2003 ML is simply worthless.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 02:55 PM
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If it lost power while driving and the battery won’t charge, it might need a new voltage regulator or alternator. Not worth writing an ML off for that.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Update: Thanks for the replies and information. I was finally able to see the vehicle over the weekend. It was not clean and had many more issues than he listed. I offered scrap price but have not heard back yet.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ml foot View Post
Update: Thanks for the replies and information. I was finally able to see the vehicle over the weekend. It was not clean and had many more issues than he listed. I offered scrap price but have not heard back yet.
MLfoot,

Sounds like you 'dodged a bullet' on this one.

I test drove one so rough one time that I coudn't belive that the owner could call it 'excellent' condition. It had more things wrong with it than I could list, and I just drove it, didn't lift the hood.

He wasn't being deceptive he was just a charming, sanguine but mechanically numb guy. If he had offered me it + $1000 to take it, maybe.

But the one we finally got sure looked like a perfect gift compared to that destroyed w163 !

There are always more on CL just waiting to be discovered !

David in East Texas
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Gone, and fondly remembered:

1975 240D - 4 speed manual, power nothing
1984 190E 2.3 - Cute, reliable & slow
1983 300SD - Great highway tourer, 28mpg

Here & greatly appreciated:

2000 E 320 Wagon -
2002 ML 500 - Finally got one !
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