Any High Mileage ML/GLE's Out There? Long Term Reliability - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Any High Mileage ML/GLE's Out There? Long Term Reliability

We are in the market for a used 2015+ ML/GLE (non-diesel). Based on my research, the W166 seems to be quite reliable, albeit with sporadic electrical gremlins (I'm assuming the noisy timing chain issues were corrected by 2015, but please feel free to correct me). We tend to keep our cars for a long time and the M276 engine seems to be pretty reliable (unlike the W164's M273) but I was wondering if anyone on this forum had a high mileage ML/GLE who could comment on long term reliability:

1) Any issues with carbon deposits? I know it's not a matter of "not if but when" for direct injected engines to have issues with carbon, but I'd love to hear at what mileage, cost, etc.
2) Any oil consumption issues? I know some manufacturer's recently went all-in with low tension piston rings and I've heard of oil consumption horror stories, so I'd like not to participate
3) CPO a must? Extended Warranty or just take the balance of manufacturer warranty? Option B would be Carmax and there extended warranty.
4) Are the W166's at least a little friendly to shadetree mechanics (oil changes, brakes, suspension, etc.)?


We have 2 MB's in the family fleet: an '03 ML350 and and '03 E500, so I am familiar with the cars and possess the most important thing when it comes German car ownership: ability to do most maintenance myself and a good Indy that I trust. In fact, I spent today under the ML350 replacing a trans cooling line and the fluid/filter swap.

Any thoughts would be most welcome - we are looking to purchase within the next 3 weeks or so. If the W166 falls through, we will probably get another W163 as a runabout.

Thanks to all!

The Current Fleet:
2003 E500 Sport - The German Princess; my first MB and still solid at >100k
2003 ML350 Inspiration - The Happy Puppy and family runabout; bought it as the 'kids' car (big, safe, and slow)
1993 Saab 900S 16V - Restoration Project
1999 Saab 9-3 - last of the good old solid Saab engines

No longer with us:
2005 Lincoln Navigator - Nearly 3 tons of flying red terror (my darling wife's car) - DIED! the dreaded Ford 5.4 strikes again!



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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 05:23 PM
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I would get a 2015 ML. Last year of them. Get the 350 Gas with just standard suspension. It will be rock solid. There are some CPO cars left out there. I bought mine last year for my wife with just 20k miles. It has been 100% with only fluid changes so far.
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Any High Mileage ML/GLE's Out There? Long Term Reliability

Loving the 2013 Ml500. 145,000km on the clock. So far been a really great car. It has air suspension and active everything and no trouble so far. Fingers crossed. Servicing it every 10,000km instead of the recommended 25,000. Had new rotors all round and rear shocks.


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Last edited by mattml430; 06-01-2019 at 03:21 AM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys - is it easy to maintain by yourself? Can you do brake pads and rotors, fluid changes, etc. yourself?

The Current Fleet:
2003 E500 Sport - The German Princess; my first MB and still solid at >100k
2003 ML350 Inspiration - The Happy Puppy and family runabout; bought it as the 'kids' car (big, safe, and slow)
1993 Saab 900S 16V - Restoration Project
1999 Saab 9-3 - last of the good old solid Saab engines

No longer with us:
2005 Lincoln Navigator - Nearly 3 tons of flying red terror (my darling wife's car) - DIED! the dreaded Ford 5.4 strikes again!



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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by FLMBenz View Post
Thanks guys - is it easy to maintain by yourself? Can you do brake pads and rotors, fluid changes, etc. yourself?


Yer thatís all reasonably easy. Just need a couple of special tools for the transmission fluid change. Everything else is pretty normal.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 06:17 PM
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Loving the 2013 Ml500. 145,000km on the clock. So far been a really great car. It has air suspension and active everything and no trouble so far. Fingers crossed. Servicing it every 10,000km instead of the recommended 25,000. Had new rotors all round and rear shocks.


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I have air suspension on a bluetec 2014. Have been doing oil changes every 10k Km. Use low volatile AMSOil CK4 compliant 20W50 with increased Zinc for the timing stretch issues that have been noted occasionally. No issues with vehicle. 105K km.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the advice guys - we went to Carmax today and looked at a 2014 ML350 (think it had Premium Package 1). We are having a second one in black shipped in to look at later this week. My wife loved the car and was ready to buy it before we pulled off the lot

What are your thoughts on a warranty? I think the cost was around $2,700 through Carmax, but I have not researched that insurer yet. I had a BAD experience with another aftermarket car warranty purchase about 15 years ago - basically they went out of business and I lost my warranty premium and the cost of the repairs, so I am a bit skittish especially since the W166's seem pretty reliable.

The Current Fleet:
2003 E500 Sport - The German Princess; my first MB and still solid at >100k
2003 ML350 Inspiration - The Happy Puppy and family runabout; bought it as the 'kids' car (big, safe, and slow)
1993 Saab 900S 16V - Restoration Project
1999 Saab 9-3 - last of the good old solid Saab engines

No longer with us:
2005 Lincoln Navigator - Nearly 3 tons of flying red terror (my darling wife's car) - DIED! the dreaded Ford 5.4 strikes again!



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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by FLMBenz View Post
Thanks for all of the advice guys - we went to Carmax today and looked at a 2014 ML350 (think it had Premium Package 1). We are having a second one in black shipped in to look at later this week. My wife loved the car and was ready to buy it before we pulled off the lot



What are your thoughts on a warranty? I think the cost was around $2,700 through Carmax, but I have not researched that insurer yet. I had a BAD experience with another aftermarket car warranty purchase about 15 years ago - basically they went out of business and I lost my warranty premium and the cost of the repairs, so I am a bit skittish especially since the W166's seem pretty reliable.


Not worth the money. Anything important is excluded in the fine print and there are all kinds of caveats on requirements on maintenance records and crap, wear and tear etc. deductibles. In my book most extended warranties are not worth it.

Where are you located? In the US.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Yes in the US. Some follow-up investigation on the Carmax warranty revealed that it is a mixed bag. Lots of people saying 'covered everything - it was great' but there were enough 'terrible and they were a hassle to deal with' to make me doubt it's worth it.

After I posted, I thought about it this way: I've probably put the most money in the E500, a 16 year old car with 109k on it - even if I count the SBC brake controller replacement ($2800 which Mercedes later reimbursed), I have a max of $4000 in repair costs for the car - including borderline stuff that would NOT be covered such as a $500 air strut and lower control arm replacements (guessing the warranty company would say that these are maintenance items and not covered). The other thing is the cars we've looked at so far are fairly basic and lack the airmatic, turbos, and electronic goodies that cause a lot of headaches - so a simple car should equate to fewer potential issues.

The only other issue that has surfaced on the W166 are some stray transmission component issues - my indy says these are about $1500 to replace. Mercedes has there issues, but there are far more complaints out there about the Ford 5.4 that just died in my wife's Lincoln and we managed to get 120k and 9 years of service out of that one.

The Current Fleet:
2003 E500 Sport - The German Princess; my first MB and still solid at >100k
2003 ML350 Inspiration - The Happy Puppy and family runabout; bought it as the 'kids' car (big, safe, and slow)
1993 Saab 900S 16V - Restoration Project
1999 Saab 9-3 - last of the good old solid Saab engines

No longer with us:
2005 Lincoln Navigator - Nearly 3 tons of flying red terror (my darling wife's car) - DIED! the dreaded Ford 5.4 strikes again!



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:44 PM
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I have a 2012 ML350 Bluetec Diesel - bought it 15 months ago with 87K miles - now it has 108K miles.
No issues: had a tranny service at 100K (apparently it missed the on the reg service sked for 70K) and it was starting to shudder slightly when up-shifting under power. That went away with the trans service. Had to replace the lift-gate power shock thingie as opening completely became sporadic. That's about all. Love the car - 600 mile range on a tankful.
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