2006 ML500 Repair History
Hello - I have a 2006 ML500, bought it new in August, 2005. I love the car, it is a joy to drive, on long road trips it practically drives itself. I currently have 75K miles on the clock, mostly driven freeways and vacations. NO off-road miles at all. There are some prevalent, costly repair issues I've encountered, one of them multiple times in the past 5 years. I am lucky in that I have 3 dealers within easy driving distance to choose from, as well as several reliable Benz certified independent shops. Here's the list, for what it's worth:
Valve cover seal leaking, replaced: 30K mi, 70K mi ($350 parts and labor, second one under warranty of the first)
Rear brake light sensor/sending unit sends false alarm to computer, replaced: 55L mi ($550 part!!)
Front Differential grinding noise and vibration, replaced 70K mi ($2,800 part plus $350 labor!!!)
The Valve cover seal and rear brake sending unit seem to be one-offs, according to my dealer. However, all three dealers confirmed they have had a higher than expected incidence of front differential replacements.
I was warned about brake pads and expected them to need frequent replacement. I have not found that to be the case. I've had two sets of pads in 70K+ miles, that seems perfectly acceptable to me.
I concur with previous poster - if you decide on a 2006 ML500, you'll enjoy the car, but don't do it without a good Extended Warranty.