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1999 C280
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898 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, visiting from the W202 board.

I am considering purchasing a 2001 ML430 but to be honest I know nothing about these. I drive a C280 and an older 4Runner.

The vehicle I am looking at is senior owned since new, has all the service records mostly from the dealer, 105k, factory nav, 5 disc cd, and heated seats. New brakes within last few months.

I have not seen in person yet but looks very nice and supposedly runs great.

I can put this vehicle in my garage for 7k. Is that a good price? how bad are these on gas? any problem areas I should look for when I go see it?
Anybody tow with one of these? Any stories to share?


Thanks in advance for your input!


Mark
 

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2000 ML320
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45 Posts
Well, I just bought an '00 ML320, and even had an experienced mechanic 'look over it'. We bought it from an elderly man who seemed very gentle.

In the 8 months I've had it, we've had issues. The tally as of this week is:

Center driveshaft bearing
alternator
power steering pump
steering rack and pinion
front lower ball joints
alignment
new tires all around


So, we later found out the previous owner had a teenage son who drove it a bit rough.

So find someone who knows a bit about Mercedes vehicles to look it over; turns out any mechanic with 20 years experience might miss stuff.
 

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1999 C280
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898 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I know my way around cars ok but I definitely would have a pre purchase inspection done if I like it since these are new to me.
I have a mechanic that works on nothing but german cars so I am sure he can give it a good once over.

What are thoughts on a 7k price?

Mark
 

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2000 ML320
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45 Posts
I paid $5k for an '00 ML320 with 140k miles. Blue booked around $7k, so I'm inclined to think if there are no mechanical issues you've got a decent deal on your hands.

I'd buy it. :p

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2000 ML430 (Sold)
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1,209 Posts
If your indy says its good to go, and you yourself find you love everything about it, go for it. 7000 is exactly where it should be if its in good condition.

BTW, dont expect it to drive and feel like a c class, it is a truck after all.
 

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1999 ML320
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2,800 Posts
If your good with a spanner and its a looker, go for it. If you take it to a shop allow at least a $1000.00-$2000.00 dollars a year MIN if you do 10,000 miles a year.
 

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1999 C280
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898 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, I am going to take a look over the weekend. In the meantime, here is a few pix.

Mark
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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The only thing I notice is that the tires may not be the original 275/55/17s. They look a
little narrow, but it is a nice looking ML. Tires are easy to deal with for replacement.
 

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2002 ML320
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323 Posts
Look some things are a given when buying any used car. Tires, tires, tires! Is it a fresh set? They say it all, same as a house with location.

Tires, brakes\rotors are easy for anyone to evaluate. You can tell immediately, if you have money going further out the door on purchase. I'll always beat any car I may buy for at-least 50 miles per testing but I feel like the gremlins are just that, you never know.

Not sure if your aware but they say the 02-05's are the more reliable car. Slightly less electrical jargon fixed, well you just get it in a different flavor ;)

I always loved that color.
 

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24 Posts
Check the driver front side of the center console carpeting for transmission fluid leaks into the cabin. Sounds bizarre - but we've been having a continual problem with fluid leakage and supposedly it is a major problem with no working solution from Mercedes. Look for carpet stains and run your fingers over the area - just to the right of gas pedal - and see if you have fluid residue on your fingers.
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430
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1,751 Posts
Beautiful ML! Love the color and interior.

$100.00 spent on a thorough inspection can give you piece of mind AND a good bargaining chip on negotiating price.
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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Please disregard MB_300"s post. You can search the entire W163 forum and never find another thread or post about 2.5 years of ATF leaking inside the passenger compartment.
 

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I disagree. It is a common problem - I have had two different Mercedes mechanics independently confirm that it continues to be a problem - after more than one design change by Mercedes Benz. I am a Mercedes fanatic and think they are the best cars to own, but in this regard there have been problems.
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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It is not a common problem. Please show me posts here or at mbworld where it shows it is a common problem.
No need to start widespread panic over a very rare instance.
 

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I am somewhat relieved to hear you say it is not a common problem - my own experience says otherwise. I also spent a few minutes looking elsewhere on the web and found some other posters in other forums who've said it is a common problem. The fact that it happens at all is a problem - I love MB vehicles, have owned seven so far, but designs should NEVER allow fluid to escape into the main cabin. They are engineered like no other car in the world - but the designs are not always perfect.
 

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Super Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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22,146 Posts
I agree the issue is serious and it should not be happening at all. I also want to say that
it is terrible that you have been going through it for over 2 years.

The odd thing is the new design pilot bushing with the better o-rings has kept both my
Benzes with the 722.6 transmissions nice and dry. No leak or seepage at all for going on three years.
 

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1999 C280
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898 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Ok so I went and looked at the vehicle today.
Overall pretty nice. I looked thru the service records. In the last 10k miles the owner has:

Replaced both cats at a cost of $1200
Replaced tires (4) at a cost of $600
Replaced Battery at a cost of $200
Replaced transmission cost $3900

All above services were done at the MB dealer.

One question, it does have factory nav system. It was asking for the discs which are there. she has 2 discs, one dated 2000 and one dated 2001. Both had a large #2 on the front of the disc. I did not try and use the system but are these the right discs? also, how do you go about getting updates since these are 10 years old?

Also, does the rear seat fold completely flat? I was playing with it a bit but was not sure how to do it...

It is going for a pre-pruchase inspection tomorrow and I will post the results.

One last question, how bad are these on gas? I live in New Mexico at 6000 ft. I do not do a lot of city driving probably 75% rural/highway and 25% city. What MPG can I expect?

Thanks,

Mark
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430
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1,751 Posts
Mine's a 99, but fairly certain your rear seats will fold down completely flat.

Gas mileage will vary, but generally 14-22 MPG and my ML does just fine burning mid-grade.
 

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1999 C280
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898 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
thanks, I would expect that based on my somewhat rural setting that I would be at 17+MPG.
I will see what my mechanic says tomorrow but I do feel pretty good that the seller has almost the price (7k) we discussed in recent repairs.

Mark
 

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2000 ML430 (Sold)
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1,209 Posts
Buy it. If the cats and entire transmission only has ten thousand or less miles on it, thats a no brainer. Just with that work being done they should be selling it for at least ten.
Don't hesitate on this one. Its a beautiful red ml, beautiful interior still, and doesn't need any work.

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