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I have a 98 ML320 SUV. It runs great except when it takes off from a stopped position on an incline. Then it makes a loud noise, sort of a clacking,"chugging" noise like you hear when you are going up an incline in a roller coaster. It feels like it is jerking under the driver's side or a cable is slipping. It always happens on an incline. Today it happened when it was level for the first time. i have not had it for long. also, where the odometer is, when you turn on the car, there is a picture of a wrench an it says "-4000". the numbers have progressively gotten bigger. a mechanic said that was the oil indicator, but it has fresh oil. i was wondering if this is related to transmission fluid. Thanks ahead of time for your help! i lost my job and am desperate to fix it the cheapest way possible!
 

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2004 ML350
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It could be a couple of things first start with inspecting the engine and transmission mounts, since you saying its under the drivers seat it could be the torsion bar bushing there is hundred of threads about it do a search on the forum. Or it could be a ball joint or other suspension component you have to get it inspected on a lift. the wrench its just the oil change service you didnt reset it when you changed the oil youll find the instructions how to reset it on the owners manual.
 

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Thanks so much! none of my manuals say how to reset...i think I am missing the most important one. Could i find the info online somewhere?
 

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Thanks! No, I don't have an owner's manual. I thought i did because there are several manuals, so I thought they were all there...but as luck would have it, it is missing the main manual. It does have a small index card size flip-book, with some instructions, but nothing I have really needed...things like how to keep your windshield washer filled up. Thanks!
 

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1999 Benz ML430, 1997 Benz E320, 2006 Toyota Avalon, 2002 Jag. S-Type (sold), 1985 Benz 380-S
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I have a 98 ML320 SUV. It runs great except when it takes off from a stopped position on an incline. Then it makes a loud noise, sort of a clacking,"chugging" noise like you hear when you are going up an incline in a roller coaster. It feels like it is jerking under the driver's side or a cable is slipping. It always happens on an incline. Today it happened when it was level for the first time. i have not had it for long. also, where the odometer is, when you turn on the car, there is a picture of a wrench an it says "-4000". the numbers have progressively gotten bigger. a mechanic said that was the oil indicator, but it has fresh oil. i was wondering if this is related to transmission fluid. Thanks ahead of time for your help! i lost my job and am desperate to fix it the cheapest way possible!
danab2u, how many miles are on your ML? This noise you hear, is it a matallic sound and dose it feel like the truck is slipping somehow?
 

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YES!!!

Yes, it sounds like it is slipping...like a cable or something...the sound reminds me of the sound you hear when going UP...UP...UP on a roller coaster
 
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