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05 500
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is from an engineer who designs products that are required to be absolutely fail safe - I'm tired of the sickening problems with the ML. For the love of the product, I got rid of my MY02 320 in Dec. 04 and purchased a MY05 500, hoping that the problems I had with the 320 were resolved - wrong!!!!! As an engineer with conscience, I thought all the small nagging problems were addressed, given the popularity of the ML - afterall they had to expand the factory due to demand!!!! Now, last night, in the pouring rain after some mild shopping, the darn thing came up with every brake related warning light it has installed - ABS, BAS, Pad Wear, You Name It and XYZ. Darn, I thought all these would have been resolved by the end of production of the W163. To make matters worse, the thing wouldn't shift from P as long as theeeeeesssssseeeee "faults" existed. This, just after that same day and a couple of days earlier, I had spent trips to the shop to stump the techs (including the MB SOS recepotionists)with a mysterious TeleAid problem still unresolved - maybe the techs screwed something up!!!!! Now, I don't care who the manufacturer is (bare with me, I'm getting pissed off here), but if you can't resolve reoccuring problems through the lifecycle of a model year, you're not worth a dime and that's exactly where MB is in my books right now. This shouldn't happen, especially at end of the lifecycle of the W163; mine is new and based on the past four months, I find it extremely dificult to keep on defending MB. This is an extremely capable vehicle, but for goodness sake, when are these issues going to stop happening???????? MB has me wrapped around their fimgers and it seems like they don't give a rat's [email protected]@ what I think otherwise they'd have resolved these numerous issues raised to date. 'Know what, I'm beginning to lean towards the Nissan/Infinity/Volvo camp, afterall, it's my $$$$$$$$$$$$$ and the Nissan I traded in for the 320 had zero problems through 180K miles. Get it straight MB 'cause I'm sick and tired of these nagging issues!!!!!
 

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Hang in there Darkmann. I have enjoyed your positive outlook on the W163. It sucks when you finally realize that all of the positive aspects of MB are just not enough compensation when reliability is missing.

On the positive side of things, you have only had your new ML for 4 months. If you did get a lemon, better to find out now instead of two years from now.

Good luck.
 

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2011 GLK,2007 S550,2003 S55,2008 CLK,2009 C300,1996 E300,2005 E320,2002 E3
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As sad as it sounds---the Ml was probably one of the worst built vehicles over a 7 year period.[:(] Way to many problems from a vehicle with a history like Mercedes Benz.
 

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I hear you, Dark. I've spent a lot of time defending the ML as well. This past winter, on a particularly icy day, I lost traction for a second (yellow triangle). Suddenly, the dash lit up with ABS warning lights - so, according to the manual, I had no ABS. I'm not an engineer, but things shouldn't crap out when you need them the most.

Folks are teling me the only vehicles that hold their value nowadays are Harleys and Corvettes. Hmmmmmmm ...



[:0][:D][:p][8D]
 

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Darkmann, there's a service campaign coming for your model replacing Bosch supplied electric voltage regulators. Under certain temperature and humidity conditions the cooling fins can separate from the regulator. Concerns all V8 vehicles built between June 2001 to end of 2004. Maybe your dealer knows about it already. Letters to V8 owners should go out in a couple of weeks or so. This was announced on March 31, 2005 as part of MB's new quality improvement program initiated by Eckard Cordes. Details are available (in German) on http://www.jesmb.de

Here is the list of models:
Betroffene Baureihen:
BR 163 mit Motoren 113
BR 203 mit Motoren 113
BR 208 mit Motoren 113
BR 209 mit Motoren 113
BR 211 mit Motoren 112, 113
BR 215 mit Motoren 113
BR 219 mit Motoren 113
BR 220 mit Motoren 112, 113
BR 230 mit Motoren 112, 113 (ab 10/2000)
BR 463 mit Motoren 112, 113
Produktionszeitraum: Juni 2001 bis November 2004
 

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2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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It seems you're right on, Darkman. I drove my first mercedes at 24 years of age (38 now) and I can't believe the degradation of reliability that has occurred with the benz name. My ML430 has 128,000 miles on it and a list of repairs about as long. I still have to baby sit the [email protected]#$ thing by changing fluid in the transfer case every 5000 miles ( I have to do this myself because you have to overfill it a half quart which the dealer will not do!). From mass air flow sensors to harmonic balancers flying apart, it just seems too much to take for owning what is supposed to be a world class vehicle!
 

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Welcome to the board Bud[:)] One question though, why are you changing the fluid in the transfer case every 5k?
 

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2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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To 4benzes,
The transfer case, from what I understand, is a second generation flawed piece of engineering by Borg-Warner. I began experiencing a loud clicking when slowly driving through a parking lot or driveway. I took it to my regular mechanic (the one who did my harmonic balancer repair for $1,450 less than the dealer) who said it was out of his range of experience and reccommended a drive train expert look at it. Both drive shafts were rebuilt u-joints and all along with fluid change in front and rear differiential. You guessed it, the noise was still there. We then changed the fluid in the transfer case and [:)]walah! Problem solved. The fluid was tar-black (supposed to be red) along with a few brass looking metal shavings. Fluid change lasts about 5000 miles so long as you overfill it about 4 to 6 ounces or the noise will come back sooner. The last 2 changes, the fluid looked clean and I may be able to go longer on a change, but what the heck. It's only 3 or 4 bucks and 10 minutes of my time. The dealer wanted to sell me a new transfer case ($2,300) even though they know these have problems. I think they are not putting enough fluid in them at the factory!
 

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Darkmann, Sypathize with you however its my take that the ML and its components are very well engineered and do have lots of fail safe features. I bet that if you used the emer park release (fail/safe) and got your ML running you would have had full braking without BAS and ABS. This would put you in a mode that other cars run in 100% of the time. Very safe and operational. Re the failure, its most likely one component that failed, maybe got wet that effected all the functions you mentioned. Its my take that the engineering by MB is sound however the vendor electronic components suffer from poor QC. By the way on my new E Class, that is now 2 mos old I have not one issue!! Regards!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
sosh - 4/10/2005 8:17 PM

Darkmann, Sypathize with you however its my take that the ML and its components are very well engineered and do have lots of fail safe features. I bet that if you used the emer park release (fail/safe) and got your ML running you would have had full braking without BAS and ABS. This would put you in a mode that other cars run in 100% of the time. Very safe and operational. Re the failure, its most likely one component that failed, maybe got wet that effected all the functions you mentioned. Its my take that the engineering by MB is sound however the vendor electronic components suffer from poor QC. By the way on my new E Class, that is now 2 mos old I have not one issue!! Regards!!
Thanks sosh and glad to hear the E is running good. I do agree that Mb does have solid engineering and that's why I defend the ML as much as I've done - afterall, I traded one for another. The problem I had was purely electronic - all actual braking systems were functioning fine and the lights all got back to functioning after I restarted. It's just troublesome to know that going into the W164, these vendor issues are still nagging. Anyway, hope Wolfgang's post is most encouraging. Still love this truck though!!!
 

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Darkmann - 4/10/2005 10:04 PM

sosh - 4/10/2005 8:17 PM

Darkmann, Sypathize with you however its my take that the ML and its components are very well engineered and do have lots of fail safe features. I bet that if you used the emer park release (fail/safe) and got your ML running you would have had full braking without BAS and ABS. This would put you in a mode that other cars run in 100% of the time. Very safe and operational. Re the failure, its most likely one component that failed, maybe got wet that effected all the functions you mentioned. Its my take that the engineering by MB is sound however the vendor electronic components suffer from poor QC. By the way on my new E Class, that is now 2 mos old I have not one issue!! Regards!!
Thanks sosh and glad to hear the E is running good. I do agree that Mb does have solid engineering and that's why I defend the ML as much as I've done - afterall, I traded one for another. The problem I had was purely electronic - all actual braking systems were functioning fine and the lights all got back to functioning after I restarted. It's just troublesome to know that going into the W164, these vendor issues are still nagging. Anyway, hope Wolfgang's post is most encouraging. Still love this truck though!!!
Best way I can describe my feelings re the electronics is very well designed but very poorly executed.
 

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Darkmann,

To make matters worse, the thing wouldn't shift from P as long as theeeeeesssssseeeee "faults" existed.
Something similar happened to me in early March. I was on a long trip in my 2000 ML320. While on "cruise" in the "fast lane" of the Interstate, a semi suddenly pulled in front of me to pass a slower moving vehicle. I stepped on the brakes to give him room to change lanes, and leave me with a "comfort zone". I noticed a greatly increased amount of brake pedal pressure was needed to slow down. When I took my foot off the brake, the truck immediately sped back up. The BAS/ESP light was on. The brake light switch had failed, and it was also failing to cancel the cruise control.

I pulled off at the next rest area, to "re-boot". The BAS/ESP light would go off on restart, but come back on as soon as I stepped on the brake pedal. It would not shift out of Park. The brake lights were not working.

I did the manual overide to get out of park and got back on the freeway. I tested the cruise control again, and the brake pedal would not cancel the cruise control setting.

This is the third time my brake light switch has been replaced, but the first time that I realized the other functions that its failure would impact.

They are recalling some GM product because their brake lights may not work. This seems like a much bigger problem to me.

I do love the truck, and still plan to keep it for a long time, but sometimes I do begin to have a "Crisis of Faith" concerning the reliability of the very features that make me feel more comfortable driving in inclement weather in this truck.

Good luck with your new truck. I am afraid this one my be my last, but I still hope that it will last a long time. (It is my third MB)

On the other hand, it was the same sort of new technology that got me in touch with a MB dealer in Des Moines, IA (I was in route from Little Rock, Arkansas to St. Paul, Minnesota) The Nav system guided me right to the front door, the Starmark Warranty covered the repair, and I was on the road with a washed truck in one hour and 20 minutes.

Benzark
 

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The reliability of my ML430 has improved dramatically since.....

the price of gas reached $2.65 / gallon and I've left it parked in the garage 6 days a week ;-)

Seriously though - the issue with the ML always has been vendor component QA, even now in the final models years. Probably because MB have analyzed the profit / cost of making improvements / changing vendors to the final run of W163's and determined it isn't worth it.

Result - owners like Darkman get problems.

Further, based on passed performance, I doubt the W164 will be much better - just a different collection of problems.

I passed thru' Darkmans frustration phase about 3 years ago and am now pleased to report I'm at peace with my ML but have resolved never to buy another MB product or advise anyone else to do so. At least not until they've proven they've gotten their act together.
 

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I'm not complaining about this POS any more. I was told I just like whining because I complained about the (now 40) repairs it's had in three years of owning a car that cost almost $70k.

Today, the cover over the headlight washer on the passenger side fell off and the BAS/ESP and ETS lights came on. Every day, I wonder what's next?!

Never again.
 

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I too have had many, many problems with my ML 430, 1999. Too bad for MB this will be my last. My extended warranty ran out a few months ago with no problems but its just a waiting game. MB service got 5000.00 in repairs the last 3 months of my extended plan. Things just kept coming up only days after getting it back from the dealer with other problems. Here's a good one. Shocks had 57,000 miles on them, they replaced the drivers side due to one breaking from replacing the front upper control arms. After getting it back the truck would drive off the road, to the RIGHT. Three times back to MB service and they said no problems at this time.
Not even an auto mechanic my common sense tells me, replace shocks in pairs, not just one. MB service said this should not effect the steering. I measured the wheel well height left and right side front and the right side was 1/4 inch lower then the left. MB service would not cover the right shock. This forced me to buy the right shock. It drives down the road straight as an arrow now. WHAT REALLY PISSED ME OFF IS THAT THE MB DEALER SERVICE SCRATCHED MY front 1/4 PANEL AT ONE TIME AND WHEN INSTALLING THE SHOCK THEY MUST HAVE USED SOMETHING TO PULL ON MY LEFT WHEEL-WELL BECAUSE THERE WAS TWO PULL MARKS IN THE METAL UNDERSIDE TRIM.

Same dealer, i sent a friend with a 600 series sedan
to find out how to reset the braking system after changing a battery. The dealer said, We are too busy can you bring it back tomarrow. After reading up in the manual. You can reset this by turning the steering left to right with the key in the # 2 position. The MB deal said they needed to hook the car up to the machine for testing? What a bunch of Bull!

MB needs to do two things, Keep an eye on their service people and spend more time on testing their products. Since then I have found a private repair tech. Sorry MB you lose! [:(][:(]

PS- A friend of mine bought a ML 500 2004 about a year ago and just traded it in, due to problems. No more MB for him.
 

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I am inclined to complain as much as the next man, but I am beginning to wonder whether it is a good idea.

Many of the complaints about the W163 are either minor such as window switches (hugely annoying, but minor), rear door rattles, etc. or serious incompetence or worse on the part of dealers.

Mercedes seem to have responded with the W164 to all our complaints with faultless cup holders and a host of fine interior goodies, but have turned a lot of W163 owners off with other features like only 5 seats, less luggage space, no chassis and other items mentioned elsewhere on this forum.

W164 owners are still going to be locked in to the same dealer network, so it seems to me that complaining may not have functioned to our benefit.
 

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Hi Wolfgang,

I am at 49600 miles on my 2002 ML500.
Will the service campaign apply after the 4yr/50k warranty or should I alert my dealer now?

If not, would it be covered under the 5yr/100K Starmark 1yr warranty extension?

Thanks.
 

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Mercedes version of Onstar

I would swear they send a signal to these trucks to have things break on them[:0] After all if Onstar can locate a vehicle and let you in, I would not be surpised if the Mercedes guys send a signal to my ML and say "shocks, window switches, and transfer case deactivate". Maybe we need antivirus software and a stronger firewall---LOLOLOLOLOL
 

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Answers

@Mike, no idea. I'm not a mechanic. Ask gilly @ mercedes shop or MLGOD @mb world. Noises are difficult to troubleshoot remotely..

I am at 49600 miles on my 2002 ML500.
Will the service campaign apply after the 4yr/50k warranty or should I alert my dealer now?
It's part of Mr. Cordes new quality campaign.
Letters will be sent out to owners starting around May. There is more (in German) on http://www.jesmb.de
Look for quality campaign, dated 3/30/2005.

@Dave, no need for Onstar to spread virii/rumors. Dont we have internet forums for that? [}:)]
 
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