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My wife and I are looking to replace our beloved '86 420SEL and we thought an ML320 would give us the Merecedes safety and ride we are used to and the hauling capabilities we are looking for. We found your website and I grew concerned with the numerous problems with this model. We have a great independent MB mechanic (who owns a 2003 ML430) and he said the quality improved after 2000, so we are cautiously looking for a 2000 or 2001 ML320. Does anyone have any tips on what to look for? We can handle the rattles and broken cup holders, and I can do the simple repairs myself (brakes, oil changes, etc). Our main concerns are the engine and drive train and getting stranded. If the previous owner replaced any problem parts (i.e fuel pump, window swich, engine, tranny, etc) does it stay fixed or do the problems re-occur? Thanks.
 

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i say find a low mileage example that has had the little issues worked out. for the most part the drivetrain is very strong. only really re-occuring issues are the window switches and torsion bar noise. but both are easily remedied.

if possible, look for something from 02 on.. as that is when a big overhaul was done.

your tech, there is no such thing as a 2003 ml 430.
 

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Thanks for the input. Going to a 2002 probably will put us out of our price range. We'll keep reviewing this site and depend on our mechanic for other advice.
 

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with the new ml debut you should be able to find a very clean example 02 for a very good price. just hold on for another month or so, if you can.
 
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