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1938 170V Cabro A
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 320ML and was looking at the April 05 Consumer Reports SUV ratings. The 2000 ML is worse than average in Fuel, Electrical, Suspension, Brakes, Body Integrity, Power Equipment and Body Hardware.

I have had the fuel system recall and the power steering recall done. The soft Mercedes disks probably account for the Brake markdown. My CD changer was replaced under warantee which might be the Power Equipment item. What about the other items? Am I looking at electrical, Suspension, Body Integrity or Hardware problems in the future. I have 36k miles. Are there other common problems? I am hoping to keep her about another 5 years.
 

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ML 320
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Hopefully your ML will give you many years of good service. Unfortunately, there are some common problems that appear to show up with some frequency on 98-01 MLs. Use the search feature and you will find that his topic has been discussed and debated and the various problems listed. Currently, there is an excellent list at m b w o r l d.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Keep in mind that CR data comes strictly from the surveys that it sends to its members (subscribers). For each “problem area�, the survey asks if you have experienced a “serious� problem. The issue is that a MBZ owner might think premature brake wear or a rattle in the tailgate is “serious� where the owner of a Chevy Blazer might not. Although the survey appears to be objective, the respondents will actually be very subjective in their answers.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate CR for the information it supplies, but I would not use it as a gospel. An example is in their color-coded ratings “bubbles� for reliability and satisfaction. You will notice that on most new models, they omit the rating and print “new� in place. However, look at some of the Toyota’s, such as the all-new Avalon. It already has an above-average rating. How come they rate it this way when no one has had the opportunity to own one since their last survey? Their answer is that it is “based on the overall ratings of the brand and previous design�. Personally, I think that’s a bit presumptuous and inconsistent with the way they rate other new vehicles.

- RODNEY
 

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ML55, E320
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550 Posts
I've been called a whiner by one member of this forum, but here's my experience in three years of owning my ML:

1) Check Engine light 4 times over a few months (they changed oxygen sensors 3x, then figured out it was a loose connection).
2) Replaced glove box door (broken hinge)
3) Running board light out
4) Rear seat release (driver's side)
5) Reat seat release (passenger side)
6) Driver's seat left bolster broken (replaced seat back)
7) AC inoperative
8) GPS inoperative 2 times (Adjusted antenna, then replaced antenna. Dealership left interior trim off when the car was returned)
10) Steering clamp loose and lost power steering fluid 2 times
11) Replaced steering gear
12) Replaced steering rack
13) Added anti-squeal compound to brake pads after three complaints
14) Replaced brake pads to quiet squeal after fourth complaint (new pads aren’t as good as originals, but don’t usually squeal)
15) Running board light again (second time they replaced the $2k lighted running boards - 1.5 days of labor!)
16) Reattached new lighted running board cover (wasn’t properly attached when replaced)
17) Battery died suddenly (at 10 months)
18) Windshield wiper motor died
19) Dealership broke the windshield while replacing the wiper motor
20) Key programming lost 3 times – key replaced last time
21) Rear seat release (driver's side)
22) Light in cargo area works intermittently - replaced
23) Rear seat release (driver's side) – replaced release cable again
24) Sticking throttle (couldn’t feel it first time in shop, took it back again, still no repair) (lubricated on third trip to the shop and it works smoothly)
25) Roof rack lock can be locked, but slips right off the end (Replaced)
26) Plastic piece on side of driver’s seat, with position buttons on it broken. (Replaced)
27) gas cylinder under rear seat defective, part ordered in July, still no call from dealer in January. Went to another dealership who replaced the part.
28) Running board light out again. Replaced lights and transformers.
29) Rear suspension creaking and grinding. Replaced rear struts/shocks.
30) Rear seat release (driver's side) – replaced release cable again
31) Rear hatch struts weak. Not holding up hatch (replaced)

All this, and the trade in value was less than half what I paid within a year and a half, so I'm keeping it for now. I'll dump it next year
GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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ML55, E320
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550 Posts
I did and the problems continue. The difference is, now they get fixed the first time.

Today, the cover fell off the passenger side headlight washer and the BAS/ESP and ETS lights came on. Every couple of weeks it's something else and now it's off warranty. I'm planning to dump this pos very soon. If only the Cayenne Turbo or FX45 were a little bigger.
 

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2000 ML320
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It was also stated on this forum that you really only here from the people who have problems, Your not going to here to much from the people that don't. I have a 2000 ML320 w/75000 miles and the only repairs I've done are the power steering hose recall,window switch(fixed under warranty) The MAF and the lateral stablizer sensor. If you want to count breakpads you can. All these repairs where minor IMO. I drive my truck on a regular basis back and fourth to work. I'm very pleased with my ML.
 

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2000 ML430, 2000 C280
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920 Posts
I have noticed that the Consumer Reports guides are very dated and one gets the impression that they are understaffed. For example, they mentioned the 6-cylinder S-class in their current reviews even though this engine was last in a 1999 model (for the US market) of a completely different design. They also have a tendency to peg later model years with problems that were more prevalent in early model years. I seriously doubt that they have the resources to carefully evaluate every car for every year and so they will often just rehash old information.

I know the history of my MY2000 ML430 since new. There were a few of the usual issues that might not have happened on a Japanese SUV, but I prefer the ride and seating comfort of the Mercedes. I am 6' 2" tall and don't fit very well in most Japanese vehicles.

Having said that, I do hope that Mercedes has learned a lesson and will now put solid build quality ahead of gadgetry.

DelJ
 

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2020 MB GLE 450 4MATIC, 2015 BMW M4
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Chuckl - 3/16/2005 6:54 PM

The soft Mercedes disks probably account for the Brake markdown.
Mercedes disks are not soft; the V8 models go through brakes at a far higher rate than your 6, typically, which is probably where the brake issue comes from. I've only replace pads/front rotors once in 77k on my 320.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Mercedes disks are not soft; the V8 models go through brakes at a far higher rate than your 6, typically, which is probably where the brake issue comes from. I've only replace pads/front rotors once in 77k on my 320.
MBZ uses notoriously soft pads (hence all the black dust on the wheels). The original brake pads on my ML320 lasted about 20K miles. The replacement Rotex Gold pads have lasted over 35K and are still going strong. Brake wear can also have a lot to do with driving habits and terrain. I tend to drive with a heavy foot and in a lot of traffic combined with hilly terrain. Since the ML uses its brakes for the ETS system, driving off-road or in any low-traction environments can also contribute to faster brake wear.

- RODNEY
 

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190e 2.3l-16v
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230 Posts
Here some random thoughts i had, again my 2cents:

I had a Cayenne S, some are POS's also. Go and see how many recalls, TSB's and crap they have out for them. I think it is or was the most recalled vehicle in 2004. If not its in the top 3 I would bet.

I took to 20K mile service, I received Cayenne back with 4 pages of recall service performed not to mention the couple TSB's before that. My worst experience was the entire radio system shutting down for no apparent reason several times and once on a long road trip. So they replace CD changer, then it happens again, so they replace radio, then again a few more times. (Radio will go off for hours or even couple days, and magically work again) By the time i sold it still not resolved. So for $60K+ Porsche cannot fix a simple radio problem that was obviously some electrical defect. Also I had to take time to drop off at dealer, get rental, pick up later, waste of a lot of time! If i kept this vehicle any longer it was definitely on my list to get rid of as soon as warranty expires. A lot of Cay owners will agree to this statement.

If you go on any other vehicle forums, same sad songs, some guys have all the luck, some have nightmare with their Cayenne or Dodge, or Toyota. Its just luck of the draw these days. You get a good one or bad one, I dont care if you buy a Ford or a Porsche. You think for the cost of the Porsche it would be oh so right though.

The Cayenne I admit is by far superior to ML's in performance and most other areas (sorry guys dont flame me!) except they are smaller inside yes. FX is so tiny esp the rear hatch area, a joke. FX is more like a raised car thats about all. The ride is ML vs. Cay-S is quite different. My CayenneS with 22" wheels on it felt how the ML55 rides on stock AMG 18"s with fat rubber. The Cayenne feels more solid and not "shaky" like ML, also its much quieter in the cabin. I like ML seats much more (Im a wide broad guy but not tall being over 6ft.), the Cayenne seats actually were not as comfortable to me. I do keep in mind I have a 00 ML55 I am basing my opinions on, so the newer ML's 02-05 should ride better and probably do I assume.
Go test drive you will really like the Cayenne, but if you think it solves recall or other problems, beware! Don't forget check out the Cayenne option list. Gotta love Porsche!

Now heres my recent car ownership experience, I currently just picked up a 00 ML55, (I had a 98 ML320 a few years ago), just got rid of Cayenne S, I also have CLK55 and E39 M5. Also had fair share of other Mpower cars back in days. Anyways, I always enjoy European vehicles and will continue to do so, but German electronics, well lets say the engineers made this on a half work day and were drinking the night before. Well built powertrains, however electronic systems can be nightmares, and the newer these cars get, the worst its getting. Sometimes you get a good one no worries at all or very minimal problem, replace bulb or sensor here and there over the years, but every month or week is ridiculous esp. on a newer vehicle. So far most of my cars have ran quite well. Some people have numerous problems and horrific experiences concerning the product they bought and / or dealer service.

If you want to talk about value dropping buy a new Cay Turbo and in 6 months to 1 year max, it easily will be $25-$30K less in value pre owned. Browsing onine you should find one year old twin turbos for $70K range and barely broken in. I found a couple in $60K range a couple months back. There is a minor refresh update so watch for that as it will further deplete values for 03-05 models.

If your money concerns you, Any brand new vehicle bought you will lose major if you cannot write it off or you are not keeping it for a long time. I read a stat for 2004, in which the average discount dealers have to give to sell a new car was over $4000 off MSRP. Very sad these days. All this welfare leasing and all the greedy mfgr's making so many different models is just flooding the markets.
 

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95 E320 (Sold, known as Hi Ho)..1990 300E (sold, known as "the Chariot"..Current
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You are probably correct about other brand SUV's having their complaints also, but based on our experience with the 2001 ML320, compared to our 99 Durango, The ML is pathetic...This car just does not seem to be up to the Mercedes standard, but the price sure was...Tomer
 
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