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2002 ML 500
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of driving my 2002 ML500 I just bought with 250,000 mi to Fairbanks, AK and leaving it there for use when I am up there. The vehicle is from Colorado. It will be driven March to May and in Sep. Rest of the time is will sit outdoors. It can be -10 to -30 F in March. It wont see much driving when I am up there, mostly just driving around town. My concern is with lack of driving it and sitting for long periods. I would disconnect the battery when it sits for months. Can the ML500 handle this kind of use or would it be better to drive it back to Colorado for the winters? Would rather leave it up there as its much cheaper to just fly to Colorado.
 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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516 Posts
MLOR.. My hat is off to you.. You must be some kind of a bad ass.. even considering driving a 250k ML, the three thousand miles one way.. not let alone a 6k round trip.. My prayers go with you.. You being from CO.. you should know what a car can and can't handle during the winter.. I spent a few Christmas in Gunnison and never could figure out how anybody could get their cars to run when it's 30 below in the middle of the day.. Now I do believe there are some members that do live up there in Fairbanks.. Hopefully they will give you some answers.. GOOD LUCK..
 

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2002 ML 500
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The ML is new to me but I drove my 1994 Land Cruiser with 460,000 miles on it to Alaska and back a couple years back. It was in May though so breaking down would not result in freezing to death. It will be end of February if I drive the ML up so thats the dead of winter still.
 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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516 Posts
So good, not your first rodeo.. It's my understanding that's one lonely piece of road getting up there.. So if it were me, I'd be taking along some spare parts.. (Even if used or aftermarket) CPS, MAP, fuel pump, water pump, alternator, and belt.. Better that you have them and not need them, than be stuck .. I do hope someone up north would give you the low down about leaving it up there.. So what you thinking, 7 days.. more or less.. Or do you have someone going with you to spit the driving?..
 

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Dallas, Texas
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6,849 Posts
Back in 2005 I drove my ML320 from Dallas to Alaska and back. One H7 bulb, two quarts of oil.

Before the trip every bolt and nut was inspected. New belt, upper idler, belt tensioner. Water pump play inspected.

 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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516 Posts
Witek.. Back in 05'.. how old was your ML?.. and how many miles did you have on?.. Even so, that's one hell of a drive..
 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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516 Posts
So what do you think Witek,... 7 years/110k vs 17 years and 250k.. Am I wrong to be concerned about MLOR's trip? I just hate to think of MLOR being stuck out in the middle of no-where.. And nobody told him about how temperamental MBs can be..
 

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2003 ml500
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16 Posts
Never been anywhere that cold in my life. That said I have used Ctek battery chargers for over 10 years. I know they sell an extreme weather charger for the conditions your ML will be stored in.
I have also installed block heaters at a European repair shop mostly on diesels. We used a brand called Wolverine.
I've heard a lot of horror stories of ML owners replacing batteries only to have a new electrical problem. So I would not recommend disconnecting your battery when storing your Mercedes.
 

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1998 ml-320 stock,oem bug deflector, nerf bars, leather gray upholstery, delivery date 25 nov 97
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664 Posts
It would suck to be broke down in -30 F weather.
MLOR
don't feel bad about the -31 F temp When I was up in Alaska with the Army ( 1978 ) we did war games. at Donley's Dome (near Fairbanks )
The temp there was -68F with a wind chill of -120F below. We were out in it for 3 weeks in heated tents
The Gama Goat Vehicles were fun :)

C N B
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,522 Posts
The only times my ML stranded me were: broken serpentine belt, which also drives the water pump, and a crank sensor. So you might want to go with new ones of those right away - relatively cheap. I think you’ll be fine disconnecting the battery, but you may want to try it in Colorado first. Radio code? Not a bad time to update the 90’s tech radio for something with Bluetooth / CarPlay anyway.
 
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