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2001 ML320
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I live in the San Jose, have an 01 ML320. Most
of my problems were fixed in warranty (50K/4yr):
1. Battery dead: could not jump start, had to
tow to Smyth. They replaced the battery
2. Battery is dead again, post warranty. This time
I replaced it at Pacific Tires in Milpitas,
it's an Interstate battery, works excellent since.


Now 67K, out of warranty, due for schedule B service.
Called Smyth, they said something around $700. Shocked, tried the coupon I got thru mail
from a shop called Group Specialists in Redwood City.
They did the B service for $345, gave me a loaner in
the morning.
In the afternoon, they called and said I need these:
-front brake pads/rotors $600
-rear brake pads/rotors $600
-front arms $1200
-harmonic balancer $250
-belt $200
Totalling almost $3,000!
Suspecting I was being robbed, I denied the additional
and just paid the $345 service B, which I found
out later you could pretty much do it yourself on
this forum. I called Smyth about the harmonic balancer, they said it's not on recall, and would
cost me $350 part/labor. The engine did shake
a little at idle, so I was worried.

So, figuring, I need brakes anyway, I searched this
forum and found the brake pads ($100) at rockauto,
and rotors ($200) at autohausaz, belt ($25),
harmonic balancer ($70) at Smyth. The shop I know
would charge labor for brake ($175) and harmonic
balancer/belt ($130). So my total cost comes out
to be $700 comparing to $1,650 if done by Group
Specialist.

The worst thing was when the mechanic opened the
rear brakes, they were absolutely in good condition,
must be 80% left on the pads! I was lied to!
Since I already bought all the parts, I went
ahead with new pads/rotors anyway.

Someone on this forum mentioned they changed
the harmonic balancer for $150 part and labor,
so I overpaid again for $100 :-(. The engine
did stop shaking at idle though.

Hope that's all for my ML this year.

Does anyone know an honest and inexpensive shop?

Ken
 

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1999 Kleemann ML43K
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1,390 Posts
I'll reply to just part of your post

It's my understanding that your harmonic balancer is part of the recall. A call to a few dealers with your vin number can confirm this. The more you call the more you can believe it is fact or fiction. I have a '99 and it was replaced for free. You should get your money back if it is fact.

The prices you were quoted for brakes and the front upper control arms are standard prices[just had botht done on my ML]--overpriced but a reality. It's too bad they were scamming you to replace parts that did not need replacing. Nothing irks me more.

I had almost 50K miles on my brakes [yes it is true MLs can surprise even the skeptics!] so it was a no-brainer as I was not stopping near fast enough anyway. You were smart to check it out and I wish you luck with the other issues.


Edit: BTW I make it out to San Jose/San Fran & Alameda once a year. I love staying at the Hotel Valencia and the shopping there is very nice. I saw my first Lorinser S-class out there. The cars that drive around there are top notch [compared to my salted road heaven here in Illinois]. I still cannot get used to the pedestrian right of way. In Chicago there would be a lot of hit and runs or cars bumping in to each other. I digress...back to the topic.
 

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2020 MB GLE 450 4MATIC, 2015 BMW M4
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2020 MB GLE 450 4MATIC, 2015 BMW M4
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bigcatny - 4/19/2005 7:56 AM

I read that even if you get the balancer done not at the dealer, MB would reimburse you. Worth checking into.
That's true--I forgot that. You might have to prove that the replaced unit was one of the two affected part numbers, but maybe not.
 

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2000 ML430
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101 Posts
i calledone dealer about the harmonic balancer and they said i needed a letter in the mail in order to make an appt. She told me that it was specific to the vehicles VIN number. I then called Chambers and they schedule it without even asking any questions. I have a 2000 ML430 and do I need a letter to do this recall?
 

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98ML320
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1,278 Posts
NO....

Tell them to lookup your vin # in the computer to see if it is part of the campaign. It's a recall.... not optional on their part.


The only letter I've ever gotten from MB is asking if I'm ready to buy another car. All the recall and TSB information I've gotten right here.
 

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2014 RX 350 F Sport, 2007 Scion tC, 2000 ML 430 Money Pit Finally Gone! Oh Happy Day!
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1,284 Posts
bigcatny - 4/19/2005 3:35 PM

NO....

Tell them to lookup your vin # in the computer to see if it is part of the campaign. It's a recall.... not optional on their part.


The only letter I've ever gotten from MB is asking if I'm ready to buy another car. All the recall and TSB information I've gotten right here.
FYI -

READ! READ! READ! this isn't a RECALL but a MBUSA Service Campaign! ONLY a recall if the government mandates the repairs!

Campaign No. 2005020003
April 2005
ALL MERCEDES-BENZ CENTERS
SUBJECT: MODELS 163, 202, 208 210 WITH ENGINES 112,
MODELS 129, 163, 202, 208 210 215, 220 WITH ENGINES 113,
MODEL YEARS 1998 – 2000;
MODEL 170 WITH ENGINE 112, MODEL YEAR 2001
INSPECT, IF NECESSARY REPLACE HARMONIC BALANCER PULLEY
 

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1999 Kleemann ML43K
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1,390 Posts
bigcatny - 4/19/2005 3:35 PM


Campaign No. 2005020003
April 2005
ALL MERCEDES-BENZ CENTERS
SUBJECT: MODELS 163, 202, 208 210 WITH ENGINES 112,
MODELS 129, 163, 202, 208 210 215, 220 WITH ENGINES 113,
MODEL YEARS 1998 – 2000;
MODEL 170 WITH ENGINE 112, MODEL YEAR 2001
INSPECT, IF NECESSARY REPLACE HARMONIC BALANCER PULLEY
Where did you find this and are there any other items out there for 163s?

Thanks

Interesting that it does not apply to '01 and sooner...they must have fixed the issue years ago knowing there was a problem with earlier MLs. [}:)]
 
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