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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good Morning All

I brought my car into the dealer to get a list of problems fixed. This is a 2006 CPO ML 350 with around 43k miles. Keep in mind I bought this car on 2/15/2009. This is the 3rd trip to service. The list is as follows:


  • Creaking coming from front of the car when going "up and over" road bumps, driveway, etc (rear spring couplings replaced last visit to address same in the rear, rear is fixed) .
  • Navigation unit added after initial sale, won't display NAV in instrument cluster; I told the dealer to update the FDOK with MB and then they will issue a new code to flash the cluster with, dealer did that, still doesn't work
  • Rough 2-1 downshift, repeat issue, ECU already flashed last service visit
  • Popping sound when accelerating into left/right turns coming from front of the car more so toward the side you are turning into, and you can feel it through the steering wheel.
  • At highway speeds getting a noticeable vibration in the steering column/steering wheel shake
  • Driver side seat squeaking, repeat issue, was fixed back in late feb, its back again.

My main concern was the rough 2-1 downshift and the popping sound when accelerating into left/right turns. Last visit the dealer flashed the ECU for the rough 2-1, the tech said they couldn't reproduce the issue. While it is true, it can not easily be reproduced, it seems to be most prevalent when driving 10mph or less either in traffic or when looking for parking spots in a lot. The 2-1 was so rough one time, my wife thought i hit something when going through the parking lot. "No hun, that's just the shifting in our wonderful new (to us its new) ML". It doesn't do it every time, but when it does do it, its noticeable and annoying.

The other issue is the popping when accelerating left/right. On my prior visit to service, I would get a popping when turning the steering wheel all the way left or all the way right even at a stand still; that was fixed. Now when coming to a stop and then turning left or right and accelerating, until the wheel starts to make its way back to center you get a "pop pop pop pop pop" and by then the wheel is centered and its gone. The only thing I could relate it to is wheel rub, but these are OEM 17" wheels and tires, no mods.

So what have they fixed so far after 4 days...nothing, yet. They have ordered a new transfer case to address the vibration in the steering column/steering wheel shake at highway speed, but the other problems they haven't been able to reproduce (leaving out the nav issue). Really!?!... :confused:

Does that make sense to anyone to replace the transfer case to negate road vibration or feel in the steering column? Can someone help me to understand why this would be the root cause of the issue?

The dealer told me they rebalanced the tires which are new from being replaced with the CPO process, but they still experienced the vibration. I was just relieved they could reproduce one of my issues.

I'm hoping for a valve body replacement for the 2-1 downshift issue. The dealer has been really nice this time in wanting to get this fixed since this was a new CPO sale on 2/15/2009 and this is my 3rd trip to service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So far they have replaced the transfer case and also the drive shaft. They are continuing to troubleshoot other areas as well.

One month of ownership... :thumbsup:

I've put less than 500 miles on this thing since I bought it, so how is it this car passed the CPO certification??? I'm baffled
 

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Good Morning All

  • Popping sound when accelerating into left/right turns coming from front of the car more so toward the side you are turning into, and you can feel it through the steering wheel.

The other issue is the popping when accelerating left/right. On my prior visit to service, I would get a popping when turning the steering wheel all the way left or all the way right even at a stand still; that was fixed. Now when coming to a stop and then turning left or right and accelerating, until the wheel starts to make its way back to center you get a "pop pop pop pop pop" and by then the wheel is centered and its gone. The only thing I could relate it to is wheel rub, but these are OEM 17" wheels and tires, no mods.
Sorry about all your problems but these are all normal to the ML (but not all on 1 car), hopefully you will get them fixed under warranty.

I can comment on the popping sound that you describe while turning. I had the same issue, almost like an obstruction when turning the wheel while accelerating from stop. While turning, my steering column would pop a couple of times....no issues, just very irritating, and did not give the smooth turn feeling. My dealer did a LOT of troubleshooting and replaced parts here and there (like bushings) but that only temporarily fixed the problem. Finally, they determined that I needed a new axle and ordered it. Believe it or not, that fixed the problem (I have not heard it in 3 months). Maybe you can suggest that to your dealer as an area to look into. Good Luck
 

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I'm so sorry that you are having all these problems on your '06 ML. I hope this is not your first Benz, and this leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Unfortunatley, you bought a used First year model. The previous owner might have dumped it, due to all the headaches. The car being CPO does not mean it is a "good" car, all CPO means is that it is accident free, under a certain mileage and all safety systems operate to factory standards. Generally CPO cars are cleaner, and "shinier" than non CPO cars, that usually just get sent to auction. Since it's introduction in 1998, the ML has generally had more problems that any other Mercedes-Benz in the history of the company. I know some will blast me for saying this, but in my opinion, this car is built in the USA, and regardless of how advanced and cutting edge the factory is, American workers do not have the same work ethic and pride in their work as German works traditionally do. Over the years, we have bought a few first year models of several brands...and all have been more headaches than they are worth. No amount of factory testing, can simulate real life driving my thousands of owners. Sorry, Good Luck & keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the support guys.

I hope this is not your first Benz, and this leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Yes, Deutsch, unfortunately it is. The wife and I had a 2007 BMW 530i that came off lease, I'm not going to compare BMW to MB, its two different cars and wouldn't make sense. The quality of the BMW build to MB though, so far I have to tip the scale in favor of the BMW. What's done is done though and I like the ML for looks and it will be our first of many I believe (next one being new) for our family. We bought it mainly for the size since we now have a 3 week old new born, and the price was right.

UPDATE:

I got a call from the shop today and the foreman was able to reproduce the knocking sound when turning. They said they ordered a front right axle. I didn't realize they come in left and right sides i thought it would be one solid. Maybe the service lady misspoke and it is a front axle.

I am glad its being fixed, but my god this is at least 10k worth of repair and labor costs I would guess.

So far:
- Transfer case
- Drive Shaft
- Front Axle

The saga continues, will keep you posted :crybaby2:
 

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Brian - Glad they found the axle like in my case (also right axle). Hopefully that will take care of the issue :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brian - Glad they found the axle like in my case (also right axle). Hopefully that will take care of the issue :thumbsup:
Picked the car up Friday, test drove it with the shop foreman and reproduced the popping again after the right axle shaft was replaced. They then replaced the left axle shaft and I am now happy to report no more popping. What a freaking ordeal this was.
 

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And this is why Consumer Reports recommends that people stay away from the first year of production, just to let the teething issues get worked out (in this case, 2006).

I'm glad to hear that everything has been fixed!

Good luck and enjoy your truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry to bump such an old post but I thought this was worthy of an update.

* Rough 2-1 downshift, repeat issue, ECU already flashed last service visit
* Popping sound when accelerating into left/right turns coming from front of the car more so toward the side you are turning into, and you can feel it through the steering wheel.
* At highway speeds getting a noticeable vibration in the steering column/steering wheel shake

These were the three big issues that bothered me over and over. Lets start with this one:

*Rough 2-1 downshift, repeat issue, ECU already flashed last service visit.

After several complaints, in November of 2009 while my wife and 8 month old baby boy were in the car driving at 65mph, the trans quit shifting. Yup, she stepped on the gas, the RPM's went up and never shifted, the console indicated it was still in "D", not what you expect to happen. She pulled over to the side of the highway, stopped the car, turned it back on and slowly began to drive on the shoulder. Seemed like it was going ok until the RPM's kept going up and up and it wouldn't shift out of first. The car was towed to service and they replaced the valve body in the trans after about a week.

* Popping sound when accelerating into left/right turns coming from front of the car more so toward the side you are turning into, and you can feel it through the steering wheel.


This one resulted in the replacement of the left and right front axels, more time in the shop

* At highway speeds getting a noticeable vibration in the steering column/steering wheel shake

This one resulted in the replacement of the drive shaft and yet more time in the shop


So lets flash forward to Valentines Day 2010, about 1 year after purchase of the 2006 ML. The check engine light comes on, the car starts shaking and some kind of smoke was coming from the engine compartment, like the burning off of some sort of residue, not a plume of smoke as in a fire. Another tow trip to the shop and it turns out this is the balance shaft in the engine which turns the pistons, needs to be replaced (all under warranty still). :surrender: :surrender: :surrender:

No longer feeling that this car lives up to Mercedes reputation for safety, engineering, customer value, and overall service, I sent an email to my sales guy and his general manager expressing my concerns. Several discussions later, they took back the 2006 ML, paid our remaining balance (no negative equity carryover) and gave us an unbelievable deal on a 2010 ML350 with P1, 19in. wheels and a few other options. Palladium Silver with Ash leather and I couldn't be happier.

Having driven the 2006 ML for a year, the new 2010 ML is far superior in every category. The exceptional service I received from the dealer was over and above what I expected. Only in talking with my wife would we say "They need to just take this POS back and give us a new one" - well...that's exactly what they did.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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Thanks for the update. Congrats on the 2010. Hope all goes better with this one.
 

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We hear so many criticisms of dealers ("stealers" and sometimes "$tealers") that it is refreshing to read about one who stood behind his customer.

Which dealer was it? He deserves to have his name displayed here!
 
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