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1998 ML320
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 98 ML320 with 110K miles on it. Are there any typical replacements or mechanical parts failures that occur at this type of mileage? I just replaced my water pump and it got me thinking as to if anything else bigger might be around the corner. Thanks in advance for your replies and insight!
 

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2004 ML500,Sport; 2014 ML550; 2009 ACURA TSX
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891 Posts
Just like anything, why replace it if it's not broken.. If the vehicle is well maint.. Just drive it unless it breaks.. How do we know what will break.. If we do, We will not be chating today.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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You will get some interesting feedback, for sure..

One thing is that your '98 survivied, and I mean it should have had all the recalls and updates from those years or it wouldldn't be on the road today - all to the good.

Water pump replacements, although not rare, do happen about that mileage - the key thing with a ML is to get a proper flush and refill with correct coolant - a lot of older ML's have had incorrect coolant at one time or another, it happens, and a double flush helps clean out any old-old junk.

If I had a ML with 100K - and was looking to see what strategic pre-emptive maintainence I might consider, not in order of improtance:

-Check power steering reservoir and hoses. Reservoir o-ring and reservoir whining from that year can be easily and affordably DIY replaced for under $100 incl correct MB fluid.

- I would suggest $5 cleaning of the MAF, and/or if original age of MAF unknown I would consider a pre-emptive replacement of the MAF insert itself which can only work to the good for you with improved performance. (under $200 - be selective where you buy the part)

- I would have the aircon evac'd and recharged, on the evac they can detect any slow leaks. Proper fill with fresh R134 is a earnest way to maxmize the usefulness before major aircon (under $100 at a aircon indie)

- Inspect and replace engine belt, also have tensioner replaced if required (check w/indie shop)

-Have the transfer case serviced with both full fluid change and filter change. (indie should be about $250, using correct MB fluid)

- I would run a good injector cleaner like BG44K (not the junkie retail stuff), 2nd choice large bottle Techron (under $25)

- I would replace the air filter with a proper MB filter, and do a thorough cleanup of the whole intake Under $30)

- I would consider new wires and plugs - for me I would only do new wires + plugs together, but that is me. I haven't had to do this yet on any of my ML's.

- New cabin filter (under $25)

- Replace the wipers all around with new MB OE blades (new look)

-check window washer reservoir and underneath for leaking

-get a new brake switch (under $20) for sure

- I would check and replace battery as needed, going into the hot season. ML's do not give warning signs of battery failure. If you are on your original battery (made by Interstate) then give yourself congrats and replace it with a new MB battery. If you have the 2nd/3rd off-brand battery in there, then getting thru this hot summer is your call.

- On higher mileage and older cars, I choose to replace windshields which is affordable under $250 most places, and gives me a new few without pits and scratches from age,

But like I say, it's all individual choice on how to keep your truck up, I might sound anal - but heck that's me !
 

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500SEC, ML430, SLK230, S600
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- On higher mileage and older cars, I choose to replace windshields which is affordable under $250 most places, and gives me a new few without pits and scratches from age
Unless you use genuine Mercedes-Benz glass, in which case it is around $800. ;)
 

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2001 ML430, 1983 300SD, 2008 GL450
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909 Posts
On the tensioner I would go ahead and replace it whenever you change the belt. Search the archives IIRC someone discovered that a model for the Ford Taurus was an exact fit.

The body mounting bushings undernear are a wear item and probably need replacing.

Crank angle sensor.

Motor and transmission mounts.

Door seals.

You should find and honest independent and discuss which items to lump together. For example as above when replacing the belt go ahead and change the tensioner or vice versa. And since you're in the area check the power steering pump at the same time. If the shop is honest they'll only charge the additional labor the work adds. If they aren't then you need to find someone else anyway.
 

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ML550, W212 E350 4 matic, 1966 Corvette C2 convt.
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One thing is that your '98 survivied, and I mean it should have had all the recalls and updates from those years or it wouldldn't be on the road today - all to the good.

Water pump replacements, although not rare, do happen about that mileage - the key thing with a ML is to get a proper flush and refill with correct coolant - a lot of older ML's have had incorrect coolant at one time or another, it happens, and a double flush helps clean out any old-old junk.

If I had a ML with 100K - and was looking to see what strategic pre-emptive maintainence I might consider, not in order of improtance:

-Check power steering reservoir and hoses. Reservoir o-ring and reservoir whining from that year can be easily and affordably DIY replaced for under $100 incl correct MB fluid.

- I would suggest $5 cleaning of the MAF, and/or if original age of MAF unknown I would consider a pre-emptive replacement of the MAF insert itself which can only work to the good for you with improved performance. (under $200 - be selective where you buy the part)

- I would have the aircon evac'd and recharged, on the evac they can detect any slow leaks. Proper fill with fresh R134 is a earnest way to maxmize the usefulness before major aircon (under $100 at a aircon indie)

- Inspect and replace engine belt, also have tensioner replaced if required (check w/indie shop)

-Have the transfer case serviced with both full fluid change and filter change. (indie should be about $250, using correct MB fluid)

- I would run a good injector cleaner like BG44K (not the junkie retail stuff), 2nd choice large bottle Techron (under $25)

- I would replace the air filter with a proper MB filter, and do a thorough cleanup of the whole intake Under $30)

- I would consider new wires and plugs - for me I would only do new wires + plugs together, but that is me. I haven't had to do this yet on any of my ML's.

- New cabin filter (under $25)

- Replace the wipers all around with new MB OE blades (new look)

-check window washer reservoir and underneath for leaking

-get a new brake switch (under $20) for sure

- I would check and replace battery as needed, going into the hot season. ML's do not give warning signs of battery failure. If you are on your original battery (made by Interstate) then give yourself congrats and replace it with a new MB battery. If you have the 2nd/3rd off-brand battery in there, then getting thru this hot summer is your call.

- On higher mileage and older cars, I choose to replace windshields which is affordable under $250 most places, and gives me a new few without pits and scratches from age,

But like I say, it's all individual choice on how to keep your truck up, I might sound anal - but heck that's me !
Doubtful if he is on his original battery which by the way was never made by Interstate. Interstate has never even made a battery they are a marketing and sales organization that has batteries made for them, some by Johnson Controls and some by others. The original battery in the 98 and subsequent years was a German product.
 

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500SE AMG, E350 4matic, GL 450
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If you do a search, the instructions to change the front and rear diffrential fluid and transfer case fluid will come up. It is from Star magazine(I think that is the MBCA magazine, right???). I believe that has to be done every 50,000 to 60,000 miles. If you get a small hand pump from Harbor Freight, it will make the job pretty easy. Autozone, Advance Auto etc tell the exact same pump for twice the price as HF.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
On ML batteries, early ML's 98-most of 2000 by-in-large had better batteries identical to Interstate batteries (made by Johnson Controls US), those early batteries were winners...and I have seen 8 to 9 yr old batteries in '98+ ML's in moderate climates, 4yrs + seems the norm for those early years.

I always hesitate to say Johson Contorls, then everyone starts to think all Johnson Cotrol batteries are the same thing - Wal-Mart, Die Hard, etc. By saying Interstate (and same battery marketed by them) the quality on this style battery is above the normal retail pack (and you pay for that too).


Sometime in 2000 MB switched to the same style battery, but made by some other manufacturer, this was across many models, and quality went-to-shit. Earlyu failure's in the 1-2yr usage range became common, 4yrs out of the battery became rare.

Sometime mid-late 2004, MB went to same original style battery, now manufactured in Spain (where the Interstae battery now comes from too) - and quality has gone back to good again.

The point is, in modern cars you have little/no warning of battery failure - until generally a hot day in a parking lot somewhere, you turn the key and nothing..

Keep the beat !
 
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