really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,534 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Owner Comments

problem #8

May 012004

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,615 miles


Laundry list of failures. Jack has almost killed me while changing tire. Vehicle fell, almost hitting me but catching side of vehicle before landing on me! hood latch has failed on a few occasions, causing hood to open while vehicle was in motion. Air mass meter failed. Has required 5 (five!) alignments in two years. When brought to dealer's attention, was told nothing was wrong. A month later requires another alignment. Alignment problems causes wear on tires, which has caused hydroplaning and loss of control of vehicle. Vehicle swerves uncontrollably when hits anything other than flat road. Transfer case motor fixed by dealer without consulting. After repair, transfer case motor failed. Dealer states owner responsible for costs. Has had repair of harmonic balancer on front of engine due to excessive heat buildup leading to oil leak and failure of belt tensioner. Window switches have failed twice and fixed at expense of owner. Six different keys have failed @ the cost of $220/key. Rear window defroster causes loss of stereo reception. Rear window wiper motor has failed. Front end makes noise.

- Columbus Afb, MS, USA

problem #7

Mar 182004

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,457 miles
Steering failure due to defective harmonic balancer. Refer to NHTSA action number: PE03058

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 152004

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The crankshaft harmonic balancer pulley of my Mercedes ml 320 gave out on me while I was driving. The belt started to burn. I called the Mercedes Benz dealer in honolulu, hi and the service manager, dan told me that there was no recall on the pulley to date and that I should bring my ml 320 in to get repaired. Dan stated that the pulley may not be the only part that is damaged and that the cost could probably go up in price. I stated that I had a mechanic looked at it and said that nothing else was damaged. Dan insisted that there were probably internal damages. At that point, I decided to just purchase the part and have my mechanic fix my car because my mechanic looked at my car thoroughy and I felt that the manager just wanted to have me bring in my car in for the repair(s) which would have probably cost me a lot of money.

- Honolulu , HI, USA

problem #5

Jun 242003

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,772 miles


Belt tensioner failed at 73886 mile, $308. Harmonic balancer failed @80,772 miles. Lost power steering and all accessories. Replaced belt, oil pan, tensioner(again),harmonic balancer, oil, oil seal. Mercedes paid for parts. I paid for labor $675. Did tensioner fail first time because of balancer. Was balancer a known defect?

- Orange Beach, AL, USA

problem #4

Jan 022004

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,435 miles
Regarding NHTSA action number PE03058. The crankshaft pulley harmonic balancer was found to be defective on my Mercedes ml, 320 today. The vehicle had 57,435 miles. The dealer told me it was starting to fail and recommended it be replaced or it could lead to a loss of power steering and major engine damage.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #3

Aug 012003

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
98 Mercedes ML320 with 75,000 miles harmonic balancer went up and destroyed half of the engine which cost over $5,000 in repairs. Mbusa said they had no previous complaints and that I was responsible for all repairs since it was out of warranty. I have since found out that this is a known problem for these vehicles/engines that mb is trying to cover up.

- Lutherville, MD, USA

problem #2

Feb 052002

ML320 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,717 miles
The crank shaft damper (harmonic balancer) came apart causing damage to the middle oil pan and the front timing cover.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #1

Jul 032003

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,279 miles
The consumer pulled into the driveway where both lights had come on at the same time and had become unable to steer the vehicle. The battery light came on, because the belt came off the alternator, power steering, and the ac, which made the vehicle difficult to steer.

- El Monte, CA, USA

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