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New member - pre-owned ML550

 
Old 01-26-2015, 02:36 PM
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New member - pre-owned ML550

Greetings all. Just wanted to say hi as I've just joined. This site was a huge help in making the decision to buy the (new to me) 2012 ML550 - absolutely great amounts of knowledge packed in these forums.

That said, I do have a couple of questions that I can't seem to find answers to when searching..... I'm in Alberta, Canada and the winters can be brutal to say the least, which is one of the reasons I went with the 4matic in the first place. How on earth does Mercedes expect owners to clear their windshield when the temp is -35 or lower? From what I find, you're not supposed to put a remote start in and there doesn't appear to be an easy way to leave it running with the doors locked. The sales rep just said "it warms up very quickly and has heated seats and steering wheel" - that may be well and good, but the air inside is still -35 and the ice on the windshield could care less what brand of vehicle it is (still has to melt before you can drive away).

Did I buy the wrong vehicle for cold weather climates??

Thanks to everyone who posts here - more help than a dealer or Google.

Greg
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:04 PM
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Welcome to the board.

Mid City Engineering might have a product for remote start. I will say that it does heat up pretty fast and the -35 is probably not a regular occurrence. How did you combat this in other vehicles?
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:10 PM
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Hi Hutch. I can't find a dealer in my area that will install the Mid City unit and the only company that does remotes on this model needs to wait until he has eight orders (his supplier only ships minimums of 8 units). I combat this on other vehicles by letting them run until it's warm/clear enough to drive.

I just found a thread where they talk about a method of using a passenger door to lock the front ones, etc but some people seem to be having trouble with the mechanical key not working when they do this. I'm sure I'm not the first one to say it, but Mercedes is very disappointing on this issue - there are some of us that really do need to let our vehicles run for safety as much as convenience. There are many times I have to let my other truck run for twenty minutes or more just to clear the windows.

Unfortunately, the ML does not warrant a spot in the garage (filled with other vehicles that take precedence) and when I'm parked outside at work for 10-12 hours in the winter there's no protection from the weather anyway.
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:30 PM
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Might be a good idea to contact Mid City and see if they have an installer in the area?

If you have keyless go you could start and leave it, then if someone tried to steal it they wouldn't get far as it would lose contact with the key. Not ideal but just and idea.
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:33 PM
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Thanks for the idea. I'll get hold of Mid City.

The idea of the unit sitting unlocked has two problems for me...someone could drive off with it and go as far as they want (they just couldn't restart it), and I couldn't leave anything in it as there would be nothing preventing them from stealing stuff.

I really think this is poor engineering on the part of MB.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:07 PM
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Problem solved I think...

Remote start installed through MB dealer.....$3800

Same remote start installed at the place where the MB dealer has is done.....$1600

Appointment booked for this Friday.....no charge
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gregweis View Post
Problem solved I think...

Remote start installed through MB dealer.....$3800

Same remote start installed at the place where the MB dealer has is done.....$1600

Appointment booked for this Friday.....no charge
Do you know what product they are installing?
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:08 PM
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The Mid City CompuStar unit.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:21 PM
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:16 AM
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I've had my 13' ML550 since September of 2012 and the midcity system has worked flawlessly. I use it often in the summer and winter.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:18 AM
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Living up where you do I'm sure you have a preference for snow tires but I'm used Pirelli scorpion winters 275/45-20 and they are amazing on that truck. The traction is incredible.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:27 PM
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We are in AB too. Our car is garage kept... but I understand that is not an option for you.

I keep an extension cord in the trunk and we do use the block heater when we travel away from home. That works pretty well too and the car heats up very quickly. I assume your car came standard with that?
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:59 PM
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To everyone responding - a major thanks. I actually just flew out to Vancouver last Friday and drove it back (got home Saturday night). Very interesting drive with the avalanche controls going on in the mountain passes. Just on standard no-season Conti's right now but it handled things okay.

Now, once I hit the dry divided highway on the Alberta side.....that thing sneaks up on you like my 911 S (need to keep a close eye on the speedometer since I hate cruise control). Twin turbo V8 - there is no replacement for this engine. Awesome.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:42 PM
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Great choice of vehicle. After three years I still giggle like a schoolgirl when I floor the thing.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:53 AM
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I live in Calgary, and I just bought a couple of new ML550's. I took delivery for one in November and I'm waiting for the second one next week. I had been driving Escalades for years, but decided that I was tired of the "sea of plastic" and the bodies and rims that seem to dissolve a little more with each winter. Having a tranny go kaput on an Escalade at 50k is also what pointed me to MB.

Like you, I was hoping to be able to remote start my MB. But this does not seem to be available on any German car. And adding a third party remote start is pretty much guaranteed to mess up your security system, so I'd encourage you to not bother with it.

My experience since November has been that the ML550 gives me detectable seat and steering wheel heat within 30 seconds of being switched on. At 3 min, the air is getting warmer inside and at 5 min, I am actually turning down the heat even in the coldest weather.

If I am stopping to do groceries, I hit the "rest" button and the cabin stays warm with excess engine heat being blown into the cab for about 45 min.

The salesman told me that the all aluminum engine on a ML550 Heats up very fast, so that the lack of being able to remote start the vehicle to keep it warm is not as much of an issue as I would have expected. While I would still personally like the remote start capability, I don't think I really miss it all that much. Turns out that the sales guy was probably right.

The ONSTAR remote start on the Escalades was only about 50% reliable in any case, and the app so slow to open/use/respond, that I usually just gave up on the stupid thing anyways. And Escalades took forever to heat up!

I think that if you sign up for MB's stupid web apps access package, that you can gain access to remote start capabilities, but I've never heard good things about it, and the dealer discouraged me from signing up for the web access package due to a 100% negative feedback from clients. It is possible that MB miscalculated and deliberately made remote start available only through their dumb online access service in order to create incentive for the crappy service.

I tried to install the DVDINMOTION SOFTWARE IN MY ML550 MY15 and it didn't work. The company was great for service quality and they tried troubleshoot to no avail - so they refunded my money. That's the last bit of tinkering that I'm willing to do on the ML550's.

Oh - I also got the weather tech floor mats. And I hate 'em. They are so "crappy plasticky" that they are actually dangerously slippery. They also seem to look way more dirty than proper rubber floor matts. I bought proper rubber matts to go on top of them, and I won't bother with weather tech floor matts for the second vehicle.


Hope that helps!
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:40 PM
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Thanks for the response. You're experience sounds 100% the polar opposite of mine. Heating this thing up is basically impossible (and if you're from Calgary you know we've been spoiled weather-wise this winter). It started hitting -20 celsius the other day and the ML will not, under any circumstances, fully defrost the windows. When I'm driving with my son in the passenger seat, I have to continually press the max defrost button because both front side windows fog/frost within minutes of driving (and I have it on fresh air intake not recirculate).

Really, really regretting this purchase so far. Starting to think I should have gone with my gut instinct and bought a Cayenne instead. Hope the experience improves.


(And what is with the signal lights not working sometimes??? Have to pull over, turn the engine off, open the door to cancel retained power, and then when I restart they seem fine.)
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:47 PM
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My experience very similar to Subatomic. My ML550 warms up very quickly even when -20c. Steering wheel and seat heaters are very effective and within 5 minutes I have to turn the steering wheel heater off as it gets hot! Defrost totally effective and keeps the windshield clear and fog free. I've never even seen fog on the inside of the side windows. I feel no need for a remote starter on all but the coldest couple of days each winter and would maybe use it more on smoking hot summer days!
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gregweis View Post
Thanks for the response. You're experience sounds 100% the polar opposite of mine. Heating this thing up is basically impossible (and if you're from Calgary you know we've been spoiled weather-wise this winter). It started hitting -20 celsius the other day and the ML will not, under any circumstances, fully defrost the windows. When I'm driving with my son in the passenger seat, I have to continually press the max defrost button because both front side windows fog/frost within minutes of driving (and I have it on fresh air intake not recirculate).

Really, really regretting this purchase so far. Starting to think I should have gone with my gut instinct and bought a Cayenne instead. Hope the experience improves.


(And what is with the signal lights not working sometimes??? Have to pull over, turn the engine off, open the door to cancel retained power, and then when I restart they seem fine.)

Ours has been faultless - no electrical gremlins and no fog/ condensation.


Hopefully you still have some warranty left, because your experience does not sound right.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:40 PM
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I'm certain that MB SERVICE will be able to sort this out for you. It sounds like you have a possible electrical issue. The service department at Hyatt in Calgary is very good. My wife and I independently test drove the Cayenne and neither of us liked it. Only the Cayenne-s/turbo comes even close to the power of the ML550. But the Cayenne does it with way less ride comfort and way less refinement in our opinions. It is also way louder inside with a lot more road noise. It was very nice, but I would not call it a comfortable ride. Sporty enough though!
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Subatomic Power View Post
I think that if you sign up for MB's stupid web apps access package, that you can gain access to remote start capabilities, but I've never heard good things about it, and the dealer discouraged me from signing up for the web access package due to a 100% negative feedback from clients. It is possible that MB miscalculated and deliberately made remote start available only through their dumb online access service in order to create incentive for the crappy service.

I tried to install the DVDINMOTION SOFTWARE IN MY ML550 MY15 and it didn't work. The company was great for service quality and they tried troubleshoot to no avail - so they refunded my money. That's the last bit of tinkering that I'm willing to do on the ML550's.

Oh - I also got the weather tech floor mats. And I hate 'em. They are so "crappy plasticky" that they are actually dangerously slippery. They also seem to look way more dirty than proper rubber floor matts. I bought proper rubber matts to go on top of them, and I won't bother with weather tech floor matts for the second vehicle.


Hope that helps!
can't say enough about how crappy mb apps are....it's rather disgraceful that they charge ANYTHING for it let alone $1500 a year for two vehicles. if it were free I probably wouldn't use it. I'd love to know the actual percentage of owners who subscribe.

weathertech custom fit matts are awful as well. I ended up sending mine back...they only cover about half of the footwell carpet. what's funny is, they don't seem to understand the defficiency at all, no matter how many photos you send them.

the weathertech rubber all season matts are excellent.
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