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Goodby to my 2013 ML-350 Bluetec

Old 12-31-2018, 04:56 PM
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Goodby to my 2013 ML-350 Bluetec

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the Mercedes Benz sales dept where my wife and I built this car. I had just retired and (at the time) considered the ML-350 Bluetec to be the perfect car for everything we had planned for the next ten years. It had been a tossup against the Porsche SUV, but Porsche wasnít offering a diesel, so MB won the deal.

In retrospect, it was a huge mistake. Right after the warranty expired, so did this cars dependability. I know itís a common joke to associate the end of the warranty with the beginning of a cars mechanical failures, but in this case, itís spot-on.

Electrical faults and check engine lights began in earnest at just over 60K, about the same time the AdBlue tank module/heater element failed. Check coolant lights started to arbitrarily come on/off although levels are always fine.

Then the oil pan gasket gave up, wiping out my friendís driveway at a Christmas party a couple of years ago. A short time later, the gasket for the oil cooler followed suit. Next, the fuel sending unit(s) died. Seems like a relatively small thing, but because the fuel tank must be removed to get at them, youíre looking at over $800.00. Not to be outdone, the auxiliary fans started to come on, and go off at will.

Currently, this exquisite piece of German junk has a meager 72,350 miles on it. Itís always eaten rotors like a 6-year old eats ice cream, but MB says that normal. The mass air flow sensors have had to be replaced twice and given that MB will no longer sell just the MAFS, you must buy the entire assembly for several hundred dollars more.

Itís just been one thing after another, and as can be expected, every trip to the MB dealership cost big $$$. Anyone with a Mercedes Benz understands maintenance is going to be more expensive, but constantly spending big money to keep a relatively low mileage car running, isnít why we buy them.

Given this carís miserable record, I feel its demise is on the horizon. No, Iím probably wrong about that. This rolling money-pits life will probably drag on, feeding the MBís parts department as it lingers, and draining the pockets of those who try to support it.

I feel Mercedes Benz has done their reputation a huge disservice with this car. I know itís left me gun-shy of their products. Before this experience, driving a Mercedes Benz instilled confidence and trust because I knew it was safe, and I knew it was going to last. But today, my once coveted ML-350 and I have parted ways, and with it went any trust I may have had in the Mercedes brand.

Something tells me itíll be a long time before that changes.





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Old 12-31-2018, 08:03 PM
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2014 ML 350 BLUETEC
You like me bought ML diesel thinking it will last forever. Sorry it didn't work for you and many others, fortunately so far 90K miles it was 0 issues for us. But I really considering to get something else before (well know) major issues.

What did you get instead?
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DanD. View Post
What did you get instead?
Hi Dan, good to hear your at 90K and running strong. I guess it’s in the luck of the draw, right?

Lifestyles change, and as we are no longer in business, our cars have changed as well. We moved from the city to our place in North Carolina, so a Jeep is more advantageous to our needs than a nice road car. As such, we sold our S550 and our boat and bought a Jeep Rubicon, which I am in the process of setting up for a trip to Moab Utah in 2020.

I had hoped to keep the ML for a daily driver as it was all-wheel drive, but when that fell through, we bought a Ford Explorer. They’re reasonably outfitted, 4-wheel drive, and has all the bells & whistles that our 2013 ML had. I’m not really a fan of Ford (or any other American car for that matter) but it was relatively inexpensive and has lots of room to haul our 2 GSD’s around in.

So, there you go, from a Mercedes Benz to a Ford Explorer! Lol, can’t fall much further than that!

Take care and Happy New year!

Last edited by squerly; 01-01-2019 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:57 AM
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Way to go, MB. From German engineering to a freakin' Ford. Signs of things to come....
Can't say that I blame you squerly. You are just like myself and many others who bought a Benz (or a Beemer) thinking you were spending more for quality and durability.

Link to my own experience and what I've done to hopefully avoid some of the more well-known issues. See post 34 with pics

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Old 01-01-2019, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by peter2772000 View Post
Link to my own experience and what I've done to hopefully avoid some of the more well-known issues. See post 34 with pics
Link?

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Old 01-01-2019, 11:18 AM
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:00 PM
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I feel for you, itís amazing how MB turns it back on you after the warranty ends. I donít mind the small stuff but when it takes a thousand to replace a hundred dollar part is where it kills me. I still have my 2014 ML350 and it under exd warranty but I did trace in my E350 for a 5 Series BMW. So far the BMW has been trouble free but I read horror stories on the forums also. I know itís a small percentage of what really happens.

Its amazing the quality of MB going downhill just so they can sell more entry models and let the overall product line up suffer. I remember when you could go 200k and still be dependable.

I honestly think I might just start to lease, I will not have to worry about repairs and door dings, replacing tires, this should all go away and I should always have a shiny car. I just got to find a good dealer to work the lease prices down.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:14 PM
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Ml350 bluetek c300 18 Camaro 2SS rag
I could write a short story about the issues like 3 transmissions ,electrical componets,ad blue, soot sensors radar sensors and so on .
Having to pay up front for $5000 US for transmission repairs with extended warranty on a CDN SUV was the straw that broke the camels back.
The transmission before was only 3000 miles old and let me down on the way to Fla.
Over $ 30,000 in repairs in 2 years.
I have bought 8 Mercedes products in the past,this is the last one.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowbird12 View Post
I could write a short story about the issues like 3 transmissions ,electrical componets,ad blue, soot sensors radar sensors and so on .
Having to pay up front for $5000 US for transmission repairs with extended warranty on a CDN SUV was the straw that broke the camels back.
The transmission before was only 3000 miles old and let me down on the way to Fla.
Over $ 30,000 in repairs in 2 years.
I have bought 8 Mercedes products in the past,this is the last one.
Oh my! Well that sure sucks!

I saw myself going down that same road my friend. I kept telling myself that "maybe" this was the last repair and that things would settle down once it was replaced. But it never did, it was just one thing after another.

I love cars and have had just about every one (sometimes two) that I ever wanted. I've never complained about what they cost to buy/maintain because quality cars cost a premium. But I was beginning to feel like a fool each time I drove to the dealership with each new (and sometimes recurring) repair. Although I never heard anyone say it, I felt like the service department was laughing, confident that I (complements of my ML) was paying their paycheck that month.

Good luck up there in Canada, stay warm, and Happy New Year!
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:09 PM
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Cannot say the same here. 2015 ML350 4M Gasser and love it. No issues in 1 year of ownership.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by C280 Sport View Post
Cannot say the same here. 2015 ML350 4M Gasser and love it. No issues in 1 year of ownership.
Yeah, lucky you! I think the problems are related to the diesel engines, at least that's what I've seen.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:15 PM
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2015 ML 350
So what car do you now own? ...BTW 53,000 miles on my (2015 ML) odo and never have needed brakes.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by C280 Sport View Post
Cannot say the same here. 2015 ML350 4M Gasser and love it. No issues in 1 year of ownership.
sorry that happened to your BT, looks great from the outside, i mean from reading the threads here Diesel engines seemed to give people lots of hell at a certain point of ownership. I mean i was very close to getting a BT myself and i went with gas. But i hope your future cars dont give you too much hell going forward.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:48 AM
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I almost purchased a BT when buying my 2012 ML.

Fortunately I found these Forums to get the heads up on their problems.

The small fuel economy benefits just weren't worth the grief.

I love our ML (had a W163 for 12 years and still have it) and hopefully this one will look after us as good as the old one;.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:14 AM
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2013 ML 350 BlueTec
Originally Posted by squerly View Post


I have a 2013 ML 350 Bluetec also, it looks exactly like yours. I love it. This year I was ready to get a 2018, another ML 350...they don't make ML's anymore nor diesel Bluetec...so I didn't like the new GLE 350 the replacement of ML...in a way I got in love with this diesel, the MB Bluetec diesel, extremely quiet (not noisy like classic diesels) and with ZERO emission smell, not that it doesn't stink like a regular diesel (dive in the back a school bus and you'll know what I'm talking about) it doesn't smell at all less than any gasoline car.
So, deciding to keep my 2013 ML 350 Bluetec I signed up for extended warranty, (especially after I read the horror stories here in this forum) and after 50,000 miles I had 2 repairs (oil leakage, turbo seal...something plus oil cooler...and a Def Blue sensor...) with combined bills of $5,000 covered by the EW. I also got "Check brake fluid" message...but I was able to avoid the $3-400 expense by buying the brake fluid reservoir ($55) and replaced it myself.
I have another minor problem which I have't fix, the windshield wipers do not spay water, even though I was told that the pump works...I was told the Extended Warranty doesn't cover this issue.
My only hope is that if there will be more problems in the next 4.5 years, will be covered by the extended warranty...I still love my car, it was/is a nice car, fully loaded (I paid $70K for it) and I don't want to change it.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Zuffen View Post
I almost purchased a BT when buying my 2012 ML.

Fortunately I found these Forums to get the heads up on their problems.

The small fuel economy benefits just weren't worth the grief.

I love our ML (had a W163 for 12 years and still have it) and hopefully this one will look after us as good as the old one;.

Most. Of my issues are not BT , ad blue. and soot sensor are.
Struts,radar, transmission woes, key fob,transmission elecronics,heater in mirror just to name a few
The diesel economy is the only good part of this Suv
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:59 AM
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Don't speak too quickly...
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:11 PM
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I'm crossing fingers I make it to 90k as well with no issues. I picked up the '15 250 Blutec, partly impulse buy because the price was amazing, was CPO with a year left on the warranty. I think I'll get an additional one when this one runs out, because the diesel issues relating to all the emissions equipment didn't dawn on me when I purchased the car, and can't delete it as I live in California. It is sad to see the build quality of these compared to the 02 ML500 I had since purchase with 325k on the clock, and not ONE major issue, still running on the factory engine and tranny. Man, I miss the beast, but love the new truck.
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by squerly View Post
Yeah, lucky you! I think the problems are related to the diesel engines, at least that's what I've seen.
That is why I stayed clear of the BT ML's. I just way too many horror stories.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by we47b1me View Post
I'm crossing fingers I make it to 90k as well with no issues. I picked up the '15 250 Blutec, partly impulse buy because the price was amazing, was CPO with a year left on the warranty. I think I'll get an additional one when this one runs out, because the diesel issues relating to all the emissions equipment didn't dawn on me when I purchased the car, and can't delete it as I live in California. It is sad to see the build quality of these compared to the 02 ML500 I had since purchase with 325k on the clock, and not ONE major issue, still running on the factory engine and tranny. Man, I miss the beast, but love the new truck.
Like you, I have a '15 250 BT, purchased it CPO with mid 40K on the odometer, have owned it for 13 months and have 62K on the odometer. No issues at all. I purchased an extended warranty from MB after seeing on these forums you could get a discounted price on it from a dealer, and my dealer reluctantly matched. My wife loved her 02 ML320 which lasted for 15 years, and now loves even more her 17 GLC300. Not only that, our dealer has provided us with terrific service. my ML250 is simply the best vehicle I have owned, and I drove Caddy's without too many issues for decades.
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