Through the years, Mercedes Benz has come up with some of the best looking luxury coupes and sedans. So it's no surprise that when they launched a luxury sports utility vehicle, it'll look just as good as their other cars. The Mercedes Benz M-Class, a 4-door mid-size SUV, was first offered back in 1997 and has been a huge success for the company since then. It may be a small SUV when compared to other more utilitarian models, but it makes up for it with lots of features that make driving one a breeze. One of the best known models under this line would be the Mercedes Benz ML320.
The Mercedes Benz ML320 was first launched in the North American market back in 1997 as a 1998 model. It was the first luxury SUV to come installed with an electronic stability control system that's designed to detect the loss of control and instantly activate selective braking to bring the vehicle back on its intended course. Coupled with front and side airbags, the ML320 got some of the highest marks in crash safety tests. It also came with a 4Matic four-wheel drive that worked in conjunction with a Four-wheel Electronic Traction System, allowing the vehicle to traverse moderate off-road terrain with ease.
Before the Mercedes Benz ML320 was officially launched, Mercedes Benz allowed the use of two pre-production ML-Class SUVs in the film Lost World: Jurassic Park. This early exposure was a marketing success that significantly raised the sales figures of the popular SUV. As a result, the Mercedes Benz ML320 was named as Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year for 1998 and has won several other awards for that year as well. Thanks to its popularity, owners can find a huge variety of aftermarket Mercedes Benz ML320 parts and accessories in online stores today.
Must-have Tips for Your Mercedes Benz ML320's Engine
Mercedes-Benz is synonymous to reliability, quality and high-end engineering. Packed with the latest safety features and technology, it takes care of all the driving needs of its driver and passengers. However, a vehicle such as the Mercedes Benz ML320 needs utmost attention and proper upkeep. Given how expensive repair and replacement parts can be, it is important to know how to maintain its engine. Here are the must-have tips you need to protect your engine against premature wear and tear.
An engine's belt is designed to run its vital components. Its functions vary, depending on the vehicle's make or model but primarily, engine belts run the engine's air conditioner, water pump or radiator fan. Since these belts run when an engine is running, they're used a lot. Although they were designed to last, cracks or signs of wear will eventually appear. Once it breaks while you're on the road, a broken belt can cause damage to your vehicle's engine. Turn the belt over and check for any signs of damage. Squealing belts indicate they need to be replaced or adjusted. Change the belt if it's already worn out.
Your Mercedes-Benz's transmission is connected with its engine. If it becomes faulty or damaged, the repair and replacement costs can be expensive. The most common problems which cause transmission damage range from low fluid levels to dirty fluids. Periodic fluid level checks are needed to avoid this problem. Also, make sure to flush the old transmission fluid out and change its filter every 30,000 miles. Never skip this step when doing engine maintenance.
Aside from gasoline or diesel, air is an important ingredient in running an engine. Without it, an engine won't run properly. An air filter's role is to prevent dirt, small pebbles, bugs and leaves from getting into the engine. It's designed to last a long time but road conditions and driving habits can eventually clog an engine's air filter. Clogged air filters can starve the engine of oxygen or allow debris to enter it. Give your engine room to breathe by changing the air filter every 15,000 miles. Dirty air filters can also lower your vehicle's fuel efficiency.
- Keep the cooling system cool.
Most car owners tend to overlook their vehicle's cooling system. The thermostat, radiator, coolant and water pump ensure your engine will not overheat. Always check the coolant's fluid levels and the hoses connected to the radiator. Change worn out hoses and keep them secure at all times. Refill the coolant on a regular basis and if your engine keeps on overheating, bring it to a reputable auto shop to have it checked.
- Listen for unusual engine sounds.
Every component of your vehicle's engine must be carefully scrutinized when you hear unusual engine sounds. Keep an eye on the engine's performance and its parts such as the air filter, high tension wires and spark plugs. Damaged parts must be either repaired or replaced immediately, as soon as problems arise from these engine parts.
Practice proactive engine maintenance to make sure your Mercedes Benz ML320 is running smoothly. Proper maintenance is key in saving money and enjoying your beloved Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes Benz ML320: A Landmark Vehicle
The Mercedes Benz ML320 is a part of the M-Series, the German automaker’s line of luxury SUVs. The ML320 is a landmark vehicle in more ways than one. First, it was one of the first luxury SUVs in the market. It debuted way back in 1997 as a 1998 model. Next, it was the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle that was primarily designed for the American market. In fact, the ML320 is exclusively built in the United States (in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to be precise). On top of those, it’s also the first vehicle to be launched in the M-Series.
1997-2005: The First Generation
As mentioned earlier, the first generation of the Mercedes Benz ML320 (also known as the W163 series) was introduced to the American market in 1997. The ML320 was powered by a 3.2-L V6 engine (hence the “320” name) that was paired with either a five-speed manual transmission or Mercedes Benz’s trademark five-speed overdrive automatic transmission (better known as
5G-Tronic). It also featured the 4matic four-wheel drive system, another trademark of Mercedes Benz. The 4matic system, together with the ML320 traction control system, allowed the SUV to gain superior traction when traveling over slippery roads.
The Mercedes Benz ML320 boasted of yet another first—it was the first luxury SUV to feature an electronic stability control system. As if those features weren’t enough, the ML320 also had an intelligent airbag system that was able to detect the occupants of the front seats. With those, it’s clear that Mercedes Benz didn’t hold anything back for the model’s first generation.
2005-2011: The Second Generation
Amazingly, the development of the Mercedes Benz ML320’s second generation (also known as the W164 series) began as early as 1999, just two years after the debut of the first ML320. When the new ML320 hit car showrooms in 2005, it immediately generated interest because of its more streamlined design. The second generation ML320 was sleeker, sportier, and more aerodynamic (its drag coefficient is down to 0.34) than its first-generation counterpart. While some of the features of the first-generation ML320 were retained, new ones were introduced as well such as the revolutionary 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission system.
2011: The Third Generation Arrives
2011 marked the arrival of the third-generation Mercedes Benz ML320. Just like the second generation, its design process started just a few years after the introduction of the previous generation. The results are impressive of course as the latest ML320 comes with improved transmission, suspension, and safety features.