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Old 10-17-2011, 09:19 AM   #1
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Mercedes ML350 Bluetec

Wife and I are considering a slightly used Mercedes ML350 Bluetec (diesel) to tow our 19' versus 2011 Expedition. The Mercedes has a towing capacity of 7200 lbs while the Expedition has an 8900 lb capacity. I would think that maintenance costs will be the biggest difference. Feedback will be welcome.

Ed
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:34 AM   #2
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We tow our 20' with an '05 ML500 and have been completely happy with it. I know of folks who tow a 25' with the ML350 Bluetec.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
We tow our 20' with an '05 ML500 and have been completely happy with it. I know of folks who tow a 25' with the ML350 Bluetec.

How are the maintenance costs?

Ed
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
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Just throwing this out there - are the ML and the Expedition the only choices? Seems to me that there are plenty of other nice-driving tow vehicles that can readily handle a 19' - Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Acura MDX, Ford Flex (especially with the Ecoboost)...

Tom
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
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That engine along with it's VW\Audi's brother (3.0 V-6 TDI) are great for towing, 405lbs of torque - with the dual turbos no loss of power at altitude, Great Rig but I would suggest you get an extended warranty, these engines can be expensive if something goes south.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:14 PM   #6
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I have an '09 ML320 BlueTec, and pull a 30' Flying Cloud.
Power is absolutely no issue whatsoever. I had my hitch reinforced by CanAm in London, ON. I recommend a Hensley or ProPride hitch if you'll pull a 25' or longer. But she pulls like a dream and gets 14-16 mpg.
Don't be swayed by the nay sayers who have never tried this combination, rely on opinions of those of us that have.
Go for it!
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #7
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We tow the Rockies with our ML350 Turbodiesel. It may drop from 7th to 5th towing up the steeper grades but it seems like a waltz for the engine. Remember this is essentially the Sprinter engine with a different state of tune.
As for cost of maintenance - one of the reasons I stick with M-B is the overall low cost of maintenance, especially over the long haul.
Mike
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:53 AM   #8
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mikapen, there is a significant difference between the 350 and the 450 when it comes to a "D" service. The 350 BluTec is about double the cost of the gas powered 450.

Wasn't that way with the BluTec 320, but…
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #9
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My recent A service on the ML350 cost $341 plus the $31 I spent at NAPA for AdBlue, which was installed by the M-B dealer for N/C.
I will research, but I don't think I have a D service - only As and Bs with an occasional C when I change my oil more frequently than 10,000 miles.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #10
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Maintenance

eleighj-

ML maintenance costs aren't cheap, but with a CPO, they are very predictable. Our local dealer publishes their charge for each service (not sure it's online). Check with your local dealer.

Our 2007 ML320CDI has the same engine, without the BlueTec system. Our only non-standard maintenance item is coming up. We're developing a rear main seal leak after about 90K miles.

It's a proven engine. I consider ours a baby.

John
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #11
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65CV, I had a '08 GL320, and you're right. The maintenance costs are pretty much in line with the other lineup of GLs.

However when the BluTec350 came upon the scene, for whatever reason, the periodics are all of a sudden much more than the 320.

At least that's what the service manager at the MB dealership in Springfield, MO says.

I recently went in for a "D" service on my 450. It was almost $500. That's when he said, the same service on the 350 was almost double.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:19 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Mercedes suv

I have one of the original ML 55 AMG that was made back in 2001...There were just 2 left at the dealer in Little Rock, and they dropped the price by $15,000...My wife takes it to the dealer once a year and has every little thing that's wrong fixed...She is really the only one that drives it, just over 100,000 miles, and the thing will fly...gets great mileage also....I am going to buy her a new one next year, and keep this one to pull my 19ft. Bambi.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:14 PM   #13
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@murreywalker: A big part of the reason for the sticker shock on the Bluetec service is that most dealers drastically overcharge for the "Adblue" (urea) fluid refill. It costs about $4-5 per gallon at auto parts stores, and dealers typically charge $30 per gallon (in half-gallon increments on the invoice). Since the GL tank holds 8.5 gallons, you're looking at $255 or more just in the fluid, plus a ridiculous service fee to put it in.

And every 20K miles the maintenance program calls for a complete purge and replacement of the tank (no matter how full it might be when you come in for service) so you're going to get hit for the maximum charge the dealer can come up with.

You wouldn't pay $255-350 to have your washer fluid topped off, would you? But many ML & GL Bluetec owners just assume it's too difficult to DIY, or they don't realize how badly they're getting screwed. Take this fee away and the "B", "C", and "D" services are about the same cost as the gas engines.

With a helper you can refill the tank yourself in 5 minutes. Just be careful not to overfill, as spillage of urea solution can damage electronics in the area. The trick to a clean fill is described on various MB and VW forums, like here:

AdBlue Home Refill - Club Touareg Forums

@eleighj: The diesel is the way you want to go if you are considering an MB for towing. Be sure to get the hitch receiver reinforced, as the factory receiver is not very good out of the box. An ML350 Bluetec will haul the hell out of any 19-foot Airstream, over mountains and across windy plains, and never break a sweat doing it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:22 PM   #14
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rluhr, I don't mean to be argumentative butů

As with other additives, you're correct and urea can be purchased at auto parts stores for significantly less. However, doesn't a DIY service invalidate a warranty? And even at $255, that's only a portion of the almost $1000 for the service.

With regard to the hitch receiver.

After talking with Andy at TransAm, who falls into your camp, AND the tech at Mercedes, who says there is no problems, what's one to do?

I even had the tech dialogue with Andy to no avail.

Of course, with things mechanical, I'm a neophyte. Do you have concrete documentation that the MB GL receiver hitch is substandard? If so, I would be most appreciative in you sharing it with this thread.
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