Mercedes ML350 Years To Avoid

Mercedes Benz ml350 is an excellent midsize SUV for comfortable and secure driving at all times. But if you want the best performance out of this used model, you must know which Mercedes ML350 years to avoid.

In this case, Mercedes Benz ML350 worst models to avoid are 2006, 2012 and 2013 due to their higher complaints, recalls, and expensive repair costs. If you want to enjoy luxury and dependable midsize Mercedes ML350, choose the 2014 or 2015 model year. 

Which Mercedes ML350 Model Years To Avoid?

Below are the worst Mercedes Benz ML350 model years according to repairpal, carcomplaints, NHTSA and other reliable car complaints sources:

  • 2006 Mercedes ML350 model year has check engine light, conductor plate failure and camshaft sensor malfunction.
  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 has oil leaking problem.
  • 2013 Mercedes Benz ML350 model year recalled for service breaker, exterior lighting and electrical system problem.

1. 2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350

2006 Mercedes Benz ml350 is the worst model year that you should avoid when buying a used midsize SUV car. This model year gets 209 complaints 3 recalls on NHSTA and 14 complaints on carcomplaints. Some worst problems with the 2006 Mercedes M class are check engine light staying on, conductor plate failure, and camshaft sensor malfunction.

2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350

These problems can occur after around 60000 miles of driving and you may need to spend up to $2000 to replace the balance shaft, conductor plate and camshaft sensor to fix this issue.

Some owners also complaints that the check engine light refused to reset due to a defective balance shaft and the car caught fire from a short in the rear tail light.

2. 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 is another model year that you want to avoid due to its possibility of causing severe issues. This car receives 55 complaints and 4 recalls on NHTSA and 11 complaints on carcomplaints.

Some common problems with Mercedes car ML350 2012 models are oil leaking, the heating system in Adblue stopping working and a leak in the transfer case. Oil leaks are the major problem for the 2012 model year.

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350

Some owners experience oil leaks through the wiring harness into O2 sensor and ECU and damage the harness completely. These problems occur within 34000 to 58000 miles of driving and cost up to $3000 to solve. To fix these problems, you may need to replace the intercooler, Adblue heating system or seal. 

3. 2013 Mercedes Benz ML350

Though the Mercedes ml350 doesn’t get many complaints compared to other model years, it is still in the Mercedes ml350 years to avoid list due to causing higher repair costs. This model year receives only 46 complaints on NHTSA and 5 complaints on carcomplaints. However, the Mercedes ml350 has a maximum of 5 recalls for its service breaker, exterior lighting, electrical system, and lane departure.

Some common problems with this model years are oil cooler leaks, died while driving, and transfer case leaking fluid. These problems occur within around 50000 to 120000 miles of driving. The most expensive repair of Mercedes ml350 is fixing oil cooler leaks which cost almost $7000 to reseal both upper cam covers and replace gasket.

However, if you need to replace the fuel pump or repair the transfer case to fix the stalling and fluid leaking problem, it’ll only cost $700 to $1800.

Common Problems of Mercedes Benz ML350

The worst problems of Mercedes ml350 are oil cooler leaks, the car shuts off while driving and trigger checking engine light. These issues can occur after only 20000 miles or 112000 miles of driving and can cost up to $6000 to $7000 to be fixed. Other problems that can occur on Mercedes ML350 are:

Common Problems Of Mercedes Benz ML350

1. Airbag Problems

Damaged airbags and activated safety restraint warning lights are a common problem for most Mercedes ml350 model years including 2010 and 2011. Car owners complain that airbag explodes due to exposure to high heat and humidity and cause serious injury. Even car owners need to wait longer times for the parts to arrive at the dealership.

Airbag Problems

2. Faulty Camshaft Adjuster Solenoid

Damaged camshaft adjuster solenoids are common problems in the 2006 to 2008 and 2012 model years. Mercedes ml350 is designed with a variable valve timing (VVT) system that provides exhaust and intake valve’s inconsistent timing.

Camshaft adjuster solenoid allows oil to flow adequately through variable valve timing. But when this solenoid fails, it triggers plenty of problems including rough idling, reduced fuel efficiency, and low engine power. To fix this problem, you may need to spend around $5500 to replace all camshaft adjuster solenoids. 

Faulty Camshaft Adjuster Solenoid

3. Rough Shifting

All Mercedes ml350 including the 2003 to 2015 model year with 7-speed automatic transmission has shifting problems. Car owners also complain that they hear loud grinding and clunking noises when shifting gears. To solve this problem, you may need to update transmission software or repair internal parts of the transmission. 

4. Engine Stalling

Engine stalling problem mostly occurs on the Mercedes ml350 2006 to 2012 model year. Some Mercedes owners experience that their car stalls suddenly on the highway and need to be towed.

Mercedes engines may stall due to a faulty air intake system, damaged fuel system and bad ignition system. You can solve this problem by repairing engine control module. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to repair the whole engine.

5. Brake Light Warning Message

If you own a Mercedes ML350, you may experience an activated brake light warning message due to brake system problem. Moreover, the tail lamp housing of the Mercedes Benz can melt out and prevent bulb from working due to bad electrical connections.

Brake Light Warning Message

It can trigger an error message. Some users also complain that they have become tired of replacing the faulty bulb. You may need to replace the brake light socket’s grounding or lamp housing to remove the error message and it can cost around $250.

6. Power Steering Problems

Some Mercedes ML350 owners complain that their steering becomes uncontrollable while driving at moderate to higher speeds. They also experience reduced power steering due to fluid leakage and notice power steering fluid leaks on the garage floor.

Though the power steering problem was common in 2006 to 2008 Mercedes ml350, some 2023 model owners also experienced it. To fix this problem, you can contact to Mercedes dealer as they recall for steering problems. If your vehicle isn’t eligible for this service, you may need to replace steering rack at $2000 to fix this problem.

Mercedes Benz ML350 Reliability

Mercedes ml350 is a fairly reliable car with a 3.0 rating on repairpal out of 5.0. this model ranks 10th out of 14th among midsize luxury SUVs. However, the annual repair cost of Mercedes ml350 is around $1020 while most midsize SUVs cost between $600 and $800, and normal cars cost around $600. Its repair frequency is also a bit higher than a typical vehicle.

If you own this model, you may need to visit a repair shop around 0.6 times per year on average compared to 0.6 times for midsize SUVs. However normal vehicle models need to visit the mechanic shop 0.4 times per year. The severity of causing major issues on Mercedes ml350 is 13% compared to 11% and 12% of midsize SUVs and normal vehicle models respectively. 


What Are The Mercedes ML350’s Best Years?

If you want to enjoy luxury midsize Mercedes SUVs, opt for the 2014 ML350 model. ML350 2014 are very reliable for its high fuel mileage and low repair cost. You can also consider the 2015 Mercedes ML350 as it’s the last for that model.

Which Mercedes ML Engine is Best?

Mercedes Benz ml350 with OM642 engines is the best for the value due to its long-lasting and reliable performance. However, this engine has some high-maintenance items like an oil cooler seal which can increase your annual maintenance cost.

What Are The Benefits Of Owning A Mercedes ML350?

Mercedes Benz ml350 is a highly popular model for allowing you to choose between gas and diesel engines. This model has a comfortable seat and high-quality interior and construction to provide a safe and smooth ride. It also has excellent braking distance to ensure a safer driving experience even on busy highways.


Mercedes Benz will still be worth buying particularly if you remember which Mercedes ml350 years to avoid. Apart from 2006, 2012, and 2013, other Mercedes Benz ML350 models are excellent choices for their reliable safety features, improved fuel efficiency, and overall comfortable driving experience.

Since Mercedes discontinued the ML350 almost a decade ago, you may struggle to find compatible replacement parts for your car. However, it’s a common problem for all older and used vehicles including Mercedes ml350.

Dennis Walton is an experienced automobile engineer and also an automotive blogger of How We Drive. He shares his automobile engineering like vehicles problem's reasons and the perfect solutions on our website. It helps car owners to solve small issues at their home.

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