Mercedes ML 320 CDi tips

Submitted: Monday, May 21, 2012 at 23:56
ThreadID: 95720 Views:2292 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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I just got a 2005 Mercedes ML 320 CDi. Why? Work pays me a car allowance but part of that means I need to drive a car with luxury features (as I drive around CEOs and other big wigs), drive an automatic (in case I'm ever unable to drive it and somebody else needs to drive me around) and have it be reasonably new (hence why I couldn't buy a decked out 90s Mercedes G class).

I wanted to do some light off-road driving on weekends and holidays (I do about 800 kms per week of freeway & city driving for work). Nothing too fancy in terms of the off-road stuff but just something to give me better ground clearence and overall experience on dirt, sand and mud then I was getting in my Falcon G6E. I grew up in country Victoria and I just missed being able to take a car off the sealed roads (lowered Falcons sadly dont appreciate being treated like bush bashers).

Question is, what tyers (im on standard factory 17s) would be best? Any tips on the diesel that's out there (BP vs Caltex etc)? What sort of recovery basics should I carry (e.g. ARB Puncture Repair Kits)? Any other tips or advice?
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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 06:03

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 06:03
Just maybe you should have got a Nissan or Toyota ha. My wife has a C180 Sports Edition Merc and wont bring it out to the farm as there is 7k of dirt.

Tyres will be a hassel as the rating has to be the same as stardard factory tyres. As for fuel I'm not sure if one is better than the other, Caltex seems to be in most country areas so easier to get.

Carry a snatch trap or tow strap and take out the Mercedes Roadside Assist, just in case the untowards happens and you need to be recoverd back to a service centre. Tyre plugs are good but you will also need a compressor to re-enflate tyres.

Enjoy getting off the beaten track.
AnswerID: 486433

Follow Up By: Philby - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:07

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:07
A Toyota or Nissan wouldn't have fit the luxury level work wanted and as they are paying for my fuel, tyres and the car itself I'm not arguing. That being said I'm not afraid of dirt...actually I love it!

Thanks for the tips :)
FollowupID: 761753

Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 07:16

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 07:16
The Jeep Grand diesels of the same year have the same motor and it is excellent. You need tyres that are not too aggressive but a little bit more suited to dirt. I suggest Yokohama Geolander A-T/S or Pirelli Scorpions. Both are good off road, quiet on road and are not overly noticeable. You won't be able to go too far into the difficult stuff so a snatch strap, compressor and tyre pressure gauge should be plenty. Let the tyres down to mid 20's on the dirt, lower on sand. I'm not sure what the profile is but the tyre brands above have a big size range. If the profile is low then you risk damaging the rims on rocks and the tyre won't bag out on sand. You'll have to steer clear of narrow tracks with bushes...don't want the Merc having bush pinstripes :-) Cheers.
AnswerID: 486438

Follow Up By: Philby - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:05

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:05
Thanks for the tips. In terms of tyres are the Yokohama Geolander A-T/S & Pirelli Scorpions you recommend better than the Coopers out there (like the A/T3)?
FollowupID: 761752

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:23

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:23
They are a good compromise for road and off road. I have geolanders on my cars and they get a good workout off road with no problems. They are quiet on the tar as well. I have 80,000 on one set and still very legal. I mentioned the scorpions as someone posted a while back that they were the only tyres that stood up on a station out past Coober Pedy which is a good wrap. The scorpions don't look aggressive at all in my book but they must do the job.
FollowupID: 761756

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:19

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:19
Further to that, don't get the Geolander HT. They are as soft as butter and no good for off the tar. Cheers
FollowupID: 761800

Reply By: Eric Experience - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 19:43

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 19:43
Great choice of vehicle. I have one I use off road with great success. I have made some adjustments to increase clearance. I also have installed a micro processor that monitors the tyre pressure to let me know if a tyre is dropping before it gets damaged as I don't carry a spare tyre. If you are still in Victoria I would be happy to give you a lot of info on the ML. Eric
AnswerID: 486486

Follow Up By: Philby - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:03

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 22:03
Thanks Eric, I do live in Vic and would be more than happy to hear from you!
FollowupID: 761750

Follow Up By: Eric Experience - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:17

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 21:17
My no 0428 392077. Eric.
FollowupID: 761850

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