Mersedes SUV Manuals

Driving tips

Mercedes-Benz M-Class / Mercedes-Benz M-Class Owners Manual / Driving and parking / Driving tips

General driving tips

Important safety notes

Always remember that you must concentrate WARNING
Always remember that you must concentrate primarily on driving the vehicle. The driver's concentration must always be directed primarily at road traffic. For your own safety and that of others, we recommend that you stop the vehicle at a safe place and in accordance with the traffic conditions before making or accepting a phone call.

Comply with all legal requirements if you use the telephone while driving. Use the handsfree system and only use the telephone when road, weather and traffic conditions permit. In some jurisdictions, it is forbidden for drivers to use mobile phones while driving.

Only operate COMAND (Cockpit Management and Data System) in compliance with all legal requirements and when the road, weather and traffic conditions permit. You may otherwise not be able to observe the traffic conditions, endangering yourself and others.

Remember that your vehicle covers a distance of 44 feet (approximately 14 m) a second when it is traveling at only 30 mph (approximately 50 km/h).

Drive sensibly save fuel

Observe the following tips to save fuel: The tires should always be inflated to the recommended tire pressure.

Remove unnecessary loads.

Remove roof carriers when they are not needed.

Warm up the engine at low engine speeds.

Avoid frequent acceleration or braking.

Have all maintenance work carried out as indicated by the service intervals in the Service Booklet or by the service interval display.

Fuel consumption also increases when driving in cold weather, in stop-and-go traffic and in mountainous terrain.

Drinking and driving

Drinking and driving and/or taking drugs and WARNING
Drinking and driving and/or taking drugs and driving are very dangerous combinations.

Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs can affect your reflexes, perceptions and judgment.

The possibility of a serious or even fatal accident are greatly increased when you drink or take drugs and drive.

Do not drink or take drugs and drive or allow anyone to drive who has been drinking or taking drugs.

Pedals

Make sure absolutely no objects are WARNING
Make sure absolutely no objects are obstructing the pedals' range of movement.

Keep the driver's footwell clear of all obstacles. If there are any floormats or carpets in the footwell, make sure that the pedals still have sufficient clearance.

During sudden driving or braking maneuvers, the objects could get caught between the pedals. You could then no longer brake or accelerate. This could lead to accidents and injury.

Rolling with the engine switched off

There is no power assistance for the steering WARNING
There is no power assistance for the steering and the brake when the engine is not running.

Steering and braking requires significantly more effort and you could lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident as a result.

Do not turn off the engine while the vehicle is in motion.

Exhaust check

Inhalation of exhaust gas is hazardous to your WARNING
Inhalation of exhaust gas is hazardous to your health. All exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide (CO), and inhaling it can cause unconsciousness and possible death.

Do not run the engine in confined areas (such as a garage) which are not properly ventilated.

If you think that exhaust gas fumes are entering the vehicle while driving, have the cause determined and corrected immediately. If you must drive under these conditions, drive only with at least one window fully open at all times.

Certain engine systems are designed to keep the level of poisonous components in exhaust fumes within legal limits.

These systems only work at peak efficiency when they are maintained exactly in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. For this reason, all work on the engine must be carried out only by qualified and authorized Mercedes-Benz technicians.

The engine settings must not be changed in any circumstances. Furthermore, all specific service work must be carried out at regular intervals and in accordance with the Mercedes-Benz service requirements. Details can be found in the Service Booklet.

Engine oil

Vehicles with a diesel particle filter:
Vehicles with a diesel particle filter:

If the vehicle is mostly driven for short distances, it is possible that malfunctions may occur during the automatic cleaning of the diesel particle filter. This can lead to engine damage. Therefore, if you frequently drive short distances, make sure to drive on highways or inter-urban roads for 20 minutes at least every 310 miles (500 km).

Brakes

Important safety notes

On slippery road surfaces, never downshift in WARNING
On slippery road surfaces, never downshift in order to obtain braking action. This could result in drive wheel slip and reduced vehicle control. Your vehicle's ABS will not prevent this type of loss of control.

Make sure that you do not endanger other WARNING
Make sure that you do not endanger other road users when you apply the brakes.

Downhill gradients

On long and steep gradients, you must
On long and steep gradients, you must reduce the load on the brakes by shifting early to a lower gear. This allows you to take advantage of the engine braking effect and helps avoid overheating and excessive wear of the brakes.

When you take advantage of the engine braking effect, a drive wheel may not turn for some time, e.g. on a slippery road surface. This could cause damage to the drive train. This type of damage is not covered by the Mercedes-Benz warranty.

Heavy and light loads

Depressing the brake pedal constantly results WARNING
Depressing the brake pedal constantly results in excessive and premature wear to the brake pads.

It may also cause the brakes to overheat, seriously impairing their effectiveness. It may then not be possible to stop the vehicle in sufficient time to avoid an accident.

If the brakes have been subjected to a heavy load, do not stop the vehicle immediately, but drive on for a short while. This allows the airflow to cool the brakes more quickly.

Wet roads

After driving in heavy rain for some time WARNING
After driving in heavy rain for some time without applying the brakes or through water deep enough to wet brake components, the first braking action may be somewhat reduced. You have to depress the brake pedal more firmly. Maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front.

After driving on a wet road or having the vehicle washed, brake firmly while paying attention to the traffic conditions. This will warm up the brake discs, thereby drying them more quickly and protecting them against corrosion.

Limited braking performance on salttreated roads

The layer of salt on the brake discs and the WARNING
The layer of salt on the brake discs and the brake pads/linings may cause a delay in the braking effect, resulting in a significantly longer braking distance, which could lead to an accident.

To avoid this danger, you should: - occasionally brake carefully, without putting other road users at risk, when you are driving on salted roads. This helps to remove any salt that may have started to build up on the brake discs and the brake pads/linings.

- maintain a greater distance to the vehicle ahead and drive with particular care.

- carefully apply the brakes at the end of a trip and immediately after commencing a new trip, so that salt residues are removed from the brake discs.

Servicing the brakes

If the red brake warning lamp lights up in
If the red brake warning lamp lights up in the instrument cluster and you hear a warning tone while the engine is running, the brake fluid level may be too low.

Observe additional warning messages in the multifunction display.

The brake fluid level may be too low due to brake pad wear or leaking brake lines.

Have the brake system checked immediately. This work should be carried out at an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

All checks and maintenance work on the brake system must be carried out at a qualified specialist workshop only. Have this work carried out at an authorized Mercedes- Benz Center.

Have the brake pads replaced and the brake fluid renewed at a qualified specialist workshop, e.g. an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

If brake pads or brake fluid other than those WARNING
If brake pads or brake fluid other than those recommended are used, the braking properties of the vehicle can be degraded to an extent that safe braking is substantially impaired. This could result in an accident.

A function or performance test should
A function or performance test should only be carried out on a 2-axle dynamometer. If you are planning to have the vehicle tested on such a dynamometer, contact an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center to obtain further information first.

Otherwise, you could damage the drive train or the brake system.

As the ESP system operates
As the ESP system operates automatically, the engine and the ignition must be switched off (SmartKey in position 0 or 1 in the ignition lock or Start/Stop button in position 0 or 1) while the electric parking brake is being tested on a brake dynamometer (maximum 10 seconds).

Braking triggered automatically by ESP may seriously damage the brake system.

If your brake system is subject only to moderate loads, you should test the functionality of your brakes at regular intervals by pressing firmly on the brake pedal at high speeds. This improves the grip of the brake pads.

Make sure that you do not endanger other WARNING
Make sure that you do not endanger other road users when you apply the brakes.

You can find a description of Brake Assist (BAS) or of BAS PLUS.

Driving on wet roads

Hydroplaning

If water has accumulated to a certain depth on the road surface, there is a danger of hydroplaning occurring, even if: - you drive at low speeds.

- the tires have adequate tread depth.

For this reason, in the event of heavy rain or in conditions in which hydroplaning can occur you must drive in the following manner: - lower your speed
- avoid ruts
- brake carefully

Driving on flooded roads

Do not drive through flooded areas.
Do not drive through flooded areas.

Check the depth of any water before driving through it. Drive slowly through standing water. Otherwise, water may enter the vehicle interior or the engine compartment.

This can damage the electronic components in the engine or the automatic transmission. Water can also be drawn in by the engine's air suction nozzles and this can cause engine damage.

Vehicles with the AIRMATIC package:
Vehicles with the AIRMATIC package:

Set the raised level before driving through standing water.

Off-road fording


- Establish how deep the water is and the


- Establish how deep the water is and the characteristics of the body of water before fording.

- Vehicles with the AIRMATIC package:

Select the highest possible vehicle level.

- Restrict the shift range to 1 or 2.

- Avoid high engine speeds.

- Enter and exit the water at a flat place and at a steady walking pace.

Under no circumstances should you
Under no circumstances should you accelerate before entering the water. The bow wave could cause water to enter and damage the engine and other assemblies.

- Drive slowly and at an even speed through the water.

- Do not stop.

Do not open any of the vehicle's doors
Do not open any of the vehicle's doors while fording. Otherwise, water could get into the vehicle interior and damage the vehicle's electronics and interior equipment.

- Water offers a high degree of resistance, and the ground is slippery and in some cases unstable. Therefore, it is difficult and dangerous to pull away in the water.

- Ensure that a bow wave does not form as you drive.

- Clean any mud from the tire tread after fording.

- Apply the brakes to dry them after fording.

Winter driving

General notes

If the vehicle becomes trapped in snow, WARNING
If the vehicle becomes trapped in snow, ensure that snow is kept away from the exhaust pipe and from around the vehicle as long as the engine is running. Otherwise, poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) may enter the vehicle, resulting in loss of consciousness and even death.

To assure sufficient fresh air ventilation, open a window slightly on the side of the vehicle not facing the wind.

At the onset of winter, have your vehicle winterproofed at a qualified specialist workshop, e.g. at an authorized Mercedes- Benz Center.

Vehicles with a diesel engine: do not
Vehicles with a diesel engine: do not cover the radiator, e.g. with a protective cover. The measuring function of the Onboard Diagnosis System may otherwise provide inaccurate values. Some of these values are required by law and must therefore always be accurate.

Driving with summer tires

Observe the notes in the "Winter operation" section.

Slippery road surfaces

The outside temperature indicator is not WARNING
The outside temperature indicator is not designed to serve as an ice-warning device and is therefore unsuitable for that purpose.

Indicated temperatures just above the freezing point do not guarantee that the road surface is free of ice. The road may still be icy, especially in wooded areas or on bridges.

On slippery road surfaces, never downshift in WARNING
On slippery road surfaces, never downshift in order to obtain braking action. This could result in drive wheel slip and reduced vehicle control. Your vehicle's ABS will not prevent this type of loss of control.

Drive particularly carefully on slippery road surfaces. Avoid sudden acceleration, steering and braking maneuvers. Do not use the cruise control or DISTRONIC PLUS.

If the vehicle threatens to skid or cannot be stopped when moving at low speed: Shift the transmission to position N.

Make sure that you do not endanger other WARNING
Make sure that you do not endanger other road users when you apply the brakes.

Off-road driving

Important safety notes

Grains of sand, particles of dirt and other WARNING
Grains of sand, particles of dirt and other abrasive materials can enter the brake system. This can lead to excessive wear and unpredictable braking efficiency.

After the brakes have been exposed to dirty conditions, have them checked and cleaned at a qualified specialist workshop, e.g. an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

Otherwise, there is a risk that braking power may be insufficient in the event of an emergency, or that the braking effect may be unpredictable.

Do not load items on the basic carrier bars. It WARNING
Do not load items on the basic carrier bars. It may cause instability during some maneuvers which could result in an accident.

Drive slowly in unknown terrain. This will make it easier to recognize unexpected obstacles and avoid damage to the vehicle.

To help avoid the vehicle rolling over, never turn it around on steep inclines. If the vehicle cannot complete the attempted climb, back it down in reverse gear.

Do not drive along the side of a slope. The vehicle might otherwise rollover. If in doing so the vehicle begins to show a tendency to roll, immediately steer into a line of gravity (straight up or downhill).

Never let the vehicle roll backwards in idle.

You may lose control of the vehicle if you use only the service brake. For information on driving downhill, see "Driving downhill".

Vehicles with air suspension program: Please WARNING
Vehicles with air suspension program: Please be aware that by raising the vehicle level, the center of gravity also rises. Therefore, always ensure that the vehicle level is as low as possible. With higher ride height the ESP may activate earlier in certain situations.

Do not reduce the tire inflation pressure WARNING
Do not reduce the tire inflation pressure before driving through sand. However, if you do so, remember to correct the tire inflation pressure before continuing your trip. Driving with reduced tire inflation pressure increases the risk of losing control of the vehicle and rolling over.

General notes

Read this section carefully before driving your vehicle off-road. Practice by driving over more gentle off-road terrain first.

Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of your vehicle and the gear shift operation before driving through difficult terrain.

The following driving systems are specially adapted to off-road driving: - Off-road ABS
- AIRMATIC package (vehicle level) - DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation)<>

Observe the following notes: - Stop the vehicle before starting to drive along an off-road route.

- For vehicles with AIRMATIC package: select a vehicle level that is suitable for the off-road terrain. Make sure there is always sufficient ground clearance to prevent damage to the vehicle.

- Check that items of luggage and loads are stowed safely and are well secured.

- Always keep the engine running and in gear when driving on a downhill gradient. Activate DSR.

- Always keep the doors, tailgate, windows and sliding sunroof closed while driving.

- Adapt your speed to the terrain. The rougher, steeper or more ruts on the terrain, the slower your speed should be.

- Drive slowly and at an even speed through the water. Ensure that a bow wave does not form as you drive.

- Drive with extreme care on unknown offroad routes where visibility is poor. For safety reasons, get out of the vehicle first and survey the off-road route.

- Look out for obstacles such as rocks, holes, tree stumps and furrows.

- Check the depth of water before fording rivers and streams.

- When fording, do not stop and do not switch off the engine.

- On sand, drive quickly to overcome the rolling resistance. Otherwise, the vehicle could dig itself into the sand.

- Do not jump with the vehicle as this will interrupt the vehicle's propulsion.

- Always keep the engine running and in gear when driving on a slope.

- Do not shift the automatic transmission to transmission position N.

Checklist before driving off-road

Engine oil level: check the engine oil and add oil if necessary.

When driving on steep gradients, the oil level must be sufficiently high to ensure a correct oil supply in the vehicle.

DEF tank (BlueTEC vehicles): check the fluid level and, if necessary, refill to the maximum (13 l).

Wheel-changing tool kit: check that the jack is working and make sure you have the lug wrench, a robust tow cable and a folding spade in the vehicle.

Wheels and tires: check the tire tread depth and tire pressure.

Check for damage and remove any foreign objects, e.g. small stones, from the wheels/tires.

Replace any missing valve caps.

Replace dented or damaged wheels.

Rims: dented or bent rims can result in a loss of tire pressure and damage the tire bead. Therefore, check your rims before driving off-road and replace them as required.

If the engine oil warning lamp lights up
If the engine oil warning lamp lights up while the vehicle is in motion, stop the vehicle in a safe place as soon as possible.

Check the engine oil level. The engine oil warning lamp warning must not be ignored.

Continuing the journey while the symbol is displayed could lead to engine damage.

Checklist after driving off-road

If you notice sudden significant vibrations or WARNING
If you notice sudden significant vibrations or unusual handling performance or if you suspect that damage has occurred to the vehicle, you should activate the hazard warning lamps, gently reduce speed and carefully head for an area that is located at a safe distance from the road.

Check the tires and the underside of the vehicle for damage. If the vehicle seems unsafe, have the vehicle towed away to the nearest Mercedes-Benz Center or tire dealer to be repaired.

If you detect damage to the vehicle after
If you detect damage to the vehicle after driving off-road, have the vehicle checked immediately at a qualified specialist workshop.

Driving over rough terrain places greater demands on your vehicle than driving on normal roads. After driving off-road, check the vehicle. This allows you to detect damage promptly and reduce the risk of an accident to yourself and other road users.

Deactivate DSR.

Vehicles with the AIRMATIC package: lower the vehicle to a ride height suitable for the road conditions, e.g. to the highway/high-speed level.

Clean the headlamps and rear lights and check for damage.

Clean the front and rear license plates.

Clean the wheels/tires with a water jet and remove any foreign objects.

Clean the wheels, wheel arches and the vehicle underside with a water jet; check for any foreign objects and damage.

Check whether twigs or other parts of plants have become trapped. These increase the risk of fire and can damage fuel pipes, brake hoses or the rubber bellows of the axle joints and propeller shafts.

After the trip, examine without fail the entire undercarriage, wheels, tires, brakes, bodywork structure, steering, chassis and exhaust system for damage.

After driving for extended periods across sand, mud, gravel, water or in similarly dirty conditions, have the brake discs, wheels, brake pads/linings and axle joints checked and cleaned.

If you detect strong vibrations after off-road travel, check for foreign objects in the wheels and drive train and remove them if necessary. Foreign objects can disturb the balance and cause vibrations.

Driving on sand

Do not reduce the tire inflation pressure WARNING
Do not reduce the tire inflation pressure before driving through sand. However, if you do so, remember to correct the tire inflation pressure before continuing your trip. Driving with reduced tire inflation pressure increases the risk of losing control of the vehicle and rolling over.

Observe the following rules when driving on sand:

- vehicles with the AIRMATIC package: select a raised vehicle level.

- avoid high engine speeds.

- select a shift range appropriate to the terrain.

- drive quickly to overcome the rolling resistance. Otherwise, the vehicle could dig itself into the sand.

- drive in the tracks of other vehicles if possible. Make sure that the ruts are not too deep, that the sand is firm enough and that your vehicle has sufficient ground clearance.

Ruts and gravel roads

Observe the following rules when driving along ruts in off-road terrain or on roads with loose gravel:

Check that the ruts are not too deep and
Check that the ruts are not too deep and that your vehicle has sufficient clearance.

Otherwise, your vehicle could be damaged or bottom out and get stuck.

- for vehicles with AIRMATIC package: select an increased vehicle level.

- avoid high engine speeds.

- select shift range 1.

- drive slowly.

- where ruts are too deep, drive with the wheels of one side on the center grassy area, if possible.

Driving over obstacles


Obstacles could damage the floor of the
Obstacles could damage the floor of the vehicle or components of the chassis. Ask passengers for guidance when driving over large obstacles. The passenger should always keep a safe distance from the vehicle when doing so in order to avoid injury as a result of unexpected vehicle movements. After driving off-road or over obstacles, check the vehicle for possible damage, especially to the underbody and the components of the chassis.

Observe the following rules when driving over tree stumps, large stones and other obstacles:
- raise the vehicle level.

- avoid high engine speeds.

- select shift range 1.

- drive very slowly.

- drive straight over the center of obstacles.

Traveling uphill

Approach/departure angle


- Comply with the rules for off-road driving.


- Comply with the rules for off-road driving.

- Do not drive at an angle on slopes, inclines or gradients, but instead follow the direct line of fall. The maximum gradient-climbing capability of your vehicle is 100%, which corresponds to an approach/departure angle of 45. Note that the vehicle's gradient-climbing capability depends on the off-road conditions.

- Before tackling steep downhill gradients, select shift range 1.

- Drive slowly.

- Avoid high engine speeds drive at a suitable engine speed (maximum 3000 rpm).

- When driving down an incline, make use of the engine's braking effect. Observe the engine speed; do not overrev the engine.

- Check the brakes after driving off-road for a long time.

Never turn the vehicle around on steep WARNING
Never turn the vehicle around on steep inclines. The vehicle might roll over. If the vehicle cannot complete the attempted climb, back it down in reverse gear.

Hill start assist will aid you when pulling
Hill start assist will aid you when pulling away on a hill.

For further information, see "Hill start assist".

Maximum gradient-climbing capability

For good road surface conditions, the maximum gradient-climbing capability is 100%, which corresponds to an approach/departure angle of 45. Note that the vehicle's gradient-climbing capability depends on the off-road conditions.

Accelerate carefully and make sure that the wheels do not spin when driving on steep terrain.

If the load on the front axle is reduced
If the load on the front axle is reduced when pulling away on a steep uphill slope, the front wheels have a tendency to spin.

4ETS recognizes this and brakes the wheels accordingly. The rear wheel torque is increased, making it easier to drive off.

Brow of hill

When driving up an uphill gradient, slightly reduce pressure on the accelerator immediately before reaching the brow of the hill. Use the vehicle's own impetus to drive over the top of the hill.

This style of driving prevents: - the vehicle from lifting off the ground on the brow of a hill
- the vehicle from traveling too quickly down the other side

Driving downhill

- Drive slowly.

- Do not drive at an angle down steep inclines. Steer into the line of fall and drive with the front wheels aligned straight.

Otherwise, the vehicle could slip sideways, tip and rollover.

- Before tackling steep downhill gradients, select shift range 1.

- Activate DSR. If this is not sufficient, brake gently. When doing so, make sure that the vehicle is facing in the direction of the line of fall.

- Check that the brakes are working normally after a long downhill stretch.

The special off-road ABS setting enables
The special off-road ABS setting enables a precise, brief and repeated locking of the front wheels, causing them to dig into the loose earth. Be aware that the front wheels easily skid across the ground surface if completely braked and therefore lose their ability to steer.

    See also:

    Light switch
    Operation Switch off the parking lamps and lowbeam headlamps when you leave the vehicle. This prevents the battery from discharging. If the battery has been excessively discharged, the parking ...

    ON&OFFROAD menu
    Multifunction display (example) ■ Press the or button on the steering wheel to select the ON&OFFROAD menu. You can set the following current settings to appear in the ON&OFFROA ...

    Display messages
    General notes WARNING All categories of messages contain important information which should be taken note of and, where a malfunction is indicated, addressed as soon as possible at an authorized ...

    2019 Copyright www.mersuv.com