Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) is being increasingly employed in the study of metal-ligand equilibria in aqueous solution. In the present work, the ESI-MS spectral changes due to different settings of the following instrumental parameters are analyzed: the solution flow rate (F(S)), the nebulizer gas flow rate (F(G)), the sprayer potential (E), and the temperature of the entrance capillary (T). Twenty-eight spectra were obtained for each of six samples containing aluminum(III) and 2,3-dihydroxypyridine at various pH, in the absence or in the presence of a buffer and of sodium ions. Among the considered instrumental parameters, T produced the largest effects on the ionic intensities. F(S) and F(G) affected the ESI-MS spectra to a lower extent than T. In the investigated conditions E had the weakest effects on the spectra.The correlations observed between the ionic intensities and these instrumental parameters were interpreted considering the presence of three kinds of perturbations occurring in the ESI-MS ion source: formation of some dimers in the droplets, different transfer efficiencies from the droplets to the gas phase for different complexes (according to their surface activity), and subsequent partial thermal decomposition of the dimers and of one of the monomeric complexes in the gas phase. Our results show that the evaluation of the effects produced in the ESI-MS spectra by a change of instrumental parameters can allow to identify the perturbations occurring when metal-ligand solutions are studied by ESI-MS.