CLK w209 still pulling left...

SteveX

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Hi Guys,

So this is driving me bananas!

Before the end of last year I had an MOT, the car failed on worn suspension bushes.

I swapped out both offside arm's upper and lower for new ones. I also swapped the NS spring for genuine MB one, offside was fine, other one had a crack.

I noticed some cracking on the rubber in a top mount when I removed both struts, so to be safe, I went to MB bought two new genuine top mounts and fitted them.

Put the car back together and the alignment was out, the car was all over the place. I had two alignments done by a tyre place, but the car still hasn't driven correctly. I took the car to MB Swindon, paid £300 for four wheel alignment again which they said had to be done and would correct it as alignment was still out. When I collected they said they test drove before and after and it was fine.

End result, as I expected, because no garage can ever seen to fix a problem with a car I give them, the car still pulls left...

Over bumps and pot holes the wheel wobbles and it shouldn't. If I hold the wheel straight, especially yesterday when I was on the motorway, it was horrible, the car changes lanes. I have to constantly correct the steering and pull to the right slightly.

Also when going over bumps in the road or slowing, when I remove my hand from the wheel, whenever the nearside hits a bump the wheel jerks to the left.

I took the old wheel alignment to them, and a full description of the problem, parts changed etc etc.

It's annoying the hell out of me. Whenever I give the car to MB who are the so called 'experts' I pay a few hundred quid and they just wash my car and give it back to me with the same ****ing problem.

I've switched tyres over on sides too, still the same problem.

Is there anyone out there close to swindon, who can actually look at my car, find the problem and fix it? Or that would have any clue what it is? I am done throwing money at garages getting no results. I've spent over 5k on my other car recently and it's still in bits in the garage due to problems with other garages :/

Honestly I am getting so fed up with cars, if I can't get this damn car to drive straight I am just getting rid of the lot and buying a new one at this point.

Thanks, and sorry for the whinge, I am just fed up of giving cars to garages that are supposed to be experts and they charge me money and don't fix the problem!

I work in IT, imagine if I went to do a job for a contract or customer, didn't fix the problem and charged them anyway thinking it was perfectly acceptable! I don't understand how garages can get away with it.


Steve
 

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grahamcol

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I feel your pain !
The only thing I can think of is getting it set up by Wheels in Motion. I believe they have a very good reputation, although I haven't used them myself.
Best to Google it and see if they have a place near you. If not, it might still be worth a special trip.
 

LostKiwi

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There are so many places thasay they know what they are doing who really don't. Steve @avantgarde near Bristol, Wheels in Motion near Aylesbury and another place near Manchester who's name escapes me are the only places I'd trust to get it right and of the WIM would be my preference. I wouldn't let MB near it.
 

ThinkPad

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Wheels in Motion without a doubt. They are well known and I would say famous for sorting this problem. Every time I buy a used Mercedes it goes there soon as I take ownership.

Might be a journey for you. But will be worth it ...

Don't spend another penny with Merc or others.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
 

Wighty

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As LK says above , Steve at Avantgarde has had all the kit installed recently for this work , may be worth ringing him as Swindon is closer to Bristol .
 

Binnedit

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and another place near Manchester who's name escapes me....

I would be interested if anyone can shed any light on who LK is referring to :D
 
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SteveX

SteveX

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Thanks guys, I am so ****ed, I just don't trust garages any more.

I've taken my car to MB swindon three times in the past couple of years.

Once, I replaced the bushes and pack on the alternator as it wasn't charging. Took it to B to confirm, and they charged me over £300 to say I was right, and it would take them two weeks to get the part from germany and replace. Also over £1000 to do. I got the genuine bosch part from ECP next day before 1pm and took me 4hr to fit. total cost less that £200 including coolant.

The other time I suspected a damaged / faulty door control unit on the driver side. I paid over £300 to diagnose to a faulty switch pack in the door which I though odd. True enough, after buying that part and replacing, it didn't help and it was as I expected the door control unit I had to replace.

Now the tracking / steering.

I am so fed up of taking my car to places where they should know the car and specialise in fixing issues, but I thrown money at them and they dont!

I just had an engine rebuilt by a very reputable toyota specialist for another car, they also replaced and upgraded the turbo and other parts. It's cost me another 2.5k to put right their crap and still going...

It just seems no garage actually knows what they are doing. And I am so fed up with it.

Like I said, in what other industry would it be acceptable to just charge money and not do what you wanted or fix your problem? No where! Yet in the motor industry it seems perfectly fine to just keep guessing and burning money you have worked for with no come back :/


Steve
 

umblecumbuz

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A Merc is a tin box in which you pour money.

And that's not an April Fool's joke.

I have come to the conclusion, having recently analysed my Merc niggles and ridiculous expenditure and downtime over the past twenty years, that my other run of the mill cars over the same period have been way ahead. It will soon be goodbye Mercs - until the bug bites me again!
 
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SteveX

SteveX

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Ok guys, I wonder.

I re-checked the MOT From a few months ago, the chap originally put one nearside and one offside arm bush worn.

He crossed it out later and wrote offside. I replaced both offside arms.

What is the nearside camber arm is worn? (I replaced the upper not too long ago but not lower). Would it be possible alignment looks good when the car is static, but the lower bush if worn on the nearside when going over bumps, pot holes or with camber changes in the road, it could then affect the alignment and camber of that wheel fall outside of the adjustment causing a further pull to the left (especially the jolting of the wheel to the left when over bumps etc in the road?).

I am wondering if he was right first time, and there was a worn bush on the left side which has just got worse or been emphasised since I changed both arms for new on the offside, and the worn top mounts and spring etc?

I took a look at the offside lower camber arm, and although it doesn't look cracked from what I can see (hard to see while it's on the car) I can move or wiggle it fairly easy by hand a few degrees, and if I put a bar in there with the car jacked up, I can move the bush forward and back a lot with no huge effort on the pry bar?

I thought about buying a cheap arm from ECP, then I can switch it and see if the wheel jolts to the left any more over bumps, if it doesn't, even if the alignment is off again then that could point me to the problem?

What wouldn't make sense is why it went straight before and didn't pull left, but, like I said, maybe all the other worn parts that have been changed now have magnified the problem I didn't really notice or have before?

Thoughts?



Steve
 

LostKiwi

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So did you take it to one of the recommended places?

As a point of best practice always replace suspension components in pairs unless you know absolutely that the part on the opposite side is good.
 
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SteveX

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Nope not yet, haven't had chance, only posted last Monday.

But, I've never had a wheel alignment jerk the steering wheel to the left over bumps or when coming to a stop, and if it does drift left (which will require fixing still) I can't see how with the alignment done it would jerk the wheel to the left if you take your hand off of it?

I could be wrong of course, I just don't want to travel 100 miles or whatever then get another alignment done and keep getting alignments and still have the steering jerking / pulling to the left issue. Then replace joints and have to get more alignments done.
 

LostKiwi

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WIM or Steve@avantgarde will both be able to tell you exactly what is wrong to save guesses. Ok it may cost you a little to get it looked at but then so does guessing part replacement.
That said no bushes should be sloppy or easy to move as under loadings the car exerts in use those movements become vastly amplified.
 

alexanderfoti

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+ 1 for WIM. You can take the car to them, describe the symptoms and they will find all issues and recommend a course of action. They have dealt with many vibration, handling, steering issues with mine over the years and are always very good.
 

Glynn350

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Have you checked for play in the wheel bearings? In my limited merc experience it can cause both incorrect alignments, and a tug the wheel down the camber of the road over bumps and braking.

Easy free check too, just jack the car up and give the front wheels a wiggle. Cheap to sort if they can be adjusted, worth crossing off the list at least.

The play in the bushing sounds like the culprit though.
 
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SteveX

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Thanks Gents, at the moment thinking of getting it over to Star in Reading as they are the closest. It's just getting around to booking and dropping it down there. Always the same no decent indi close to Swindon when I need something doing :( Hence I tend to throw the car at Mercedes or just change stuff myself as I am fairly handy with spanners.

I replaced the passenger side camber arm also by the way, figured it couldn't hurt, the bush was deteriorating, my guess is when it's sat still it's fine but going down the road and the camber of the road was causing it to lean under the weight. Took the measurement of the arm and position and fitted it on, drives MUCH more straight now.

I also switched both arms on the driver side to Lemforder arms just to be safe as I hear they are much better than the OCAP ones I used, again measured the arms up and put them is the appropriate position as per Merc's alignment.

The tugging left and right if I let go of the wheel is still there though, I don't think it can be the arms, it's either something to do with the new top mounts I fitted (genuine Mercedes) or something unrelated. As it seems to do it with the camber of the road. IE drive on the normal side, go over bumps etc the wheel wants to head left (if you let go of it), go on the wrong side of the road where the camber goes the other way and over a bump and it does the same that side.

I mean yes, you don't drive around with your hands off of the wheel, but it's just something that I am sure wasn't there before renewing all these parts. If I keep my hands on the wheel and just drive and forget about it it's fine, but I know it does it and I don't think it should.

Either way, drop links, and all arms are now good. The rollbar and bushes I already upgraded to eibach and they are good. I know the top mounts are new and the chocks and springs are good, but IDK, maybe I will just strip the old suspension off at somepoint and put new coilovers all round, then everything is new.


Cheers.
 

alexanderfoti

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Just a thought, did you have the car geo'd with the OCAP arms on it?
 
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SteveX

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Just a thought, did you have the car geo'd with the OCAP arms on it?

I did. So what I did was measure both the arms and the position from attached to the car to the hub and made sure the distance were the same with the new arms fitted, IE mounting position on both ends tallied up.

Thanks Kiwi, will read.
 


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