Driving in Wind!

d215yq

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Please tell me if this is a stupid post :wink: but....

Just driven home in the gusty wind on motorway at about 70mph and the car felt all over the place. sometimes the steering wheel needed to be slightly to the left and sometimes slightly to the right just to keep in a straight line.

As a test took my dads FWD passat out in the same wind and, whilst there was a bit of tension in the steering wheel when the gusts hit it, it certainly felt much more composed.

I know these w124's are very sensitive to camber and also the steering wheel centre's much more positively than any other car I've driven, and its got a bigger steering wheel which could highlight any slight movements more, so maybe these things can explain why it felt a lot less composed, or do I have a problem? (no play in steering at all, tyres all good, wearing evenly and all at same pressure, though i run them a little high at 2.5bar)

Interested to hear if any other owners feel the car is bad in these conditions!
 

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My 300TE was very stable at any speed, and unaffected by wind One thing often over looked is the subframe mounts rubbers, these could make the car change coarse and the rear ones at that
 

Alex M Grieve

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Trouble with the wind?

Hi.

We used to have a 280TE, which was an excellent car. IIRC you may be correct in that when I first drove it I thought it was more sensitive to cross winds than the 190 it replaced.

You should do the checks which Malcolm has suggested, but in the absence of any demonstrable problem, it may be something you will compensate for automatically and "get used to". We certainly did.

What do others feel?
 

philharve

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Crosswinds and steering sensitivity

Hi.

We used to have a 280TE, which was an excellent car. IIRC you may be correct in that when I first drove it I thought it was more sensitive to cross winds than the 190 it replaced.

You should do the checks which Malcolm has suggested, but in the absence of any demonstrable problem, it may be something you will compensate for automatically and "get used to". We certainly did.

What do others feel?

Hi Alex

Can you 'compensate' for crosswinds? When my C class is hit by crosswinds I really know it and my only course of action is to slow down. My previous car was unaffected by crosswinds which I attributed to its more aerodynamic shape.

Your comments got me to thinking about Mercedes steering. Is the steering more sensitive in the straight ahead position? I am thinking about recirculating ball as opposed to rack and pinion.

REGARDS

Phil
 

Alex M Grieve

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Can you 'compensate' for crosswinds? When my C class is hit by crosswinds?

Hi Phil,

Good question. I think you can but you need to do so by acquring the experience of doing it consciously, then it can become part of your subconscious skill set - like using more throttle to get up hills. A bit like getting your "sea legs" when on a boat or train.

This sort of thing is what sets some drivers apart in snow and ice or greasy conditions - they subconsciously compensate for the problem using extra throttle, or opposite lock, or both.

It would be interesting to hear if others have had this experience, and learned to deal with it. The extreme case would be something like the VW camper vans of the hippie era - but perhaps recreational drugs were their answer?
 
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d215yq

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Hi Alex

Can you 'compensate' for crosswinds? When my C class is hit by crosswinds I really know it and my only course of action is to slow down. My previous car was unaffected by crosswinds which I attributed to its more aerodynamic shape.

Your comments got me to thinking about Mercedes steering. Is the steering more sensitive in the straight ahead position? I am thinking about recirculating ball as opposed to rack and pinion.

REGARDS

Phil


I have found that after turning a corner, the Merc self-centres in a much more aggressive fashion than any other car ive had. If you even turn the wheel a fraction and let go it immediately goes straight within a split second. It also seems very susceptible to camber and will be quick to pull left or right if you let go of the steering wheel on angled roads. I guess this "mind of its own" also makes it susceptible to gusts of wind too.

After a few gusts it seemed natural to compensate as Alex says, I even started to make tweaks of the wheel before passing lorries/coming out of tunnels. It just isn't great having to constantly tweak the wheel to go at 70 in a straight line, I bought the E for relaxed, uninvolved cruising after a busy day at work!:wink:
 

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Then do have the caster angle checked, the will lessen the self centering effect. I drove mine from Stockholm to Hamburg and back in on day 1100 miles at very high speed and it held a perfect line
 
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d215yq

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Thanks Malcolm,

Do you need a specialist alignment for the castor angle to be checked or will a standard wheel alignment at a tyre place include this. I've always trusted STS tyres for this sort of thing before but is this too complex for them?

They do a four wheel alignment but they only actually make adjustments to the front wheels if that makes sense.
 

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All firms can do the caster angle, its the camber that is MB specific
 
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