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Poorly W203

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by numberstation, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. numberstation

    numberstation Member

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    Hi all,

    Hoping this is the correct thread.

    I had an accident on Christmas Day on a roundabout where I suffered understeer and the nearside front wheel impacted the pavement with a sizeable bang. Enough for the hub cap to fly off and bounce down the street in front of me.

    I pulled in and although it wasnt enough to pop the tyre it did have a chunk of rubber missing from it and I thought it best not to risk it so called the breakdown and the guy came and helped me put the spare on and recomended I get a new hub from a scrap yard for the damaged tyre.

    Unfortunately as soon as I drove off I could tell the steering was badly damaged so I called off my drive to my brothers and missed out on christmas lunch, and drove gently a few miles home.

    My car is just flashed up as due an A-Service and usually I take it down the M3 to those nice guys at MBS in Southampton. Unfortunately I'm not confident driving it down there with the steering how it is. Rather than take it to a main dealer, would a tyre place alone be able to look at the steering? There is a local tyre place that have adjusted the tracking before. If I have knocked it severely off line and not broken any steering rods or anything would they be able to assist?

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    JC
     
  2. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    RAC or AA cover? If so get them to trailer it to MBS
     
  3. cleverdicky

    cleverdicky Senior Member

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    I wouldn't bother. Most tyre places are hit & miss whether the people who work there even know what they're doing beyond changing a tyre. (And I've had a wheel come off after getting one to do that - cough! cough! kwick fit).
    A better place might be your local MOT station, especially if you use the same one often. These guys are trained, qualified and often ex mechanics. They may even fix it for you if you flutter your eyelids and ask nicely ;) (It's what I would do haha)

    But as for damage, it could be potentially very serious - or not??
    Sure you may have bent a few pieces such as lower arm or track rod end which are easily fixed. The worry is the bracket on the engine subframe that support the lower arm bolt. These are aluminium and could easily break.
    Dont want to scare you but dont risk it until some ones had a look.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  4. Steve@Avantgarde

    Steve@Avantgarde Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    You have probably bent the track rod. The weakest point of the steering/suspension. A new rod and a geo check and all will be fine probably.
     
  5. OP
    numberstation

    numberstation Member

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    Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately neither RAC or AA - I have a rectification policy where I pay up front and then claim back. I could have got it towed back to my home but it was driveable after the spare was put on.

    Following the advices I took it to the place it had its MOT done. They were not that helpful but got it up on the rack and took a look. I asked if I could have a look under as well (not that mechanically minded but always find it helpful to see with my own eyes what is going on). They said no due to 'health & safety' Hmm. I guess that is understandable? Insurance and what not?

    Anyway, they said the 'ball joint was gone' and they would 'try' a new rear arm and I need a new tyre (I knew this as my spare is an old tyre that is close to the line). They quoted me circa £250 for rear arm and a new tyre but made it clear 'we'll start with the rear arm and take it from there' 'it may or may not solve the problem.'

    This didn't fill me with huge amounts of confidence.

    I then took it to Kwik Fit which was even worse. Guy got it up on the ramp and took a look and said there didn't seem to be any damage after a visual inspection. I told him it is difficult to keep in a straight line and the steering is definitely damaged. He said he would 'prefer a second opinion for my safety' - translate - he has no idea.

    Is it too much to find someone who can just tell me what the problem is? Does the rear arm theory sound correct? Reticent to spend that sort of money and then find out they need to do other stuff as well.

    Any suggestions othen than teleporting it to MBS?! :)
    JC
     
  6. huey

    huey Senior Member

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    I would hold on a bit, with luck Cole@mbs may look in today and come up with an idea for you. I really dont get the rear arm bit if you hit only the front wheel.
     
  7. Cole@MBS

    Cole@MBS Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    If you hit the front wheel, why would the rear arm need changing????????
     
  8. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

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    Maybe the clue is in the first sentence, how do you "suffer understeer" did something fail, was something hit earlier, or did you just misjudge the roundabout ?
     
  9. OP
    numberstation

    numberstation Member

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    Sorry I am showing my complete ignorance of mechanics here. The 'rear arm' is the phrase used by the MOT place in relation to the Near Side Front. This is the wheel that took the impact. From what he was saying I got the impression there were two arms coming out of the joint and he was saying the rear one would have to be replaced.

    As for the understeer - it was simply driver error and I misjudged it rather than anything mechanical. I came into the roundabout too fast and it was a much smaller roundabout than I anticipated and a tighter exit turn.
     
  10. cleverdicky

    cleverdicky Senior Member

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    Yes your right. The w203 does have two lower arms (on the front wheel) . Plus the track rod / steering arm.
    One of the lower arms, bolts to the sub frame. My fear was one had broke. If between you all it isnt clearly damaged that you can see, and just bent, carefully take it either Cole in Southampton or a decent garage or indi.
    The parts aren't that expensive so if its just an arm or two that needs replacing, plus re-tracking its most likely around the hundred plus mark.
    Where abouts in Hampshire are you? I can recommend a couple of places but might be too far for you.
     
  11. OP
    numberstation

    numberstation Member

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    Thanks very much for the response. I am in Basingstoke so if you can recomend anywhere close by it would be appreciated.
     
  12. cleverdicky

    cleverdicky Senior Member

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    Know it well but afraid not. Nearest friendly Indie' I knowto you is Odiham although there may well be a few good ones close to you I dont know of. Plenty to suggest from but not been to any there personally.
    These look good
    http://www.basingstokemotandtyrecentre.co.uk/mot-garages-in-basingstoke
    http://www.basingstokeautocentre.co.uk/autocentre-garage-in-basingstoke-hampshire
    You do of course have the large MB dealership close to hand.
    Just looking at the website for you I cant even access the damn thing. Keep getting Guilfords.

    If you can, and it feels safe enough I would try these, but if you feel confidant and sure how to get there carry on down to Cole carefully.
     
  13. rpe2

    rpe2 Senior Member

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    There's one out towards Cliddesden (forget the name) and Pro-Tech on the A339 towards Newbury
     

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