Uneven steering feel

Mike2002

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Hi all

I have a 69 plate e220d AMG line with 19inch wheel. I purchased the car new back in October. The car was delivered with the steering wheel off centre (quite far to the right). The car was taken back by the dealer and adjusted. The steering was centred but the car was left with a problem where the feel in the steering was uneven. It is slightly easier to steer left than it is to the right. I have attempted multiple times to align the wheels to remedy the problem. My last alignment but one, the steering wheel was off centre again (to the right again) and the steering feel was normal. I took it back and the steering was centered, however after this the feel in the steering went back to how it has always been over the last few months (i.e easier to steer to the left). It seems that I can't seem to get the car to a state where both the steering wheel is centered perfectly and the steering feels even

All the alignment is in spec with no cross camber or caster. The toe is perfect. I am at a loss to explain the strange steering behavior. The dealer has basically told me there is nothing wrong and refused to investigate it further (a complaint has been lodged, however, COVID has delayted further progress). Anyone have any ideas about what the matter could be. Your help would be appreciated
 

LostKiwi

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It's not unusual for MBs to need asymetric alignment to cope with UK left traffic.
Wheels in motion are the guys to sort it. If they can't sort it no one can.
 
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Mike2002

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have spoken to WIM about it in the past. Camber/caster bolts aren't available for this model and I didn't really fancy putting adjustable aftermarket bushes on a nearly brand new car that is still under warranty. They also said that having cross Camber/caster could potentially make any uneven feeling in the steering wheel worse. The uneven feel is the main issue, the car isn't really pulling left/right.
 

Botus

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the first thing I would do is drive another with the exact same spec and see if you detect the same issues. If so likely a combination of poor design and putting silly size wheels on the car and is thus now a design feature of that spec model

if the way it drives is a total transformation, then its seems likely your car was damaged before delivery.... and thus all this is a warranty issue, just get a loaner and stop wasting your time and only accept it back when it drives like the others

If you discount either of those... poor tyre brand / unsuitable type may be on the car. Also check tyre pressures, what's in the book might not suit the set up. Try >36 psi. Then you need to go to someone competent to check the alignment... not just straight ahead but when a given amount of lock is use, to see if both sides do the same thing on the geometry numbers with a bit of lock on... you may have a bent arm.

Its interesting you suggest WIM think feel could get worse. On most models you should never be able to think or the feel the way it turns one way or another is different.... sounds like something is bent.

I'd be hesitant going back to an alignment place that gives the wheel back on the **** they aren't competent...
Lostkiwi's point about the car tending to wander to the left is related to bad set up / design and road camber for drainage / stop head on crashes being quite so prevalent. Mercedes usually set their's for LHD and can't be bothered to set up for RHD

WIM are good but 3 x the price for what they do... and like most bodge it merchants don't care enough about doing suspension bolts up at mid laden position to give bushes a better life. I had to pull them up on this when the did my car
 
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Mike2002

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Thanks for the advice. I test drove two E classes prior to purchase, one of which exhibited the same characteristics and one didn't. I just thought the one with the issue was not aligned correctly. The courtesy cars I have had since have all had some kind of steering quirk (uneven, or left-sided pull). These were a GLC and C-class (both nearly new). It would be annoying if this how Mercedes design their cars and almost makes me regret not getting the Audi A4 I nearly bought. I have tried over and under inflating the tyres but it has not made any difference. I did strongly suspect the tyres being an issue but I feel that the car is doing the same thing while it is stationary, and this to me does not seem to be tyre related. With regards to bends/damage, I am obviously only being guided by the people that have looked at the car. It has been to another Mercedes dealer who assured me that there is no mechanical issue, the independent place that looked at it too showed me under the car and said they could not find anything to explain the characteristics. One suggestion was that a defective steering rack could explain this, but I would have thought that it would show up as an error code. Mercedes say there is no issue with the rack.

The guy who set the wheel off to the right did it intentionally to start with if that makes any sense. I took it to him with the steering to the left, he did some initial measurements and could not exactly explain why that was the case. He then adjusted the car with the steering wheel slightly off to the right to try and offset the initial issue. It later transpired that the thrust angle was originally slightly out of wack and that had offset the steering to the left. When I took it back he adjusted it all again and to spec. Oddly enough when it was not adjusted correctly the steering had never felt better (but was off-centre to the right). Ween I took it back he adjusted the toe very slightly and the strange characteristics were back again. I've racked my brains trying to understand why that would happen and I can't

I have it booked it at another alignment place (seems to be highly recommended locally) and will ask them to see if they can check what they wheels are doing on partial lock. Persuing things with the dealer has been difficult due to COVID and the absolute **** poor customer service at my local dealer has not helped.

Does anyone else with a W213 have similar issues with their steering and is it something they have just put up with?
 
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Mike2002

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Nah RWD
 

Uncle Benz

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This car has electric steering, I’m sure. I think the clue might be in the fact it feels right with the wheel on the wonk. The rack has a centre position. It’s going to feel happiest in that position only. If you adjust the track rod ends away from that centre its going to feel strange. I wonder if the steering column has been attached to the rack one spline out at the factory? Just a thought.
 

John Laidlaw

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above is a good call, however unacceptable. I've not had a 213 yet but had 2 x 212s which never behaved in any way like this.
OK yes a slight pull to the NS following road camber which seems to be prevalent on all Mercedes, but I can cope easily with that.
 

Srdl

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I’ve driven a Mercedes for the last 10 years now and I can’t say I’ve ever found anything unusual about the steering but I’ll try and pay attention when I next have the GLC out!
 

Blobcat

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I had a W213 on 17” wheels and the steering was perfect. It is electric and you can change the feel with the mode buttons. I kept mine in “sport” steering
 

LostKiwi

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This car has electric steering, I’m sure. I think the clue might be in the fact it feels right with the wheel on the wonk. The rack has a centre position. It’s going to feel happiest in that position only. If you adjust the track rod ends away from that centre its going to feel strange. I wonder if the steering column has been attached to the rack one spline out at the factory? Just a thought.
Good thinking. It was a common problem with high powered minis that if the tie rods were different lengths they'd do odd things under power and deceleration.

The way to check is full right lock and mark the top of the wheel. Full left lock and mark the top of the wheel. Go for a drive and if the two marks aren't equal distance from the top of the wheel when driving straight then there's your answer.
 
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Mike2002

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Thank you all for the replies. I have taken it up at my local dealer but didn't really get anywhere the first time. I raised a complaint with Mercedes Benz UK but they didn't really seem to care all that much, all they suggested was to get it looked at again, I did not want to go back to my own dealer so I went to another one and they turned around and said the car was ok (all the did was do an alignment check, the car always reads fine and within spec). Anyone have any ideas on how I can pursue this further to force further investigation to take place. It seems that every time I go back with an issue relating to this they just want to charge me for a wheel alignment check and then tell me it is fine, despite the fact that the car was delivered with an off centre steering from brand new

Good thinking. It was a common problem with high powered minis that if the tie rods were different lengths they'd do odd things under power and deceleration.

The way to check is full right lock and mark the top of the wheel. Full left lock and mark the top of the wheel. Go for a drive and if the two marks aren't equal distance from the top of the wheel when driving straight then there's your answer.

Do you mean mark the top of the steering wheel at each extreme of lock? It does not appear to make any more turns in any on direction before it reaches the limit. The car goes straight when the steering wheel is perfectly horizontal. I will try that tomorrow and see what happens
 

umblecumbuz

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You mention Wheels In Motion.
Rather than continually taking your car from one place to another for what are fundamentally the same checks, and predictably the same conclusions, why not take it to WIM - not for any adjustments, but for a written report of their findings.

Armed with this report (if indeed it indicates a fault or maladjustment) you need to go back to the supplying dealer.
Then what you do is up to you - whether you raise a stink and demand your money back, threaten to take them to court, leave the car there until it's fixed, or any lesser action.

WIM are well respected, and a report from them carries weight.
 
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Mike2002

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Yeah I take your point about taking it to various people. I'm just at the wrong end of the country (Leeds) for WIM and with covid I've had to be more sensible with traveling etc. I think I was just putting up with the car and now stuff is opening up again in starting to realise how much it ****ed me off. That's why I've had to pursue things locally.
 
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Mike2002

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I had a chat with the guy who is going to take a look at the car. He suggested that the steering angle sensor may need resetting. Does anyone know if this is part of the alignment procedure?
 

LostKiwi

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I had a chat with the guy who is going to take a look at the car. He suggested that the steering angle sensor may need resetting. Does anyone know if this is part of the alignment procedure?
No it isn't. It requires Star or similar.
 
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Mike2002

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No it isn't. It requires Star or similar.

He says he had the correct equipment to do it but just wondering is it something that would usually need to be done every time the car is aligned?
 


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