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Old 08-02-2002, 02:57 PM
JimSmith JimSmith is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
What does not make sense is apparently lifting the car up, removing the front wheels and putting them back on corrects the problem and makes the car work ok for a few days or hours. This would suggest some suspension joint is damaged and given a particular manuever, it finds an off design position. Lifting it up and letting the wheels hang seems to get the joint back to design conditions, but the damage lets it slip back out of position when it is driven a certain way and a particular load is applied. How this could be affecting the brake caliper is not clear to me. I like the brake caliper concept, but once the rotor is warped how does fiddling with the tires, or buying new ones for that matter, correct the warped rotor situation? And then have it come back? If some suspension joints were replaced, I would have them checked again. Maybe they were not installed exactly correctly or they were damaged by the installation or the subsequent driving? The final explanation has to cover all the symptoms, or you cannot really believe the problem has been fixed.

As for tires, well, I am not a racer although I do drive hard now and then. I am basically cheap so I have no penchant for the highest performance tire at the expense of the tread life. I am also not interested in a tire that requires lots of seasonal attention to keep it balanced. I am concerned with the tire staying round and all the belts/rubber bonded for the life of the tire though. These are more important to me than track figures, and the fact that I have tried half a dozen tire brands on just one car is testament to my frugality.

The point is I differ on the opinion of Michelins noted above. In my experience their tread lasts longer, they handle all road conditions as well as the winners of tire tests, and stay structurally sound for the life of the tread, which in my driving style has shown to be 10,000 to 15,000 miles more than other similarly rated (speed ratings of V and 4 season traction) tire brands. My experience is the Dunlops, Yoko's and especially Pirelli tires do not. My 190E 2.3-16 came with Pirelli "V" rated tires and they lasted less than 12,000 miles before they suffered a tread separation and became unbalancable. I got just over half the tread life with Dunlop SP8000's and the Yokohama equivalent compared to the Michelins. Same for Goodyear's "Gatorbacks."

After 200,000 miles I have concluded Michelin Pilot XGTV4's are the most robust and safest. I have never had an alignment problem with the car, and only the Michelins have all 4 tires wearing precisely evenly with one rotation over 43,000 miles. They are just about shot, but the best I got with a less expensive tire was around 25,000 miles, and I have always had to have them balanced more than twice over that time. So, they cost 50% more, but they last more than 50% longer and require less than half the babysitting and attention of the other brands. In my book that puts me ahead.

1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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