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Old 07-08-2005, 07:58 PM
Benz300's Avatar
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Location: new jersey, usa
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steering off center after alignment

I had the alignment done on the 260E and when driving back home I realized that the sterring wheel was not centered while the car was tracking straight. Had a tilt towards the right. So i drove back to the dealer and the tech did straighten it out in about 5 minutes. He mentioned something about moving it towards one side a notch. My question is, what part in the steering column is adjusted to center the steerint wheel ? just a question for knowledge sake. As the mercedes tech. was reluctant to give me a straight technical answer to this question.

Whether you think you can or cannot, Either way you're right!. by Henry Ford.
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:54 PM
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Now what?
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Location: SE PA
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It sounds like he removed the steering wheel and put it back on in a slightly different position.
1989 300 SEL that mostly works, but needs TLC
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:58 PM
JBS JBS is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Not sure about your model but, I have seen this happen when the person doing the alignment did not "center" the steering wheel before starting the alignment. Therefore he adjusted everything underneath the car as straight with the wheel cocked. When you took it back he probably just adjusted the tie-rod in one turn on one side and turned the other side out one turn. This keeps the alignment true and the wheel back in center. Probably didn't want to tell you too much because it's a pretty bonehead mistake.
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:04 PM
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By adjusting the tie rods you can fix an off center wheel. If he was just going the quick route, all he had to do was remove the center bolt from the wheel to the co,lumn and move it over a tooth or two on the spline.

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Old 07-08-2005, 10:46 PM
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ahha. that one tooth movement does sound familiar I do recall him saying something about that. so does this mean he just took off the steering wheel and put it back. But wouldnt he have to take the air bag out for that ?
the model I'm referring to is an 87 260E.
Also, if the tire rods were adjusted to straighten the wheels wouldnt that affect the toe of the vehicle ?
And I have to mention that a dealer doing an alignment like this is quite unacceptable, especially after the fact that I had to take it back twice. The first time I saw the readings and the before/after were exactly the same. Telling me they didnt even make any adjustments. Though I was charged for the alignment. THe next time I brought it back they adjusted the front end to spec and told me it's done. Looking at the specs I told them the rear toe still had not been adjusted and then they came back and said the rear toe adjusters are frozed so they can't do it.
The tech should've done all this the first time. I had to wait 3 weeks going to and fro to come to this point and the steering wheel still crooked !
Whether you think you can or cannot, Either way you're right!. by Henry Ford.

Last edited by Benz300; 07-08-2005 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 07-09-2005, 03:10 AM
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Location: Southern California
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Reindexing the steering wheel on the steering shaft IS NOT THE PROPER WAY TO CENTER THE WHEEL! Steering gears have "high spots" in the center to create a nice tight feel when driving straight and the steering systems on cars are indexed to assure proper assembly to keep the wheel on the high spot in straight ahead driving.

Verify how the wheel was centered and if the steering wheel was reindexed on the shaft, suggest you read the service manager the riot act, and have them do the job right by adjusting the tie rods.

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Old 07-09-2005, 03:23 AM
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Thanks Duke for the reply. I agree with you.
The sad part is that the person I spoke to at the dealership was the foreman. Not sure if the foreman is also the service manager. But I will double check.
It's a shame having the dealerships do such poor quality work !

Whether you think you can or cannot, Either way you're right!. by Henry Ford.
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