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  #1  
Old 05-18-2001, 08:46 PM
georgek
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I had an alignment done on my 430, and noticed my center of steering to be off. I called the dealer back and they gave me the run around - it's in spec.. I told him when the steering wheel is centered the car steers to the left, and to drive straight I have to slightly turn it to the right. This is irritating me a bit, is this normal, and do alignments catch this type of behavior?

All I know is I want the steering wheel to go where I point it, straight = straight.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2001, 11:52 AM
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In spec huh? The average position of the steering wheel should be straight ahead. Any tech accepting less has too loose standards.

Take it back. The steering wheel position doesn't really have anything to do with the alignment spec! Its proper position is a result of making the adjustments properly while correcting the steering wheel location.

I always road test every alignment before and after. I write the steering wheel original position on my hand with my own code for distance from perfect (my code is actually the number of revolutions that will have to be taken on the tierods - through experience- to achieve straight steering wheel average) and incorporate that change in my alignment changes. If its perfect to start I only have to keep the relationship as I move the suspension during alignment. A proper quality check road test afterward is imperative as road conditions are ever so important in evaluating true center. Ex: a crowned road will need to be steered against, the wheel will be off center. If driving the speed lane on a divided highway the crown is often the other way and steering will be the other way as one steers into it. In other words the tech can not tell this to my specification from the alignment machine. It can only be tested on the road and RIGHT is in the eyes of the beholder; your eyes, take it back!
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2001, 12:02 PM
georgek
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Thanks,

I think everyone should know the dealer's name give second thoughts before going there:

Mercedes Benz of Cincinnati
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2001, 12:43 PM
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Location: Gainesville FL
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If you didn't get satisfaction with the agent you delt with, please try someone else or take your problem to the service manager. I would not blame the whole dealership for one bad event. The alignment is probably right and the agent is probably most interested in assuring you of that. They should have no trouble with the aesthetics.

I think one of our members is a tech at that dealership. I guarantee that anyone using him would get special attention.

Please remember that every business is the sum total of thousands of events. Some go wrong. The best of businesses are not perfect, but the best make sure they take care of their problems. I guarantee that their business plan is to fix these problems (Mercedes would have it no other way). Sometimes as businessmen we fail. Most of us would fix it if emotions didn't get in the way. Be professional, and expect it in service. Calmly take your case to a different venue if you get no where with your agent. Try not to make a battle out of it. They really want you to be happy. It is to their benefit. Don't let your relationship with any single person drive you away.

Then again, independent businesses such as mine have thrived on making the personal relationship work along with the technical one. My advice to anyone is to calmly address the problem, most shops, dealer or otherwise, want you to be happy with their work.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2001, 04:51 PM
georgek
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The service rep knows about it. He didn't know if he could correct the problem on Friday, therefore I kept the car. What bothers me is he said it was "in spec" without looking at the car, and I'm questioning whether it was even test driven after the alignment. You would have to be blind not to notice this.

Other quality control issues, fuel gauge got fixed, but they didn't fill the tank and give me a car that was almost empty. Didn't they test it? They did fill it up after I pointed it out to them. What if it failed at the station, and I was there to pick up the car?

Based on all the above and alignment, I didn't know how much I should be charged for an alignment and thought it's possible I could have been screwed. So I called another service center, owned by the same people and the tech there said the alignment was 69.96 not 170 for a 99 CLK430, I asked him to verify (couple of times) and he claimed he did, and said he was positive and told me to call the service manager to find out why I was charged 170.00. I later found out, he was in fact wrong, I was charged the correct amount.

They have yet to prove themselves; Monday morning will be the make or break if I ever go back, if they don't fix it I will ask for a refund on the alignment, take it else where.

All of the warranty issues where fixed perfectly, rear shade, squeak etc.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2001, 06:02 PM
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I had the same problem with my alignment after taking it to the dealership. My tires were unevenly worn. When I got new tires, it was perfect again. Did you check air pressure also?

I know my alignment on C280 was $70. I guess that others would be more. Good thing you double checked.
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Old 05-19-2001, 08:08 PM
georgek
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My tires are 3 weeks old, I inflated them 1 PSI over recommended since most of my driving is on the highway, 33F/34R. I know what you mean about different tire pressure, you can really notice it when you brake or drive fast. I check the pressure every 2 or so weeks.

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  #8  
Old 05-21-2001, 08:57 PM
georgek
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Just a follow up..

They corrected all the issues and did a great job.. I was just concerned (maybe little angry) like anyone else who loves their Mercedes. In the end they fixed it in a timely fashion.
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