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Old 02-09-2002, 07:26 PM
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Angry E320 Front Suspension support recall 01-0799.

The local MB dealer carried out work on my 1997 E320 for the Front suspension support recall. (to inspect for possible corrosion). They found no corrosion but I now find that the steering has been adversely affected. My regular weekend trip up the I5 out of Seattle is now a challenge as the front of the car darts and dives at unevenness in the concrete road when taking curves at around 60 mph. The car would smooth out these bumps with no problem before the recall. The steering generally feels nervous now at highway speeds. Clearly something has changed. There is a complication, in that the rear tires were replaced by the dealer on the same day. The car now has MXV4 on the front and MXV4 plus on the rear wheels. I have an appointment next week for the car to be checked over. The service advisor claims that the tires are causing the problem. I am concerned that the dealer's efforts will be focused on the tires, instead of solving the problem with the steering geometry. (I don't believe that new Michelins would have such a negative effect on the steering).
The dealer says that the coil springs are compressed during the inspection work and that the steering components are not changed in any way.
Has any one else had a similar experience with this recall work. Any thoughts about the impact of the new (and slightly different tires) on the steering / handling characteristics?

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Old 02-09-2002, 09:53 PM
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This may sound over-simplistic, but how about checking the tire pressure? I usually set them to 30 front, 35 rear.
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Old 02-09-2002, 10:10 PM
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How did you learn about the recall?

I have the same car but know/received nothing about the recall.

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Old 02-10-2002, 08:26 AM
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My boss has the same car ( but '96) and also got the recall notice. They didn't have to fix anything and the car is fine.

As for not getting the recall notice Loubapache, did you buy your car from an MB dealer? If so you should have gotten the notice. If you bought it in a private sale or from a non-MB dealer than they probably don't have you on record and can't send the notices. There should be a change of ownership slip in your owner's manual you can complete and send in then you will get any notices like this in the future.

RickD, tires can have a major effect on how the car feels on the road, and especially on handling and road feel. As gillybenztech says, double check the tire pressure. What tires did you use to run? When I bought my 420SEL it had Pirelli P600s on it and when the wore out I got Continentals at the local MB dealer. They were fine tires, but felt so incredibly different from the Perellis that you would swear it was a different car. I experiences much the same changes as you did.
Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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Old 02-10-2002, 11:21 AM
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I bought it from a Porsche dealer but I did send in the change of ownership card.

I will give MBNA a call. I am sure they will say they knew nothing about it.

Is 01-0799 the recall number or somesuch?
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Old 02-10-2002, 03:08 PM
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Loubapache, regarding the recall notice, the service adviser told me about it last time I was at the dealer, I got no written notice. He said that the work is normally carried out at the next service. There seemed to be no urgency to have the work done. I chose to have the work done earlier. Yes the recall number is 01-0799.
Gillybenztech, The tire pressures seem fine, they are all within 1 psi of MB recommended: 27 - 28 psi. You think a higer pressure on the rear wheels might improve handling?
Jason, the previous tires were MXV4, the original tires, same as the ones on the front. I went to the Michelin web site before buying the new tires thinking I might fit something with greater wet weather grip (we occasionally get rain here in Seattle!). It seems there are only two Michelin tires of this size (215/55 16) namely MXV4 and MVX4 plus. The comparison shows that the "plus" offers better wet weather grip, quieter ride and better life, and for an extra couple of dollars it seemed like a no-brainer. The tread pattern is different, and I guess the compound is different. I am assuming the construction is similar (as they are both MXV4) so I am thinking that the tires are not a major contributor to the difference in steering response. I do know what you mean about tires changing the car's personality. I had an Alfa Romeo Guiletta back in 1980 with Firestone Cavalinos. These were the worst tires I have ever owned, poor grip, dimishing to almost zero when the tires were cold, and I wore out all four in less than 20,000 miles! These were replaced with Michelin MXV. They had the legendary Michelin ride quality, had terrific grip and lasted 45,000 miles (good mileage for those days). I have been a Michelin fan ever since, fitting only Michelins or Pirellis on all my cars.

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