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Old 04-21-2002, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 1,294
Should I have the alignment checked?

I was overtaking a slow car on a back road on Saturday afternoon when the slower car drifted over the centreline forcing me right off the side of the road in order to avoid hitting him (we have pretty narrow and uncurbed roads here in the UK). Any way, my right side wheels cracked a massive pothole. I pulled up further along the road as I was convinced I would have punctured the tyres or buckled the wheels.

There was no visible damage to wheel, tyre tread or sidewall, save for heavy black rubber staining on the wheel rims (which rubbed off). I cannot really tell whether the car feels different. I am sure I can feel unfamiliar pulls and tendencies in the steering, however there is no more vibration than usual and the car tracks totally straight (I ran up to 120mph as my confidence built). Still, I'm not sure.

Is there anything I really ought to do? How would I tell if the suspension alignment had been knocked out? Despite the absence of visible damage, is it likely that the tyre was significantly damaged or weakened? or the wheel?

I have looked under the car and there is no sign of damage or movement. But it was a really nasty whack felt right through the car.

Thanks for any help.
JJ Rodger
1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC
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Old 04-21-2002, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
If your steering wheel position is unaltered it is unlikely that any significant geometry change has taken place. A visual check is in order.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 04-22-2002, 11:10 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,774
I'd second Steve's opinion - if you have a good mechanic, why not get it up on a hoist and have a quick visual done? If the steering is still solid, with no drifting, it's probably ok. If you damaged a belt in the tire, you can usually see it (slight distortion or bulge in the tire wall). You may want to remove the wheels and inspect the entire tire.

I've hit potholes in my 300E that would have folded my old Ford Tempo right in half... The Benz just shrugs them off.
2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
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1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
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Old 04-22-2002, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 1,294
Thanks guys. I'm on pretty good terms with my local dealer (or I ought to be the amount of money he takes off me), I'm sure if I pop round he'll take a quick look. No sign of damage to the tyre. I did a 200mile trip today and the car was fine--it's easy to be paranoid about these things and feel distortions that aren't there, but I think it's fine. I'll ask the dealer to have a look nonetheless. Thanks again.
JJ Rodger
1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC
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