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Old 11-16-2003, 10:39 PM
chazola's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dorset, United Kingdom
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Question 300E 70mph Vibration and Wonky Steering

was flying past lots of ugly SUV's on the Turnpike today and noticed some vibration through my steering and accelerator pedal @ 70mph +. Not terrible, but enough to notice. Also have noticed the car tends to drive to the right with the steering wheel straight and needs noticable correction to the left to steer straight- i.e. my wheel is tilted about 1" to the left on a normal straight road.
Checked tyre pressures and visual condition-seems they're fine; tyres have on 5k on them. I just got this car used and I haven't had the alignment done. Car has had MB servicing it's whole life, and has 192k on it. Do you think it could be just alignment or something more serious?
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Old 11-16-2003, 11:59 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
The very first thing I would have checked is the tires. Vibration can be a tread separating, no matter what the brand or milage on the tires. Age is more important than milage.

From there, check the entire steering system linkage for play -- tie rod ends, drag link, idler arm, ball joints, shocks. While you are at it, check the wheel bearings -- a loose set will allow the wheel to both wobble and run at an angle.

I'd not bother to get an alignment done until you know the steering is OK, it won't be possible to set the toe if anthing is loose!

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:24 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096
In addition to psfred's good comments, I would add:

If the rear end tends to feel a little loose at highway speeds, like its being blown side to side by the wind .. check the rear suspension-

The rear suspension has five links per side. The upper diagonal link can contribute to the symptoms you described. But other worn parts can also contribute, some more expensive while others not very hard to replace or expensive.

The rear sway bar bushings are cheap and easy to replace as are the vertical links connecting the sway bar to the rear suspension. On a 1991 the bushings might be worn check the links.

Further, do the front sway bar bushings as well. Again easy and inexpensive and the results are great! (No link on the front) This is something a non-mechanical person could do. I did this on all my cars.

91 300E's, great cars!
'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
Sounds like your car is following the crown in the road.
At 192K in PA, that would be "classic" symptoms of worn front balljoints. If they have not been replaced already...

Of course, there are other possibilities, as mentioned.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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Old 11-18-2003, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 11
Just out of curiosity would anyone know how much a ball joint replacement can cost?

I think I would need to get it done for my CLK soon
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