Steering stability poor (I think) - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 02-10-2010
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Steering stability poor (I think)

Hi,

I recently got an SLK230 quite cheaply as a "fun" second car. I'm very pleased with it but there are a few things to sort. I guess I'll be making a few posts here

Anyway... I don't feel that the steering "stability" is as good as it might be. The car is not exactly dangerous but it requires some constant engagement to keep it going in a straight line. Pot holes and the like can "tramline" it quite badly.

Before I go and rip the front suspension to bits looking for worn bits, would I be right in thinking that it shouldn't be like this and is there anything in particular that I should check first??

Cheers!
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#2 Old 02-10-2010
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It should be nice and tight. Yours is going on twelve years old, so if all of the front end is original, it's likely time for a full or partial rebuild.

Len
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#3 Old 02-10-2010
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steering stabilizer is the most common . cost is less than 30$ american and takes 20 minutes to replace.
as for tramlining if the tires have any wear and with the use of wider tires in the front its a common occurance. check on a level straight piece of road and see if it wanders.
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#4 Old 02-10-2010
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Hello, as the previous post has suggested, I would change the steering damper first, about Ł20 from a Dealer. You can do it by just leaning under the car, only 2 bolts to remove/refit, regards Damian.
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#5 Old 02-10-2010
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Hi, i recently got a 99 230 and have noticed tramlining and vague steering and this was due to a massive toe out, which killed the tyres on the inside edge and they were almost new on the outside. Definitly worth having an alignment check providing mechanicals are sound.
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#6 Old 02-10-2010
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If you say "tramline" as the cars keeps going up and down after hiting a pot hole suggest you look at the shocks.
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#7 Old 02-11-2010
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Hi,

Thanks, firstly!!

Sorry US/UK variations in English. By tramline I mean if you go over studs or some other feature in the road it tends to drag you in that direction - the steering wheel gets pulled out of your hand.

I had a look... the tyres are definitely an issue. They are completely different makes and tread patterns, one is almost new and the other is marginally legal. It also shows uneven wear (mostly on the inside). So, new front tyres I think. (Tires if you prefer )

The bushes all seem solid and I can't detect any undue movement in anything but this was just on a hydraulic jack which I know isn't ideal.

The dampers look somewhere between original and very old and with 150K miles on the clock they may be up for replacement. It's not bouncy however.

I take it the steering damper is that thing right up against the engine bulkhead under the front of the transmission?
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#8 Old 02-11-2010
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steering dampner is in front conneting the steering linkage together
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#9 Old 02-11-2010
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check your tire pressure and make sure they're the exact same also check how worn your tires are.
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