Power Steering Going Hard When Parking - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R171 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 280, SLK 300, SLK 350, SLK 55 AMG

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#1 Old 2 Days Ago
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Power Steering Going Hard When Parking

Strange one this. I've looked on all sorts of MB forums and not found a similar issue.
2005 SLK350. Steering perfect most of the time, both moving and parking. But occasionally at parking speeds it will go hard. It will turn with a real heft but no assistance yet when you force the wheel it suddenly goes free, just like overcoming an obstruction.


I suspected slipping belt or low fluid but belts are recent, can't hear any slippage or untoward noise. Fluid is correct level so ruling that out.


Also suspected low pump pressure at tickover so tried putting it in park and revving but no improvement so thinking unlikely to be pump.


I gather some models had a speed sensitive solenoid. Do all 350s have this? I have carsoft but away right now so haven't tried it. Would carsoft detect a fault with the sensor?


I guess it might just be a case of replacing bits until I find the fault (I do everything myself) Used racks and pumps are not that expensive but just trying to narrow down which it's likely to be. I guess it has to be one of the three?


Are all 350 racks the same or did they vary a lot?



All advice appreciated.


Thanks
Dave
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#2 Old 2 Days Ago
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@frogfoot have you played with yours?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avel Du View Post
@frogfoot have you played with yours?


Not had a issue with the power steering nor heard about it on a slk.....I know it is a issue on merc sprinters and the cure is a new rack as I have changed a fair few due to steering going very heavy in full lock.
As for slk not sure , sorry
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Originally Posted by Dave100 View Post
Strange one this. I've looked on all sorts of MB forums and not found a similar issue.
2005 SLK350. Steering perfect most of the time, both moving and parking. But occasionally at parking speeds it will go hard. It will turn with a real heft but no assistance yet when you force the wheel it suddenly goes free, just like overcoming an obstruction.


I suspected slipping belt or low fluid but belts are recent, can't hear any slippage or untoward noise. Fluid is correct level so ruling that out.


Also suspected low pump pressure at tickover so tried putting it in park and revving but no improvement so thinking unlikely to be pump.


I gather some models had a speed sensitive solenoid. Do all 350s have this? I have carsoft but away right now so haven't tried it. Would carsoft detect a fault with the sensor?


I guess it might just be a case of replacing bits until I find the fault (I do everything myself) Used racks and pumps are not that expensive but just trying to narrow down which it's likely to be. I guess it has to be one of the three?


Are all 350 racks the same or did they vary a lot?



All advice appreciated.


Thanks
Dave

Not all 350's (or any model btw) have SPS. Check your datacard for option 213.
The electronics that control the SPS solenoid are integrated in the ESP/BAS control unit.
In other posts you mention problems with ESP/BAS, ESP and/or BAS light coming on intermittently, so this that could be related to this problem.
Afaik racks for SPS and non-SPS are different and not interchangable.
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Thanks Pete


Actually the previous ABS/BAS light posts were for my 320, solved by replacing the sensor by the gearstick. No warning light issues on the 350. Looks like I need to find the VIN number and get the datacard.
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Thanks Avel and Frogfoot. Imagine Merc racks are pretty similar. The SPS system if fitted is probably the main difference. I can see how a rack could go hard consistently at full lock. Just seems more of a power assistance issue than the actual rack sticking as most of the time it's fine. Happened twice today and I parked in quite a few places with no issues. Turn the wheel really hard against the resistance around the straight ahead and it breaks free. Fine when I'm driving as I'm strong enough to overcome it, not so good if my wife drives it :-)
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There were two variations on the speed sensitive steering, one had the actuator on the pump, the other on the rack. A scan would be a good start.
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Right, I've checked the datacard. No option 213 and no other steering related options. So am I right in assuming I don't have the speed sensitive steering? So that means it has to be a mechanical/hydraulical rather than electrical problem? Therefore scan won't reveal anything? Or are there other electrical sensors that could be involved? Thanks again all.
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thinking outside the box......could it have a badly worn ball joint , strut top bearing starting to seize up , broken front coil spring .
any of these could also cause stiff steering at a certain position.
worth a look b4 diving into pumps and racks

just a thought


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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogfoot View Post
thinking outside the box......could it have a badly worn ball joint , strut top bearing starting to seize up , broken front coil spring .
any of these could also cause stiff steering at a certain position.
worth a look b4 diving into pumps and racks

just a thought

I Agree - an in-the-air inspection is in order here.



It should be easy to confirm there's no electrical solenoid (no electrical connectors) present on steering pump or rack.
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#11 Old 15 Hours Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogfoot View Post
thinking outside the box......could it have a badly worn ball joint , strut top bearing starting to seize up , broken front coil spring .
any of these could also cause stiff steering at a certain position.
worth a look b4 diving into pumps and racks

just a thought

Thanks Frogfoot. Not impossible. However it passed MOT test and also, when the steering is hard it's also smooth, exactly as you'd expect with power steering failure so thinking unlikely.
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Just scanned it with my icarsoft. Getting 9352 steering angle sensor speed too high, 9353 steering angle sensor has overflow and voltage at terminal 30 too low. Actual value is 12.2 volts (also noticed voltage to electronic ignition too low)



Not sure though if steering angle sensor has any input to power steering? Is this not more related to esp/abs system?

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#13 Old 14 Hours Ago
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Also just noticed that with ignition on/engine off I don't have BAS/ESP light showing. Only have SRS and ABS lights plus brake shoe symbol and (!) in triangle. Should I have BAS/ESP lighting up too? Suspecting warning light disconnected.
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