New to R171...steering question - 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 1 Week Ago
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New to R171...steering question

Hi to all. I am not new to Mercedes I run a ML AMG but I am new to the MB 280 SLK 2009 year. I am in the process of buying this car. I have postponed purchase until I satisfy myself that all is well. My Question is this.....I test drove the car over the weekend and on starting out I noticed that the steering felt quite heavy...the steering improved with speed but still felt the need to constantly adjust. Also, when turning out of the side road to join the flow of traffic the steering didn't "self centre" I had to physically straighten the wheel If I had left the car to self centre it simply wouldn't have done and would have turned into the on coming traffic. Is this normal for the SLK or should I walk away from the purchase. Thanks Roy
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#2 Old 1 Week Ago
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I don't have a facelift model but my car is self-center.

Remote installation of Passthru, C4 DAS/Star Mercedes, XENTRY,EPC/WIS
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#3 Old 1 Week Ago
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I have 2007 350


My steering does self center, but it does so very slowly at low (car park) speeds, so I do need to steer it straight when coming out of very slow corners.


Once past about 15-20mph then it feels fine, but I wouldnt use self centering at this speed.



Directional stability on the motorway is fine, and i could drive (say if eating a pie and using a mobile at the same time) with no hands on the steering wheel and feel safe (its my wife who doesnt feel safe when I do this)



I have just had a four wheel alignment done, and it is in specification in all aspects.


Also the steering is heavy at low speeds, but fine at higher speeds



I find it odd compared to a modern family car, but just put it down to a characteristic, and maybe it adds greater "feel" or neutral handling.



If you are in doubt, ask to get a four wheel alignment check done.
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#4 Old 1 Week Ago
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@RYM

My steering is exactly as @G0RSQ describes it. And just as his (judging by his datacard) mine is lacking option 213 SPS (Speedsensitive Power Steering). First one I had without and when I testdrove it I immediately noticed the symptoms as described. To be honest, I don't miss it, I like it better without the option.


So check your datacard, if it lacks option 213 then it might (might mind you, impossible for me to tell without driving it) be working as designed.
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Quote:
but still felt the need to constantly adjust
The car may be in need a 4 wheel alignment, some suspension control parts and or new tires.

I just bought a '08 280 in May and find the steering to be superb. It self centers nicely. It is the first car I've had in some time that I could take my eyes off the road for a second or two and look back to find the car still centered in the road. My steering is speed sensitive and a bit stiffer than other cars I've owned with power steering. My tires are Continental with about 35% tread remaining.

If you find the steering lacking I suggest you take it to an alignment shop and ask them to check the suspension for worn parts. If you chose to not do this I would walk. There are good ones out there just be patient. In your search be mindful that when someone decides to sell a car they usually suspend spending money on upkeep and you will find some things in need of TLC

Dennis
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#6 Old 1 Week Ago
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I had the same issues - our SLK200 steering feels hugely heavy compared to my S213. I changed the fluid and checked everything and in the end asked a mechanic. He said it was fine, and subsequent reading indicates this is the case.

If you really want to feel what it’s like try turning the wheel with the engine off - that’s stiff!
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#7 Old 1 Week Ago
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Great replies...thanks for the advice. I am beginning to think the steering is ok and I feel inclined to go ahead with the purchase now. Thanks a
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#8 Old 6 Days Ago
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The steering does feel stiff compared with other modern cars - presumably for more feel.

Presumbly you know that if you go in to:

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

input the registration number you will see the MOT history of the vehicle.......can be very useful such as one car viewed had a report of 'severe corrosion' - exit stage left, although the dealer thought it was a superb car!
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#9 Old 6 Days Ago
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Good advice redleader. Thank you. Roy
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Check tyre pressures - run them on the high side.
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Another thought, these guys on here are all smart and experienced. Just a different thought might be a weak steering pump.?
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#12 Old 3 Days Ago
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Originally Posted by Panasoffkee View Post
Another thought, these guys on here are all smart and experienced. Just a different thought might be a weak steering pump.?

Or even just a little low on fluid for that matter. I guess a lot depends on how many miles the car has
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#13 Old 3 Days Ago
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I am grateful to everyone for their help in answering my original query. I recently obtained the Data Card for this vehicle and it hadn't got the Speed Sensitive Steering option. So I think that kind of resolves the worry about the steering being a little heavy. I am grateful for all your suggestions and help. Thanks
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#14 Old 2 Days Ago
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Just to bowl in with any additional confirmation if needed...

My wife has a brand new Audi Q3.
When I jump into her car the steering now feels totally 'flimsy' - its as light as a feather compared to my SLK.

You do get totally used to it to the point a modern car with the kind of power assisted steering they have, feels like a toy.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RYM View Post
I am grateful to everyone for their help in answering my original query. I recently obtained the Data Card for this vehicle and it hadn't got the Speed Sensitive Steering option. So I think that kind of resolves the worry about the steering being a little heavy. I am grateful for all your suggestions and help. Thanks
I still say check tyre pressures, and set them on the high side. Most people tend to under-inflate low profile tyres. This leads to sub-optimal handling, steering, tyre wear and likely damage to the rim when you hit a pot hole or some other obstacle.
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#16 Old 16 Minutes Ago
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When I purchased my R171 SLK350 I thought the same thing. The steering is heavy and it had a sluggish feel to it. What it was was wheel alignment, predominantly the rear. Once I had the 4 wheel alignment done, the steering came alive, no sluggishness and heaps lighter.
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