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Registered 1997 SLK230
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139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've owned my R170 for nearly four years and I love it, but if asked I would say it's great except for the steering which is a bit rubbish. This is not, I believe, a radical new criticism of early SLKs.

I drive up and down an A road here on Anglesey quite a lot (A5025) and it's pretty poor condition. (I'm not sure what they spend my Road Tax on, certainly not roads as far as I can see - more likely bombs, but - whatever). It suffers from grooves where the surface has been worn away by tyres, and in the SLK this has been disconcerting to drive on, the car pulls into the grooves badly, and in general the steering could be described as vague.

I inherited quite good (looking) tyres when I bought the car, Kumho Ecsta SPTs with maybe 6mm of tread depth - but yesterday I decided they looked a bit worn on the front (nowhere near illegal, but far from great) so I had them replaced, with my local tyre depots recommendation of Nexen N Blues. Yes, I know, not the most well known of brands, and they were cheap, 2 for £100. I wasn't expecting much.

But... revelation! The tramlining has all but disappeared, the steering feels normal and no longer vague. It's like another car. A better car. I couldn't be happier.

So... okay I don't have long term experience of these tyres, but if you've got Kumhos fitted and the car likes to steer itself... get 'em replaced!

(Not that you probably would be interested, but I have a mini-site all about my car here : www.r953yau.co.uk)
 

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Registered 1997 SLK230
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271 Posts
Glad you had a result. it sounds like your R170 steered very much like mine used to. It was so disconcerting that I was surprised nothing showed up at 4 MOTs. Changing the steering damper made a noticeable improvement but nothing like as noticeable as the £20 for a new Lemforder steering idler bush kit. The final eradication of steering issues was when I too got new front tyres fitted.

Enjoy the driving.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

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Super Moderator CA 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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14,237 Posts
Over here, Nexen are a Walmart house brand. Got 'em on my wife's civic and I'm pleased with their performance (as are you) AND they are less $$$ (ie cheap )than other brands.
 
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Registered 2002 SLK32 AMG
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233 Posts
Good to hear you guys are getting the steering concerns sorted! I've never been happy with Kumho tires, I had them on one of my old cars and hated them. They also came stock on my brother's car and were horribly noisy and no good in snow. He asked my opinion when it came time for a new set, I steered him to a set of Michelins and he's thanked me profusely ever since, it made a completely different car out of his :grin:
 

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Hi Paul

had a similar issue with my R170 when I bought it a year ago. New tyres and good wheel alignment and a new damper transformed the steering. I love driving it now. She has other issues of course but in a car this age it is to be expected. Cymru am byth haha
 
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