Alignment/Tire wear/Steering wheel alignment - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 05-30-2015
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Alignment/Tire wear/Steering wheel alignment

I recently had an A/C issue and when the car was at the shop they called and informed me that I needed an alignment as indicated by uneven tire wear. I had noticed a pull to the right, so I had the alignment done. When I picked up the car, there was a slight pull to the right but not as bad as before. I also noticed that the steering wheel was not top center when I was going straight. It I put the wheel straight, the car turned slightly left.

I think the steering wheel alignment must be fixed. I do not think it should be off (as I have read in other threads).

I measured the tread depth on the front tires and have 6mm in the center three grooves and 3-4 on both inside and outside treads. I do not see excessive wear on either the inside or outside.

The cause of the pull could be road crown, although I took it out and drove it in both the right and left lanes of the interstate and still get a light pull. I suspect I will be told it is the tires, but I cannot see an excessive wear as I stated.

Before I take it back, I would like to solicit opinions. Should I only complain about the steering wheel alignment? Should I ask for a mechanic to ride with me and explain why the car pulls? I think if they claim it is the tires, I would just live with it until I need new tires.

Thanks,
Jeff
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#2 Old 05-30-2015
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Jeff,
While I have noticed some slight outside front tire wear with my '06 280 with 16" wheels, one of the things I love about my SLK is that it tracks straight on the road. You let go of the wheel and it stays straight as an arrow. FYI I had the last alignment done at the Mercedes dealer.

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Gene
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#3 Old 05-30-2015
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Your right, the steering wheel should be straight and the car should track straight on a flat road, you paid good money for that and they should fix it.

The front tire wear, sounds like they are under inflated. The tire wear should be a little less tread depth on the inside to more on the outside, unless you drive a lot curves road, then close to equal.


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#4 Old 06-01-2015
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Interesting. I hit a pothole a couple of weeks ago and had the wheels/tires replaced on the left side. The right side tires were not damaged. The right side tires probably have 8 K miles more on them than the new left side tires.
The car was aligned after the wheel/tire install. I drove the car about 1K miles and noted the the bottom of the steering wheel is cocked a bit to the right and the car definitely pulls to the right.
Right now the car is at an MB dealer getting aligned and balanced. I told them that the steering wheel must be centered and the car shouldn't pull to the right, like it does now, when the steering wheel is released. They told me that a visual inspection did not show any obvious damage.
When I had the 2009 SLK 300 I had a similar problem. The dealer alignment centered the steering wheel and got rid of the pull to the right.
Does anyone have any experience with running new tires on one side and tires with 10 miles on the other side? I'm wondering if that is contributing to the pulling right problem.
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