ESP light and wonky steering wheel

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Active Member
Aug 25, 2017
Torquay UK
E class 320 cdi sport 2007
I did a 200 mile motorway drive and when I was pulling into my road at the end of it the ESP light came on.

Next day I drive to work and noticed the steering wheel is about 20 degrees off to the left. If I held it straight I would be in the hedge within 10 metres.

I can’t remember hitting anything. Looking at the front tyres they have worn unevenly and are getting bald on the inner edges but the rest of the tyre is like brand new. They are 12000 miles old. The previous 3 sets of fronts have done the exact same even after Hunter full alignment.

Any ideas what could be causing the light and wonk? And any advice on the order of work I should get done? Tyres - suspension check - alignment?? Also got the MOT in a couple of weeks so should I wait for that first??

Pic of me driving on a straight road in a straight line.


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Steering angle sensor ?

Lock to lock a few times should reset it.
For the steering wheel to suddenly be off straight by that amount something has happened. It could be a bush or bearing failure, or even a seriously delaminated tyre. Whatever, you need to get it checked out immediately as it could potentially be unsafe
The steering wheel connects to the steering wheel column by splines, so the wheel itself can't move in relation to the column. If the steering wheel is off-centre, then the issue must be further down (steering box or steering rods etc).

Take it to a wheel alignment place and get the suspension checked and the steering wheel centered (without removing the steering wheel from the column....). Once this is done, chances are that the Steering Wheel Position Sensor will be happy (might need reset via STAR) and the ESP fault will also go away.

PS - if one of rods is bent, you'll need a new one, but see what the garage say first.
Took it for tracking and they diagnosed a split in the lower arm. Super dangerous was their opinion. New arm is about £250 from MB apparently. The car is in the garage having it replaced.


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Car is back. They had to replace the inner bush and retaining bolt as well as the arm. Now the steering wheel is off centre in the other direction and the ESP light comes on at 60+ whereas before it came on at 25mph. Need to get it back to the alignment centre and then hopefully it will be sorted. The old arm was rotten and was holding on by a few mm of steel. Very lucky to still be in one piece. They checked the other side and said it was sound but may need replacing in their couple of years.
Tracking done, steering wheel straight and no ESP light. Just need to keep an eye on the other side now.

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