Steering wheel off center??

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by hindesbeans, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. hindesbeans

    hindesbeans Member

    May 14, 2008
    E220 & SLK230
    Any advise please,

    i took a w reg w2o2 c220 cdi sport diesel estate 129k on the clock out for a test drive today and i loved the car except for a couple of niggles.

    Whilst driving in a straight line the steering wheel actually sits slightly off center to the right. The car doesnt pull to the right and when the brakes are applied it brakes in a straight line as well. What could this be??

    He has also just had one of the injectors replaced, is this the start of something more sinister. It does have yearly stamps in the book but very little in the way of receipts for work actually carried out, other than emissions tests.

    It also has 1 and 1/2 keys. One key is the remote key and works fine, the other is a very slim key which has no remote on it. It unlocks the driver door and starts the car, but only locks the drivers door not all the others. Are replacement keys expensive.

    Thanks in advance for any help, especially about the steering.

  2. SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

    Mar 16, 2004
    1994 W124 E300D Estate, 1985 R107 280SL
    could of been removed and put on slightly crooked, or just not aligned when tracking was done....

  3. nigel cross

    nigel cross Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Jan 8, 2005
    W164 ML350 Audi S4
    Are you talking about driving position od the steeing wheel?
    I came from a 5 series BMW and noticed it the first time I drove mine.
    You get used to the offset.
  4. Leemc2008

    Leemc2008 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Jul 21, 2008
    BMW e39 540i 4.4 V8
    Its had the tracking done, and the mechanic hasnt put the steering wheel dead centre..

    Mine is the same, I've yet to get it sorted out..
  5. franey

    franey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Nov 25, 2007
    W124 300d , W124 300d 24v, Isuzu Tipper
    Sometimes with steering there is a bit more to it.
    When the car starts pulling to one side, the first thing people generally tend to do is go and get it tracked. That's fine if everything else is ok on everything else and nothing is worn.
    But sometimes there is wear or play on other parts of the suspension. For example if the wishbone bushes are worn then there may be some pulling to one side.
    More often than not this is compensated for by having the tracking checked and or adjusted.
    A quick fix but it will return.
    Let's say that 11 months down the line the car fails the MOT on the bushes. Replace them and there goes the tracking setting!

    In my opinion I would have all the bushes and joints etc checked before adjusting the tracking. May be a false economy to do it otherwise.
  6. wheels-inmotion

    wheels-inmotion Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    May 18, 2008
    Hemel Hempstead
    Daily hog is a Vectra
    The most common complaint after front wheel alignment is the end position of the steering wheel this is a visual indication that
    1: The workmanship was poor
    2: The equipment is inadequate
    3: Alignment was never the real problem
    4: The manufactured cars axle is miss-aligned

    Nearly every alignment test in the World is sold to the customer by the shop based on visual wear on the tyres at the end of there life, inevitable history of past alignment problems would still exist on the face of the tyre, born from this visible wear and potential loss of the new replacements a customer could assume a problem still exists and is easily sold.

    Taking 1 to 4 here are my thoughts)-

    1: No legal responsibility is required to ascertain the understanding of the technician who sets the direction of your £50.000 (theoretical) car with the new £500 front tyres, most common is a 'drive by' smattering of knowledge that involves undoing of nuts and about ten minutes additional time whilst you pay the bill, (so knowledge maybe why)

    2: There are many machines on the market that promise different levels of alignment, most common is 'front wheel alignment' this form is the most damaging and by today's standard only suitable for the horse and cart, can i remind you that the car has 'Four Wheels', (so the equipment maybe why)

    3: With the magnitude of problems expressed though the tyres during their life span it would be easy to assume alignment is to blame. Current issues with the Geometry or the cars health in general will cause untold affects toward the tyres and handling, this does not dismiss the fact that 'at the time' the alignment may be incorrect, (so maybe the car is why)

    4: There are occasional manufacturing reasons that deceives the operator, this is unusual and depends on equipment, this is most times geometrically undetectable (so maybe the construction is why)

    Taking all possibilities into consideration the common denominator is the Thrust Angle the cars true centre that most angles depend on as reference......simple as that!

    // (click to re-size)

    Any method that attempts to imagine the front wheels forward position relative the the fixed rear thrust angle will result in the need for the driver to compensate and manufacture a new centre line at the steering wheel, if any adjustments made do not respect the true 'Thrust Angle' then the resulting drive will mean the steering wheel is off-line.

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