Death Wobble & Transmission Issues - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 01:05 PM
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Death Wobble & Transmission Issues

I think my car has the "death wobble."

Driving on highway between 55-65 mph, the steering wheel starts to violently shake left to right. The only way to get rid of the noise is to slow down to about 35-45 mph and wait for it to go away. Now, I am relegated to the slow lane going 55 mph. When I spoke to the dealership about the issue and said it was the steering shock (I believe it is aka steering damper) needed to be replaced at a cost of around $600 including labor and tax, etc. I told them no thanks. I'm thinking of keeping it in the garage as a project car. Anyone else have this problem? I did a search about it and all points towards steering damper. Is this something I can do at home? I have a lot of free time these days and thought about dabbling into car repair. Any input would be great.

Problem #2

She's having a problem with the transmission I suspect. She downshifts really hard and upshifting is takes forever unless the car is already warmed up. I'm talking 35-40 mph and pulling 3500 RPMs. It surely sounds nice but it sucks when you have to take an on ramp and can't go more than 45 mph. Once it shifts, the car is fine and will behave for the most part. Of course, that is until the "death wobble" begins. Any insight or help will be great.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 01:27 PM
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Diesel Giant says that the steering damper is only for $48.00 including shipping and it is super easy to install. Maybe, you should call them?

Back to the* Mercedes Diesel parts for sale Damper

As for the transmission, I will leave that for the gurus to answer

Cheers
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 01:29 PM
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It could be as simple as you threw a tire weight and your tire is off balance. That could cause it. Take and have your tires checked for balance. Shoud only colst you a $20.00 spot. At least you will know. I threw a weight once and the tire shook at certain speed ranges.

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#4 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 01:31 PM
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As for problem #2, what does it do in Reverse? That is a good indicator that the bands are about to go. At least that is what I was told when mine went out, and I had the same symptoms as you.

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#5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclare View Post
It could be as simple as you threw a tire weight and your tire is off balance. That could cause it. Take and have your tires checked for balance. Shoud only colst you a $20.00 spot. At least you will know. I threw a weight once and the tire shook at certain speed ranges.
If he threw a weight, should it not be visually confirmable? (pardon the English).

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#6 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 05:31 PM
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Not necessarily, as it is likely that the tires have been changed more than once on the same rims and an integral part of that job is to re-balance the tires. What you'll see in that case would be the scars of past wheel weights.
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 06:48 AM
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As far as putting the car in reverse:

The gear is put into reverse and it takes about 3-5 seconds before reverse is engaged.

Tires:
I have 18 inch tires and the front driver's side tire is balding towards the sidewall facing the road. The "death wobble" has happened before about 4 years ago. My dad told me that they had it fixed. I guess it is back again.

Thanks for all of your input.
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 07:10 AM
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Yep steering damper is cheap and easy. Possibly not that though if you have one balding tyre. i'd be tempted to take it for a four wheel alignment and see what they say. It would have to be a Mercedes experienced four wheel alignment shop though, maybe look for one that has the 'Hunter' equipment. If it has a fault they will likely be able to show it to you.
Dramatic improvement on my cars directional stability after this. It takes a while and costs more but the normal sort of alignment didnt do anything for the car at all. I didnt have death wobble though.

Wobble problems i have had before have been buckled alloys, bad balancing job, out of shape tyre, badly centred wheels. (Wrong hub size and inaccurate hubcentric rings.)

Unfortunately i think your reverse being slow to engage is not ideal.

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#9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 07:15 AM
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my wobble problems were solved by:

New front tires (balanced properly)
Steering shock
new rotors

]"I'm not getting into that Nazi sled." [/B]
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 12:16 PM
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Slow to engage reverse is a common old benz issue
Just be patient when shifting and it could go on like that fine for years
$600 for a steering shock replacement goes beyond over priced and into " this guy looks naive lets rip him off" territory
I suggest you ask him to break down the cost for you
The shock is held in by to easily accessible bolts and the shock itself is worth less than $100 new and thats being generous

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