Squeaky Steering- Turn signal Problems - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Squeaky Steering- Turn signal Problems

All...I noticed my steering column was quite squeaky a few weeks ago. now the turn signals will not turn off automatically once the car turns. In addition the BAS/ESP and ABS lights show up intermittently.

Please help.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 06:47 PM
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Hello and welcome. I am just finishing up addressing the same problem with my '98. The problem turned out to be the bracket which holds the combination (turn signal) switch was slightly loose on the steering column. Does the switch itself rotate a little on your column? If so, you may have the same problem I had. I pulled the steering wheel, combination switch, column cover, etc. and moved the bracket that hold the combination switch forward about 1/8" and tightened in down (large phillips). Turn signal cancelling pawl now engages and all works fine.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by boydm View Post
Hello and welcome. I am just finishing up addressing the same problem with my '98. The problem turned out to be the bracket which holds the combination (turn signal) switch was slightly loose on the steering column. Does the switch itself rotate a little on your column? If so, you may have the same problem I had. I pulled the steering wheel, combination switch, column cover, etc. and moved the bracket that hold the combination switch forward about 1/8" and tightened in down (large phillips). Turn signal cancelling pawl now engages and all works fine.
This has been a common problem for many of us. If you are not a DYI'r, just bring it to your indy. They will take care of it in short order.

Mike

I don't downshift often, but when I do, it is next to a Prius so I can show them how I am hurting the environment! -
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 02:42 PM
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I'm going through this issue now on my '01. I have most of it disassembled and I confirmed that the bracket is loose.

I can't figure out how to remove the plastic column shroud so that I can get at the phillips screw.

Any hints?

I could just drill a hole in the bottom of it, enough to pass a screwdriver through
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 04:06 PM
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I was too impatient to wait for advice on how to disassemble that plastic cover, so I went a head and drilled a 3/8 inch hole through the bottom of the plastic steering column surround.

It worked out perfectly.

The big phillips head on the bracket conveniently points at an angle toward the center of the bottom of the column cover. I made the hole through the plastic cover, at the bottom, right next to the expanding leather collar that ties the cover to the dash. It allowed me to poke a large phillips screwdriver through and crank that bracket tight, after repositioning it.

The only way anyone could ever see the hole is to lie on their back in the footwell.

Amazing! The seemingly unrelated problems of the steering squeak, the turn signal lever that fails to return, and the ESP/ABS lights - all fixed.

For anyone else facing this issue, it was not too daunting a task. It only took a couple of hours, and now that I have done it once, I could repeat the job in about half an hour, like this:

- Remove the negative lead from the battery. You don't want to accidentally explode the airbag in your face.
- There are two holes in the padded back of the steering where the bolts that hold on the airbag are inset. Get a Torx T30 bit at least 3" long. The inset holes are to narrow for any kind of socket, so the driver bit has to be long enough to reach. Remove the airbag, and unplug the connectors.
- Ensure the steering is pointed straight ahead and the wheel is level.
- Put the ignition in position one so that the wheel lock is disengaged.
- Make a scratch or a mark on the edge of the bolt to use an an indicator when you retighten it later.
- Use a 10mm male hex socket and a long breaker bar to undo the bolt that holds the wheel. I had to improvise with a 10mm allan key and a 30 " length of steel pipe. You have to put some muscle into it. I tried my little electric impact driver first, but it didn't budge. I wasn't going to try an air impact driver, because it seemed to extreme.
- Undo the small phillips screws that hold the angle sensor (round black plastic thing). Make sure the screws stay in it so that it doesn't come apart. Pull it off the column.
- Undo the three larger phillips screws that hold the turn and cruise control levers. Pull the levers out of the way.
- Those three screws go into the bracket that is clamped to the steering column with a large phillips head bolt. This is the bracket that is presumably loose, and causing the problems.
- Here's where my method of drilling a hole for the screwdriver comes in. You either have to get that plastic cover out of the way or go through it to access the phillips head.
- I positioned the bracket with some trial and error. I loosened it, then screwed the lever assembly to it, and then moved it all around until the little stem from the turn lever was riding above the metal column but not rubbing on it. ( I think this will make sense when you see it).
- Reassemble. Be very careful not to overtighten the small screws that hold the angle sensor. the holes could strip out very easily. Use threadlocker on the steering wheel bolt and make sure you tighten it until it returns at least to the same position as it started.

Last edited by dbischoff; 09-03-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-04-2011, 10:07 PM
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Kind of makes you wonder why Mercedes didn't just leave an access hole there, doesn't it?
It isn't like anybody is going to see it!
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 03:34 PM
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YES!!!

I just wanted to chime in here that I was having the same problems exactly- 99 SL500- and this FIXED IT!!! I even did the 'hole drill' thing- 20 minutes later all is well!!!
Thanks for posting this!




Quote:
Originally Posted by redtees1 View Post
All...I noticed my steering column was quite squeaky a few weeks ago. now the turn signals will not turn off automatically once the car turns. In addition the BAS/ESP and ABS lights show up intermittently.

Please help.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all! Looks like a lot of work for me. smile I will show my mechanic your responses however! Thanks for the help.

Cheryl "Redtees" Badger
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dbischoff View Post
I was too impatient to wait for advice on how to disassemble that plastic cover, so I went a head and drilled a 3/8 inch hole through the bottom of the plastic steering column surround.
Having to drill a hole seems a bit drastic. There must be a MB process. Possibly in the R129 STAR Service Manual.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 03:10 PM
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Anyone ever figure this one out? I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the column cover off, so I can tighten that darn screw. I'm not much for hole drilling, so might just bundle it back up and do some more research. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

Adam
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