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Just got to CT to visit my folks and was picked up by my dad in his well-cared for 1995 S500 with only 57K miles. He complained about a weird vibration when turning left. I offered to switch places with him behind the wheel to experience it for myself. Sure enough there was a thumping vibration when turning as if a tie rod were loose! I was hesitant to push the car to any great degree as I had visions of the front suspension failing. Driving cautiously on the slow lane I maintained a speed of about 60-65 mph. The car was vibrating unusually even when driving in a straight line.

My dad had recently received a "safety brake inspection" from the MB dealership where he had purchased an E500 wagon for my mother. They claimed to have only reviewed the brakes and had not done anything to the suspension. I was hesitant to drive the car any further and once home began inspecting the front end.

Well, to our amazement the front left wheel was missing a lug bolt and TWO were loose enogh that I was able to turn them with the ends of my finger tips! Imagine that--after receiving and passing a safety inspection, the dealership had actual put us in harm's way. If we had driven much further I am confident that the wheel may have been jettison from the car! I believe a conversation with the service manager is in order.
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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Yea, but before you want to be sure that there is nothing wrong with the car that may have caused this, or you will be red faced. But if it is all sound go kick some ass.
 

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1996 S320 LWB, Polar White
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NZ Benz said:
Yea, but before you want to be sure that there is nothing wrong with the car that may have caused this, or you will be red faced. But if it is all sound go kick some ass.
OK I'll bite. What could be "wrong with the car" that would cause three lug bolts to back out? My imagination is failing me at the moment.

best regards,

Walter Owens
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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waltbald said:
OK I'll bite. What could be "wrong with the car" that would cause three lug bolts to back out? My imagination is failing me at the moment.

best regards,

Walter Owens
Yea I know odds are nothing, but you never know. Best to be 100% sure than have egg on ones face.
 

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Come on, they are torqued to something like what 85 ft lb, it's in the user manual. Dollars to donuts the tech stuck the wheel on, spun the lug bolts by hand or rachet to place wheel on hub and went looking for the torque wrench, got distracted and someone decided the car was done and took it off the lift. They just don't come undone by anything other than a rather long handled wrench. Even then if someone who doesn't care much about manufacture specs used an air wrench they could be at 300 ftlb and nothing you'll have in the car would remove the lugs, very nasty if you really need to change that tire on the highway, and besides that likely warping the rotors.

You are lucky because a friend of mine had a set of tires force balanced on his G280 by a GM dealer (they own the only equipment in town that does this). The tech there forgot to tighten the rear driver side lugs, so about 300 miles later it suddenly vibrates and as my friend pulls off the highway the rear wheel parts company from his G-wagon

I think the total bill came to > $3K to replace the broken rear axle and rim.

Have the dealer check the lug bolts and rim for damage and if any, perhaps a new rim at their cost is in order.
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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68882 said:
Come on, they are torqued to something like what 85 ft lb, it's in the user manual. Dollars to donuts the tech stuck the wheel on, spun the lug bolts by hand or rachet to place wheel on hub and went looking for the torque wrench, got distracted and someone decided the car was done and took it off the lift. They just don't come undone by anything other than a rather long handled wrench. Even then if someone who doesn't care much about manufacture specs used an air wrench they could be at 300 ftlb and nothing you'll have in the car would remove the lugs, very nasty if you really need to change that tire on the highway, and besides that likely warping the rotors.

You are lucky because a friend of mine had a set of tires force balanced on his G280 by a GM dealer (they own the only equipment in town that does this). The tech there forgot to tighten the rear driver side lugs, so about 300 miles later it suddenly vibrates and as my friend pulls off the highway the rear wheel parts company from his G-wagon

I think the total bill came to > $3K to replace the broken rear axle and rim.

Have the dealer check the lug bolts and rim for damage and if any, perhaps a new rim at their cost is in order.

You have a real problem with being 100% accurate over say 99%, If its not going to cost much why risk being safe. If it is some type of latent defect with the car whats to say that it may not happen again before it is taken back to MB. Odds are what you said is exactly what happened. But don't become a smart ass over it. Surely it is better to deal with facts. You obviously have some technial know how but there are many who don't what I suggested was a sure fire way to know exactly what is going on. I wasn't in the workshop when they were putting the wheel on, were you?
 
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