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clk 270 cdi avantgarde W209 2004
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I am new to this forum, I recently got a silver CLK 270 avantgarde W209 model, overall it is a great car, however it has a steering issue. I have taken the car to several garages who agreed it is a strange fault but seemed unsure what to do short of changing parts on an elimination basis, nice if you got the money. Advice has ranged from look at the springs/suspension, I had the steering fluid renewed, steering coupling is ok, wheels and tyres check out ok (one rear wheel was replaced with a new one as it was actually a front wheel), "might be the rack". I actually purchased a warranty from the dealer but after taking it there, I lost confidence in them after they failed to spot the rear wheel was a front, and similarly with the mercedes franchise who charged me for a service and said "its OK now" when it wasn`t.
Anyway gripes over, this is what happens;
1 Driving along, sometimes the front wheels seem to change direction slightly on their own, hence the `ghost driver` effect, I have to compensate for it and re-align the steering wheel, through the wheel I can feel like the wheel wants to move itself left a bit then right a bit , its quite tiring trying to keep it straight.
2 Over small undulations the car really is rough, and the steering wheel can violently jerk one way or the other and change the cars direction.
3 At slow speeds, like 5 mph - 20 mph, say, turning in a car park, both hands on the wheel, the steering wheel moves almost in notchy `stages` like the steering pump is providing power in small `bursts`
4 the steering usually feels quite heavy to move at times
The weird thing is it is not consistently doing it, and after reading on the forum I have disabled the ABS and ESP temporarily - it does improve it a little I think but still exhibits the same symptoms maybe to a smaller degree.
We have well bumpy roads in GB, and drive down a bumpy road and it is very uncomfortable and rough, my girlfriend hates it and I cant have that can I.
Am I right to think knackered suspension lends itself to this description? Could the suspension be knackered at 57,000 miles? The car has AMG alloys which the indy said he checked they are the factory sports wheels/suspension so doesnt think thats been tampered with. Anyone had this fault before or should I have it exorcised. If it would help I can video the naughty steering wheel and post it on here to give a more accurate idea. Many thanks RL:):confused:
 

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Premium Member
2004 CLK 240 Coupe
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11,377 Posts
I'm going to admit at the start that I haven't the foggiest idea what your fault actually is. But a few things come to mind.

Are there any signs that this car has ever been in a serious crash? I would start by getting (a MB dealership who have the right equipment) a chassis alignment check. Once that is behind you, you can start thinking about other issues.:thumbsup:
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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52,804 Posts
One or two questions, when you drive the car in a full circle and release the steering wheel does it:

a. Return to centre on its own? or
b. Continue to turn in a circle?

What is the tyre wear like on the front two tyres?
 

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clk 270 cdi avantgarde W209 2004
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. I don`t know if its been in a serious crash but seems like a good idea to have a vehicle alignment check, however I will need to take to a merc specialist, not the local franchise as they were very poor service, - i paid for a 4 wheel alignment check there and was told its perfect only to discover one of the rear wheels was a front wheel, this was replaced with a new wheel. - any recommendations are welcome. When I turn full circle and let go the steering wheel stays where it is and sluggishly tries to return to centre in small `pulses` or stages- I mean, it does not turn smoothly, and when turning it it moves in small stages also, feels weird through the steering wheel. I am of an engineering nature and to me it feels like there is not enough power assistance, as having just taken it for a spin the steering is definetely heavy. Also I am thinking of replacing the suspension as it is way too crashy over bumps I mean I know its harder suspension on this model but it is extremely bumpy and uncomfortable - Im wondering if these two issue are linked in any way, and can I carry out basic tests to find out if the output of the power assistance is lacking causing the wandering. Regarding the tyres they are front offside: Pirelli P zero nero, rear offside: Pirelli P Zero, front nearside : Pirelli Pzero Rosso, rear nearside: Pirelli Pzero Rosso, so three different types, all the sizes are correct, tread looks normal except the front offside which is worn slightly on the outside shoulder. Really appreciate help with this its got several garages stumped.
 

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clk 270 cdi avantgarde W209 2004
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Discussion Starter #5
Further to my last, waiting for a call on Wednesday re; price for a vehicle alignment check. Many thanks, merry xmas
 

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Premium Member
2004 CLK 240 Coupe
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11,377 Posts
Your car has rack & pinion power steering with some clever electronics that make it sensitive to steering when the car movement is slow. I wonder if that module is playing up? Have you had the fault codes read?
 

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clk 270 cdi avantgarde W209 2004
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Discussion Starter #7
Hi, thanks for your reply, if I get codes read will it show if there is an issue with the power steering module? If so i will have codes read when the chassis alignment check is done. I am new to this type of car and realise there must be ways of interrogating the circuitry to get fault information out of it. Does the module govern a varying amount of assistance dependent on vehicle speed? Many thanks... RL:)
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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52,804 Posts
Thanks for the replies. I don`t know if its been in a serious crash but seems like a good idea to have a vehicle alignment check, however I will need to take to a merc specialist, not the local franchise as they were very poor service, - i paid for a 4 wheel alignment check there and was told its perfect only to discover one of the rear wheels was a front wheel, this was replaced with a new wheel. - any recommendations are welcome. When I turn full circle and let go the steering wheel stays where it is and sluggishly tries to return to centre in small `pulses` or stages- I mean, it does not turn smoothly, and when turning it it moves in small stages also, feels weird through the steering wheel. I am of an engineering nature and to me it feels like there is not enough power assistance, as having just taken it for a spin the steering is definetely heavy. Also I am thinking of replacing the suspension as it is way too crashy over bumps I mean I know its harder suspension on this model but it is extremely bumpy and uncomfortable - Im wondering if these two issue are linked in any way, and can I carry out basic tests to find out if the output of the power assistance is lacking causing the wandering. Regarding the tyres they are front offside: Pirelli P zero nero, rear offside: Pirelli P Zero, front nearside : Pirelli Pzero Rosso, rear nearside: Pirelli Pzero Rosso, so three different types, all the sizes are correct, tread looks normal except the front offside which is worn slightly on the outside shoulder. Really appreciate help with this its got several garages stumped.

From what you have just said, your camber is a long way out. They should check camber during 4 wheel alignment.
 

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Premium Member
2004 CLK 240 Coupe
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11,377 Posts
Hi, thanks for your reply, if I get codes read will it show if there is an issue with the power steering module? If so i will have codes read when the chassis alignment check is done. I am new to this type of car and realise there must be ways of interrogating the circuitry to get fault information out of it. Does the module govern a varying amount of assistance dependent on vehicle speed? Many thanks... RL:)
Hi - A bit a research suggests that there is no 'power steering module', as such. The speed-sensitive steering task is managed by the ESP/BAS control module (N47/5) which drives Y10 -a solenoid valve located on the R&P steering assembly. N47/5 has inputs from speed sensors on the road wheels, and via Y10, can affect the flow of steering oil in the power steering system.

If you study the WIS drawings below you will see some fault codes are referenced which can be read by the STAR diagnostic system.

It also states that Y10 should be suspected if you get steering faults. It looks straight-forward to replace. It would be better to check this item before an expensive chassis alignment test is arranged. :thumbsup:
 

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clk 270 cdi avantgarde W209 2004
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice, its refreshing to get some sort of viewpoint on this, and not paying out for a `stab in the dark`. When I had the wheel alignment done by the friendly neighbourhood Mercedes franchise, the piece of paper returned had some numbers on it. Some were green some were red, suggesting something wrong, however I was told they couldnt find anything wrong with the way the car handled. Sadly I dont have the piece of paper it is with a solicitor - I will get it back and post up the readings, ,maybe someone can decipher it..At this point I asked for my money back(still waiting) and went to a recommended independent who immediately spotted the back wheel was only pretending to be a back wheel. So back to Mercedes who said "umm err, oh yeah," so in all honesty I cant be totally convinced they did the alignment correct. You would expect the franchised dealer to be on the ball surely. I don`t want to have the springs and shocks replaced for nothing, but the ride is very harsh, my question then being, could bad camber be the culprit? What I can say is that sometimes the car feels like the suspension on the left/right is different and it kind of shimmies a bit changing lanes - it aint right and over rough road its way too bumpy - I drive a Vito van and its much more comfortable.
Thanks for the heads up on the PML valve, I will ask the garage to give me a price for replacing it - I mean, Ive given up trying to get someone to diagnose it, and I have tried a few, so Ill look at replacing that valve first. It is especially noticeable at slow speeds but I drove from Liverpool to Bristol yesterday at around 60 - 70mph and it is a job keeping the wheel straight, it feels like it gets in a groove (madonna) on the road and pulls the wheel that way, then the other - not massively but its tiring not relaxing to drive it so maybe the valve in question is shot. Many many thanks for your help guys.
 

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clk 270 cdi avantgarde W209 2004
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Discussion Starter #11
Update on this; ARB bushes and worn tie-rods have been found, being replaced now. Waiting on info from fault codes. Next question, the screen on the comand console has packed up, but the radio still works, I suspect tis just the screen gone. Can I get the screen replaced?
 

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1999 SL500, 2004 CLK500, 2006 Cadillac SRX
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873 Posts
In case the fixes you are having done do not cure your problem, I had a Jaguar once that had a power steering pump that "come apart". I replaced the pump, but the steering behaved similar as you decribe. When I took apart the steering rack, I found a tiny piece of brass stuck in one of the orifices in the rack where the power steering fluid went. I extracted it, put it back together, worked perfectly.
 

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MB 1985 W126 300SEL, 1991 MB W124 260E, 2007 MB W209 CLK200, 1999 Skyline R34 GTT Veilside,
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342 Posts
I am planning to get a CLK 240 soon, anyway this is my experienced with my other rides. The steering rack, sensors and pump with my Skyline probably works the same as the CLK. I have rebuilt a rack after it start losing PS fluid, after driving it for 1 year the problem still persist cos i get very hard steering input when doing spirited driving, so that's not the main fault. Also changed the sensors but still the same. The main fault is the power steering pump not holding enough pressure since the internals is worn or broken. Now my Skyline drives like it should in the twisties....
 
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