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I have a 2005 SL500 and just put on 2 new Continental Exteme Contact DWS tires on the front. Put 2 of the same make on the rear about 3 months ago. The difference in road noise / ride quality is considerably better... but the car now wants to drift to the right.
Here are a couple of thoughts:
- I went with the Continental ExtremeContact because I thought that was good compromise in performance, price and longevity. We'll see how long the tire holds up.
- I replaced Michelin Pilots (which were noisy (at this stage in their life)), but don't think it's really fair to compare worn / cupped tires with brand new ANYTHINGs and suspect if I would have put Michelins back on, I'd experience a great ride as well
- I've investigated the "drift to the right" (many posts of such, no drifts to the left!).
- I had a shop do the alignment. I got the printout, everything was in the green... still drifted.
- I had Discount Tire swap left and right tires first. No change
- I had the alignment place recheck the alignment... a bit better... maybe
- I sat down the with the manager (and based on the posts) discussed the "add more caster" sentiment... so we put the car on the lift, took the tire off and removed the bolt where that adjustment is made.... We were surprised to learn, one needs a special slotted bolt... disappointing.
- I just called the dealer and I can purchase the kit for $17.00 that includses the slotted bolt. *sighs*.
- Still trying to figure out how 2 new tires would cause the car to drift while old, "tired" tires didn't....
- As an FYI, I put the ExtremeContacts on a 2008 E350 and a Lexus 430. I did have to have the E350 aligned as that drifted to the right as well, but the alignment fixed that...
Interested to know if I would have had the same issue with the Pilots...
 

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Before you go any farther, I would warn you that it isnt aligned right. You probibly wont get a good alignment unless you go to mercedes or find an experienced alignment shop that has done SLs. Start from scratch and find an aligner.. Probibly use the alignment bolts on the front .
 
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