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Odd suspension/steering feel

673 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  zviratko
I've noticed this a few times, but I wrote it off with the W124 being new to me.

Over large waves in the road, the kind which force the suspension to compress and extend a good amount over a relatively long period of time, they're not bumps, it's kinda gentle...anyway, when transitioning from compressed to extended and normal again, I've noticed the steering wants to pull a little bit.

I played on a stretch of road I know well, and not holding onto the wheel, it moves a little, but always returns to pretty much where it started.

I chalked it up, initially, to the suspension's movement changing the steering geometry enough to feel it, but I know Mercedes engineers aren't going to make a totally rookie move like this.

With 150K+ miles on it, the front-end is likely due for new tie-rod ends, new struts, many new bushings, and the like, but is this a symptom of something worse than just getting old?

The tires are worn, and before I replace them, I plan on new wheels, many new front-end parts, and a proper alignment. However, if this truly odd steering behavior is an indicator of something bad, I'll take care of that before I start commuting 70 miles per day.

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· W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 95 320TE 02 S500
13,357 Posts

A new steering damper will solve much of what you describe. After jacking the car up, it's maybe a twenty minute job. The damper is less than $30. Makes a world of difference.

Good Luck,


· Registered
W124 400E, W126 500SE
971 Posts
AFAIK steering damper is just so that the steering wheel doesn't hit you, I don't think what he describes fits this description. I think one of your joint is giving up, or your geometry is bad. Have the car jacked up, check all the joint (should be firm without play) and have the geometry checked.

I have experienced this under those circumstances:

1) bad joints
2) bad geometry
3) worn out rear suspension silencers (the big front ones)
4) and just recently air in the steering pump (changing the fluid helped), though I am not done with this one and convinced it is completely gone

If you just go for geometry, they should be able to tell you if there is any play in the steering or suspension and even replace the worn joints if necessary (after changing them you have to redo the geo)
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