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2004 ML350, 1999 C230K, 1991 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #1
Background: My 01 ml320 has 126000 miles and the steering wheel rattles and has play in the up and down direction (yes the telescoping mechanism is locked). The wheel can be moved about an eighth of an inch up or down. Also I have the BAS/ESP light on.

I took it to my mechanic and he scanned the codes for me and the scanner said that the steering angle sensor needed to be replaced. He removed the plastic trim pieces around the wheel and all other necessary parts to get to the steering column and eventually determined the whole shaft needed to be replaced because of the play in the wheel. Basically he said the steering angle sensor and steering column needed to be replaced.

He quoted me $1500 for all that work, including parts and labor. Does this seem reasonable or is someone pulling my leg? What do you guys suggest? I love the truck but I just got the power steering pump replaced and don't need to spend any more $$ on it. :crybaby2:

If I decide not to get it fixed, what are the consequences? Is it dangerous or can I just live with the problem?

Thank you so much in advance.
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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That price sounds about right using new parts from MB.
There is also a lot of labor with the the job, but the parts are expensive.
 

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2004 ML350, 1999 C230K, 1991 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the response.
Well does the steering column come with the sensor or is it separate? If its together, Benz of Fort Lauderdale wants $526 for the column and the labor for the dealership is estimated at 4.6 hours.

$526+($95/hr*4.6hrs)= $963

And that's at MB themselves. My indie charges $65 an hour. What gives? If it doesn't come with the sensor though, it could be a different story.
Anyways, pardon my whining, this car is just costing a lot of $$$. LOVE it tho <3
 

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The dealer only suggests buying both b/c that's the only way they can get it from MB... I suggest buying a used sensor from a good salvage yard, it's an easy install and the steering play should be able to be tightened. I'm researching how for my 99 ML430.
 

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Okay! I just fixed my steering play and steering angle sensor "hard code" and got my BAS/ESP light to go off and stay off after months of being on and dealer visits...

Just beneath the steering angle sensor and just above the u-joint there is the hex bolt that "pinches" (holds) the lower portion to the upper. I loosened that, pushed down on the steering wheel and up on the u-joint and tightened it. The slight side to side play in the upper column was causing the angle sensor disc to be mis aligned which kicked on the light. FINALLY FIXED!!! (looks like bolt "17" on the column exploded view above).

I hope this turns off many BAS/ESP lights and saves many people hundreds of dollars!!!
 

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2004 ML350, 1999 C230K, 1991 300SEL
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502 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Okay! I just fixed my steering play and steering angle sensor "hard code" and got my BAS/ESP light to go off and stay off after months of being on and dealer visits...

Just beneath the steering angle sensor and just above the u-joint there is the hex bolt that "pinches" (holds) the lower portion to the upper. I loosened that, pushed down on the steering wheel and up on the u-joint and tightened it. The slight side to side play in the upper column was causing the angle sensor disc to be mis aligned which kicked on the light. FINALLY FIXED!!! (looks like bolt "17" on the column exploded view above).

I hope this turns off many BAS/ESP lights and saves many people hundreds of dollars!!!
Thanks for the reply. I don't see the exploded view you're talking about though. Is it easy to do relatively? I would love to see some pictures. Did you take out the steering wheel?
Please help me! :bowdown:
 

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No need to remove steering wheel, just follow these steps, It's easy:
Remove plastic panel under DS dash, move seat all the way back, lay on your back with a good light under there, loosen T40 hex, hold nut to loosen if necessary, push u-joint toward steering wheel while pushing steering wheel toward u-joint(with left hand), tighten hex.
If play is gone from shaft, you did it right. Now start motor, turn right to stop then left to stop several times until light goes out. It took me 10 minutes... Light still off 200 miles later!
 

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2004 ML350, 1999 C230K, 1991 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the reply. now lemme get this straight. Did you have up and down play or left to right? I'm gonna try this anyways since its free and I have nothing to lose. I'm just wondering. Thank you!

P.S. There is no pic I think you uploaded it wrong.
 

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worked for rme

Just wanted you to know thanks, fixed my problem. Although I found it difficult to push down on the steering wheel while pushing up on the lower part of the shaft, so I pulled the steering wheel out a ilttle and in a quick motion pushed it in, several times, and it seemed tighter. Then, when I tightened the nut, I pushed toward the rear to tighten, exerting force in the direction I wanted the two to mate.
 
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