Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
1998 slk 230k
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought my 1998 SLK230K, The tires on it dont exactly match factory recommendations which may be attributing to my handling dissatisfaction. however I have put less then 1K miles on the SLK and may be expecting it to hold the road and handle closer to the luxary sedans I use as everyday drivers. My problem is the SLK doesnt hold the road well in the tire tracks in the pavement, rough pavement or crossing the groove between lanes, they all throw the car. I am hoping if the tires are changed this problem can be taken care of. Not a race type driver and car has factory rims, would like smooth ride and handling. What suggestions would you make on tires to buy? thinking about Michelin Pilot Primacy front 205/55R1691V rear 225/50R1692V ???[?]
 

·
Registered
2000 slk230 Komp
Joined
·
95 Posts
we had that problem with our z3, it turned out to be the front lower ball joints not the tires. if i hit a rought spot; i was all over the place. just an fyi, may not be the problem with yours. does your steering wheel shimmy?
 

·
Registered
SLK230
Joined
·
59 Posts
Interesting situation. Did this condition happen on the old set of tires when you purchased the '98? What do you have now brand-wise? When the new tires were installed did you get a wheel alignment?

I have factory tires (Dunlop Sport 2000E) which I'm planning on replacing very soon and would appreciate whatever input on this subject.
 

·
Registered
SLK32, ML430
Joined
·
6,349 Posts
What brand/size of tires are you currently running? Have you checked the tire pressure? How is the alignment?

Some tires are prone to wandering.

I am not a fan of Michelin tires in general. You can get better tires for less money from many manufacturers. That being said if you were looking for a performance tire I have only heard good things about the PS2's they are near the top of my list when I purchase tires in the near future.
 

·
Registered
1998 slk 230k
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The tires on the car are michelin, front P205/55R1689H M&S, rear P225/50R16 M&S XGTH4, these are the tires that came on the car at purchase and they are in good shape. I am looking to replace them. Will do a wheel alignment after I purchase new tires.
 

·
Registered
2006 SLK-55 AMG
Joined
·
737 Posts
bjmhello - 3/30/2005 10:16 PM

My problem is the SLK doesnt hold the road well in the tire tracks in the pavement, rough pavement or crossing the groove between lanes, they all throw the car. I am hoping if the tires are changed this problem can be taken care of. Not a race type driver and car has factory rims, would like smooth ride and handling. ???[?]
I am not sure what you mean by "throw the car", but you may be referring to what is called "tramlining" which term came about to describe what happens when cars cross trolley tracks (or other height variations parallel to the direction of travel). The tire initially resists turning across the track, then suddenly jumps up onto or across the track causing it to lurch laterally a few inches. In a road with lower wear tracks caused by studded tire damage where the wheels usually run, it also causes the tires to want to "pull" the car up onto the higher ridges rather than running down the worn valleys in the pavement. This used to be a big problem with bias ply tires that had stiff sidewalls, then radial tires with tall flexible sidewalls came along and tramlining magically disappeared.

In the last decade or so, as wide radials with short stiff sidewalls have become fashionable, tramlining has returned. The more "responsive" a tire is, which usually means an even stiffer sidewall, the greater the effect. Staggered wheels with a wider track on front or back can also exaggerate this effect as front and rear do not encounter the road height variations at the same time. A stiff sidewall can also cause the tire/wheel to bounce more readily when it encounters rough pavement rather than absorb the roughness in the tire carcass.

So, my answer to your question would be to look for a tire in your size that is not an extreme performance tire, more of a general use tire, even one with a lower speed rating (but able to go as fast as you intend to). Don't go for stiff multi-ply sidewalls or a heavily reinforced tread that makes it stiffer than necessary, and use a tire whose load rating is slightly higher than stock, so that you can run it satisfactorily at minimum recommended air pressure. You might even want to go to a "passenger car" type tire, which trades ultimate dry performance for a softer ride. Definitely do not go to a lower than stock profile or exaggerate the stagger; perhaps a 215/50-16 on the front and leave the 225/50-16 size on the back.
 

·
Registered
2001 SLK 230
Joined
·
493 Posts
Did you check to make sure that none of your lug nuts are loose? I know it sounds simple, but it will create that kind of bad-balljoint handling. I only bring it up because you say that you just bought the car.
 

·
Registered
2002 SLK 32 AMG, bone stock. 1987 190E 2.3-16 valve (destroyed). 2005 E320 new toy.
Joined
·
14,926 Posts
YellowSLK230 has the most likely answer....

Tramlineing was a common problem when the SLK's first came out. It was so severe in some cases that it would almost pull the steering wheel out of your hands, and jerk the car going over concrete road seams.
Sometimes increasing tire pressure helps some. The pressures listed on the gas filler door are fine for a smooth ride, or at least a smooth as a short coupled car can give you. Sometimes upping the T.P. will help the tramlineing, as well as the steering response.
 

·
Registered
SLK230 Limited Editi
Joined
·
337 Posts
My 2000 slk230 tramlined a lot with michelin pilot sport and bridgestone pole positions. It is almost non-existant with the goodyear eagle f-1 gs-d3's. And they wear a lot better too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Tramlining is exactly what I have described in some of my other posts as "floating" which occurs only when I have my 18's on. With the stock 16's (winter months only) I have no problem. Now that I know what it is, and some of the possible solutions, I feel much better about it.
Thanks.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top