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S-Class (W220) 1999-2006: S 320 CDI, S 320, S430, S 500, S 600

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Old 05-20-2005, 04:38 AM   #1
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Vibration at 60 mph

My poor little 2001 S-500 starts to vibrate at about 60 mph. But it seems to go away about 90 mph. At low speed (below 50), the car drive really fine. Someone said that it just needs wheel balancing, but some other folks told me that it is a common S-class problem that will cause over 1k to fix. Any ideas or experience with this???
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Old 05-20-2005, 03:58 PM   #2
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My 2002 S430 has been doing the same thing ever since I bought it last month. I figured it was just a tire balancing problem but now you got me worried I didn't think much of it when I bought the car, and just haven't had the time to bring it in to the dealership yet. Let me know what it turns out to be.
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Old 05-21-2005, 01:43 PM   #3
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Had the same problem with mine. Vibrates about 70mph and stops when i go faster. Wheel balance didn't help a bit, they changed the driveshaft too but no results. Haven't had a chance to bring it back in yet...
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Old 05-21-2005, 11:12 PM   #4
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me too

My 500 does the same thing, I just noticed it today. I thought the road was bumpy but it was the car? Keep us informed. My tire balance is good to 120 tested today. From about 55-65 is feels like the road has little bumps in it, not in the steering wheel but in the body of the car.
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Old 05-22-2005, 08:20 AM   #5
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Sorry that I dont have an S-Class but I do have the same problem with my C240. I was told by many tire shops that it could be balancing, bad alignment or uneven wear on tires.

Hope my little info helps a little.
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:35 AM   #6
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It can be also wheel geometry.
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:54 AM   #7
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have the same problem with my e-320.
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:46 PM   #8
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Same s**t

Getting vibration on around 60-70 mph.
All jobs were done, including rotation, allingment.
Even on different set of wheels and tires - same thing - small vibration.
Yet I noticed that it doesn't happen on all surfaces, only on particular highways... weird...
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Old 05-23-2005, 09:10 PM   #9
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Ummm, sounds real familiar

I seem to be having the same problem on my 01 S500. Matter of fact, the car is in the shop right now for a rotation, balancing and wheel alignment. I have about 60k miles on the car and had all the regular maintenance done. Good thing I purchased one of those aftermarket warranties because so far they have come through for me. I have replaced the motor mounts, transmission mounts and a host of other items and each time the company has paid minus my $50 deductible. A bit of advice the extended warranties are much cheaper if purchased before the factory warranty runs out.
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:34 PM   #10
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Ditto

Same problem in my 01 SL500. I can't think of anything else they can put the blame on that we haven't already replaced. I can even notice the passenger seat shaking when noone is in it, when my vibration happens. I don't remember exactly, but seems between 65 and 75 would be a good range.
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:02 AM   #11
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Update

This morning when my wife called her favorite MBZ dealer to check on her car, I took the chance to grab the phone and talked to the folks at the MBZ dealership. Basically I explained my situation, and I asked if I should bring the car in for either wheel balancing or check up. To my surprise, the mechanic actually asked me what kind of tires I have and how many miles I have on it. He basically told me that his mom who has a newer E-class also had the same problem. After she changed the tires, the problem went away. Without so many words, he basically recommended me to first change the tires and see if the problem goes away. If the problem persists then bring it in the dealership.

This is my first time that a mechanic from a dealership, MBZ or others, actually gave me "free" advise, instead of that, "oh, you bring it tomorrow, we check it out fix it for you (and charge you an arm and a leg)."

Well, I am now in search of a good tire company... Any suggestions?

For those who got the same problem, perhaps new tires???
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Old 05-26-2005, 04:09 PM   #12
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If you do a search you'd find we've allready discussed this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsleung
This morning when my wife called her favorite MBZ dealer to check on her car, I took the chance to grab the phone and talked to the folks at the MBZ dealership. Basically I explained my situation, and I asked if I should bring the car in for either wheel balancing or check up. To my surprise, the mechanic actually asked me what kind of tires I have and how many miles I have on it. He basically told me that his mom who has a newer E-class also had the same problem. After she changed the tires, the problem went away. Without so many words, he basically recommended me to first change the tires and see if the problem goes away. If the problem persists then bring it in the dealership.

This is my first time that a mechanic from a dealership, MBZ or others, actually gave me "free" advise, instead of that, "oh, you bring it tomorrow, we check it out fix it for you (and charge you an arm and a leg)."

Well, I am now in search of a good tire company... Any suggestions?

For those who got the same problem, perhaps new tires???
To help you out my fix was changing to Michelin Pilots, in this case the more you spend the better (Michelin being the premium $ brand)
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Old 05-27-2005, 02:19 PM   #13
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I noticed that when I drive my car real slowly on a perfectly even surface, there is a slight but very noticeable wobble. I'm guessing thats tied in to the vibrations I get above 60mph. I have a service appointment on June 15th, but if that doesn't work I'll try the Michelin Pilots... good excuse to buy some new rims
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Old 05-27-2005, 02:38 PM   #14
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The problem is the "harmonic balancer" or the "belt tensioner" or it could be both. Both of these are part of the belt assembly in front of the engine. The harmonic balancer is like a belt but with two metal parts sandwich a middle rubber part and the belt tensioner could be loose (actually it was a faulty part originally and needs to be replaced). Unfortunately, MB does not cover them after the warranty period. It cost me $600 for the harmonic balancer and $450 for the belt tensioner. Hope this help.
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Old 05-27-2005, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaiq
The problem is the "harmonic balancer" or the "belt tensioner" or it could be both. Both of these are part of the belt assembly in front of the engine. The harmonic balancer is like a belt but with two metal parts sandwich a middle rubber part and the belt tensioner could be loose (actually it was a faulty part originally and needs to be replaced). Unfortunately, MB does not cover them after the warranty period. It cost me $600 for the harmonic balancer and $450 for the belt tensioner. Hope this help.
MB has an active recall on the harmonic balancer problem; you can be reimbursed for your repair, and they do cover it out of warranty.

A "wobble" such as described could also be a bent wheel.
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Old 05-29-2005, 10:47 AM   #16
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I have the same problem on my S320 which is running on stock 16's. The passenger seat vibrates like crazy and you can see the vibration in the sun visors. I have an extended warranty so I will be booking it in to see if it can be resolved.

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Old 05-29-2005, 08:28 PM   #17
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We have the same problem with out 03 E320. Sometimes it feels like the vibration is comming through the steering wheel, and sometimes through the body itself. Our CLk seems to ride smoother than our airmatic equipped E-class. Not impressive at all Any body managed to solve this problem? I hardly think purchasing a new set of tires is at all fair..especially if the problem persists after the new tires have been installed...then were basically stuck with two sets of tires.

The car has continentals on at the moment.

Thanks

Last edited by Mercedes Benz #; 05-30-2005 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:03 PM   #18
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My vibration was on the original set of rims and tire, i figured what the hell time to get a new set of rims and tire. went out and purchased a set of 20's and tires. still the same problem, so i really doubt it's a rim issue...this really frustated me.
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:05 PM   #19
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wheel shake

Luckily my 2000 S500 does not have this problem (knock on wood) but my 94 BMW 740i did. I tried everything, new tires, balancing, alignment, etc.. Luckily I have a repair manual on the car and the manual said the shake could be caused by worn control arm and thrust arm bushings. A mechanic checked out the bushings at a DIY session and said they were fine. Nevertheless I changed them and the wobble is gone!

I also own a 97 Porsche Boxster and it also has the wobble. My mechanic checked it out and before I even brought it in he said a wobble like that would not be caused by alignment and after looking at it he said I needed new tires. Apparently the Kumhos I have don't have a strong enough sidewall and so I am going to be getting a set of Porsche recommended tires.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-08-2005, 02:30 PM   #20
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hi. my dad had the same problem with his s-class. and recently, i noticed his front tire treads are quite worn. so i changed it with my standard rims that's lying around.

i drove it myself on the freeway to around 60-70 mph and the vibrations are totally gone. i think the problem on my dad's car was that his tread was worn. maybe u should check the tread?

anyway, just a suggestion and hope it might help.
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Old 06-18-2005, 09:29 PM   #21
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Just got my S430 back from the dealership and the vibration at 60-90 is now gone. All they did was balance the tires. All of the weights on my rims had come off, the car drives great now.
The wobble is still there though at low speeds. I went for a ride with the mechanic and he thought it was the tires. After inspecting them he said that the had worn in an odd manner. The outside edges are featherd and the inner portion has worn more making the ground contact point the edges of the tires. He said he was 80-90% sure that if I change the tires it will go away.
I finally found some 20's that I like so we'll see if this gets rid of the wobble.
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Old 06-19-2005, 08:09 AM   #22
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It may help to discuss many of the sorts of things that can cause vibration - some of them will be common, and eliminating them is the only thing that will help. This list doesn't cover every possibility, but it hits some common causes of vibration.

1. Balance, which can be affected by -
a. Improper amount of weight. Neither tires nor wheels are usually perfect, and need balancing whenever tires are changed, and periodically (for wear) after. If permitted to remain long enough, will cause flat spots in the tire, which will then always vibrate. Static balance just won't do - you need to have tires dynamically balanced, at the speeds you drive. Also, if the wrong type of weights for your wheel type are used, they are likely to come off, giving you an instant balance problem.
b. Poor quality tires or wheels. An indication of either is use of a lot of weight. One reason I have liked Michelin and Pirelli is because with quality wheels, I have rarely had to use more than 1/2 ounce of weight on a wheel. Continentals have always required much more weight in my experience, and maintaining balance has been tougher. Tires of inferior quality may also have poorly aligned belt and tread layers, and may simply be out of round. Damaged tires may have similar problems (a broken belt from a pothole will result in a lot of bounce because the tire cannot stay in round).
As an aside, if you see a lot of weight, first be sure the mechanic removed all weights before balancing. I have personally never had a wheel using more than 1-1/2 ounces balance satisfactorily. Last year I put new Michelins on stock M-B wheels; noting a tickle driving home, I checked and found approximately 3 to 4 oz on each wheel! When I had the weights stripped and re-balanced, I had no more than 1/2 oz on any wheel; and the balance is still nearly perfect after 12K miles. Balance is dynamic; unless it is perfect, the forces acting on a wheel are different at different speeds. The chance for error increases with lots of weight.
c. Not balancing the tires the way you will run them. Don't add heavy pressure indicators or valve stem covers, caps, etc. after balancing. Balance with them on (yes, the decorative M-B valve stem caps will give you a tickle at 60-70 if wheels were balanced without them. Trust me).
d. Uneven tread wear, which itself has a number of causes discussed below. It will obviously affect the weight distribution of the tire, and it will also cause other problems; feathered or uneven treads will cause vibration even beyond that caused by balance. Tread wear from balance problems tends to be flat spots; alignment problems cause different tread wear patterns.

Improper alignment-
Improper camber will not cause a vibration per se, but can cause uneven tire wear that eventually affects balance and smooth running of the tire. Mechanics insist that improper toe will not cause vibration by itself, but I remain skeptical; even if not, it certainly causes rapid and uneven tire wear, which in turn affects balance and smooth running. Improper caster has no effect on tire wear; it can affect steering (the rate of return to center coming out of a turn, as I understand it). Bad alignment is the cause of many tread wear problems that will create vibration even if the wheels are perfectly balanced (and with wear problems, they probably won't even stay balanced for long).

Improper inflation-
Causes a different type of tread wear problem than alignment, but the results over time are the same.

Suspension wear-
Causes tire wear problems discussed under alignment, because it may make maintaining proper alignment impossible. It may also cause other problems not related to wheel balance and wear.

Damaged wheel(s). 'Nuff said.

Mismatched tires-
Not with respect to front & rear sizes, but rather tire design, tread pattern and rubber composition. It is possible for a mismatch that is severe enough to set up a dynamic coupling effect that also makes the car hard to control. Short of that, it can cause vibration and other problems.

With wheel balance problems you will usually feel some shaking in the steering column (especially if the problem is on the front tires); and you may see the passenger seat shaking (so is the driver's seat, and you can probably feel it) - especially if the problem is in the rear tires.

Wheel balance problems usually appear at one or two narrow speed ranges (of 5 to 10 mph, such as between 60 and 70), and decrease significantly or disappear outside of those ranges. Vibration from tire wear problems often appears over broader speed ranges, and tends to get worse with speed. The worse the wear, the broader the speed range. "Wobbles" at low speed can be caused by bent wheels, shifted belts ("runout"), suspension/steering problems, and road surface conditions unrelated to the wheel or tire.

I have never experienced the driveshaft problem or an engine mount problem in a Mercedes, but with those I would anticipate a higher-frequency vibration showing up in the transmission shifter, where a wheel balance problem usually doesn't cause this. The rate of vibration from driveshaft or engine mount problems will likely follow engine speed (decreasing after shifting gears, then accelerating again as engine speed increases).

The harmonic balancer problem that is subject of recall can cause a vibration in the engine, which will probably be felt in the steering wheel and possibly in the shifter - but all I can say there is it won't feel like a tire bouncing. It will follow engine speed, not vehicle speed. If your car is subject to this recall get it into the shop quickly, especially if you feel engine vibration. If the balancer separates, it will cause much more engine damage.

Last edited by Skylaw; 06-19-2005 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 06-19-2005, 12:45 PM   #23
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Thanks for the all the good info Skylaw. As far as I heard from you and the mechanic at Mercedes I should try changing my tires and rims.
I will let you know if the problem goes away or if its something else. A nice set of shiny new rims should do the trick
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetman
Thanks for the all the good info Skylaw. As far as I heard from you and the mechanic at Mercedes I should try changing my tires and rims.
I will let you know if the problem goes away or if its something else. A nice set of shiny new rims should do the trick
I know you just needed a good excuse to buy those new rims, Jetman! Let us know how you like them (and what tires you choose).
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:56 PM   #25
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New update with Tire change

Folks, just want to update everyone on the vibration problem post that I started. Looks like there are multiple cause to this problem. Anyway, I went ahead and changed the tires to a set of new Michelin Pilots. The original tires only had a bit over 30k on it and treads were still very good, so even the mechanic in the tire shop was a bit puzzled.

Anyway, with the new tires, the problem is gone, or at least much, much less noticable. So, I am happy for now. The new tires costed me over 1/2 a grand but I think it is worth the try.

So, for those who has the same problem - try Michelin Pilots...

Now, I have any problem with the car - the damned cup holder wouldn't close... But that would a separate post...
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:56 PM
 
 
 
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2001, 60mph, 740i, arm, bmw, bushings, class, control, freeway, front, s430, sl500, suspension, thrust, vibration, w220, wobble



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