Go Back  MBWorld.org Forums > Mercedes-Benz Sedans > C-Class (W204)
Help needed with alignment issues after accident >

Help needed with alignment issues after accident

Notices
C-Class (W204) 2008 - 2014: C180K, C200K, C230, C280, C300, C350, C200CDI, C220CDI, C320CDI

Help needed with alignment issues after accident

 
Old 05-27-2008, 01:29 AM
  #1  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Help needed with alignment issues after accident

Hello all.

I got into an accident a little less than 2 months ago, and the car has been in and out of the shop (both dealership and not) since then.

The car's been in twice for wheel re-manufacturing to fix the nicks on the wheel surface, and finally the affected wheel has been replaced with a brand new one. I insisted a replacement from the beginning as this is a new car, but stupid insurance guys tried remanufacturing until I simply refused to accept any kind of deformation on the wheel afterwards.

That's done and over with, but I still have a problem: the car's alignment is out of whack.

It's been re-aligned twice--once at the shop (Cook's Collision: a huge chain around these parts) and once at the Mercedes dealership in Walnut Creek, CA. But the car still feel not so straight. The fault is especially noticeable at highway speeds, and I have to turn the wheel ever so slightly to the left in order to go straight (the car's pulling right, I guess?).

Unacceptable.

Since two different shops have done the alignment to no avail, I feel that perhaps something else is the cause of the tracking problem. Any ideas/clues? What else could cause this?

Background: I was going straight, through my green light on a surface street (35 MPH max), and an idiot driver made a left turn into my left front bumper/fender/wheel. The damage from the outside looked minimal, but the gouging on the bumper was significant enough to warrant a new replacement. The fender was, unbelievably, untouched.

I really wanna fix this. M-B is famous for their high speed tracking, and I don't wanna have to drive with the steering wheel slightly turned at all times even while going straight. Please! Any help with what fix I could suggest to the M-B service advisor is much appreciated.
narky is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 02:58 AM
  #2  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
Carsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: 1 hours drive north of Sydney Australia
Posts: 3,714
Received 42 Likes on 40 Posts
2007 W204 220CDI Classic Sedan
Hello Narky,

Sounds to me like a steering component has been bent /damaged causing your pull to the left. The alignment adjustment is probably insufficient to correct the fault. If it were my car I would take it back to the insurer & ask that it checked & rectifed by a top European front end specialist . I would be fearful of long term short tyre life if it is not rectified.
Regards,
Carsy.
Carsy is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 07:24 AM
  #3  
Super Member
 
dalazernet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fairfield, NJ
Posts: 582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 C300W4
Originally Posted by narky View Post
Hello all.

I got into an accident a little less than 2 months ago, and the car has been in and out of the shop (both dealership and not) since then.

The car's been in twice for wheel re-manufacturing to fix the nicks on the wheel surface, and finally the affected wheel has been replaced with a brand new one. I insisted a replacement from the beginning as this is a new car, but stupid insurance guys tried remanufacturing until I simply refused to accept any kind of deformation on the wheel afterwards.

That's done and over with, but I still have a problem: the car's alignment is out of whack.

It's been re-aligned twice--once at the shop (Cook's Collision: a huge chain around these parts) and once at the Mercedes dealership in Walnut Creek, CA. But the car still feel not so straight. The fault is especially noticeable at highway speeds, and I have to turn the wheel ever so slightly to the left in order to go straight (the car's pulling right, I guess?).

Unacceptable.

Since two different shops have done the alignment to no avail, I feel that perhaps something else is the cause of the tracking problem. Any ideas/clues? What else could cause this?

Background: I was going straight, through my green light on a surface street (35 MPH max), and an idiot driver made a left turn into my left front bumper/fender/wheel. The damage from the outside looked minimal, but the gouging on the bumper was significant enough to warrant a new replacement. The fender was, unbelievably, untouched.

I really wanna fix this. M-B is famous for their high speed tracking, and I don't wanna have to drive with the steering wheel slightly turned at all times even while going straight. Please! Any help with what fix I could suggest to the M-B service advisor is much appreciated.
Your accident sounds very much like the one I was in after just a couple months of getting my new W203 a few yrs back... Same scenario exactly - the guy in a BMW turned right into my driver's side front wheel...

I don't know what they replaced on your car, but on mine it was $8k of damages because there were suspension, and various arm problems etc. I know once it was fixed, it drove EXACTLY like new. I was quite pleased in fact as I was sure it would never be right again. I say bring it back and tell them exactly whats wrong -- they may need to "tear down" in their terminology and look to see what else may be wrong somewhere else...

- Eric
dalazernet is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 12:18 PM
  #4  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by dalazernet View Post
Your accident sounds very much like the one I was in after just a couple months of getting my new W203 a few yrs back... Same scenario exactly - the guy in a BMW turned right into my driver's side front wheel...

I don't know what they replaced on your car, but on mine it was $8k of damages because there were suspension, and various arm problems etc. I know once it was fixed, it drove EXACTLY like new. I was quite pleased in fact as I was sure it would never be right again. I say bring it back and tell them exactly whats wrong -- they may need to "tear down" in their terminology and look to see what else may be wrong somewhere else...

- Eric
Just curious, how bad was the damage to your car from the outside?

My car looked barely hit. The only observable damage was, as noted, some gouging on the bumper. However, my mother's old car had an accident ten years ago when a stupid driver rammed into it, and it looked untouched from the outside save for a cracked headlight, but I remember that her car had severe damage/bending to the frame.

ARGHHH. This sucks big sweaty *****. My car had 1500 miles on it at the time of the accident. The insurance/shop/dealership replaced only my left front wheel and the front bumper, along with all the necessary clips/bolts/harnesses etc to hold the bumper in place.

Last edited by narky; 05-27-2008 at 12:24 PM.
narky is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 12:21 PM
  #5  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by Carsy View Post
Hello Narky,

Sounds to me like a steering component has been bent /damaged causing your pull to the left. The alignment adjustment is probably insufficient to correct the fault. If it were my car I would take it back to the insurer & ask that it checked & rectifed by a top European front end specialist . I would be fearful of long term short tyre life if it is not rectified.
Regards,
Carsy.
My insurance rep, who has up till now been exceptionally accomodating, is now saying that the problem may be now out of his hands. He wants me to talk to my service advisor at the dealership, the last people to touch my car. Ehhhhhhh... kinda worrisome, as I feel a shuffling and hot-potato tossing of responsibility coming on.

In any case, I am terribly pissed to think that they expect me to accept driving my essentially brand-new car in such a manner: steering wheel turned slightly left at all times.
narky is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 12:29 PM
  #6  
Super Member
 
dalazernet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fairfield, NJ
Posts: 582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 C300W4
Originally Posted by narky View Post
Just curious, how bad was the damage to your car from the outside?

My car looked barely hit. The only observable damage was, as noted, some gouging on the bumper. However, my mother's old car had an accident ten years ago when a stupid driver rammed into it, and it looked untouched from the outside save for a cracked headlight, but I remember that her car had severe damage/bending to the frame.

ARGHHH. This sucks big sweaty *****. My car had 1500 miles on it at the time of the accident. The insurance/shop/dealership replaced only my left front wheel and the front bumper, along with all the necessary clips/bolts/harnesses etc to hold the bumper in place.
Well, lucky for you I have picts of the damage still...

in lieu of spamming everyone with HUGE graphics (plus some are not for the faint of heart....)... I'll just put links:

http://www.lazernet.com/pix/closeup1.jpg

http://www.lazernet.com/pix/closeup2.jpg

http://www.lazernet.com/pix/closeup3.jpg

Poor baby :-(.....

PS -- notice the side marker light popped out, apparently the way to get them off is to have a BMW slam into you...

- Eric
dalazernet is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 12:57 PM
  #7  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by dalazernet View Post
Well, lucky for you I have picts of the damage still...

in lieu of spamming everyone with HUGE graphics (plus some are not for the faint of heart....)... I'll just put links:

http://www.lazernet.com/pix/closeup1.jpg

http://www.lazernet.com/pix/closeup2.jpg

http://www.lazernet.com/pix/closeup3.jpg

Poor baby :-(.....

PS -- notice the side marker light popped out, apparently the way to get them off is to have a BMW slam into you...

- Eric
Thanks for the quick response!

And WOW, your damage is a lot worse than what happened to my car. I hope you were not hurt?

My car was damaged not nearly as badly as that. No fender damage, no crushing of any parts, just a few nicks on the wheel and deep, deep gouging on the left side of the front bumper. I have pics of them somewhere; I took many.

I just talked to my a$$hole service rep (This ***** truly believes he is doing me a favor by fixing my car. Whatever happened to 'Customer is King'?), and he gave me this story about how Mercedes cars are built to pull to the right. Could this possibly be true? Am I just horribly uninformed about M-B cars? Wow... I couldn't believe what he was saying to me. When I told him so, he told me then that the roads in the US are "crowned" (upside down 'U') and as such, all cars will pull to the right. Wow.

In any case, I stopped short of calling him a dumba$$ P.O.S. liar garbage dredge of the earth, and calmly informed him that in any case, US road conditions notwithstanding, I refuse to drive a car that does not go straight ahead.

I'm taking it in for a ride with an alignment specialist tomorrow at the dealership. Hopefully this works out. I still can't believe what this guy was telling me. That arrogant *****. Treated me like a donkey the moment I first walked in last week. Guess who's receiving horrible marks for the service survey?
narky is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 01:10 PM
  #8  
Super Member
 
dalazernet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fairfield, NJ
Posts: 582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 C300W4
Originally Posted by narky View Post
Thanks for the quick response!

And WOW, your damage is a lot worse than what happened to my car. I hope you were not hurt?

My car was damaged not nearly as badly as that. No fender damage, no crushing of any parts, just a few nicks on the wheel and deep, deep gouging on the left side of the front bumper. I have pics of them somewhere; I took many.

I just talked to my a$$hole service rep (This ***** truly believes he is doing me a favor by fixing my car. Whatever happened to 'Customer is King'?), and he gave me this story about how Mercedes cars are built to pull to the right. Could this possibly be true? Am I just horribly uninformed about M-B cars? Wow... I couldn't believe what he was saying to me. When I told him so, he told me then that the roads in the US are "crowned" (upside down 'U') and as such, all cars will pull to the right. Wow.

In any case, I stopped short of calling him a dumba$$ P.O.S. liar garbage dredge of the earth, and calmly informed him that in any case, US road conditions notwithstanding, I refuse to drive a car that does not go straight ahead.

I'm taking it in for a ride with an alignment specialist tomorrow at the dealership. Hopefully this works out. I still can't believe what this guy was telling me. That arrogant *****. Treated me like a donkey the moment I first walked in last week. Guess who's receiving horrible marks for the service survey?
Ummm - thanks for the caring thoughts... I was fine.. no airbags went off, it just felt like a BIG bump... kind of like bumper cars. His BMW was kind of ripped to shreads... my wheel well ripped off his entire wheel, there were suspension parts everywhere on the road and frame damage.

As far as the pulling is concerned -- correct me if I'm wrong folks, but "Liar"... I just drove my car on a highway nearby and there is no pulling whatsoever. I frequently drive with my knee while shaving, having coffee and reading the newspaper -- ok I'm kidding, but still... it doesn't pull.

Unless your talking about over 70+ mph in which case, I haven't really let go of the wheel at those speeds...

- Eric
dalazernet is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 01:20 PM
  #9  
Member
 
ManchesterMerc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 225
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 220CDI Sport Auto Estate, Obsidian Black, Black leather, Heated Seats,Pan Roof, Comand,
All roads are cambered to enable water to run to the edge that is why all cars are set-up to compensate for this i.e toe in or toe out. When set-up correctly the compensation should allow the car to run straight.
I think your insurance agent should be the one to sort out this problem as I understand that insurance repairs or any other repairs for that matter should be put back to how the car was before the damage occured.

Good luck on getting it sorted
ManchesterMerc is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 01:51 PM
  #10  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by ManchesterMerc View Post
All roads are cambered to enable water to run to the edge that is why all cars are set-up to compensate for this i.e toe in or toe out. When set-up correctly the compensation should allow the car to run straight.
Precisely.

I understand the road cambers for rain runoffs... and also on certain high speed turns the roads are angled so that the car may better resist pulling off the road (down a cliff, perhaps).

But it is absurd to think that a car would be factory tuned to pull to one side, right or left, as this MB service advisor claimed. That is just simply stupid. I asked him, then, whether the car would pull right even on a completely flat surface, something like the floor of a parking structure, and he replied that M-B cars are made to drive so. Wow?

I shouldn't dwell so much, because I am moving closer and closer to giving him a fat zero on all categories of the service survey from MB.

Last edited by narky; 05-27-2008 at 01:57 PM.
narky is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 04:35 PM
  #11  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 678
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
'14 GLK250 Diesel
SO MUCH BALONEY....

Change dealers. Insist on talking directly to the tech who is going to do the alignment. These cars track like a train when everything is as it should be....any claims to the contrary are just BS.

When our '02 C240 was delivered, it pulled. It took two tries, but the alignment tech at MB Sacramento fixed it by very slightly dialing in more caster on one side than the other - bingo, problem solved. Setting it to spec may not solve the problem, so consider going slightly outside of spec....this is what he did, and the car tracked beautifully from then on. [And incidentally, the OEM tires, properly rotated, wore evenly and like iron.]

It's always wise to try swapping front tires to see if the problem changes at all, but if not, ask the tech to consider a try at an asymmetrical caster setting - a little more caster on the side to which it is pulling [caster affects the willingness of the car to turn - more makes it harder, less makes it easier].

Our '08 C300 Lux goes down the road with absolute solidity, and in fact is the first MB out of my last four that didn't need an alignment done right from the get-go.

Persist. This is a solvable problem!

Last edited by jrct9454; 05-27-2008 at 04:40 PM.
jrct9454 is offline  
Old 05-27-2008, 04:53 PM
  #12  
RLE
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
RLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: SEATTLE WASHINGTON USA
Posts: 3,986
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
'08 C300 Lux Barolo Red Beige Leather P2 MM 18" wheels '84 944
Pulling

Sounds to me like a suspension component or it's mount is slightly bent and an attempt was made to compensate which has not worked.

My '01 C320 was pulling slightly to the right even though all adjustments were in range. A senior tech who knew something about alignment (unlike the first guy) made a slight caster adjustment which eliminated the problem forever more.

BTW, that old wives tale about built-in compensation for cambered road surfaces is an old favorite that SAs use when they think the owner is gullible enough to believe it.

It is absolute crapola. Stand your ground.
RLE is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 01:58 AM
  #13  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Thanks to all for confirming my beliefs. In fact, one of the biggest reasons why I bought an M-B is the excellent high speed tracking abilities that Mercedes vehicles are purported to have. I recently opened another location for my business about 50 miles away from location #1, and expect to do a lot of highway driving in the future. I wanted to be safe(r), and I was not disappointed in the slightest after the purchase. I was quite, quite pleased to find that the car felt rock f'ing solid at 60~120 MPH with nary a tremble.

I see your points about adjusting caster slightly off factory spec to compensate for affected suspension components and such, and though I appreciate those suggestions, I feel like I shouldn't even have to resort to such "fixes." The car rode straight as a (insert whatever metaphor here. Can't think of a good one ) when new, and after the accident, this problem developed. Sucks.

I would insist that the dealership's MB techs tear down the car, figure out what component is causing this problem, and fix it on the other guy's penny. But then I'm afraid doing such a massive work would only go to ruin my otherwise acceptable car.

What do you guys think? Teardown or caster adjustment? Any opinions are much appreciated. I trust you guys more than anyone else at this point. And in the future as well.

Last edited by narky; 05-28-2008 at 02:05 AM.
narky is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 02:04 AM
  #14  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by jrct9454 View Post
SO MUCH BALONEY....

Change dealers.
BTW, that is exactly what I intend to do, as soon as this whole mess is over and done with. My sales rep began treating me like a piece of shat immediately after delivery. Then he didn't even call me back after I left him a voicemail message asking him about what I should do after I got into the accident. And this service advisor treated me as if I was asking for a free car when I first went in for some work, and now this unbelievably retarded story about how M-B cars are built to pull to the right from the factory? Wow. Guess who's not getting my business, service visits, future cars etc any more after this...

Don't get me wrong, I still love M-B cars. I now just completely hate the people who work at the dealerships.
narky is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 02:22 AM
  #15  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
http://www.familycar.com/alignment.htm

I just read the above link to refresh my understanding of camber, caster, toe. Nice and concise article on alignment. Just wanted to share.
narky is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 02:26 AM
  #16  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
ohlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,170
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
300E a couple 1994 w124wagon E320 Wagon/,1971MGB Track/Rally, MG Midget Autocross ,2000 E320 wagon.
The accident was not your fault

You have the right to take it to any shop you want to for repairs,so why are you dealing with your own insurance co rep?Spend a few hundred dollars have a good lawyer write up a demand letter fix car to mercedes specs,reimburse you for time and trouble and diminished value of the car,for surely when you go to sell it someday carfax is going to come back with all these details of the repairs.
ohlord
ohlord is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 02:41 AM
  #17  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by ohlord View Post
You have the right to take it to any shop you want to for repairs,so why are you dealing with your own insurance co rep?Spend a few hundred dollars have a good lawyer write up a demand letter fix car to mercedes specs,reimburse you for time and trouble and diminished value of the car,for surely when you go to sell it someday carfax is going to come back with all these details of the repairs.
ohlord
You're absolutely right, and I considered such a solution. My sister happens to be a shark circling in DC, and knows quite a few others in my area. She went to school here and passed the CA bar.

But you really should've seen the other guy and his car. He drove a beat-the-hell-up 1982 Ford Taurus. I seriously doubt I can get any money out of the gentleman or his insurance (Alliance United, or some other insurance--never heard of it). I even asked my insurance rep about being reimbursed for diminished value on the new car, but he didn't sound so positive... should I have pursued the matter further?

Last edited by narky; 05-28-2008 at 02:44 AM.
narky is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 07:23 AM
  #18  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
ohlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,170
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
300E a couple 1994 w124wagon E320 Wagon/,1971MGB Track/Rally, MG Midget Autocross ,2000 E320 wagon.
Does

your state require UIM insurance on your policy?Those are the kind of things a good lawyer will know.You are not looking for medical damages ,you just want to be made whole on the collision damages.Have you signed a check from his insurance company? The time and money spent on the lawyer is to make them think twice about messing with you.First they know the law,second they fire off a letter with cc to both the insurance co's involved and the state insurance commissioner.Insurance companies are not your friend,they look out for each other and the more they can limit the damages the more the rep makes.
You don't intend to file a lawsuit.You just want to put the notion that you will into play.Stop talking to your rep,stop talking to the other guys rep,do not sign any checks,don't tell them you have retained council .just find a couple hundred buck an hour guy to explain what is going on and that you need a letter and your interests protected.Your state has minimum amounts of policy coverage requirements. Get every dollar of his collision coverage and then if need be a good lawyer will be able to tell you if UIM in your state is required and if like in our state it means not only uninsured motorist but under insured motorist which means you can go after your own insurance company for any uncompensated damages.
Make them give you a real nice loaner till they get it right
I do not practice law,I do know however that once they see you stop talking to them and say it is under advice of your lawyer all of a sudden things get done to your satisfaction
ohlord
ohlord is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:14 AM
  #19  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 678
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
'14 GLK250 Diesel
I should add that I bought two cars from MB-Walnut Creek when we were living in Benicia, and swore off their service dept - one fiasco after another. You might try Pleasanton, or another EB dealer. We had excellent service at Von Housen, aka MB Sacto after we went to the Valley from '94-'03, but that's too far for you to go and it's been awhile - we moved up here in 2003.

I think you should seriously consider seeking out a new dealer, and if necessary, paying yourself to get the alignment done right. A good tech should be able to solve the problem in a day or two, by fooling with the caster settings. While I understand your stance on principle, the question is how quickly you want the car to behave like new again. You can try to get the money back from insurance, but my priority would be to get the car right again, then worry about what is the path of least resistance to getting the $ reimbursed.

But I can't emphasize strongly enough that the caster adjustment we Washingtonians are talking about is not radical, and doesn't require extensive analysis or tearing down the suspension....it's more a case of a good tech noodling on the problem for a bit, and experimenting. First, of course, you have to find a dealership [OR INDEPENDENT SHOP] with someone who will listen closely to your description of the problem, not give you the "it's-normal-don't-worry" crap, and has the skills and equipment to do the right thing. I've got to believe such a person exists somewhere in the East Bay dealer body, but I can't point you because it's been too long since I tried to get service there. A few phone calls might at least give you a feel for how the service advisers sound - sometimes your guts can tell you the right things when you turn up somebody who really wants to help.

Wish I could be more helpful myself....I know how frustrating this kind of problem is.
jrct9454 is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:25 AM
  #20  
Super Member
 
dalazernet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fairfield, NJ
Posts: 582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 C300W4
Originally Posted by ohlord View Post
mercedes specs,reimburse you for time and trouble and diminished value of the car,for surely when you...
ohlord
I didn't bother with the diminished value claims as they tend to be difficult unless it is a highly exotic or expensive vehicle (which C-classes just aren't). In all theory, once the vehicle is repaired to spec it is sometimes better than new as some parts are replaced with brand new ones! According to insurance and car dealerships/lots - diminished value doesn't really exist... its mostly in the head of the buyer and is used as a bargaining tactic.

...oh, and if you were planning on keeping it in mint condition as a collectors car, but well, most people aren't.
dalazernet is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 12:09 PM
  #21  
Member
 
StickyZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ma
Posts: 116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
W204
bent control arm or tie rod...no doubt. don't forget if the play is minimal, the curvature of the highway makes a car pull slightly regardless.
StickyZ is offline  
Old 05-28-2008, 05:28 PM
  #22  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 678
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
'14 GLK250 Diesel
Actually, nothing has to be seriously bent for this kind of pull to occur. Our '94 and '02 Cs had pull problems right from the factory, both fixed by the techs at MB Sacramento. Our '98 E tracked straight enough, but it was twitchy at speed [like all W210s] - again, the Sacto alignment guy massaged it into a first-class high-speed tourer.

A talented tech with appropriate skill and equipment should make short work of this problem. The trick is finding him / her.
jrct9454 is offline  
Old 05-29-2008, 11:47 AM
  #23  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
UPDATE:

I went to the dealership yesterday, and talked to my unhelpful service advisor again at Walnut Creek MB. He tried his best to make it very difficult for me to see anyone. But I persevered, and had a little blowout (no yelling, just stern voice and words) when he once again told me, in his words "drifting is normal." I told him about the car's tracking prowess when new, etc etc, threw out some suspension/alignment bits to show him that I'm not a run-of-the-mill uninformed consumer, and he shut the hell up.

I also told him that when this car was new, there was no hint of drifting, my steering wheel was perfectly horizontal/straight when I was going straight, I've had Oldsmobiles/Dodges/Nissans/Hondas/Hyundais/Lexus that didn't have any drifting whatsoever at any age, and so on and so forth.

He stopped everything and said, "You need to have a test-drive with our alignment specialist."

So I made an appointment and saw the alignment guy. Then the two guys conspired to give me only a 30 minute window in which to come see them because the alignment guy had "a meeting" that would last hours. So I rushed over and made it on time. The alignment guy pretty much repeated everything that the service advisor was telling me. He even told me that the amount of drifting that he observed in my car was too slight to warrant any sort of repair, and also that M-B has just sent a letter to all technicians telling them how the dealership is NOT ALLOWED to fix such slight drifting/pulling issues, even with brand-new cars under warranty. He compared the amount of pull I was experiencing to "just like the same thing with cars straight out of the factory." Again, he was implying that M-B factories allow their new cars to drift and pull to one side. I felt so much anger building up within me, I stopped talking.

The technician told me that the car was in factory spec alignment, and that there was NOTHING MORE he could do, and that if he were to deviate in the slightest from factory spec, "that would be my *** on the line," whatever that means, and refused to change it to fix the drifting problem. I suggested that perhaps he could try caster settings, toe settings, etc, and again, he gave me the "factory spec is all I can do, and the car is in factory spec" line. I felt like I was bashing myself against a wall, whenever I asked them to do something--ANYTHING.

I mentioned the lightness in steering feel that I sensed only while turning left, and asked whether it could be a caster setting that he could massage to fix that, and he said, once again, everything was factory spec and there was nothing he could do about it.

So finally, I told him how unacceptable all his reasons/excuses/etc were, how I don't give a damn what he thinks, and all I want is the car to go straight (not brand-new condition; no car after an accident will be as such) and he told me that the only thing left to do was to switch the two front tires and see if that does anything.

When I picked up the car, the steering feel seemed to have improved (I could be wrong, as these things are quite subjective), but the drifting was still present. I admit, from the start, this drifting was/is NOT too bad, really, and I think perhaps only I (the owner) or a quite perceptive driver may notice such a slight pull. But really, I don't care how slight the pull is. It wasn't there before the accident, and now there it is. Someone's going to pay for this (perhaps I must out of my own pocket--which is fine... ARGH!) and my car will be straight again.

Does anyone in the East Bay know and can recommend a good, reputable alignment shop? Personal experience would be most helpful. I'll pay out of my own pocket just to get my car straight again. This is my first and foremost priority.

I think I'm going to talk to a lawyer, as you all said. And yes, my policy has Uninsured Motorist Coverage, if that's what you meant by UIM insurance. To think that I purposefully didn't even take a rental car for my first week w/o a car! I was being nice, trying to save the other guy some money because he looked like he needed it a little more than I did... I'm quite upset now... perhaps "pissed the f*** off" is the more appropriate phrasing. I'll do my best to get every single last penny out of his insurance coverage. I don't think I will go as far as to garnish his wages or anything if his coverage is pitifully small, because that's just mean and ruthless. But this sucks...

Legal counsel, here I come.
narky is offline  
Old 05-29-2008, 11:50 AM
  #24  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by StickyZ View Post
if the play is minimal, the curvature of the highway makes a car pull slightly regardless.
I understand this, yet I don't believe this is the problem with my car.

1. I noticed no such effect before the accident. In fact, I patted myself on the back for deciding on a Mercedes after noticing the arrow-straight feel of the car on the highway.
2. The steering feels lighter (easier) when turning left, compared to when turning right.
3. The pull happens at 15 MPH ~ 65+ MPH

and most importantly,

4. I have to drive with my steering wheel slightly turned left at all times, just to go straight.

You can't possibly tell me that #4 is something I must be subjected to with any car, not to mention an essentially new car.

Originally Posted by StickyZ View Post
bent control arm or tie rod
Where and how would I check whether this is the problem? An alignment tech could/would check for it while doing a proper alignment, right?

Last edited by narky; 05-29-2008 at 11:54 AM.
narky is offline  
Old 05-29-2008, 11:57 AM
  #25  
MBWorld Fanatic!
Thread Starter
 
narky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Arctic White C300 Sport 6M
Originally Posted by jrct9454 View Post
again, the Sacto alignment guy massaged it into a first-class high-speed tourer.
I'm willing to drive to Sacramento to have this done. That's only an hour away. I want my car to be a confident highway tourer as Mercedes cars were built to be!

The name is Von Housen, yes? M-B of Sacramento? Do you know the name of your SA or alignment technician by any chance, so that I could ask for them by name?


Thanks for all the comments and replies, everyone. I truly do appreciate the help. MBWorld rocks the house.
narky is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:
You have already rated this thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Quick Reply: Help needed with alignment issues after accident


Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: