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steering vibration when turning

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

steering vibration when turning

 
Old 02-01-2011, 05:34 PM
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2010 E550 4matic, 2008 MDX, 2011 335i Vert
steering vibration when turning

Very recently when making low speed turns at a sharp angle (like navigating a parking lot) I get a low sounding vibration.

Happens while the wheel is being turned.

Obviously I'll check with the dealer but wonder if anybody had anything similar? I probably knocked something out of allignment with the absurd number of potholes we have here in the NY area.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:18 PM
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i got a simular problem. for me it only happens when the wheel is turned all the way. i was asking for help on another forum you should take a look there too.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w212...ts-only-6.html
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:57 PM
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I have felt this on numerous 212.. No service info or dtbs as of yet but its the transfer case binding slightly.. I have driven cars with higher milage and its not felt almost like a wear in or the gears setting in. I can check again tomorrow at work to see if there is any new service information.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:40 PM
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The cause of this is that the transfer case clutch discs begin to glaze. Its becoming more common. What you can do to try and get it to go away is do circles in a parking lot with the wheel almost at the lock. do this to each side, then even do it in reverse. This heats up the discs and allows some slipage so that the cluch discs de-glaze. For some vehicles it comes back for others it doesn't.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:29 AM
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Thanks very much for the feedback. I presume there is nothing to be concerned with mechanically? Wonder if all the driving and invariable slipping on snow and ice recently helped cause this?
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:16 AM
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could be, i haven't noticed this becomming a problem until this winter.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by j21importer View Post
The cause of this is that the transfer case clutch discs begin to glaze. Its becoming more common. What you can do to try and get it to go away is do circles in a parking lot with the wheel almost at the lock. do this to each side, then even do it in reverse. This heats up the discs and allows some slipage so that the cluch discs de-glaze. For some vehicles it comes back for others it doesn't.

First of all, I don't think there is a transfer case in these cars. They are so called 4-wheel drive cars, which means there is a center differential that evens drive axle power (and speed) distribution between front and rear axles.

There also most likely are no clutch disks anywhere in the drive system. Wheel slippage, that used to be taken care of with differential lock systems, is now handled with using electronically controlled brakes.

Vibration at sharp turns most likely is caused by CV-joints. This happens if front wheel turning angle is allowed further than what CV-joint is designed for.

To understand this you need to know how CV-joints are built.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:28 AM
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There is a Transfer Case and Clutch Plates in the W212.

Directly from eMB:
Multiple-disc clutch with lock between the front and rear axles
The new double-disc clutch located on the centre differential produces a basic locking torque of around 50 Nm between the front and rear axles. In this system, a cup spring preloads the clutch pack with a permanent force. If the wheels on one of the two axles start to spin, the relative movement of the discs causes a friction torque to be transmitted from the faster-turning axle to its slower-turning counterpart.
This principle of variable torque displacement between the front and rear axles improves the traction, directional stability and road adhesion of the 4MATIC models. The traction assistance provided by the double-disc clutch is especially noticeable when the friction ratio between the tyres and the road is low, since the clutch locks the powertrain mechanically during moderate starting if the friction coefficient between the tyres and the road is less than µ = 0.3 (more or less equivalent to snow). The wheels are prevented from spinning in such a way as to avoid what is known as the “polishing effect”, which leads to a reduction in the friction coefficient. Another advantage of the double-disc clutch is the improved load-change characteristics of the 4MATIC models.
Have been learning more about this vehicle than I ever imagined. I am experiencing a very annoying high frequency vibration in the steering wheel on my 2010 E-350 (started at around 6500 miles). More intense under load than when engine/drivetrain not loaded and not speed related. My Dealer unable to identify and even replaced all four tires even though I advised I didn't think it would help - and it didn't. My Dealer waiting for MB rep to get in town and drive the car. I believe it is a transfer case issue so am taking it to another dealer who, when I described the problem, agreed and asked if the other dealer had checked the transfer case (no they didn't). What a great car for the first 2 1/2 months! Just want to roll back the clock and get this car back to the way it stareted out. Any input on this is welcomed!!!
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MatOhio View Post
Directly from eMB:


Have been learning more about this vehicle than I ever imagined. I am experiencing a very annoying high frequency vibration in the steering wheel on my 2010 E-350 (started at around 6500 miles). More intense under load than when engine/drivetrain not loaded and not speed related. My Dealer unable to identify and even replaced all four tires even though I advised I didn't think it would help - and it didn't. My Dealer waiting for MB rep to get in town and drive the car. I believe it is a transfer case issue so am taking it to another dealer who, when I described the problem, agreed and asked if the other dealer had checked the transfer case (no they didn't). What a great car for the first 2 1/2 months! Just want to roll back the clock and get this car back to the way it stareted out. Any input on this is welcomed!!!

Well, if MB built their 4-Matic as is explained in the above I am so happy I did not buy one. By the writing they use the ages old differential locking system that is rubbing those disks at all the time. Now I know why they don't recommend staggered wheels as it is difficult to find same diameters with different widths.

Can't believe they went with stone aged all wheel drive system.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Arrie View Post
First of all, I don't think there is a transfer case in these cars. They are so called 4-wheel drive cars, which means there is a center differential that evens drive axle power (and speed) distribution between front and rear axles.

There also most likely are no clutch disks anywhere in the drive system. Wheel slippage, that used to be taken care of with differential lock systems, is now handled with using electronically controlled brakes.

Vibration at sharp turns most likely is caused by CV-joints. This happens if front wheel turning angle is allowed further than what CV-joint is designed for.

To understand this you need to know how CV-joints are built.
These cars have a center differential yes, we still call them transfer cases. Also there is two clutch discs in it. I have replaced the guts on a 212 before, And i have dealt with a the regional tech specialists on this problem. This condition is very common on 203,211,220,X204,212, and a few others. It is 99.9% of the time the transfer case. Never have i replaced axle shafts for bad cv joints due to this concern.

Last edited by j21importer; 02-03-2011 at 06:00 PM. Reason: fix error
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for the input. Appointment on Monday with the other MB Dealer. Feeling confident it will be resolved.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:19 AM
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Happened on my wife's car (2011 C300). Took it to the dealer where they identified the problem and said they needed to recalibrate the computer and check out the transfer case. Got it back about an hour later with the vibration gone. A few weeks later the vibration came back. Only while doing low speed sharp turns (like parking lots). Took it back to the dealer and they repeated the same process as before (calibration and checkign on transfer case). Again the vibration disappeard. This problem started happening during winter so my wife was suspecting it had something to do with the cold weather. Don't mean to scare you but so far every time she took the car in they seemed to fix it but the problem keeps coming back. If this really is an issue with the glazing of the transfer case would putting in a new/different transfer case solve the issue ? Will it go away when the temps get warmer ?
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:37 PM
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For 212.087 (e3504m) if VIN is A148223 or below, and 204.081 (c3004m) A439760, F451473, R111338 or below 2213301702 replaces front axle gear installed at production this “may” be problem.

For a general understanding of 212 4matic, PM email address and I will location of components sheet.

Last edited by konigstiger; 02-04-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:01 PM
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a new transfer case will not fix the problem. I have replaced one on a 212 and it came back doing the same thing. I know how to fix this problem now, you would have to be able top lift the vehicle. With all the wheels off the ground you put the vehicle in dyno mode. apply the parking brake hard so the rear wheels don't spin. Put the vehicle in reverse and raise the rpm to about 800 for one minute, then in drive for one minute. DO NOT GO OVER THIS RPM, as it was explained to me anything over 1000 RPM will cause problems with the transfer case. After doing this drive like normal i have fixed quite a few this way and it has never come back.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by j21importer View Post
a new transfer case will not fix the problem. I have replaced one on a 212 and it came back doing the same thing. I know how to fix this problem now, you would have to be able top lift the vehicle. With all the wheels off the ground you put the vehicle in dyno mode. apply the parking brake hard so the rear wheels don't spin. Put the vehicle in reverse and raise the rpm to about 800 for one minute, then in drive for one minute. DO NOT GO OVER THIS RPM, as it was explained to me anything over 1000 RPM will cause problems with the transfer case. After doing this drive like normal i have fixed quite a few this way and it has never come back.

WOW! Who the heck gave you this instruction?

What you do is rubbing those double disks (as someone explained they exist) against each other.

MB does not recommend to use staggered wheels as just a small wheel diameter difference between fron and rear can be problematic for the car and the point where it is problematic must be those disks (=differential lock) in the center differential, i.e. wheel diameter difference makes those disks rub each other due to the different speeds the front and rear axles turn.

Mb says it is problematic if your tires are about 10 mm different in diameter (based on not recommending staggered wheels as the sports package has without 4-matic) when overall tire diameter is about 650 mm. To make these wheels to turn one full turn difference you need to drive about 140 meters.

When you lift the car up and block rear wheels and run it in reverse with 800 rpm and then forward the same 800 rpm for one minute I cannot even think how many rounds difference you generate but every full turn equals to that about 140 m driving distance.

Anyhow, what you are doing is wearing those disks off, i.e. getting rid of the center differential lock or at least greatly lessening it.

As I understand they use cup springs. Cup springs in general are strong springs with small "stroke". Just slight wear on those disks will lessen spring force (=force between disks) a lot taking locking effect down. This for sure fixes the problem if it indeed is the two axles fighting each other thru the center differential lock but it also (at least partially) takes away the differential lock between the axles.

Differential locks should operate only when you need one and not be connected at all times.

For every 4-matic owner's sake I wish MB had used brakes for all differential locking purposes like I understand Audi does but for some reason they might not be able to.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:51 PM
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A regoinal Mercedes Benz tech specialists. A tech specialists is incharge of all the dealers in there region and helps them with very involved problems, or cars that don't have a solid fix yet. I was told that they are in the works of making an updated center differential assembly which won't be available until sometime next year.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by j21importer View Post
A regoinal Mercedes Benz tech specialists. A tech specialists is incharge of all the dealers in there region and helps them with very involved problems, or cars that don't have a solid fix yet. I was told that they are in the works of making an updated center differential assembly which won't be available until sometime next year.

Seems like MB has realized that they have too much lock on the center differential when they tell instructions like this to wear some of it off. Well, for most of the drivers lock is not needed and it can make car to handle better when it is not as strong. You only really need the lock during aggressive acceleration or when you are stuck anyway.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:33 AM
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had it out for a long drive yesterday - about 350 miles round trip. Seems to have gone away....but will still have dlr check it out.

In sum though - really sounds like this is not something to worry about. Obviously its annoying when it happens (and I shouldn't) but its not going to leave me stranded or wrecked!
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mg-E550 View Post
had it out for a long drive yesterday - about 350 miles round trip. Seems to have gone away....but will still have dlr check it out.

In sum though - really sounds like this is not something to worry about. Obviously its annoying when it happens (and I shouldn't) but its not going to leave me stranded or wrecked!

Yes, it really seems nothing that would leave you on the road. As I understand it happend when making very sharp turn on parking lots etc. This is when you generate speed difference between front and rear axles and if the disks are sticky they vibrate obviously because drive shafts and other drive components are flexible.

It just is that a car of this magnitude should not have a problem like this.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:19 PM
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mine is going in on the 10th, for same problem as the OP. I will advise on what they say.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:07 PM
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My 2010 E Class is going in Monday for the second time in a month to have this fixed.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:25 PM
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I had to cancel the 10th, but since it has been sitting for 5 days (went to Daytona 500 speedweeks), it seems to have disappeared! Very strange.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:58 PM
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Finally had mine in for service today. The issue had completely disappeared and not surprisingly no issues found. Service dept mentioned the cold weather as culprit.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mg-E550 View Post
Finally had mine in for service today. The issue had completely disappeared and not surprisingly no issues found. Service dept mentioned the cold weather as culprit.
Today is day 2 since I have been back and the temps are warner as of late, same thing w/ mine. It has totally disappeared. Regardless, the car should perform the same regartdless of the weather. That what we buy a MB for, the engineering, etc.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by FEGELEIN View Post
Today is day 2 since I have been back and the temps are warner as of late, same thing w/ mine. It has totally disappeared. Regardless, the car should perform the same regartdless of the weather. That what we buy a MB for, the engineering, etc.
I don't think it's the weather per se. I mentioned before that mine went away not to return, and this is despite weather that was colder than when the shudder was present. Now weather influences tire pressure, so maybe the change in tire pressure is a possible culprit.
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