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Dealer Confusion: Alignment with Distronic Car?

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

Dealer Confusion: Alignment with Distronic Car?

 
Old 07-29-2015, 02:08 PM
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Question Dealer Confusion: Alignment with Distronic Car?

I did a search and came up with nothing on this topic.

My car pulls to the right so I took it into the dealer (Beverly Hills) and asked about an alignment. My service advisor said because my car is equipped with Distronic, the alignment will be $400 because they have to recalibrate the Distronic system. He gave me no other option "since it's a Distronic car" it must be done.

I asked another dealer (Rusnak) and they priced the services separately. $169 for the alignment and $165 to recalibrate the Distronic. They said to do the Distronic only if I need it done.

Which dealer is right? Why are two MB dealer's standard operating procedures different?
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pacrimguru View Post
I did a search and came up with nothing on this topic.

My car pulls to the right so I took it into the dealer (Beverly Hills) and asked about an alignment. My service advisor said because my car is equipped with Distronic, the alignment will be $400 because they have to recalibrate the Distronic system. He gave me no other option "since it's a Distronic car" it must be done.

I asked another dealer (Rusnak) and they priced the services separately. $169 for the alignment and $165 to recalibrate the Distronic. They said to do the Distronic only if I need it done.

Which dealer is right? Why are two MB dealer's standard operating procedures different?
I don't have an answer for his but it seems dealer two is cheaper if that makes any difference to you. Interesting that an alignment would effect the distronic to that extent.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:46 PM
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How many miles does your car have? My dealer told like alignment is covered by warranty within 12K miles.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:09 PM
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Never been told this by my dealer. I recently had alignment on my e63 with Distronic; cost was 149.00 total.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pacrimguru View Post
I did a search and came up with nothing on this topic.

My car pulls to the right so I took it into the dealer (Beverly Hills) and asked about an alignment. My service advisor said because my car is equipped with Distronic, the alignment will be $400 because they have to recalibrate the Distronic system. He gave me no other option "since it's a Distronic car" it must be done.

I asked another dealer (Rusnak) and they priced the services separately. $169 for the alignment and $165 to recalibrate the Distronic. They said to do the Distronic only if I need it done.

Which dealer is right? Why are two MB dealer's standard operating procedures different?
Sounds to me like dealer "A" is hoping you are not going to shop them or they are used to having none of their customers question what they are saying. Dealer "B" on the other hand truely cares about the relationship. It's good you have a choice.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:07 AM
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I wouldn't think it needs re-calibrated. You are basically trying to get the alignment back to what it was when you left the factory. I would go the 2nd dealer.

After some more thought if the reason it pulls to the right isn't alignment related and is distronic then you might need to re-calibrate it. Can you disable the distronic and see if it still pulls right? Distronic (of this era) pulls you by applying the rear brake on 1 wheel from my understanding so I'd imagine you would see more dust, brake wear if this were the case.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:32 PM
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not to be a wise *** but are the tires wearing unevenly? or out of balance maybe?


good luck
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:42 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys. My car has 34k miles and the tires are fine and I got a re-balance not too long ago.

I sent MB USA an e-mail asking them what the deal was and this is their response:

Thank you for your email to Mercedes-Benz USA.

The wheel alignment can be separate from the recalibration of the distronic system. Without the opportunity to physically inspect the vehicle, it wouldn't be possible to determine if the Distronic system on your vehicle needs to be recalibrated.

Mercedes-Benz dealers are independent businesses and each dealership can determine, at their own discretion, the price of products and services they sell.

We appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Kind regards,

Eileen
Mercedes-Benz USA
(800) 367-6372
I am planning to take it to dealer #2 and have them do the alignment and double check the calibration. Dealer #1 simply won't do the services separately.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:04 PM
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interesting I'm taking my car into the dealer tomorrow for an alignment, I've got distronic too thanks for the heads up
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kash2014 View Post
interesting I'm taking my car into the dealer tomorrow for an alignment, I've got distronic too thanks for the heads up
Yeah, let us know what your dealer says. I'm curious to see which dealers try to push the Distronic calibration as a part of an alignment. Looks like its just Beverly Hills at this point.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:59 PM
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I suspect BS here. Cars go out of alignment all the time from normal driving. Does that mean someone needs to adjust distronic because the car pulls a little or has uneven wear? I don't think so. So why would putting the wheels back into alignment cause distronic to be out of alignment. Like rediesel said, if anything it would work better when tires are properly aligned if it mattered at all.

Now if the car pulled to the right or left only when distronic is engaged, that's another story.

Disclaimer: I do not have distronic.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rediesel View Post
I wouldn't think it needs re-calibrated. You are basically trying to get the alignment back to what it was when you left the factory. I would go the 2nd dealer.

After some more thought if the reason it pulls to the right isn't alignment related and is distronic then you might need to re-calibrate it. Can you disable the distronic and see if it still pulls right? Distronic (of this era) pulls you by applying the rear brake on 1 wheel from my understanding so I'd imagine you would see more dust, brake wear if this were the case.
Seems to be a stretch for me to suggest the cruise control is the cause here as it is more about distance and speed.
Most issues of this type come down to tires and alignment.
I think the first dealer is taking advantage.
If there is any doubt contact MBUSA for an opinion. Don't mention what the first or second dealer said. Just ask it plain. Does alignment require a recalibration of Distronic CC. My bet is the answer will be no.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:28 AM
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I have distronic on my E350W4. An alignment is separate from calibration. If the windshield has to be replaced for any reason, then a recalibration of the cameras must be done to make sure they pick up lane markings at appropriate distances and are not off. Alignments are done simply by putting the car on a rack with computer software and sensors, along with wheel/tire balancing machine. Alignment can indeed be done separately from calibration of Distronic system.

PS cameras need to be calibrated on distronic systems due to the active lane keep assist and steer assist. does not have to do with the 'radar-based cruise control' system. that radar is positioned behind the grill/star. the cameras that are 'in' the rearview mirror facing in front of the car is what needs to be calibrated
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:37 AM
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pacrimguru View Post
Yeah, let us know what your dealer says. I'm curious to see which dealers try to push the Distronic calibration as a part of an alignment. Looks like its just Beverly Hills at this point.
I think it is just your dealer at this point. I just had a regular old alignment.
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by scottmcdaniel1 View Post
I have distronic on my E350W4. An alignment is separate from calibration. If the windshield has to be replaced for any reason, then a recalibration of the cameras must be done to make sure they pick up lane markings at appropriate distances and are not off. Alignments are done simply by putting the car on a rack with computer software and sensors, along with wheel/tire balancing machine. Alignment can indeed be done separately from calibration of Distronic system.

PS cameras need to be calibrated on distronic systems due to the active lane keep assist and steer assist. does not have to do with the 'radar-based cruise control' system. that radar is positioned behind the grill/star. the cameras that are 'in' the rearview mirror facing in front of the car is what needs to be calibrated

Just had windshield replaced two weeks ago. Did not have any calibration done to any systems in the car. Lane keep assist (steering wheel shake) works as before the replacement.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:09 PM
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Have 2015 ML250 w/Distronic PLUS. Have installed H&R lowering springs. Had 4w alignment done afterwards from a highly rated local alignment shop for $59.95. Next day started on a 2,000 mi trip. NO problems whatsoever & I used Dist+ most of the trip. Again no problem with ILS as it re levels itself.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:23 AM
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Keep in mind that Distronic Plus and Pre Safe Brake, in addition to Steering Assist (if your car has it) and Lane Keeping Assist do depend very much on the precise relationship between the actual steering alignment and the angle reported by the steering angle sensor. If your alignment is a *little* bit off, I might not worry about it so much. However, because DISTRONIC PLUS must infer your planned course from the traffic situation based on not just the radar data supplied, but also your steering angle, a slight deviation could have a large consequence.

You'd most likely see issues if you're traveling at 70MPH on the highway around curves; a non-calibrated system may not detect vehicles around the bend as easily. Or, it could infer that a car far ahead in your lane is actually in an adjacent lane.

And, if equipped with Steering Assist, when traveling below 40MPH, the steering inputs to the system could cause more "shimmying" of the wheel than you might like.

How far off was the alignment? I'd go from there. If it's less than half a degree, there's a chance you might be okay. Personally? I'd pay the extra money just to be sure that emergency systems like PRE SAFE BRAKE are working properly.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:01 PM
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Do not have STEERING ASSIST. Checked my alignment print-out. All specs seem to be in proper range. Was in heavy stop & go yesterday & no problems with DISTRONIC. Have ACTIVELANE KEEPING in "adaptive". Much prefer to "standard". As previously stated had NO problems in my 2,000 mi trip--including many miles of mountain curving roads in Ky,Tn & NC.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pacrimguru View Post
I did a search and came up with nothing on this topic.

My car pulls to the right so I took it into the dealer (Beverly Hills) and asked about an alignment. My service advisor said because my car is equipped with Distronic, the alignment will be $400 because they have to recalibrate the Distronic system. He gave me no other option "since it's a Distronic car" it must be done.

I asked another dealer (Rusnak) and they priced the services separately. $169 for the alignment and $165 to recalibrate the Distronic. They said to do the Distronic only if I need it done.

Which dealer is right? Why are two MB dealer's standard operating procedures different?
Originally Posted by pacrimguru View Post
Thanks for the responses guys. My car has 34k miles and the tires are fine and I got a re-balance not too long ago.

I sent MB USA an e-mail asking them what the deal was and this is their response:



I am planning to take it to dealer #2 and have them do the alignment and double check the calibration. Dealer #1 simply won't do the services separately.
My car is exhibiting the same exact problem; took it to dealer and had SA test drive with me, he witnessed the issue for himself, but as usual the techs are stumped. Did you get closure/resolution to your issue?
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