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Wandering on the highway

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

Wandering on the highway

Old 05-18-2018, 02:47 AM
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E350 4matic
Question Wandering on the highway

my 2014 E350 4matic luxury has never been a great handling car but I always blamed the ďextended mobilityĒ tires it was equipped with. I changed them out about 6 months ago for Continental extreme contact dsw tires hoping that would help. It definitely quieted the road noise and they ride smoother but they seem even worse on the highway. The car wanders within its lane at about 65 - 70 and when you go to correct it will not react and then suddenly when you tweak wheel a bit more it will over correct and you have to turn the wheel back the other way. If itís windy out at all its way worse.

Anyone else have have this Issue? My mechanic says he doesnít see anything wrong with the suspension but I was wondering if maybe I put in some good quality aftermarket struts it might help. I have no interest in lowering the car and I would prefer not to stiffen the ride by a lot but the car isnít fun to drive on the highway and it seems like itís getting worse. This should be a great highway cruising car but I donít look forward to long trips since you have to actively steer the car all the time. It has 42k miles on it and was aligned 6 months ago with the tire installation.

any suggestions or similar experiences welcome.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:24 AM
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is this when lane assist/ adaptive cruise control is engaged? Is it keeping you in the lane (even if it is wrong side of the lane) only or you're going out of your lane? With new tires, I believe the wheels will be balanced and have less chances. Where did you buy the tires? Is there a free life time wheel balancing offer with that store? I may start with that.

BTW, how do you like the Diamond Silver Metallic
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:29 AM
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Alignment?
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by raja777m View Post
is this when lane assist/ adaptive cruise control is engaged? Is it keeping you in the lane (even if it is wrong side of the lane) only or you're going out of your lane? With new tires, I believe the wheels will be balanced and have less chances. Where did you buy the tires? Is there a free life time wheel balancing offer with that store? I may start with that.
Hi and thanks for your reply. Sadly my car does not have adaptive cruise control and the lane assist is only passive, not active so we can rule that possibility out. The tires were purchased at Town Fair Tire in southern New Hampshire and were definitely ďcomputer balancedĒ at the time of install. I will have to check and see if they offer free lifetime balancing, they offer quite a few other things. I donít notice any thumping or vibration which you might typically expect from an out of balance tire but Iím not ruling anything out yet.

BTW, how do you like the Diamond Silver Metallic
i really like the color but in dim light and when itís not clean it can look like a dull grey.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by belarus27 View Post
Alignment?
i supose it might be worth trying even though it was just done 6 months ago. Maybe Iíll have my independent mechanic do it instead of the tire store.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by reckrab View Post


Hi and thanks for your reply. Sadly my car does not have adaptive cruise control and the lane assist is only passive, not active so we can rule that possibility out. The tires were purchased at Town Fair Tire in southern New Hampshire and were definitely ďcomputer balancedĒ at the time of install. I will have to check and see if they offer free lifetime balancing, they offer quite a few other things. I donít notice any thumping or vibration which you might typically expect from an out of balance tire but Iím not ruling anything out yet.

you're in luck:
https://www.townfairtire.com/vehicle/tires/
They have free alignment as long as you buy tires from them.

i really like the color but in dim light and when itís not clean it can look like a dull grey.
My wife, even I got confused whether it is my car or someone else's when I say that for the first time.
We went into a mall before Sunset and came back after Sunset and it is really a Day and Night difference for the color shade.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:06 PM
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Mine runs great on the highway. My other car had a wandering issue that was due to radial drift. Swapping the front tire helped solve that issue.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:57 PM
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One other thought might be a crowned or grooved (if concrete) road. Many of the roads/hwys in CA are dramatically crowned in the center and grooved (for water drainage), giving the lane on both sides an angled slope - combine that with grooves cut into the road (concrete) and it can sometimes grab the tires and cause the car to wander - some roads are worse than others - just something to keep in mind.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:05 PM
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With good tires like you have, the car should track steady and stable. Assuming tires are ok, usually mis-adjusted caster and/or toe are biggest contributors to road wander.
I have the same tires and the car feels very controllable and planted, even over different road surfaces and grooves.
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Old 05-19-2018, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mud View Post
With good tires like you have, the car should track steady and stable. Assuming tires are ok, usually mis-adjusted caster and/or toe are biggest contributors to road wander.
I have the same tires and the car feels very controllable and planted, even over different road surfaces and grooves.
What you describe is what I expected from this car and those tires. I think you and the others who questioned alignment may be on to something. The tire store may redo it for free but I might rather use my Indy since they have over 30 years experience with Mercedes. Iíll post back with results.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:57 AM
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One other possibility is wheel bearings.
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:19 PM
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Interesting post guys I just got a 2011 and 350 sport package with 18 inch rims Iím coming from driving a 2004 8320 for the last 13 years The ride is completely differentThe new car is more stuff you feel everything and yes I noticed the same thing the car seems to drift slightly at higher speeds on the highwayI have a lifetime warranty so I got the car aligned it helped however Iím gonna take it back and see what else can be done because I feel like itís still not 100%Adding nitrous to the tires instead of error made a huge interesting post guys I just got a 2011 and 350 sport package with 18 inch rims Iím coming from driving a 2000 4320 for the last 13 yearsThe ride is completely differentThe new car is more stiff you feel everything and yes I noticed the same thing the car seems to drift slightly at higher speeds on the highwayI have a lifetime warranty so I got the car aligned it helped however Iím gonna take it back and see what else can be done because I feel like itís still not 100%Adding nitrous to the tires instead of air made a huge difference.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:12 AM
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Same here... car dances all over the lane. It only happens sometimes. Drove from San Francisco to Seattle and back. Car only did this while driving back. My arms got tired trying to keep the car in lane. Pumped the air in tires to 45psi, the issue is somewhat solved, but drive harsh.
Wheel bearing were checked no issues there. The car does eat front tires from outside edge but no pulling.

Last edited by NachoLibre; 05-21-2018 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by NachoLibre View Post
Same here... car dances all over the lane. It only happens sometimes. Drove from San Francisco to Seattle and back. Car only did this while driving back. My arms got tired trying to keep the car in lane. Pumped the air in tires to 45psi, the issue is somewhat solved, but drive harsh.
Wheel bearing were checked no issues there. The car does eat front tires from outside edge but no pulling.
Okay, I didnít mention the ďonly happens sometimesĒ part because I thought I must be crazy but thatís exactly right! Sometimes in heavy traffic on the highway itís a white knuckle ride trying to keep the car in its own lane. Sometimes it seems fine, but less and less ďgood daysĒ. Maybe itís somewhr in the steering system, a low pressure condition in the pump or some other such thing. I donít know but I really would like to get this resolved as I am stuck with this car for a while due to plummeting trade in values.

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Old 05-22-2018, 10:56 AM
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Need the alignment shop to hand you the printed camber and caster settings.

Outside edge of front tires being eaten is a problem and completely opposite of what should happen.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:00 PM
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Took my old e500 in for alignment a few times at the dealer. The last time I took it in I used another dealership. It rode like brand new. The air suspension requires additional steps including a Romness tool, spreader bar, and weights. So I think a nonairmatic would require the last two, which most chain stores wonít have. As I understand, airmatic have to be at the dealership to adjust ride height with Star/Romness tool.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:36 PM
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I tried dealer the car kept pulling to right
2nd shop same thing. Did the camber bolt on both side still pulls to right
3rd shop...this shop does custom car alignment..car goes straight but eat tire edges.
With 95k soon I will put 5th set of new tires at front...rear just got 3rd new set.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:54 PM
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Camber / caster bolts are easy to be installed wrong. Did you get a printout of settings before and after changes? Call them if not.

Camber - Notches facing outward will reduce inside wear which is common. There is a line on the bolt. You should check if they are.

Caster - pulling back driver caster and pushing forward passenger caster will move car left. How did they install them? Check bolt lines. Passenger side line out and driver side line inward.

Only after this can the alignment shop do the only thing that they can do which is set toe.

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