How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steve Your Own Question

Steve
Steve, ASE L1 Master Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience:  25+ Years experience as a professional working automotive technician; ASE L1 master technician
157173
Type Your Mercedes Question Here...
Steve is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

2001 Mercedes: 43,000km..lower ball joints..replaced last

Resolved Question:

I own a 2001 Mercedes S320L. It has traveled 43,000km. The upper and lower ball joints were replaced last week. Steering was not good and even after an alignment it has not imporved. Steering is now terrible. Steering will not centre and wheel must be turned both into and out of a corner. Steering feels heavy. Any ideas?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Steve replied 6 years ago.
Hello!
   There are several possible causes for the symptoms you describe; further investigation by a mechanic will be needed to identify the exact cause of the problem.
   First, if the vehicle seems :heavy" or hard to turn, you may have a problem with the power steering assist.    If you sit in the vehicle and try turning the wheels with the engine not running, you will notice that the steering wheel is difficult to turn.    Then, start the engine and try steering the wheels back and forth again while sitting still.    The wheels should now turn much more easily; if so, the power steering is working; if not, there is a power steering system problem of some sort such as internal steering gear leakage or a failing pump.
   You may have a tie rod end that is beginning to sieze at this age.   Steering parts have ball and socket joints on the ends to allow the scomponents to change angle during turning.   If one of these ball and socket type joints is not rotating freeely due to wear, internal corrosion, or lack of lubrication it will cause symptoms similiar to what you describe.    The only way to know if this is occurring is to disconnect the steering components and manually check each one for ease of movement.
   There are a couple of alignment angles which can cause difficulty steering if they are out of specification, but usually only in one direction (either into a turn or returning to center, depending on which adjustment and the direction it is out of spec).   Since you describe difficulty boty steering into a corner and difficulty returning to center, I suspect that alignment issues are probably not the cause of your difficulty, but having the alignment rechecked by another shop may be worthwhile.     If toe angle is too far positive, it will cause the vehicle to be difficult to turn into a corner, but the wheel will want to easily recenter itself.    If toe angle is too far positive itwill also cause noticeable outside edge wear of the front tires after a short amount of time.
   If caster angle is too far positive, the vehicle will also be difficult to turn when moving, but it will again want to return to straight after a turn easily.
It is also possible that one of your new ball joints may be defective, and not rotating easily.    If you think of your front wheels as being similiar to hinges on a door, the ball joints aact as teh pins in the center of the hinge.   If one is defective and not turning easily, the wheel will require abnormal force to move in either direction.
   
    I would suggest taking the vehicle in to a different shop for a second opinion may be a good idea. A shop specializing in steering or suspension repairs would be a good place to try for a second opinion.     They will likely also want to perform a salignment to check the critical angles I mentioned above.
   If you do not know a good shop in your area, you can usually locate one using the shop locator link at www.iAtn.net


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your help. The power steering itself works ok. It is the heavy feeling and failure to re-centre again that is the problem. I have to steer into a corner and out of it. The steering will not centre again. If I let the steering wheel go at end stage it will stay where it is till I physically move it.
Expert:  Steve replied 6 years ago.
If you ahve to physically force the wheel to turn after cornering, then you almost certainly have a steering component that is freezing up.    As I suggested previously, you need to have your mechanic disconnect components to locate the one that is causing the problem.    By disconnecting the tie rods, you can try manually turning the front struts to see if both move freely.   Also, with the tie rods disconnected each tie rod end can be moved by hand to locate any frozen tie rod end(s).
Steve, ASE L1 Master Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience: 25+ Years experience as a professional working automotive technician; ASE L1 master technician
Steve and 4 other Mercedes Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Last | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • MB Paul

    Mercedes Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3450
    Qualified Mercedes Benz Diagnostic Technician - 20+ years experience - Workshop Foreman for Mercedes
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MB/MBpaul/2013-8-21_204936_paul.64x64.jpg MB Paul's Avatar

    MB Paul

    Mercedes Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3450
    Qualified Mercedes Benz Diagnostic Technician - 20+ years experience - Workshop Foreman for Mercedes
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EU/eurotec/2012-6-11_13153_mpjaphoto.64x64.JPG Marty's Avatar

    Marty

    Mercedes Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    22931
    Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 35 years experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/Racer76916/2012-5-8_6855_justanswerprofile.64x64.jpg Michael Warfield's Avatar

    Michael Warfield

    Factory Mercedes-Benz Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2807
    Mercedes-Benz Master Certified technician
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/peterpete190/2012-2-24_1274_20120215135406.64x64.jpg Pete's Avatar

    Pete

    Mercedes Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    2556
    Over 15 years experience as a Mercedes dealer technician
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CA/caprio23/2011-12-13_155550_20111213105344.64x64.jpg Anthony's Avatar

    Anthony

    Mercedes Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    642
    MB Tech. since 1997. ASE Master. MB Factory Technician. MB Antique Specialist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/promerc/2009-01-04_220431_ja_pic.jpg promerc's Avatar

    promerc

    mercedes diagnostic technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    487
    Qualified mercedes diagnostic technician & service team manager , ATA registered Master tech
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/73bbchevy/2009-12-8_232724_Picture_006.jpg Lou P. master tech's Avatar

    Lou P. master tech

    Mercedes Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    418
    10 years master certified 100% fix rate knows mercedes like the back of my hand!!!!!
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Mercedes Mechanic
Steve
Steve
Service Manager/ Technician
11 Satisfied Customers
25+ Years experience as a professional working automotive technician; ASE L1 master technician