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Preface: excuse my ignorance and/or use of incorrect terminology

I bought my Star-Marked 2002 C230K a few months ago, and I had driven it for a week. I decided the pulling to the right I experienced was not normal and way too consistant, regardless of road condition, so I took it in. Apparently my wheels (after 16K miles from the previous owner) were out of allignment. I thought, "OK, I'll get them alligned"... WRONG! They (apparently) come alligned from the factory (obvious, you say, yet it gets better). For what ever reason, MB decides that their cars will NEVER go out of allignment, so they do not allow you to modify the "from the Factory" setting. I had to fork over $250 for the service dept. to install a modification kit to the cambers and ... somethin' somethin' that would make my car actually have adjustable allignment.

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that MB is being a little naive in thinking that differing roads textures, driving habbits, environment, and cargo loads would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, over time, at SOME POINT, pull a car out of allignment. SHOOT, I've even heard of people getting their wheels out of line from a tire rotation. This seems silly, and I was truely frustrated by the inconvenience and financial burdon put on me by MB's oversight, be it intentional or not

Lesson: Check to see if your car can have it's Alignment adjusted. I recomend having the dealer do this BEFORE you need to have it done. I'm not saying DROP $250 to have your car (in my mind) "fixed". I'm just saying BE INFORMED, so when you DO need it, it doesn't slap you in the face.

I love my car, and I hope you love yours too. Just be informed, for we are all learning as we go.
 

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Alignment

I too have a 2002 C230 that's pulling to the right. I have not brought it in for an alignment yet, but I did talk to the service advisor at the dealership where I bought it. Basically they said an alignment would be $80. Nothing about an adjustment kit, and quite honestly it sounds ridicilous. I've never heard of it before, and I usually hear of a lot of things, which leads me to believe either you've been taken for a ride, or there's more to the story than what you're telling.

Either way, a regular alignment shouldn't run more than about $80 (normal for any car wherever you take it) and all cars, as far as I know, can be aligned.

The only thing I'm not sure about is if the alignment I'm going to get when it's time for service (another 500 miles - that's why I waited on the alignment) will include all four wheels or just the front wheels.

By the way, MB charged $50 for a tire rotation and balancing. Costco will do that for $16, free if you bought your tires through them. So don't use the dealer for that - it's just a waste of $$$.
 

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The camber bolts for the front suspension are about $12 each. Have a good alignment shop install them and do the alignment, not the dealer. The labor rates at the dealer will kill you.

The are a couple of sources for camber plates but those will cost you about $400 plus installation.
 

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Lynn said:
The camber bolts for the front suspension are about $12 each. Have a good alignment shop install them and do the alignment, not the dealer. The labor rates at the dealer will kill you.

The are a couple of sources for camber plates but those will cost you about $400 plus installation.
I've had a C240 for a year now, and if there's one thing that will keep me from buying another, it is the dealer's service rates.
 

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The dealers use the same alignment equipment as other quality alignment shops and the training and proficiency of the operator is going to vary from shop to shop regardless of whether the shop is a dealer or not.

There are two dealers here in STL and one of them I wouldn't let look at my car from 10 feet away let alone touch it. There are a least three indy shops that are as good if not better at alignments than the dealer I go to.


These indy shops are run by road racers, who are intimate with suspensions far more sophisticated than the cheap, silly ass MacPherson struts on the front of our cars. The only thing lower tech than a MacPherson strut is a solid axle, and those can be made to handle better on smooth pavement because they don't lose camber in a corner like a strut does.
 

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$80 alignment - must be nice...

Not sure where you went LarsCA - but I was told $250 as well. Needless to say I wasn't paying that for an alignment.

Has anyone had problems with their wheels being out of round?
 
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