Mercedes-Benz began manufacturing their E Class executive car back in the 1950s, and since then it has gone through nine popular generations, the most recent being the W212 which was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show and available to consumers starting in 2010. Many W212 owners experience steering wheel vibrations at low speeds.
Usually, the steering wheel vibrations do not occur at high speeds. When they are reported, owners have a tendency to experience them during very low speeds and when the steering wheel is turned sharply all the way to the left or right (conditions that are achieved, say, during parking). The vibrations are similar to those experienced due to the Lane Keeping Assist feature, but they don’t seem to be the result of any properly operating system.
Due to the large number of systems working in the W212’s steering system, finding the exact location of the problem is a tricky situation and will come about mainly through much trial and error. Perhaps it is the result of a damaged steering wheel system, or the presence of air in the hydraulic lines. There is a greater chance that the problem lies in the hydraulic system where bi-directional valves could be sticking, causing hydraulic oil to pulsate through the lines. Some people say that the vibrations are due to the 4MATIC system and are not to be worried about, but this opinion is likely false, and ignoring the vibrations could lead to a far more serious problem than simply a shaking steering wheel.
Recognizing the potential danger in the vibrations is the first step in getting them fixed for good. Take your W212 to a nearby German auto repair expert, have them drive the car around to replicate the problem, and listen to their diagnosis and advice. This is without a doubt the safest option and the one most likely to eradicate any vibrations from occurring.
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