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Old 09-08-2015, 09:09 AM   #1
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2016 Grand Tour steering vibration

Has anyone had a problem with the steering wheel shaking at 65mph? AS and Mercedes replaced my front tires but the problem continues.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:24 AM   #2
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Has anyone had a problem with the steering wheel shaking at 65mph? AS and Mercedes replaced my front tires but the problem continues.
Also get a front-end alignment if you haven't already. Sprinter cargo vans come from the factory in Dusseldorf aligned for the curb weight of an empty van, but Jackson Center does not have facilities to do front-end alignments to account for the new curb weight of the Interstate conversion.

By itself it's not necessarily a complete fix, but it may help, and it will certainly make your tires last longer.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:35 AM   #3
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I've had the wheels balanced twice and front end aligned and still have it to some degree at 65 mph.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:37 PM   #4
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What brand of tires are you running? When I changed mine to Michelin I noticed a smoother ride.


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Old 09-08-2015, 07:19 PM   #5
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I have the original tires and they replaced the front tires with the same brand Continental I believe. I have 1,000 miles on this Sprinter. Mercedes is going to change the steering column to see if that helps. Is that really going to help or should I ask for Michelin tires. They did the balancing recently. Thank you for your help.
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:27 AM   #6
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A vibration in a vehicle is one of my pet peeves so I've become somewhat of an expert on the problem over the years with many vehicles. If you would like to private message me I can talk to you in more detail. The problem is almost certainly not in the steering column. The problem is most likely the front tires. Most people assume that when they buy new tires they are perfect, round and smooth. They are most of the time NOT! Maybe 50% on a good day! You do need to ask for Michelin tires. They are the best of all the not round tires out there. You cant just let them put any two tires (Michelin) on and assume all is well. They need to balanced with a road force balancer and you need to see the print out (or better yet watch them do it). I personally wouldn't accept any tire with a number higher than 12. The lower the better. Ask the dealer to bring in four tires and they might find two of the four that will be acceptable. This will almost certainly solve your problem. This is what I had to do with mine and it's as smooth at 80 as it s at 40. One other area of concern with the Alcoa wheels, they are very soft aluminum. They are a hub centric or mounted wheel, meaning they are centered by the hub not the lug nuts. These wheels are very easy to damage while they are being reinstalled if the tech doesn't know what he's doing and believe me many do not. They need to be centered perfectly and snugly on the hub then hand tighten the lug nuts, then they need to use a manual torque wrench I've had two separate tire shops destroy two sets of wheels. The second was after I told them what had happened previously. I've written about this in a prior post in more detail and posted pictures. You will want to make sure your wheels don't have any small grooves or notches cut in the hub area of the wheel. The tiniest notches will cause the wheel to not spin perfectly true, therefor shaking the steering wheel. The good news is the problem is solvable. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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Vibriation

Same problem with my 20141/2. I talked with local MB service dept. and they told me I could take to local tire shop for balancing. I took it to the local shop and was told they could balance the tires and knew the MB specifications. The tires were over 3 oz. out of balance. I still have a little vibriation but not nearly as bad. I only had the front tires balanced but think I need to take back in and let them balance the back tires also. I have just over 5500 miles and the vibration just started on my last trip.
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:37 PM   #8
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I agree with Jeff64.
I picked up my 2015 GrandTour in February and noticed quite a bit of vibration over the first 6,000miles-most over 60-65mph. After the first rotation/balancing (all four tires) the difference leaving the shop was significant and the road vibration was gone at higher speeds. After a long out west trip this summer, there was a little vibration due to some rough, gravel roads. After the second rotation/balancing they are extremely smooth, again. I use Discount Tire for this service which had an initial cost of $130, but all subsequent rotations/balancing is N/C.
Discount Tire uses a dynamic balance at 70mph which fits well with my speed preferences and clearly shows the smoothest ride. There is a little vibaration in the 75-80mph range, but I seldom go that fast, even out west.
I have about 17,000 miles now and it is running smooth on the eastern leg of our trip even after some rougher than ideal roads.
For me, I think there was a problem of being out of balance, as well as,sitting out in the cold winter which resulted in the tires being out of round.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:47 PM   #9
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I am a member of FMCA. As a member you have access to their Michelin Advantage program. I just replaced six tires through the program. When using the program Michelin will give you the name(s) of approved dealer/installers for your tires. I had this done in Greenville, SC and the dealer does a lot of Sprinters and fleets. The tires are perfectly balanced. This said, I totally agree with Jeff64. The balancing is not as simple as doing auto rims and needs an experienced tech. I intend to have my front tires balanced by the Mercedes Sprinter tech each time it is serviced, as a preventive peace of mind.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:08 PM   #10
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Interesting thread. I have also recently started to experience wheel shake at around 70. I have 16K on my 2015 AI, and I'm going to the MB dealer for other work next week. I asked if they could balance the front wheels while there, and I was told it might not be possible because of the non-MB wheels that Airstream installs. The intake guy explained that they don't have stick-on weights, and he does not think the clip-on weights that are standard in MB parts departments will work. We'll see when I get there. On the side, he explained that this is why they don't rotate the tires, because the rear wheels are different from the fronts, and the only way to rotate is to unmount and remount the tires. Probably not worth the expense. Oh, and that's why there is no Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in the chassis that Airstream uses. The TPMS is an available option from MB on Sprinters, but is not ordered by AS, reason being that it does not fit the Alcoa wheels.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BillyBoy View Post
I have 16K on my 2015 AI, and I'm going to the MB dealer for other work next week. I asked if they could balance the front wheels while there, and I was told it might not be possible because of the non-MB wheels that Airstream installs. The intake guy explained that they don't have stick-on weights, and he does not think the clip-on weights that are standard in MB parts departments will work. We'll see when I get there.
If your MB Sprinter dealer can't balance the wheels, go to your nearest Freightliner dealer. Freightliner was the original Sprinter dealer network in the US before Dodge and before MB, and since they're a big-truck network, they should be able to handle any tires and rims you can throw at them.
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Old 10-15-2015, 04:01 PM   #12
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This past spring I replaced the front continentals with Michelins at my local favorite tire shop. The excess positive camber killed the front Contis in 22,000 miles.

After obtaining new front tires I took my 2013 to a shop that works on Semi Trucks. I had them realign the front to "0" degress camber combined with a factory toe setting.

The Sprinter felt excellent to about 47 when some some vibration would appear, then subside from go away from 52-62 and reappear by 65.

Thinking about the situation post alignment, I realized that the road the shop tests their vehicles on had a 45mph limit, so to them the van felt fine

Dived into all the common Sprinter forums top find balancing options. Common recommendation is to have the tires mounted and balanced by a place (often far away and not always the dealer) that spcializes in Sprinters.

I decided to approach the shop that did my alignment and asked how they balance the tires of the semi trucks they work on.

"Spin Balance". Balance the tires while the are on the vehicle

Did it and.....wow. Smooth as glass up to 80mph.

Here's a link to an article:

Tire Truing and Balancing
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:13 PM   #13
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Road force balancers are helpful for hard to balance wheels.

Back in my autocross days, I used a bubble balancer w/ great results.
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #14
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Yep - balance the tires at high speed. My shop actually removed and remounted both so they didn't have to put 3-4 weights on it.


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