Excess Free Play in Steering and/or Alignment Issue on Mercedes-Benz E320

Problem Description and Possible Solution

One or more of the following steering linkage components may wear prematurely;  tie rod ends, drag link, or idler arm. Our technicians remind us the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted if any of these items are replaced.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 188,500 (127,000–250,000)
2 model years affected: 1994, 1995
5 people reported this problem
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Center link (straight bar between tie rod ends) broke in two as I was turning into a parking space. It turned out the idler arm bracket (right side, welded to frame) had rusted completely through underneath the clamp holding the shield that protects the exhaust from spray from the right-front tire. After it broke free, it was the extra prssure that broke the center link. Part with idler arm bracket was $236.00 and would have to be shipped from Germany. Had a local guy fabricate and weld a new piece for half the cost and bought an after-market center link for 2/3 the dealer cost. An occasional look-see under that clamp would prevent this time-consuming repair.