Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th April 2014, 01:45   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Abu Dhabi,CCJ
Posts: 24
Thanked: 15 Times
Default Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Why?

The Mercedes benz E class w212 debuted in India in the year 2009.Compared to the previous iterations of this popular model i.e W210 and W211, the W212 appears to be more reliable and it appears that mercedes is making an effort to regain its lost glory.( I am referring to the legends i.e W124,W123 )

I am the owner of a W212 E 250 CDI since the last 1.5 years.There is an astounding anomaly in my car which I would like to point out to all fellow Bhpians and readers of this incredible forum.

The steering wheel is markedly offset to the left side and the pedals are biased towards the right.What I mean to say is that the steering wheel is not positioned in the appropriate way, i.e dead centre of the driver,its more to the left side.
Name:  images.jpg
Views: 15114
Size:  10.5 KB

I hope the above picture is an explanation

Now what this position leads to is driver fatigue on long drives. A drive more than 1 hour is a torture with this setup.
Has any other owner of a W212 on this forum noticed this quirk or is it only me?
sreejith1830 is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2014, 12:49   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
dark.knight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: India
Posts: 1,117
Thanked: 2,964 Times
Default re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejith1830 View Post
The steering wheel is markedly offset to the left side and the pedals are biased towards the right.?
I'm not an owner nor have seen this in actual but I can answer your question as far as the mechanical linkages and ergonomics go. Your usage of the term 'off-set' is indeed correct and certain European models do have it. This is what happens when a company overthinks and overcorrects a popular design. MB vehicles nowadays have it and it has attracted more complaints in reviews alongwith the foot-operated parking brakes which can be mistakenly pushed when moving the left leg. Even though the degree of the off-set is negligible (about 1 inch they say), it does cause a slight disillusioning/off-kilter effect to some minds. Your body also might slant leftwards to align with the steering which makes the right-offset pedals give a reverse effect.

This has to do with some research backing it in which the MB designers while creating more space for a steering transmission/driveshaft within the bay without having to offset the engine much, try to create controls which reach for the driver to enhance that connected feel but they haven't been entirely successful at all. Until further research and design allows for better positioning of the drive components, this maybe unavoidable.

Last edited by dark.knight : 6th April 2014 at 13:15. Reason: Added info
dark.knight is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2014, 17:11   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Abu Dhabi,CCJ
Posts: 24
Thanked: 15 Times
Default re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Why?

Mercedes Engineers are still experimenting I guess,isn`it? Thank god I have a chauffeur,otherwise I would have been at the chiropractor.
sreejith1830 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2014, 19:22   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Noida/New Delhi
Posts: 419
Thanked: 830 Times
Default

This is true also for the w204 C class. The steering is a bit to the left while the pedals are towards the right. I had realized this during the test drive of the c class. The a and b class however didn't have this.
Despite that, neither me nor my father have faced any problem finding a comfortable driving position and have faced no inconvenience even after a couple of hours at the wheel.

Cheers
Rohan
RohanDheman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 12:02   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,894
Thanked: 9,751 Times
Default re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Why?

One probable reason for this skew is that the car was designed with the foot parking brake in mind.

Consider the following

1: Manual poverty spec version are also built
2: The footbrake is usually on the extreme left and a little upwards but it is placed a little offset to avoid confusion with the clutch.

That probably explains the skewed driving position. Add to that the fact that that the placement of the under bonnet components might make the footroom area on a RHD restricted.

Consider that no RHD Merc 4matics or GLK's are manufactured for that reason.

Maybe with electronic brakes coming in, this problem might go away
ajmat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 13:21   #6
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 22,612 Times
Default re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Why?

I think what Sreejith1830 is trying to say is that the steering is offset (in comparison to the center-line of the driver's seat).

He mentions the further-offset pedals as a result of the steering's position -- not as the reason the steering feels offset.

I noticed this too as soon as i sat in the W222 S-Class:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
...One area that took a little getting used to was that the steering felt like it was placed off-center. Felt like the wheel was mounted closer to the right, and that I was being pushed to the left by the wide center console.
As for the reasoning, i really have no clue. I doubt there's a mechanical reason for it, because the linkage should be able to allow a lot of movement/angle for the steering column.

I doubt there is a pedal-related reason for it - because it applies for both LHD abd RHD cars. In both cases the steering has been moved opposite directions (towards the center).

Maybe it aids ingress? Maybe it is safety related somehow?

cya
R

EDIT: This isn't the most scientific way to show it, but here's the same image with a line for reference:
Name:  Screenshot  20140408132609.png
Views: 14004
Size:  484.9 KB

Last edited by Rehaan : 8th April 2014 at 13:42.
Rehaan is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 14:47   #7
BHPian
 
black_rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 280
Thanked: 196 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

Could the steering offset be present to create some extra room between the steering wheel and door pad? With those seamlessly-flowing-into-doors dashboards, this might be needed.

BTW, Santro ZipPlus too has steering offset towards driver's left. This could be because its a very narrow car, with door very close to driver seat.
black_rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 15:04   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Noida/New Delhi
Posts: 419
Thanked: 830 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

Just thinking aloud.

I was wondering if it has something to do with the placement of the driver knee airbag in various Mercedes models. Maybe a small offset allows the airbag to function more effectively.
Having said this, i was wonder why the C Class has this offset, since there is no driver knee airbag provided for.

Cheers
Rohan
RohanDheman is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 15:13   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
ad3952n's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Noida (U.P)
Posts: 1,583
Thanked: 1,837 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejith1830 View Post
I am the owner of a W212 E 250 CDI since the last 1.5 years.There is an astounding anomaly in my car which I would like to point out to all fellow Bhpians and readers. The steering wheel is markedly offset to the left side and the pedals are biased towards the right.What I mean to say is that the steering wheel is not positioned in the appropriate way, i.e dead centre of the driver,its more to the left side.
Hi mate, In my view, the steering wheel can be, and should be, centered by adjusting the front tie rods which control the toe in or out on the front wheels. That should be part of the alignment job and should involve nothing more than a half turn out on one side and half turn in on the other to straighten it up.

I think it may be time to send your car to another alignment shop. Kindly pay special attention to the specifications. If you still feel the issue is not solved then a firmly polite letter to the dealer asking for a "FREE" service and check up might be in order. Even after this if the issue exists then a more firmly worded letter to corporate Benz should be on your to-do list.

Thanks

AD
ad3952n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 15:28   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: KL
Posts: 4,680
Thanked: 3,508 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

Quote:
Originally Posted by black_rider View Post
BTW, Santro ZipPlus too has steering offset towards driver's left. This could be because its a very narrow car, with door very close to driver seat.
Same offset was noticed in Maruti AStar also. The stering was offset to the left like in the Merc and the driving position wasn't very comfortable.
Sankar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 15:46   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Noida/New Delhi
Posts: 419
Thanked: 830 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

Quote:
Originally Posted by ad3952n View Post
Hi mate, In my view, the steering wheel can be, and should be, centered by adjusting the front tie rods which control the toe in or out on the front wheels. That should be part of the alignment job and should involve nothing more than a half turn out on one side and half turn in on the other to straighten it up.

I think it may be time to send your car to another alignment shop. Kindly pay special attention to the specifications. If you still feel the issue is not solved then a firmly polite letter to the dealer asking for a "FREE" service and check up might be in order. Even after this if the issue exists then a more firmly worded letter to corporate Benz should be on your to-do list.

Thanks

AD
AD
The issue isnt specific to this particular car. Its present in most Mercedes Benz vehicles. As posted by Rehaan above, this was observed during the preview of the S Class as well.

I really doubt that this is an alignment issue and the dealer would be able to do anything about it.
Just my two cents.

Cheers
Rohan
RohanDheman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 17:56   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Abu Dhabi,CCJ
Posts: 24
Thanked: 15 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

Rehaan is right,even the W222 has got the same problem.This particular problem is not specific to Right hand drive cars,The Left hand drive ones have it too.
It seems even certain BMW models and land rovers suffer from a similiar problem.
sreejith1830 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th April 2014, 23:22   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
androdev's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,589
Thanked: 1,729 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

http://www.car-seat-data.co.uk/ananlysis.htm

Quote:
....
However, examination of the steering wheel in many cars, both large and small, will show that it too is offset for which there is absolutely no justification at all. Up to the end of the forties most cars featured a solid steering column connected to a steering box. This layout was superceded by rack and pinion steering which was more accurate and, due to the revision in the geometry of the steering gear, it became necessary to include universal joints in the steering column. With this new layout it was possible to site the steering wheel almost anywhere on the dashboard. Unfortunately the designers did not take advantage of this and, until very recently, the greater percentage of cars produced featured offset steering wheels. This is an example of sloppy engineering practice which has simply been allowed to persist.
.....
androdev is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th April 2014, 12:12   #14
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 22,612 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

@ Androdev,

Not sure I believe that there is no currently valid reason for this (at least in the case of the Mercs).

For example, the quoted text mentions that this is a carry-over from older models which had solid steering columns and rack & pinion steering. That kinda makes sense, but...

Look at the older Mercs (eg. the W123 - predecessor to the E-Class). They did not have rack & pinion steerings, but instead used 'recirculating ball' (which AFAIK wouldn't have to be as centered).

Also, the paper you linked to was written in 1993. I'd imagine things would have been rectified in the last 21 years, with so many all-new platforms having come out since then.


I'm still going with my hunch, that it is something to do with improving safety ratings somehow, or perhaps just to ease the ingress/egress for the driver (though that would be a moot point on the S-Class etc which have steerings that move out of the way when the door opens).

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 9th April 2014 at 12:18.
Rehaan is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th April 2014, 15:07   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
androdev's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,589
Thanked: 1,729 Times
Default Re: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, etc : Steering wheel offset towards center console! Wh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
I'm still going with my hunch, that it is something to do with improving safety ratings somehow, or perhaps just to ease the ingress/egress for the driver (though that would be a moot point on the S-Class etc which have steerings that move out of the way when the door opens).
This question has been asked virtually in all auto forums and I couldn't find any reliable explanation. A bit unusual in this day and age of internet where such a frequently asked question has no answer.

One interesting observation is that the steering is offset towards the central console in all models and countries (RHD/LHD) so maybe your hunch is correct that is by design.

I have noticed the same offset in W221 and it doesn't bother me at all. Maybe @sreejith1830 experiences fatigue due to other reasons and not this offset - you know things like steering requiring force to keep it straight in case alignment is not proper? It is hard to believe that such a little offset can result in driver fatigue.
androdev is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Center Arm rest / console for accent whatcanthisbe Modifications & Accessories 18 29th October 2014 22:44
How Important Is the Offset (ET) of a Wheel During Wheel Upgrade for Various Cars? Epic Tyre & Alloy wheel Section 35 24th September 2012 09:20
Indigo Center Console Touchscreen LCD Fabrication shldn In-Car Entertainment 95 13th August 2009 12:47
All wheel steering vs front wheel steering SamtheLeo Technical Stuff 17 28th July 2009 20:11
Anyone tried modifying the Tata Safari Center Console ? smsrini Modifications & Accessories 0 18th October 2007 14:57


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:17.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks