W202 Courtesy Car

Always a time fraught with possibilities, but when it is the first time that you have put your pride and joy through the annual inspection it can be even more nerve-wracking!

Off to my local guy for the test, who takes it down the road to a local testing station. Fail!

  • Nearside Rear Lower Suspension arm has excessive play in a ball joint
  • Parking brake: efficiency below requirements

Well that seems fairly simple... Except that I book her in to have the work done by my local guy while I am on holiday, expecting to get her back all fixed when I get home, and the poor chap gets rushed into hospital and isn't even able to start the work! (He's fine - thanks for asking).

As she is my daily driver I really need to get her fixed, so I book her in with a local independent Mercedes - who then fail her on something completely different! (They did supply me with a lovely W202 courtesy car though!).

  • Nearside Front Lower Front suspension ball joint dust cover excessively damaged so that it no longer prevents the ingress of dirt

So the ball joint is OK and there is nothing wrong with the parking brake? Or have they missed something? Your correspondent is now confused!

Anyway, the parking brake is done as is the ball joint dust cover and we are legit for another year - with an MOT Certificate that I can trust. Can't I?

Shortly after all this I realised that there was something wrong somewhere: she would pull to the right under acceleration and to the left when I lifted off the throttle. An odd feeling: I can only describe it as being like torque steer, which of course is never going to happen in a rear-wheel drive car...

Back to my guy, who is now back at work. Guess what? It was good old

  • Nearside Rear Lower Suspension arm has excessive play in a ball joint

issue rearing its ugly head. Surely the company who actually gave her an MOT Certificate should have picked this up?

Anyway, the ball joint was only about £40 and the fitting wasn't too bad either, so hopefully we are good to go at last!

6 More Oil Woes

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