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Mercedes-Benz C 300 Power Steering Malfunction - How To Troubleshoot and Fix

Power steering is an integral part of your Mercedes-Benz C 300's operation, allowing drivers to turn the steering wheel without much effort.

Specifically, a power steering pump pressurizes and optimizes power steering fluid flow through your steering's hydraulic system. The fluid is located within a hydraulic pump and moves a series of pistons, which churn gears into action. Over time, this operation can get damaged due to power steering fluid leaks and power steering belt damage.

Symptoms Of A Power Steering Malfunction In Your Mercedes-Benz C 300


Power steering fluid can leak from your Mercedes-Benz C 300’s threaded connections, hoses, and pump seals. It can also leak from your power steering rack's seals and gaskets. Watch for amber-colored puddles and stains dripping underneath your vehicle. Get Mercedes-Benz steering racks and gearboxes here when it is time for a replacement.

You can also look for Mercedes-Benz C 300 power steering leaks by checking the amount of fluid in your reservoir. Make sure to feel for steering responsiveness too. Is your Mercedes-Benz C 300 sluggish at lower speeds? Are you noticing jerky movements when accelerating from a full stop or climbing up inclines?

Strange Noises When Turning Steering Wheel

Another symptom of a faulty power steering pump is when you hear grinding or a high-pitched noise when turning. This is likely due to wear and tear on a pump bearing or impeller vane, as well as power steering pump or belt damage. Lower power steering fluid levels can also generate noise.

Hard To Turn The Steering Wheel

If you have issues turning the wheel, it may be attributed to a problem with your power steering mechanism. Power steering pump output pressure could degrade over time, due to inconsistencies with power steering fluid flow through your steering's hydraulic system. Sudden stops, vibration, and hard steering can occur as a result, which may require replacement of your entire pump assembly.

When you know it is time for a replacement, make sure to get an OEM Mercedes-Benz power steering pump.

Should You Fix the Issue Yourself Or Take it to a Mercedes-Benz Technician?

To address the issue with power steering on the Mercedes-Benz C 300 , we normally recommend taking this into a Mercedes-Benz certified technician. Replacing a power steering pump requires a professional visual inspection, especially where the rubber meets the steel tubing. Hoses and connections also need to be checked to ensure compliance. Any power steering leaks can create a potentially hazardous situation with flammable fluids that can catch fire if subjected to a blistering hot engine - another reason why replacement is best left in the hands of a certified Mercedes-Benz technician.

There is also the process of flushing out power steering hoses if there are contaminants within them. New pumps with pressure and return hoses also need to be reattached. Power steering pump replacement jobs also require exhaustive road testing after to ensure normal steering, which can be best judged by a certified Mercedes-Benz technician.

It is important to note that power steering pump issues need to be addressed immediately. Defective pumps could break, resulting in a snapped serpentine belt, which can prevent your Mercedes-Benz C 300 from moving.

2016 Mercedes-Benz C 300 power steering recall

The 2015 model year Mercedes-Benz C 300 was issued a recall for its power steering caused by a software glitch that inadvertently shut down the power steering control unit's assist system. This caused drivers to apply a bit more steering effort at lower speeds, which was potentially fatal. Luckily, owners were reimbursed with updated software for the electric power steering control unit at no charge. This affected roughly 28,000 vehicles manufactured between January 27 and December 1, 2014.

Here is the statement issued by the NHTSA at the time of the recall.

"In the affected vehicles, the electric power steering assist system may shut down due to a software error. If the vehicle experiences a loss of power steering assist, extra steering effort will be required at lower speeds, increasing the risk of a crash."

If this model matches your vehicle, visit the NHTSA website and enter your VIN to see an open list of all outstanding recalls specific to your Mercedes-Benz C 300. You can then learn how to follow through with the recall through your Mercedes-Benz dealership or local technician.

All in all, power steering is an integral part of your Mercedes-Benz C 300's operation. Without a working power steering rack, steering is virtually impossible. Check for all of the symptoms outlined above to see what you need to purchase to repair anything faulty or out-of-date. You can get all the parts you need right here on the Mercedes-Benz National Store.