Mercedes steering wheel stuck up won't move down. 

The steering wheel adjustment function on a Mercedes-Benz may stop working. The most common failure is the steering wheel gets stuck and will no longer move up or down but still moves in and out. In some cases, the steering wheel may move up but not down. 

This is a problem that affects several Mercedes-Benz models (E, C, S, CLK, SL, SLK, ML, GL, GLK, etc.) that use electric motors to adjust the steering wheel position. 

The most common problem with the Mercedes-Benz steering wheel is that it gets stuck up and won't move down. The quickest way to fix this problem is to extend the steering wheel all the way out, then taping the steering wheel several times at the top or push up with your knee from the bottom, as you press the steering wheel adjustment switch in the same direction. In most cases, this simple procedure will unfreeze a stuck Mercedes steering wheel.

how to fix mercedes benz steering wheel that won't move is stuck s c clk ml gl e sl

If your Mercedes-Benz steering wheel adjustment is getting stuck frequently, and the vehicle is still under warranty have the dealer repair your steering wheel free of charge. If your vehicle is out of warranty we recommend turning off easy access features and do not lean on the steering wheel when you enter or exit the vehicle. 

Symptoms

MB steering wheel column stuck won't go down up
  • The steering wheel moves in and out but not up and down
  • Steering wheel adjustment function stops working intermittently
  • UP/DOWN steering wheel not working 
  • Easy Entry/Exit feature not working
  • Steering wheel stuck at the top
  • Steering wheel height adjustment stopped working
  • steering wheels is stuck in the up position 
  • The steering wheel will no longer move up or down but moves in and out.
  • Steering wheel stuck up, won't go down.

Common Causes

Gear

If your Mercedes-Benz is stuck and won't move, the motor that adjusts the steering wheel is stuck,

  • the motor can be defective,
  • you have blow a fuse for driver's seat module, steering adjust does not have its own fuse circuit. 
  • nylon link between motor and steering column (dogbone) is broken,
  • or the steering column adjustment is out of sync. 
Mercedes steering column gear

The most common issue is that the plastic gear mounted on the steering column gets stuck, causing the steering adjustment motor to draw too much current. This problem is a problem we see with older vehicles and especially vehicles with easy entry/exit feature. 

Troubleshooting Steps

 

The steering wheel can only be adjusted in one direction. 

mb steering wheel sync

If the steering wheel moves in one direction but not the other, you may have a synchronization issue. For example, the steering wheel may move up but not down. The steering wheel may move out but not in. To fix this problem, move the steering wheel in the position that it can move all the way.

Then continue to hold the switch for five more seconds even after the steering wheel has stopped moving. Now move the steering wheel in the opposite direction, and once the steering wheel reaches the other limit, continue to hold the switch pressed for another five seconds. 

Mercedes steering wheel moves in and nout but not up and down

fix mb steering wheel stuck up

Extended the steering wheel out using the adjustment switch.   Tap on the steering wheel with the palm of your hand at the same time that you press the adjust button to move the steerin wheel down. .It may take a few tries and a good hit. This will fix it in most cases but do not carry this procedure if you do not feel comfortable.  

Steering wheel won't adjust at all

Mercedes steering column stuck

If the steering wheel will not adjust at all in any direction and you do not hear the steering column motor run, you may have an electrical problem or blown fuse. Check fuse for the driver's seat control unit. The steering wheel does not have its own fuse. 

If the fuse is not blown and you do not have a fault code stored in the driver's seat control unit, then you may have a broken nylon link between the steering column and the motor(often called dogbone) or a faulty motor. 

To fix this problem permanently, the motor that adjusts the steering column needs to be replaced. It requires the removal of the steering column. 

Helpful Tips

  • Do not lean on the steering wheel when entering or exiting the vehicle—using the steering wheel to support your weight when entering or exiting the vehicle can cause the steering wheel to get stuck. 
  • If your Mercedes-Benz is still under warranty, have the dealer repair it under warranty. The first time that you take the car in, the dealer may tell you that they did a software update or lubricated the steering column gears. These are only temporary fixes, and the steering wheel will get stuck again. If the problem happens also, you need to be persistent and have the dealer replace the steering column motor to fix the problem permanently. Don't wait until the vehicle is out of warranty. 
  • If your Mercedes-Benz is out of warranty and you are starting to have issues with the steering wheel adjustment, consider turning off the Easy Entry / Exit feature if it is enabled. This feature can be disabled via the instrument cluster using the buttons on the steering wheel. 
  • Do you hear the motor running when you press the steering wheel adjustment switch? If yes, the problem can be due to a broken plastic inside the steering column, often called the dog bone. This is a $10 part but is a very labor-intensive job to replace. Check out this DIY to find out what it takes to replace it. 
  • If your steering wheel height adjuster still works and you have experienced problems with the steering wheel moving up and down, we recommend that you deactivate the enter/exit auto steering wheel height feature. You will still be able to adjust the steering wheel when you want. 
  • In most models, the steering wheel adjustment motor is powered by the driver seat control module. If you need to check the fuse for the steering wheel adjustment check fuse for the driver's seat control module, which on CLK W209 is fuse 27 and 29, but on other models, it could be a different fuse. 
  • Lubricate. Remove the dash cover and lubricate the gear. 

This problem affects many Mercedes-Benz models, including E, C, S, SL, SLK, CL, CLK, ML, GL, R Class, that are equipped with power adjustment.  

This problem is so widespread that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation for the Height adjustment of electric steering column adjustment sticks in adjustment position at the top limit stop. You can file a complaint as well by filling out this form. 

Additional Resources

  1. HOW TO: Fix power steering column that will not move up and down
  2. Height adjustment of electric steering column adjustment does not operate

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