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  1. #1
    Veero's Avatar
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    Steering Wheel Making a Clicking Noise

    Well all's been well and good for all of two days. Drove into work today and just before I got there a regular and loud clicking sound started up. It seems to be coming from the steering wheel and is going all the time with the engine on.

    Whilst stationary turning the wheel to the left makes it stop, right less successful. It almost smells ever so faintly like ionised air so I'm guessing (and slightly worried) that it's electrical.

    My first guess would be clockspring somehow? Any ways to remedy other than replacement? Didn't want to have to fork out big ££ on this thing just yet...
    2004 Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-Line


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  3. #2
    Rom
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    This is general info, not specific to your car...

    The spiral cable (clockspring) would normally only click if broken/damaged. Which would throw a light on.

    If electric power steering, bushes in motor can wear causing a clicking sound.
    Quite a few Toyota's suffer with this.

    The intermediate shaft, connects column to rack uj, can also become worn and noisy.

    How loud are we taking?
    Can you feel it through the wheel or only hear it.
    What sort of range of motion causes it, half turn, full lock etc.


    Oh, and is this by any chance Veero, of 205, Gloucester heritage ?
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  4. #3
    Veero's Avatar
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    Hello mate,

    Yes that's me. How's it going?

    The clicking definitely sounds electrical, the A4 has hydraulic PAS, not sure if there's any electrical assist.

    Didn't notice any fault lights this morning. It started up while driving and didn't go away whilst navigating several corners, as I parked up at work I stopped and still with the engine running turned the wheel right to no effect, turned it left and held it and it stopped. Letting go allowing the wheel to centre it started clicking again.

    Pretty sure there was a faint electrical discharge smell, not like OMG something's on fire!! but just a hint of arcing maybe.

    The clockspring provides contact for the horn as well though, could it be that part of the circuit?
    2004 Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-Line


  5. #4
    Rom
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    Yeah good mate. Small world eh!
    Still got the 205?

    Yeah it does provide horn contact usually. It's certainly possible it's the spiral cable. There enclosed in a plastic housing, so you won't be able to really see much.
    If you haven't got vcds, not much you can try.

    I'd try taking the cable off, putting the wheel back on and seeing if it stops.
    But, assuming it's like the A3, you need vcds to clear any airbags code it puts on.
    VCDS - Hex-Can-USB - Bristol Area
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    2004 A3 TDi Sport
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    Full Paint Correction
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    Peugeot 205 Gti Mi16 - Main love affair - Build Thread
    Honda CRX SiR - Short lived - Build Thread
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    Vauxhall Nova SR - First car!


  6. #5
    Veero's Avatar
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    Well the airbag light goes out after startup and of course got off the drive at work and the clicking stopped...

    Sadly sold the 205 18 months ago, had a Subaru Legacy GTB for a year after though, that was fun but bloody expensive to fuel and insure. Getting married next May so if I have any money left after then I'm going to get an old MX5 as a track day car for ****s and giggles I reckon.
    2004 Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-Line


  7. #6
    Veero's Avatar
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    Ok I've completely changed my mind about what it sounds like. I could be something rattling within the steering column rather than an electrical connection. I made a few short trips yesterday evening and not a peep. Start it up this morning and bzz bzzz bzz bzz bzz. So it obviously isn't a morning car....
    2004 Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-Line


  8. #7
    Rom
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    Sorry, what i was getting at before was completely removing the wheel, the spiral cable, and refitting the wheel, then trying it. But this would put your Airbag light on, which needs vcds to clear.

    You need to try and pinpoint where it is, wheel/horn area, column etc. Start by getting some covers off so you have better access and should be louder too hopefully.
    VCDS - Hex-Can-USB - Bristol Area
    Toyota Pro Tech - PM me if you need something done!


    2004 A3 TDi Sport
    - Bose, Leather / Alcantaras, Cruise, Eibach Sportlines, S Line Facelift
    Full Paint Correction
    To Do - Lamin X, Tints, Wheels

    Past Cars

    Peugeot 205 Gti Mi16 - Main love affair - Build Thread
    Honda CRX SiR - Short lived - Build Thread
    BMW E46 330d Sport
    Peugeot 306 Hdi DTurbo
    VW Gold MK4 TDi
    Vauxhall Nova SR - First car!


  9. #8
    Veero's Avatar
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    Gotcha, yeah had the feeling removing the airbag would trigger the light. Why can't they be like Pugs and self reset if everything is back to normal??

    I'm on good terms with my local garage I'm sure they would clear the code if I nipped round with a packet of biscuits.

    The really annoying thing thoug is as the day wears on and it warms up it goes away so I need to get up really early and get the spanners out. I drove to a customers' site in Brizzle (went past your garage as it happens) yesterday mid-morning and it was buzzing all the way down. Went in for a couple hours, came out and it didn't do it again until this morning!
    2004 Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-Line


  10. #9
    Veero's Avatar
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    Well today I started taking things apart to find the problem. Lower dash panel off, nothing. Tapped the steering wheel gently and it made the noise, so carefully loosened and lifted up the steering wheel airbag unit without actually disconnecting it and the stickers on the back of the unit have started to peel at the corners. So superglued the edges back down, put it all back together and sure enough noise gone!

    Hopefully that was it but if it was who would have thought a peeling sticker could be such an annoyance!
    2004 Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-Line


 

 

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