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  1. #1
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    steering will not center after turn

    Hi hope you can help, when i turn a corner either left or right my steering wheel will not come back to center un aided, it did have play in the ball joints but new suspension arms have been fitted.
    the quicker you go the easier it is.
    there is no juddering or wobble in the steering wheel.

    thanks
    john

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  3. #2
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    You need your tracking doing. I had the same problem in a golf when I replaced both wishbones and ball joints.

    It was 20 degrees out. Even though I thought I had everything in the place as what came off. I drove mine around for two weeks before I got to the bottom of it. You should have felt the temperature of the tyres because I was just scrubbing them out. HOT !

    Mine also drove in a straight line and did not judder on the motorway, but I had to physically turn the wheel back to dead ahead after going round a bend. The easiest test is to get it in an empty car park and put full lock on. Then drive the car, if the wheel stays on full lock and continues to go round in a circle, then check the tracking and if this does not solve it get it on a hunter. This is of course assuming you have fitted the right parts correctly.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgooch View Post
    You need your tracking doing. I had the same problem in a golf when I replaced both wishbones and ball joints.

    It was 20 degrees out. Even though I thought I had everything in the place as what came off. I drove mine around for two weeks before I got to the bottom of it. You should have felt the temperature of the tyres because I was just scrubbing them out. HOT !

    Mine also drove in a straight line and did not judder on the motorway, but I had to physically turn the wheel back to dead ahead after going round a bend. The easiest test is to get it in an empty car park and put full lock on. Then drive the car, if the wheel stays on full lock and continues to go round in a circle, then check the tracking and if this does not solve it get it on a hunter. This is of course assuming you have fitted the right parts correctly.
    Simple as the tracking?? thought that alone would not sort it, but i will try.
    i had both upper suspension arms replaced.
    what you mean by HUNTER???

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    I think so if your symptoms are the same as mine. I will only cost you 20 quid to find out.

    Hunter is a full 4 wheel alignment which checks all geometry of all 4 wheels. Not cheap and would probably cost around 80 quid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgooch View Post
    I think so if your symptoms are the same as mine. I will only cost you 20 quid to find out.

    Hunter is a full 4 wheel alignment which checks all geometry of all 4 wheels. Not cheap and would probably cost around 80 quid.
    I will defo get the tracking looked at, the wheel feels a bit heavy maybe because i have to pull it back and tracking is out?
    like i said no noise from pump and no knocks when going over bumps and runs true and straight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgooch
    Hunter is a full 4 wheel alignment which checks all geometry of all 4 wheels. Not cheap and would probably cost around 80 quid.
    And worth every penny
    2000 1.8t quattro Sport totally standard (ish)

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    Quote Originally Posted by igotink View Post
    I will defo get the tracking looked at, the wheel feels a bit heavy maybe because i have to pull it back and tracking is out?
    like i said no noise from pump and no knocks when going over bumps and runs true and straight.
    Let us know how you get on

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgooch View Post
    Let us know how you get on
    going to get tracking tested tomorrow so will let you know how it goes.
    hopefully its out and gets rid of the stiffness in the wheel and comes back to center by itself

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgooch View Post
    Let us know how you get on
    going to get tracking tested tomorrow so will let you know how it goes.
    hopefully its out and gets rid of the stiffness in the wheel and comes back to center by itself

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    Sorted ?

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    Hi mate still no joy tracking was out but now corrected, and still have the same problem
    steering is still heavy and will not self centre if you turn left or right it will stay in that direction unless you turn it back yourself.
    any ideas???

  13. #12
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    Mmm. What was it like before new ball joints. Did it return then ? If so I would question if they are the right parts and if they have been fitted properly.

    Not sure about the A4 but if you have top mount bearings these could have seized but in doing so the steering would feel heavy.

  14. #13
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    Have a read

    Seriously needs more investigation before you look at replacing a rack

    http://forums.audiworld.com/showthread.php?t=1940640

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    it needs more than tracking, i'll bet the castor or camber is out too

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  16. #15
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    castor and camber arent adjustable, so unless hes driven it into a tree, they're unlikely to be out!

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    A proper 4 wheel alignment really is worth the money, to not bother is false economy in my book. At the end of the day it's only the price of a tyre. It may not be as much as £80, depends how many adjustments need doing. Everything will be checked and you will be advised of any worn parts that may need replaced.
    2000 1.8t quattro Sport totally standard (ish)

  18. #17
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    Whats the point, when the only thing on a FWD you can adjust is the front toe?

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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  19. #18
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    Ahh Though it was a quattro
    2000 1.8t quattro Sport totally standard (ish)

  20. #19
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    are the arms youve fitted the right ones? or have you mixed them up. any pics of your suspension???? if it was fine before then its obviously something youve done to move the castor angle. and being that its not pulling to one side then youve done it to both sides.

  21. #20
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    You know, my avant has this issue, or at least a mild version of it.

    The steering feels "tight" compared to my saloon. Theres plenty of assistance, but its as though something is applying friction to the steering wheel as it turns. As a result, you can dial in a small steering angle either direction and it'll just stay there rather than returning to centre. Once you turn the wheel more than maybe 1/8th of a turn, there is plenty "return to centre" force applied to the wheel, but as the force drops away as it nears centre, it seems the tightness is enough to overcome the self centering.

    Its actually been annoying me quite a bit recently, but i've always noticed the steering in the avant seems heavier/tighter than the saloon.

    What i really need to do is disconnect the column from the rack, and see if the column turns freely. If so, then i guess it must be something internal in the rack itself.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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  22. #21
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    I'm fairly sure the front springs have some input into centering.

    When I changed the Avant front springs, using ElsaWin as a guide, it's fairly complex sorting out the strut/mount/spring angles when re-assembling. I would think it is easy to get slightly out, and the natural 'uncoiling' of the spring may finish before the wheel has centred. Cracked front springs or duff top mounts may also contribute
    I would, however, expect this to give the symptoms Aragorn described, more than the OPs more severe problem.

    Just a thought........
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  23. #22
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    the strut doesnt turn with the steering tho.
    the hub carrier does.
    being that all the weight of the corner of the car is on the lower straight arm the strut bolts to id be looking at the lower ball joints on the arms as a source of the tightness/self centering prob.

  24. #23
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    They're all new on mine, and the problem was there before hand.

    Its become more noticable as i've had the car aligned recently with some toe out, but the tightness has always been there.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    the strut doesnt turn with the steering tho.
    the hub carrier does.
    being that all the weight of the corner of the car is on the lower straight arm the strut bolts to id be looking at the lower ball joints on the arms as a source of the tightness/self centering prob.
    True Murran,
    I was forgetting that.

    Thinking about the set-up I suspect all 4 arms have some form of centering input, as any radial movement of the hub carrier looks like it will move the arms both in an up and down direction, as well as a fore and aft twist. I'll maybe have to have a good look how it all works once I'm off again.

    Either way, it seems unlikely to give the OP his problem without other control arm symptoms manifesting themselves.

    I reminds me of what an old engineer said to me after looking at the front end set-up a couple of years ago
    "That's some clever bugger who worked out how all those ball-joints and flexi bushings interact together"
    1999 A4 B5 1.9 TDi FWD Saloon, Green
    2000 A4 B5 2.5 TDi Quattro Avant, Maroon, 'Panzer' Plated (currently sporting wrecked engine)
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  26. #25
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    Self centering is mainly provided by caster. Ok there might be some bush input, however its fairly minimal compared to what the caster should be providing.

    Caster is fixed on a B5, however i'm wondering if hes perhaps fitted one of the control arms into the wrong hole on the subframe? This could have the result of too little caster depending how it moves the pivot axis around.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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  27. #26
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    self centering is all about castor.


    its about having the points at which the steering rotates inclided backwards so (in the case of my picture of my old bmw above) that the imaginary line drawn thru the top mount and lower ball joint hits the tarmac infront of the wheel..... its simply this that promotes self centering.
    on my old bmw ofcourse the castor angle is set..... on the multi-arm set up on an a4 means that as you turn from lock to lock the different lengths and positions of the arms/balljoints.. the castor angle moves around. the idea of this is to keep as much of the tread of the tyre on the ground as possible.

    i think the best way of inducing more castor on an a4 would be to somehow be able to move the mounting point in the subframe for the lower rear curved arm forwards/out.
    slot the hole and make up a plate like these......
    BMW E30 E21 E28 E36 Compact Z3 Rear Camber & Toe Adjuster Kit Plates | eBay
    to work with bolts like these......
    MITSUBISHI FTO REAR CAMBER ADJUSTMENT BOLT | eBay

    this will push the lower ball joints forward inclining the castor backwards further.

 

 

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