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Car gets extremely jerky when doing U-turns

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Defratos, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Hi guys, just got back from KSA and my car hasn't been driven for like 6 months. Everything seems ok but there is this really weird problem I'm having, nearly always when doing a U-turn or a 180 degree turn the car starts to jerk really bad, it jerks back and forth until I've brought the car back to straight again. It seems as if it's snaging on something when I turn the wheels full lock or near to full lock. I'm really confused what it could be. I'm thinking it could be a gone Bush from one of the suspensions but I doubt the car would react like that with just a bad bush.

    The car was really bad this morning it seems to be worse in cold weather and when the engine is cold. I did a U-turn and the car jerked and started bucking back and forth really really bad, I could even hear the engine block moving at one point (looked like a Muppet to who ever saw) but I don't care just need to get it sorted, any help would be appreciated.:thumbsup:
    #1
  2. MintyS3
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    MintyS3 Works 60% the time, Everytime.

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    Are you in the right gear? lol
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  3. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    wtf man of course I'm in the right gear, I've had the car for nearly 5 years now so I know when somethings wrong and the above situation is something seriously wrong
    #3
  4. Lenny Benford
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    Lenny Benford snowed under

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    Sounds like a stearing or suspension problem mate, get the car on a ramp asap.
    #4
  5. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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    cv joints perhaps?...... i wouldnt have said suspension or steering....
    #5
  6. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, I think Minty was joking Daf, welcome back by the way. :)

    Don't remember what wheels you are running, but check if your wheels are catching the insides of the inner arch on full lock, easy to spot, as there will be a clean patch where the tyres has been in contact with on the inside of the tyre. Though looking at your specs, you are running wheel spacers, so this is not the likely case.
    Other things I can think of faulty Haldex which locking up the rear transmission during your manouver.
    Or your ESP is kicking in when you are doing your U turn, does anything blink on your Dash?
    #6
  7. Lenny Benford
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    Lenny Benford snowed under

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  8. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    It would have to be a pretty knackered CV joint to cause a car to jerk on full lock, but it's a possibility.
    #8
  9. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    Are the flexi hoses ok, not getting stretched on full lock? Could it be the EDL acting up in (if the S3 has one)? Can you dip the clutch and rev the engine to keep the forward motion more constant? Does it go it steering both direction on full lock, how about while reversing too? I'd be surprised if it was a bush or a CV joint. It sounds like its something that has seized or stuck as the car has been sitting or a while.
    #9
  10. cjhill
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    cjhill hmmmmm interesting.

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    i have exactly the same problem... feels like a wheel isnt turning quite as much as it should be and slips a bit right?

    the car is in the garage today having it looked at - ill let you know what they come up with.
    #10
  11. cjhill
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    cjhill hmmmmm interesting.

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    just got the car back and they say its a bust haldex control unit. Just over £800 to replace.... rubbish.

    However i have found an independant garage who can do a re-con unit for £440 - a bit better.

    Hope your problem is cheaper. !
    #11
  12. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    Or you could get a 2nd hand unit off fleabay for under £200, I knew a knackered Haldex could give those type of symptoms.
    #12
  13. S3 GEORGE
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    S3 GEORGE GEORGE

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    hey guys
    mines doing the same it seems allot worse when its cold
    feels like the back wheels are looking up and skiding
    had a look and changed a little black plastic arm sensor thing on the rear axle witch was broken not sure what it was but looks like a sensor for the head lights or for the traction control?
    buts still doing the same jurking
    how can i find out if its the haldex control unit?
    if i get the haldex control upgrade will this part be changed?
    #13
  14. simch
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    simch Active Member

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    For people with this symptom, try pulling up the handbrake just one notch, so the light comes on the dash to show its on, then try the manoevere. If it cures it, then it is the haldex controller only, one notch up disconnects the haldex. If it does not cure it, it is a mechanical issue with the haldex diff.

    As a check if haldex is working, s quick start with one notch on the Hbrake should set the front's alight, whereas without it should grip and go..

    Handy to remeber if you think you have haldex issues.
    BTW, upgraded performacne haldex contollers can be had for about £480, so £400 on a recon seems a lot!
    #14
  15. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    The above only works on cars equipped with ESP, cos it sure as hell doesn't work on my early 99' car with no ESP.
    #15
  16. jesters3
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    jesters3 Active Member

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    A while back I had an issue with the Haldex. If I went to reverse the car with straight or a uturn the car locked up as if the handbrake was on. Took it into Audi and they could not find the fault on vagcom, so they tested it it and the same symptoms occured. They had to hook up to the haldex ecu to find the fault - diagnosis was a new haldex unit.
    #16
  17. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    Thats the auto levelling sensor for your xenons, its got one on front & rear axle & usually find this gets broken when you do a suspension upgrade, nothing to do with haldex at all.
    #17
  18. cjhill
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    cjhill hmmmmm interesting.

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    The only thing with this is that ive been told that the problem is that the haldex isnt turning off correctly and that its always on, lifting the handbrake makes little difference.

    What i cant understand is why the problem is worse when cold. Surely an ECU problem would be temp independant ?

    oh and the price, £499 is the cheapest ive seen a performance part, plus the 1.5 hrs of labour to fit it - ive looked into fitting it myself and i cant be arsed - too cold and too much effort for my poorly back. Ive been quoted £470 all in with a 12 month warranty. Oddly the cheapest i could get a new audi part was over £520 from VAG.
    #18
  19. S3 GEORGE
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    S3 GEORGE GEORGE

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    hi guys i did some checks
    turned the eps off
    pulled the handbrake up 1 notches until light shows
    then tried u tern
    still same problem one back wheel move the other just locks up and skids

    any one know what to do next?
    thanks
    #19
  20. cjhill
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    cjhill hmmmmm interesting.

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    my problem i now fixed, Turns out it just needed a haldex oil change.

    Kind of makes sense that the problem only really occured when it was cold. It was explained to me that the haldex unit can get a bit twitchy when the oil is dirty and its cold.

    Since the oil change the symptoms have vanished and there are no more fault codes.

    Its worth a try.... defratos, since your car has been left standing for a while, this would make sense too.

    Hope that helps

    (didnt get the ecu changed in the end).
    #20
  21. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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    glad you got it sorted fella
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  22. S3 GEORGE
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    S3 GEORGE GEORGE

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    where did you get the work done?
    what was the cost?

    Regards
    George
    #22
  23. markyp2002
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    markyp2002 Member

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    Ive got my S3 and TT booked in at Midland VW next week for Haldex Oil and Filter changes, it works out at about £80 for the service. So anywhere around that milestone is good :)
    #23
  24. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Hey guys, wow I didn't know people were replied to this post. lol I've been too busy post whoring at G35driver.com hehe. Well I haven't sorted out the problem yet. Instead I've had to leave it parked up again :(, it's going to be parked up for another 6 months until I get back to London so on my check list is the following:

    - Check Power steering fluid
    - Check Haldex is working ok and do an oil change
    - if problem persists check all joints and bushes (as they've been on for a few years)

    Sorry if I haven't replied back to anyone but I forgot :nyah:
    #24
  25. thegoal007
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    thegoal007 Another S3 owner....

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    Hey Defratos,

    I have just send you a pm, but I thought I would just enter some details here for everyone to follow too.
    I too have the same problem you are experiencing and can add that:
    the Power steering fluid seems all ok
    The Haldex has had filter & oil changed. and vagcom shows no faults.
    all joints and bushes look fine (don't the MOTcheck all these things ?).

    What I can add, from information I have learnt, it looks like:
    1. possible faulty abs sensors
    2. yaw sensor under steering wheel
    and finally - the abs/eps control unit (complete unit) as this talks and communicates to the above items.

    If you look at the basic facts the rear wheels lock on FULL LOCK or very near to that.
    I have actually seen the flicker of the esp light on my dash as I have gone round very tight roundabouts (sometimes). BTW, switching the esp off will still give you the problem becuase it's not really switching off completely as I thougt it did ! - that's normal and correct.

    I must also stress I am only talking about this specific problem on this specific model (2002 225bhp). I noticed someone else had a similar problem, but wasn't exactly the same and it's not clear what year/model they have.
    Taking it to Audi and they will only start replacing all sorts of parts starting from the rear haldex unit (possibly it's control unit first) and it seems the obvious route for them and the most money !
    #25
  26. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Little update:

    Checked power steering fluid
    Had MOT and service done
    Had Haldex oil and filter changed

    and the problem is still persisting. I think the next move from here would be to buy an upgraded Haldex controller, but is this the same as the normal Haldex upgrade?? and does anyone know where I can buy this in the UK?
    #26
  27. DJ-S3
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    DJ-S3 Member

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    hey, when you say really jerky?? do you mean it feels like the back wheels are grinding against the floor. asif one back wheel isnt moving??

    because i spoke to my friend who works in audi when i bought my car. mine seemed to do it all the time especially when it was cold. worse in wet. but it only did it when i put full lock on and went above about 8mph. like turning out of a junction with full lock.

    he said there's nothing they can do. just the carricteristic (dont know how to spell that word as you can see) of the car. some cars do it, some dont.
    #27
  28. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    well by jerky I mean it feels as if one of the wheels is catching or snagging on something which leads the car to jerk, and I can even hear the engine moving forward and back from the jerking.

    This is defiantly not a characteristic of the car because I've had it since 2002 and it had only started to happen within the last year. I think a new Haldex is in order.
    #28
  29. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Is it a controller problem or the actual Haldex clutch unit itself?

    Anyone near you that you can borrow a controller from to rule that out?
    #29
  30. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Nope, and what's the difference? I thought the Haldex unit was the controller and not the clutch?
    #30
  31. cjhill
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    cjhill hmmmmm interesting.

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    hi all,

    as you know from earlier post ive been having similar problems. I thought it had been fixed with a haldex oil/filter change but all that did was lessen the symptoms for month or two.

    The problem still mainly occurs when its cold but, having just finished a trip to the lake district and having gone up and down a few of the mountain paths the problem reoccured (when the car was hot), this time at relative speed (was going up a 30% gradient with hairpin bends).

    I used to think it was the rear wheels but now not so sure, to me it seems like the front near side wheel is locking / guddering. Maybe my problem is a bit different. I still do get rear wheel guddering at times - this seems to be related to the whole car jerking.

    Hmmmmm.... if someone finds a solution to these problems let us know, its driving me nuts.
    #31
  32. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Hey there mate, my problem seems to be identical to yours. Mine would jerk while hot or cold, and for me it does seem to be the front wheels locking up, but to be honest I can't tell. As I mentioned above I've done the following:

    Checked power steering fluid
    Had MOT and service done
    Had Haldex oil and filter changed

    None of the above sorted the problem out, so today I placed an order for an upgraded Haldex controller from Awesome GTI, should arrive by Tuesday and hopefully I'll get it installed the same day. I'll give you guys feedback once it's installed.
    #32
  33. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    dodgy cv joint ??? I know its been mentioned but hard to say without being there
    #33
  34. TheJackal79
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    TheJackal79 New Member

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  35. TheJackal79
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    TheJackal79 New Member

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    Damn!! I thought it was just me. My car is giving the same problem. Worse when cold but then goes. Noe I've seen all the info here, Imma print it off and take it my mechanic so he can diagnose the problem. Should have a clue what the hell is wrong with it by Tuesday.

    Hopefully it will be something I fix under the warranty I got when I bought the car from a dealer.
    #35
  36. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Well the car has been into the garage twice this week and I've told them to check all the joints & bushes and they said nothing seemed to be wrong so I hope it really is fine
    #36
  37. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Actually I've just realised today that the jerky symptoms are more apparent when the car is cold.
    #37
  38. TheJackal79
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    TheJackal79 New Member

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    Took it my garage to have a look and the fools seemed to make the situation worse. I actually took it there for something else but asked them to have a check at the Haldex and the probs I was experiencing. When I picked up the car they had fixed the other issue and told me the car was jerking when they tested it but that I should take it back another time though they think it is the Haldex. Drove off and immediately the car started jercking even with slight movements of the wheel. Drove right back and said what the hell happened. They were sheepish and said oh it must definately be the Haldex. I argued a bit but left it because blood was boiling and I thought let me leave before blood gets spilt.

    Now been checking around a few places to get a proper diagnosis. I have a warranty which should cover it so all I need is a proper diagnosis. Might go to Fountain.co.uk or even try and give 4rings a go. If anybody knows some good places that do warranty work then let me know. I'm in the London area.
    #38
  39. thegoal007
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    thegoal007 Another S3 owner....

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    Look here everybody.

    Simply put (my personal belief and I'll say it again) the rear wheels locking only happens when the steering is on full lock (or very near to it). There are sensors on ALL 4 wheels (and one under the steering wheel-yaw sensor). Basically any one of these could be faulty or the unit that all these sensors communicate with and that is the ....ABS/EPS ECU.
    If you are not sure what is locking up get a friend to stand outside and look at the front and rear wheels. Then reverse on full lock and move forward (very very slowly). Or you can do one u-turn after another until the problem shows it self. I must stress take it very slowly and feel the car and when you feel a resistance this is where the wheels are locking, apply a small amount of accelation and see how the rear wheels jump free . Mine is definetly the rear wheels that lock and they fiercely jump free given a bit of accelation. I don't hear any grinding noises or any other unusual engine or suspension noises.
    Driving round very sharp corners at normal speed is going to give you this jerky ride (bearing in mind that this doesn't happen all the time!) , but slow things right down, feel and listen to gauge exactly what is going wrong.

    I too at the beginning thought it only happened when it was cold. I too thought it was cured when the haldex oil/filer where changed. If there were joint or bush problems you would feel your car drive consistently different from normal and possibly hear noises on it. ( don't forget the problems we have sometimes happen and sometimes not !)

    TheJackal79, sounds like you have the problem even driving in a straight line so it may not be the same problem (?).

    Ongoing from my previous paragraph , you could change the haldex control unit and think you have cured it just to find the problem re-appear in a month ? Not to end on a negative point, but it may also just fix it if your problems are not quite what I explained. BTW, I have the 225bhp S3 - that too shoud be factored in because the early engined S3 may well have known haldex issues ?

    Just for info on an earlier post and confusion; the haldex control unit is the brains (mostly) which controls the actual haldex clutch unit (i.e the mechanical moving parts - So we are talking about 2 parts here.
    #39
  40. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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    Sorry for the late update guys, I traveled back from the UK yesterday and never had time to update everyone on what I've done. Basically here goes:

    I bought an upgraded Haldex unit of Awesome GTI and got it installed on Tuesday. Now the battery was taken out for the ECU to re-learn everything, so when I first left the garage I felt a very slight jerk on my first turn, I dropped my cousin off and then went back home and switched the car off.

    A few hrs later with the engine cold I drove it like I always do, on the same roads and same turns I always take (The ones which give me the jerking problem). The first turn out of my drive is usually the worst but not this time, it actually drove out on full lock with zero jerking, :rock: I was very impressed. I've driven it around for 2 days and the jerking problem hasn't re-appeared at all. Now I only had 2 days to enjoy the car with the upgraded Haldex unit so maybe the problem would re-appear after a few month's driving.

    As for my problem, for now the Haldex upgrade seems to have solved the issue, as well as giving me the added benefit of permanent 4WD,:icon_thumright: the car drives completely different now, it seems to be a perfect compliment to the Koni springs, Nuespeed ARBs and ECS tie-bars that are already on there. It's a dream to drive around again, I never had a chance to try it out in the rain :(............It bloody rained the day I was leaving!!! :banghead:
    #40

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