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Steering started feeling vague after pothole

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by JD09, May 8, 2010.

  1. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Any ideas on this? Had a quick search and looks like the steering rack on the S3 is not the greatest. My Clio's rack went and it felt a hell of a lot worse than this. When driving around the car park (smooth surface, low speed) it is find and perfectly responsive. But when going over bad road surfaces, it feels like the steering wheel isn't well connected . . . ??

    My tracking is currently out, so getting it booked . . . is it worth asking JBS to have a look at it once its up on the alignment machine? Are they likely to be able to tell/check anything?

    Many thanks!
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  3. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Snapped spring i recon, looked at one for a friend this morning, same symptoms. Was able to pull the broken section out and hand it to them,lol
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2010
    #2
  4. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Ah christ. Would that cause the symptoms above then Byzan?
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  5. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 8, 2010]
    jd mine does that and it irritates the fk out of me.. and i have replaced everything. only thing i have`t is my tie rods. (i have changed the ends.


    could also be what mark says tho. question do you have a little clonk noise when stationaray and you move the steering wheel quickly from side to side. (like a little wiggle)

    EDIT: i have not replaced my ARB just the bushes.
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  6. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    :( yes fella, a slight clonk (not audible, just feel it through the wheel).
    #5
  7. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 8, 2010]
    yep, thats what i have mate. i dont know what it is. winds me up daily!
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  8. vetch
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    vetch S3

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Ive got that very same clonk when turning the wheel when stationary, Ive bought a new steering rack and Im hoping that sorts it.
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  9. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Gay. Can't believe this. The one thing that really made me sell the Clio was the steering issue. At least this feels beefier than the Renault steering, so not going to bother me as much. Have to take it to be aligned soon at JBS so might get them to give it the once over and asl what can be done. Any suggestions on what else I can check tomorrow night by taking the wheels off? Presume track rods I can check with the old "hold the disk and wiggle it up and down and side to side" trick?
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  10. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 8, 2010]
    how much did you pay fella? if i need a new rack i was going to get a S3 rack as i hear there quicker and will fit an A3 with minor adaptation.
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  11. vetch
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    vetch S3

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    [May 8, 2010]
    When I say "new" rack, I meant newer than mine, but actually second hand. Buts its a low mileage one and in great nick. Got it off fleabay for £120 inc postage.
    #10
  12. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Active Member

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    [May 8, 2010]
    I had similar problem, apart from bursting 2 tyres in last 3 months on potholes, found out this week i had a cracked rear ARB and sloppy trackrod end, all fixed now and car feels fine. What grips me is that we pay a friggin fortune in road tax and fuel duty but have to drive round on roads that end up wrecking our cars.
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  13. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Mate, I've actively started searching out bad potholes recently. I now have damage to my car from one around my GFs house. So I am going to take a photo of one, send it off along with the engineer's report on the damage and tell them I expect something to be done about it. Not likely to get far, but meh, it solves my anger.
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  14. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 8, 2010]
    good luck mate. i tryed that route when i hit my audi in a pot hole. They will send you a form the size of a house asking you for the inner diamiter of your arse hole. make sure the Pot hole has not got any council markings on it as this indcates they know about it. in which case you have no leg to stand on.

    Get pictures using a tape measure from all angles. pictures of the surroundings. they will want you to Draw out what happend as well. for this very reason, i could not be arsed!
    #13
  15. Y83OLK
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    Y83OLK Hulk Smash!

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Mine does this too JD.
    Im hoping its not the rack, possibly rack mounts?(are there any?)...steering column U/J?
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  16. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    God knows Callum. I am prepared to fill out that form to no end lad. They are sooo bad around me. I didn't even realise you could claim when I lost a tyre and wheel on my old car!

    Any other thoughts on what it could be?
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  17. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 8, 2010]
    just as a help, i had this clonk before i replaced the following.

    Wishbones
    ball joints
    coilovers
    ARB bushes
    Tie rod ends

    front end wise thats it. still clonks!

    If i got full lock and get the missis to move the steering wheel, when touching the tie rod arms i feel the clonk. Everything else is tight as a nuns ....

    I changed my tie rod ends and its better than it was but still clonks.
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
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  18. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2010]
    Appreciate that lad. Will look into it next week.
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  19. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

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    [May 9, 2010]
    regarding the pot hole issues i have been paid out took 12 months photos needed and quotes for repair/replacement hassle forms but worth it
    steering rack.. mine is the same and needs replacing.. wiggle your steering wheel through your open drivers window and see the reaction of the drivers road wheel... any delay you have a problem... maybe ball joints but you would know that from other issues ...
    #18
  20. rossbrownlee
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    rossbrownlee Ross_S4

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    [May 9, 2010]
    What about replacing the track rod? There is also a ball joint at the inner end...
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
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  21. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 9, 2010]
    thats my next move if im honest. just lack of funds atm. inner end ball joint?? pics?
    #20
  22. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [May 9, 2010]
    On a previous car I had a badly worn track rod end and I could feel the wheel moving about on its own. Braking at high speed was the worse.

    Could be something to look at as if that goes there will be alot of play around the hub which makes the steering wheel feel very loose
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  23. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 9, 2010]
    i changed my track rod end about a week, 2 weeks ago, still have me clonk. It doesnt feel as bad tho.

    anyone got a front end diagram?? my moneys on my ARB as its the only thing i aint changed.

    EDIT: or the rack :(
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  24. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 9, 2010]
    What sort of pricing are the above Alpine? I'm going to take my wheels off tonight and wiggle the disks, see if there is any movement (showing trackrod ends if memory serves?).
    #23
  25. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [May 9, 2010]
    When my track rod end went you could move the wheel and hub and none of the suspension would move, can see the play in the bush. Have to jack it up though

    Was quite bad how much it moved. They are usually around £15 - 20 and very easy to change
    #24
  26. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [May 9, 2010]
    The track rod end will still serve/rotate a little as its on a ball. If it has play in the bush it will be forward and backwards.
    #25
  27. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 9, 2010]

    mine were about £7 each from Euros. before you jack it up, go full lock and get ya woman or ya mate to wiggle the steering wheel. get ya arm in the arch and touch everything. if you feel the clonking then you have a good idea where its comming from.
    #26
  28. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 9, 2010]
    Cheers guys. Might have to be tomorrow night but will do
    It asap.
    #27
  29. rossbrownlee
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    rossbrownlee Ross_S4

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    [May 9, 2010]
    [​IMG]

    Not a perfect match to what is on the S3 but close enough. The big bit on the left hand end of this track rod is the inner ball joint. It is normally covered by the gaiter.
    #28
  30. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 9, 2010]
    ahhhhh i see!! this has to be the culprit!! question is.. can these be replaced on the car or is it rack out bizzle?
    #29
  31. rossbrownlee
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    rossbrownlee Ross_S4

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    [May 9, 2010]
    Wouldn't rule everything else out mate but it's a possibility...

    They are fairly cheap though, about 25 quid on fleabay. Never done one myself but by the looks of it should be pretty easy without removing the rack. Access might be a bit awkward but as long as you can reach the flats on the sliding section of the rack you are good.
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  32. rossbrownlee
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    rossbrownlee Ross_S4

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    [May 9, 2010]
    [​IMG]
    The S3 trackrod. Luckily my replacement rack came with them and ends. off a TT quattro too.
    #31
  33. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 9, 2010]
    i have replaced nearly everything else so theres not much to rule out! lol

    coolness.. ill get on the case! cheers matey
    #32
  34. Dani_B19
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    Dani_B19 Audi-sports own special child.

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    [May 9, 2010]
    Ive got the exact same thing but mines down to the fron head crash i had due to some stupid b*tch not been able to drive (Fking women).
    #33
  35. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [May 10, 2010]
    OK, from driving home last night on the relatively smooth tarmac of the M6 motorway, for over an hour, I didn't feel the issues once!

    Once off the motorway, I felt it a couple of times but didn't notice any issues on my private race track, while doing 90+ (safely).

    So it would appear, if I go over a slight bump, it almost knocks the suspension up and the steering goes light . . . Gotta be wishbone related?
    #34
  36. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [May 10, 2010]
    my first thought were wish bones and they were the first thing i replaced. my simptoms are the same as yours mate. flat road its no problem. hit some bumpys and the steering feels like the wheels are about to fall off!!
    #35

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