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Stiff steering?

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Macduff, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Macduff
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    Macduff Member

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    [Dec 2, 2008]
    The steering on our 1.9 PD 130 Sport has been intermittently stiff recently. It seems to take more effort to turn and there seems to be more resistance when in the turn.

    Tracking has been checked and adjusted within spec. Power steering fluid level is OK. No unusual noises coming from the steering.

    Any thoughts on what might cause this?

    Thanks
    Dave
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  3. evilscotsman
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    evilscotsman Space Cowboy

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    [Dec 3, 2008]
    slipping power steering belt??
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  4. Macduff
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    Macduff Member

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    [Dec 3, 2008]
    Could be but I'm not getting any sounds and the problem also occurs right across the speed range.
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  5. evilscotsman
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    evilscotsman Space Cowboy

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    [Dec 3, 2008]
    the only thing left is lack of or intermittent pressure, which could be the valve in the steering rack or the pump itself, the rack is a nightmare of a job. The pump makes pressure obviously but a valve at the end of the steering column opens on one side or the other depending on direction the wheel is turned and allows pressurised oil to push the rack in the direction you want to turn, decreasing the effort. The valve can jam or stick, and is probably more likely than the pump though that can fail too, but is usually noisy. My B5 valve used to stick shut first thing, no power steering, then after a while of running it would give a soft click and the steering would work, then stop again later.

    Best to contact a power steering specialist and get it checked out. Audi racks are prone to leaks, and the engine undertray can disguise where its coming from. I had the rack seals, valve and pump go bad on my b5 and it was a real shitter honestly mate. The previous owner had got the leak first, and was topping up the ps with red atf - the wrong kind of fluid (has to be audi green) and it rotted the seals. The pump ran dry and the valve started sticking, just got worse and worse.

    The engine and box have to come out and the rack itself costs a fortune, also theres a coupling in the steering column that if it slips when the rack is being disconnected (and its easy to do this) then its a whole new steering column too. It was the first job on AutoData that my local garage had ever seen come up in red! It warns about being an excessive labour job.....

    I ended up scrapping the car as the cost of the job outweighed its value but then it was an old car.
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  6. Macduff
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    Macduff Member

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    [Dec 3, 2008]
    Er, thanks.

    I suppose it couldn't be any worse than what you've described!

    I've not noticed any leaks and the fluid isn't dropping so I guess it could be the valve as you describe. I'm shocked that the engine needs to come out.

    I guess if it does come to this I may try to get something from Audi as this shouldn't happen on a 4 year old car.
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  7. evilscotsman
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    evilscotsman Space Cowboy

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    [Dec 4, 2008]
    its just a guess mate, but yeah a flippin 4 year old car shouldnt be bad eh.

    The rack is mounted before the engine is installed, and cant come out sideways, look thru the wheel arches and you'll see what I mean, thats why the engine must be removed to get the rack out even for a recon job.

    The valve sounds likely but dont know if that can be accessed from underneath or if its integral to the rack.
    #6

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