Wonky Steering Wheel

drewman

Registered User
Ok, I got my top mounts and NSF inner tie rod changed but the garage didnt have the equipment to fit round my wheels (lowered) to do the tracking, so I took it down ATS for laser alignment.

I drove it away and noticed that the steering wheel was ****** so took it back in and they double checked the alignment but that was spot on. They advised that there's slight play in the lower arm bushes and beginnings of delamination and that this could be the problem and assured me its not a tracking issue. I have the laser print outs.

Is this the case, are they having me on or do I get these changed. Is it a possibility that the tie rod affected this and I didn't notice the wheel alignment? Can bushes cause it?! I never trust the opinions of these big chains! ATS, Kwik fit, halfords centres etc!

Thanks
 

<tuffty/>

Badger 5 Edition...Its all about the flow...
Staff member
Moderator
the tracking is right with the steering wheel on straight? or just correct according to whatever they are using to measure?

Its entirely plausible that the bushes are causing this... have seen this before on other VAG cars (polo springs to mind) where the bushes are that worn it rattles around and give massive geometry changes when loaded..

A3/S3 bushes are a little less compliant in context but they still have voids and its still possible for this effect to happen... if they noticed the movement though they probably should have advised first and not done the alignment as its essentially pointless doing it if wear is causing the tracking to go out again... chances are you could replace the bushes and the tracking will be out again

<tuffty/>
 

drewman

Registered User
He said it went out on a test drive and confirmed the steering wheel was ****** (duh) and put it back on the machine and apparently was tracked correctly and assured that the wheel wasn't wonky because of the tracking. I mentioned if the car was aligned with the wheel straight and he just assured me the steering alignment was true and pointed to my results.

I think the movement was only noticed the second time when I returned. I hate garages!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zj1dmnhkxumgrdi/1403468593112.jpg
 

<tuffty/>

Badger 5 Edition...Its all about the flow...
Staff member
Moderator
They are supposed to ensure the wheel is dead straight and track from that... if the wheel is wonky it effects the ABS and ESP functionality of the car and can also effect the AWD (haldex) on quattros...

I'd be making sure they tracked it with the wheel dead straight... places I have used do this with a sprung loaded jobber off the seat... if they are not holding the wheel dead centre while doing the alignment they are technically endangering you as if the ESP/ABS decides its not happy it can disable itself

I'd get a second opinion on the bushes too... just for peace of mind... worn bushes can make the car feel twitchy under braking like it wants to dart left or right...

<tuffty/>
 

drewman

Registered User
Yeah I think I'll get it checked out elsewhere and go back if it needs adjusting. Places tend to do free checks. I have no twitching under braking but do still have a low speed knock on full lock, eg when parking up so something is worn down there.

Thanks for the advice tuffty, much appreciated
 
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