2010 Golf TDI 60-75 mph vibration/shaking

Discussion in 'VW Mk6 Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Sportwagen TDI forum' started by Type_TDI, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Car:
    2010 Golf TDi Tech
    I'm about a month into ownership of my used 2010 Golf TDi 6 speed manual and am still trying fix (with the dealer) a vibration that occurs between 60-75 mph. The dealer has been great in trying to help, but unfortunatley hasn't nailed the problem yet. The car has 21k miles on it. This is my first VW, but I've owned/own several Audi's and older Porsche's. I like to DIY and am used to quirky problems but this one has me stumped!

    To decribe the vibration, it comes on around 60 mph, peaks around 66 mph and peaks again around 71 mph. It's in the steering wheel and the seat, it's pretty much all over the chassis. The amplitude of the vibration is dependent on the load. For example, going up a hill in 6th gear, adding throttle will amplify the vibration. In addition, on a level road in 6th gear, lightly and slowly modulating the pedal, staying +/-2 mph around one of the peak vibration speeds (say +/-2mph around 66 mph) I can keep the vibration steady. The vibration is still very noticeable between 60-75 mph, and spending 2 hours a day on the highway, it needs to go away :)

    I've also tried putting the car into neutral starting at 75 mph and coasting down to 60 mph, the vibration is still there, but certainly less. In terms of sounds, there are no clunking, popping or banging sounds in the suspension, even if I drive a bit hard trying to amplify any issues. There is a sound that seems to oscillate with the vibrations, but it's hard to describe and it's very light. There is certainly somthing "not right" about the sound though.

    Here's whats been tried/checked so far:

    1. I've tried a set of 18" OEM BBS rims with 1 year old winter tires, a recently purchased set of 18" RS4 reps with Yokohamas, the OEM 16" rims/tires off our A4 and the stock 17" rims/tires(Hankook) that came with the Golf. All sets are smooth as butter on our A4 but on the Golf the shaking persists. These rims are all Audi/VW centerbore and offset so there's not wheel/hub mating issues. After trying four sets on the Golf, I'm convinced the tires/rims aren't to blame.

    2. The dealer replaced the left front drive axle citing that it had a little play, didn't fix the issue at all. They also re-balanced the factory 17" wheels, no improvement. In fact after this "fix" my wheel now points slightly to the left because they probably disconnected a control arm to make room for the axle removal, then didn't bother to do an alignment afterwards.

    3. I checked the tightness of the large drive axle bolts in the center of each hub, they are tight.

    4. I put the car on ramps, took off the belly pan and checked every bolt I could get my hands on (control arms, ball joints, anti-roll bar, sub-frame, etc...) While underneath I also slowly rotated the tires to see if the drive axles had any strange movement. Everything seemed fine.

    5. I put the car on jack stands and did the 12-6, 3-9 O'Clock pulling/pushing on the tires to see if a wheel bearing was loose or if the tie rods were sloppy, nothing I could detect. They sure shouldn't be sloppy with 20k miles on the clock.

    6. Checked the motor mounts, kind of, not really sure how to check these. What I did was put the car in 1st gear on a level surface and pushed it forward and backward. The engine would rock, but I have no idea what is acceptable. Whats the likelihood an engine mount is bad at such a young age?The dog bone engine mount underneath looked fine, bolts were tight.


    What else could it be? Out of round hub? Bad flywheel/harmonic balancer? Something in the transmission? Upper strut mounts? Satan?

    Not much attention has been paid to the rear end yet, but I never suspected it given the depedancy on throttle position.

    I'm really at a loss, and if I'm at a loss, I don't have high hopes for the dealer. Unless they have someone with plenty of experience, that would just so happen to know from the symptoms and feeling when driving the car, I'll probably be going back for months to come as they slowly replace parts.

    If there's anyone here in central CT that thinks they could figure it out after driving it a bit (or if you can recommend a shop with VW "Voodoo") any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    2006 Jetta TDI
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    CT
    If you're at the vibration speed and shut the car off (it's OK since you have a manual, no ATF pumps) (just make sure there's no traffic around and that it's safe to do so), it'll probably be unchanged by your description but there's a small chance it could be related to the engine or exhaust.

    It's probably not the flywheel and harmonic balancer but it's possible. I've heard of a bad flywheel very early but these are usually caught early on and more noticeable at all speeds.

    There's a very remote possibility it could be related to a loose front or rear subframe. There were some issues with loose front subframes on the mk5 cars. These are normally detected when turning, not at highway speeds but perhaps yours are loose and letting the suspension shake when the car and engine reach some magical combination. Watch this video : http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Golf_V--2.0T/Suspension/OEM/Subframe/ES2102460/ If they're not loose I would rule it out.

    Very unlikely it's the transmission but still remotely possible.

    If it's driveline related it's prob in hub or brakes. If engine prob related to exhaust.

    Possible it's satan. He/it is targeting America and specifically VW Golf TDIs. ;)
  3. Aseras

    Aseras Member

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    2010 Sportwagen TDI
    Do you know any mechanics? you could run the car on a dyno or a lift and look to see what is vibrating at speed.
  4. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Thanks, Chitty and Aseras,

    Chitty: I'll try to dump the engine when the highway is quiet. I'll need to be careful that the steering wheel doesn't lock :) That's a great idea in terms of isolating the root cause. Out of curiosity, how much would you expect the top of the engine to move back and forth. i.e. if you measured the travel at the top of the engine cover and to the hood latch, what type of movement would you expect? Rocking the car forward and backward in first gear gave me about 0.5 cm or so. I can push the engine back and forth with my hands and get a little movement as well. Is that normal? Or should I not be able to budge the engine?

    Asearas, I wish there was a dyno accessable to me, would be great to just let the car run at highway speed and observe from the outside.
  5. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    Haven't tested it and can't since you have a 2010 and I don't but you should be able to move the engine a little.
  6. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Quick update: I tried chitty's idea to kill the engine while in neutral, traveling at the speed where vibration occurs. The vibration was still there so that should eliminate the engine mounts as a problem. At this point it's got to be something in the hub assembly.

    I have one more appointment with the dealer, hopefully they'll nail it this time. Otherwise I'm getting out the dial gauge and will start measuring the hubs!
  7. slothbar

    slothbar New Member

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    Suggeted shop to go to with a dyno

    If you live in CT and are looking for a reputable shop with a chasis dyno give Ted a call a Janetty Racing located in Waterbury CT.

    Here is a link to their site.

    http://jannettyracing.com/

    Good luck.
  8. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Slothbar: perfect, that's only a 20 min drive from me. The dealership has the car today, I'll know if it's fixed on the way home this evening. Hoping for the best!
  9. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Well, quick update is that they fixed the alignment they messed up, but the shake is still there. They had three different people drive it and none reported a shake, so now I'm the "crazy guy that comes in". They offered to take a ride with me when time permits so I can call out the shake with them, this may help.

    I'm starting phase two of my own effort and will get out the dial indicator tonight to check for out of round conditions. Can't wait to figure this out!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2012
  10. froudeg

    froudeg New Member

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    From what you describe, i suspect it's one of 2 things...

    The car is not very old so i doubt very much this problem is related to the deterioration of any rubber bushes.

    This oscillation you talk about -is it a sort of metal resonating noise, somewhat highish pitched and constant?

    If so i suspect one your wheel bearings is damaged or on the way out - I have seen damaged wheel bearings which show no play at all when you do the wheel wobble test but are faulty and cause vibration or unusual sounds - when you get the bearing/hub assembly out and move it with your hands, it will feel/sound scratchy instead of smooth.

    The other thing which brings about these sort of symptoms is a slightly sticking brake caliper guide pin. I would have a look at the guide pins - take them out, clean off any crud/rubber debris and grease them up with caliper (silicone based) grease before putting them back in (dont use copper grease as it can damage the rubber). Whilst there ensure the pads are seated properly in the caliper housing.

    If the guide pins are sticking a bit the brake pads can rub slightly and with the fact that brake rotors are rarely perfectly flat you will get a noticable vibration - especially at speed, sometimes accompanied with an oscillating noise like you describe.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2012
  11. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Froudeg,

    Thanks for the other ideas I can try, I'll have the wheels off tonight and will check these items. I also have a feeling it's a bearing but I don't hear much of a noise, perhaps a faint start of a similar failed bearing noise.
  12. xeno555

    xeno555 Member

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    2012 TDI Tech Package 6mt
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    Mile High
    Mods:
    Malone Stage II. Rawtek 3" from Turbo to Tail. Slammed on Koni. TSW Nurmburg Rims. Whiteline Tierod Ends. Panzer Plate.
    If your tired of wasting your time, you could always get a "road force balance". That will probably "fix" your issue.
  13. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Xeno555,

    Thanks, two of the four sets of tires/rims I've tried we're road force balanced where the other two sets were just a normal balance. Are you talking about a balance where the wheels are on the car and under load? Sounds expensive :)
  14. froudeg

    froudeg New Member

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    Just to add to this - i notice you say it feels like its coming from all over the chassis, and in the steering wheel and the seat.

    It's hard to tell if its actually coming from the steering wheel when you feel it all over the chassis.....usually a vibration from all over the chassis, especially one thats felt through the seat is a problem with the rear of the car.

    This could be rear wheel bearings, rear suspension bushes, damaged control arms or a severe alignment issue (camber or toe badly out).

    Problems with the front wheels/suspension/alignment usually are felt far more in the steering wheel than anywhere else - if it feels like the whole car is shaking/vibrating (especially when coasting in neutral, pretty much ruling out engine mounts etc) i would concentrate on looking at the rear.
  15. xeno555

    xeno555 Member

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    Car:
    2012 TDI Tech Package 6mt
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    Mile High
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    Malone Stage II. Rawtek 3" from Turbo to Tail. Slammed on Koni. TSW Nurmburg Rims. Whiteline Tierod Ends. Panzer Plate.
    Yes it is pricey. Also when you remove the wheel (one that has been road force balancing (RFB)) without marking the position on the hub/rotor, you run the risk of making worse. This is because RFB balances all rotating mass per wheel.

    You could view your car (wheels) from another car while someone drives yours @ 65 MPH and see if any of the wheels looks bent or wobbly.

    Another thought, you said you tried many rims/tire combos. Did you ensure that the correct rotation of the tires are followed correctly. Correct tire pressure also.
  16. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Froudeg:
    I think you're right about it being something in the rear, there really isn't much forced rotation in the steering wheel, just the chassis vibration that is felt all over the car. I'm measuring the rims, tires and brake calipers with a dial indication this afternoon, that should show what is out of round.

    Xeno555, Thanks, I'd only had the rims/tires road forced balanced and haven't tried the on-car balance. After I make sure the rims/tires/brake discs are true today, I'll try to figure out if that balance is necessary. The vibration I have is so great, it's got to be more than a balance issue (unless they REALLY f'ed up the balance). That's a good idea to have someone else spot the tires.

    I did check tire pressure on all of the other tires I've tried.
  17. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    After taking a few dial caliper measurements this afternoon, I was able to find at least part of the problem. I took measurements of the lateral and radial runout of each rim, as well as radial runout measurements of the brake rotors.

    The rims in the front seem to be in-spec with the greatest runout measurement being 10/1000". Both front brake rotors were less than 3/1000" radial runout, so no problems there. As far as I know, the limit is around 30/1000" for normal passenger cars. If you're running low profile tires you probably should expect 10/1000".

    Upon measuring the two rear rims, there were clearly some issues. Passenger side rear rim had a good 20/1000" or more lateral runout and the radial runout was 40/1000" or more, so pretty much bent. The brake rotor was fine showing only 3-4/1000" of radial runout.

    The drivers side rear rim was about the the same, only the radial runout was 50/1000" or more, even worse.

    There are a few video's below showing the measurements, in one of the video's you can clearly see the bend in the driver rear rim as the wheel rotates. You'll hear a scratching noise from the dial indicator rubbing on the inside of the rim, so there isn't something terribly wrong with the bearings. You may also hear a few swear words. In fact, it's probably best to just mute the audio unless you like listening to something similar to nails on a chalkboard :)

    I'll take it for a drive and see how much better it feels. Now I'm wondering whether I should bother to see if the dealership will help replace them, I doubt they will. Since they had three people drive it and all reported "no vibration" last week, I'm wondering what this evidence would do, other than piss them off.

    What confuses me is why the vibration was there with the other rim/tire sets I tried. The only thing that's been corrected since then is the alignment, but I don't think it was THAT off.


    Passenger rear lateral runout:
    http://youtu.be/8IWD3_Tjmsc

    Passenger rear radial runout:
    http://youtu.be/SQYunVUPY-U

    Driver's rear visual inspection:
    http://youtu.be/z6dePxbqChc

    Driver's rear radial runout:
    http://youtu.be/Nd-ZAF_x1Tc
  18. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    As they say, you can balance a square tire but that doesn't mean it'll roll smoothly. They may say you caused road damage to wheels if they're bent. Also, bits of dirt can often bake into the inside of the rim. If the wheel wasn't dirty I could see it hitting some glued on road junk.
  19. Joe Golf

    Joe Golf New Member

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    I have read this string with interest. My 2012 Golf has a very noticeable vibration between 28-45 MPH with mild to heavy throttle. The vibration mabifests itself only when traveling straight. In a turn the vibration diminishes to the background movements of the vehicle.
    So far I have balanced then switched wheels without much change. The dealer put in a new drive axle which may have helped some. At first the dealer claimed they could not dupicate until we went for a ride. I knw this 10,000 mile car so well that I can reproduce the vibration at will. Most days I just drive around it, ie soft peddle through the zone and drive on. It is most noticeable on the on-ramp to an expressway.

    Car goes back to the dealer this weekend for an extended stay. Too bad I like the car but will not accept it as is and have said as much to the dealer.
  20. Type_TDI

    Type_TDI New Member

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    Chitty, haha, I like the square tire analogy, so true. The wheels in the back were relatively clean with no goop, plus you could visible see the bend in one of the videos.

    Joe Golf: Sounds like my symptoms exactly only mine occurs at 60+ mph. Through my current analysis, i'm starting to lean toward a bad wheel bearing. Would I be right to say that the vibration disappears above 45 mph? Which drive axle did they swap out?

    Here's an update for today after driving for a couple hours on the interstate and after yesterday's learnings:

    The heavy butt shaking (hah) is gone after swapping out the two visibly bent, stock 17" rims at the rear. I'm using the 16" rims from our A4 in place of all 4 stock rims. The 16" rims have nice soft touring tires installed and are perfectly balanced.

    Now that the shaking in the seat of my pants is gone, I notice even more the vibration in the steering wheel, it's still there just as much as before so something is still wrong in the front end. It does get violent enough at the right speed that you can still get the whole chassis to shake. The coins in the center armrest jingle with the vibration.

    I'm really thinking it's a bad wheel bearing assembly. I say assembly because there's a chance that although the bearing races are "OK", since it's a single piece press fit, it's possible the factory (F.A.G. bearings in Germany) didn't get the press fit right (see picture in this link: http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28814). If my tires are straight and balanced, the drive shafts are ok, the suspension is tight, and steering system is tight, what's left other than bearings :)

    A couple other forum threads seem to talk about similar troubles, they are also leaning toward wheel bearings:

    1. http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28814
    2. http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27036

    There is a sound that is constant in frequency, but changes in amplitude every 3-4 seconds when maintaining a constant road speed above 60 mph. Something is going in and out of resonance.

    At this point I'm done dealing with the dealer, it's not worth the trouble to take it back, tell them what's wrong, wait a day, get the car back with something else wrong, etc... I'll get the bearing for $100, install it in an hour, have a beer and see if it's fixed :)

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