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Steering problem - wobbly at high speeds?

Discussion in 'VW Mk4 Jetta, Golf, New Beetle, Passat TDI forum' started by hansmoman, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. hansmoman

    hansmoman New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Car:
    2005 Golf 1.9 BEW
    Seems to be an issue with the steering on our 2005 Golf TDI / BEW. This is not a car I drive personally, however I took it out for a few test drives. At highway speeds the steering is "loose" -- almost as if the car is blown around in the wind. Turning the wheel just a hair results in a random uncontrollable / moderately large swerve -- it's almost too dangerous to drive at anything over 70mph. My first thought is the steering rack could be damaged, but I am not that knowledgeable about the steering/suspension system.

    I had noticed that I needed to add a small amount of power steering fluid every time I changed the oil, however I could not find any noticeable leaks. As a long shot I tried doing the power steering bleed method by turning the steering wheel end to end repeatedly. No matter how much I did that air kept bubbling back up into the reservoir. Is that normal or might there be air being sucked in somewhere?

    Everything I could see looked solid / sturdy with the car up on jack stands.
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  2. Seatman

    Seatman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    5,135
    Car:
    2000 Mk4 Golf Estate 1.9tdi 174 bhp
    Location:
    Scotland
    Mods:
    PP764's, turbo and mapping
    With the car on the ground, in neutral and handbrake/e brake on, try pushing the front wheels back with your foot, the rear wishbone/lca bushes are notorious for having play and could be part of the issue and that seems like a good way of testing them in my experience.
  3. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    20,919
    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    Yes, sounds more like a suspension issue, PS fluid is prob a separate issue. Also check tie rods in addition to the lower arm. Pushing the wheel while jacked up securely side-side up-down will reveal play.
  4. hansmoman

    hansmoman New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Car:
    2005 Golf 1.9 BEW
    Thanks for the pointer in the right direction -- I see there is even a FAQ for the bushing replacement. It does sound much more plausible that there's a suspension problem. I'll take a look at that ASAP!
  5. Frank M

    Frank M Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    199
    Car:
    2000 NB
    Mods:
    ventectomy
    I had the exact same symptoms at around 200k.
    the valving in my rack had worn.
    I got a VW reman and it was fine after that. Check those bushings first. It does take much movement to get the reaction you are experiencing.

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