Steering pull and variance on brake/acceleration

Discussion in 'VW Mk3 Jetta, Passat TDI and other/older diesels' started by soncasey, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. soncasey

    soncasey Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
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    I'm getting a strange pull or release when driving. The wheel shifts a few degrees and the car changes direction slightly.

    For example, driving - then I release the gas pedal and the wheel seems to lose tension and pull/release a few degrees. Or vice-versa, coasting with no gas - hit the pedal and it pulls/tightens up in the opposite direction.

    Does anyone have an idea of what this could be?

    It also has a bit of a pull to one side as it is.

    Thanks
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  2. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

    Joined:
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    21,873
    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    It's not torque steer related to power. It's most likely related to a worn suspension because a few degrees just by releasing hte gas pedal is a lot.

    The pull to one side is from an alignment issue but before you get an alignment that I would inspect the suspension since that would cause the alignment issue.

    The most likely areas of concern are the lower control arms, tie rods, and struts. To test tie rods, securely lift the corner that you want to test. Hold the wheel at the 3 and 9 o'clock position or as close to the tie rod plane as possible. The wheel should move tight with the tie rod. There is an inner and outer tie rod and both are wear items. Since you noticed the steering wheel move also check the tightness of the steering rack. I forget if the rack has bushings that connect it to the subframe or not but I think it does not have bushings there.

    The rear lower control arm bushing is also a common wear item. This page is for an a4 body but your earlier style control arm is very similar: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q_how_to/a4/LCAbushing.htm . The part number for the rear lower control arm bushing is actually the same. I suggest using the Audi TT bushing - it's still soft enough so that you won't notice any harshness. The front bushings don't seem to wear much.

    Worn springs will sag and it's common that the driver's side will sag more because that's the side that gets more weight. If the car is parked on a level road and the tires are inflated equally, see if the car is leaning to one side. This shouldn't cause the effect that you are seeing but is a rough judge of how worn the springs are. If the spring broke than you should hear clunking when the weight shifts. That could cause strange handling. More likely is worn struts that aren't controlling the weight transfer.
  3. freerider

    freerider Member

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    Jul 9, 2007
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    If you go to Firestone they have a lifetime alignment plan. Fix the suspension and if it's still not fixed, fix what's wrong and then you could go back and have them do another alignment.
  4. Two Mikes

    Two Mikes New Member

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    Jul 3, 2008
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    Yep, the LCA bushing is so soft it's amazing they last as long as they do. It could even be torn.
  5. soncasey

    soncasey Member

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    What are the consequences of not installing the new bushing in the correct direction?
  6. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    Why do you ask ;) If you look at the writeup it shows the stock bushing with the gaps fore/aft. This lets the bushing "twist" a certain way. One side also has a thick lump. The Audi TT bushing is solid and has no gaps. I don't know how a stock bushing would feel if installed incorrectly. I can tell you that new Audi TT bushings made steering feel slightly smoother.
  7. soncasey

    soncasey Member

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    Haha. Welllll ... I installed them according to how they were in before I took them out, which must have been incorrect. The rear LCA bushings were also torn and mangled and insanely difficult to press-in.

    They feel okay in there right now, I have to get an alignment and see what the professionals have to say about it.

    I did some rear struts on a '95 Golf today, so easy!
    (one collar/sleeve was a bit of a pain)

    -thanks

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