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wierd noise. help please

Old 04-24-2006, 12:38 AM
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Default wierd noise. help please

When I turn the steering wheel to the left i hear a loud creaking noise. Does anyone know what this is? Also is it still ok to drive for a day or 2 or should i get it towed away?
Old 04-24-2006, 12:42 AM
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Default RE: wierd noise. help please

Can you offer more info? It would be nice to know which A6 it is and under what circumstances the problem is happening.

The more you tell us, the more we can help.

Old 04-24-2006, 12:45 AM
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Default RE: wierd noise. help please

Yea sorry. Its a 2001 2.7t quattro. The noise comes from the front driver side wheel when i turn the wheel to the left. It happens when the car is moving or sitting still both.
Thanks for the help
Old 04-25-2006, 05:42 PM
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Default RE: wierd noise. help please

It should be alright to drive. One of the ball joints is probably binding causing it to squeak when its turned.
Old 04-27-2006, 01:59 AM
gpz is offline
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Default RE: wierd noise. help please

If you want to diagnose it and work on it yourself, read on, otherwise take it to an independent mechanic who specializes in German cars, especially VW / Audi.

Only when you turn to the left? Not left and right? Does it make the sound if you bounce the front suspension up and down too? Or maybe try to get a jack under the front and listen as you crank the wheel off the ground. While you have that wheel up, grab a hold of it at 3 and 9 o-clock and push / pull / shake the wheel. You are looking for any play in the tie rod end. Then put your hands at 12 and 6 and try again. Take the wheel off and inspect the ball joints (and CV boots while your there). Try to grab and shake the suspension control rods (two at the top, two at the bottom).

If it only makes the noise while moving the wheel in one direction, and not back, especially if the wheel is off the ground, I'd suspect the steering rack / pump. If it creaks going back and forth, then MAYBE its a tie rod end. Grab that rod and see if there is any play at all, there should be none. If it creaks going up and down (suspension) as well as side to side (steering), then I'd suspect one (or more) of the ball joints on the end of the control arms. If so, and it is a bad enough creaking sound, you can have a helper turn the wheel to make the creak sound, while you have your hand on a control rod and see if you feel it vibrate as it creaks. You can then go from rod to rod, carefully reaching around the wheel as it is being turned, and see which ones feels like it is vibrating / creaking the most.

If you identify that it is a control arm ball joint or tie rod end, you have to assess if this is a repair job that you can do. Personally I think it is really easy, but then I've been wrenching on my own cars for a long, long time. Personally, even though I can easily afford to pay someone else to do the work for me, and my time is very valuable, I would much rather do the work myself, as I've had too many bad experiences with 'qualified' mechanics. It may take me longer, but I know that I'll do it right the first time without screwing anything up. Anyway, if you decide that this is something you can tackle (or maybe you have friends that can help for the price of some good beer), then there is a good right up around here somewhere. You need to assess whether you you are only going to replace the offending control rod, or do ALL of the control rods and tie rod ends since your in there anyway (more money and time involved, but you get it over with). Personally, I believe that these ball joints are under spec'd, and are pretty much 'run to failure' components. What this means to me is that I'll replace them individually as they fail, as it really isn't that hard for me to do (couple of hours in the garage, couple of good beers, some beebop, hardbop or cool on the stereo and its a much better evening than sitting watching TV). Anyway, that's my assessment for my situation, you have to assess your own.

If, however, you don't think that it is one of the ball joints or the tie rod end, and suspect the steering rack or pump then I'd go to the mechanic and get an estimate. (It is suspicious that it only makes the noise when turned in a single direction....pump... Have you checked the powersteering fluid level? Does it have the correct fluid in it?)

BTW, its more than likely OK to drive even if it is the power steering. Worst case you lose the power steering and have a hard time turning, but you'd still be able to make it to the shop.

Good luck with it.
Old 04-29-2006, 01:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default RE: wierd noise. help please

gpz knows what he's talking about! Great diagnostic post.
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