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STRMTRÜPR
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Discussion Starter #1
ok so i live out in the country here in arkansas and just got back from the city and my car was steering and turning fine but i noticed that my cars allignment was a little out because my car was veering to the side, when i got near my house i have to drive on a gravel/dirt road and when i got on the dirt road it gets a little bouncy at times but for some reason my steering wheel felt a little loose. if you can help me out or know whats wrong please tell me. Thanks :)
 

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hmmm..... steering wheel loose, maybe its that one huge bolt thats holding the steering wheel in place are loose.

or

did you mean your steering system is loose when going through the gravel?
 

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Resident Senior Citizen
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840 Posts
Sounds like its a sensation of floating over the gravel. Not in good contact with the ground.

How fast are you going over the gravel?

And the pulling to the side issue. Is it to the right? Could be from the pitch of the road surface. My Jet's a little sensitive about that and I have to correct to the left sometimes.
 

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not your typical air ride
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sounds like you lost a control arm frame bolt. Take a pic of your wheel well without the tire. Both sides if you cant determine which side its generating from.
 

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Sofa King Euro
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dude just think....your driving on a gravel road...not pavement. gravel are little rocks tht give when you turn the wheel unlike pavement. everytime you turn the wheel rocks move making it easier for you to turn. its almost like your sliding accross the rocks...just a thought.
 

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STRMTRÜPR
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
im only going about 25 in the gravel and its just sometimes the steering wheel feels like its loose and feels like rattling a little like the wheels are about to come off. but i got it up to about 80 through a turn and had no problems whatsoever? my dad thinks it might be a bushing? thanks for the help guys :)
 

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STRMTRÜPR
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
okay so i had time to look at my car today when i jacked the car up and put it on jack stands i inspected and i didnt see anything loose but i really didnt know what to look for. but when i was spinning the wheels i noticed that one front wheel will move a little bit before the other one does is it suppose to do that or not if not how do i correct it?
 

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wheel baring is going bad, needs replacement.
 

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should i replace the hub aswell?
its up to you or up to the condition of the original hub you got. have a suspension tech take a look and he can determine if needs replacing. most of the time it does not need replacing.
 

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and so while your car is being checked out, have them inspect the tie rods, and CV axles too cause those could also be loose.
 

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And you came to this diagnostic... how? Loose steering is a sign of excessive control arm movement. Excessive CA movement is tyically caused by bad control arm bushings, or as Ryan suggested, a missing/loose bolt. I'd check those CA bushings if I were you..

If for piece of mind you want to test your wheel bearings, just jack up the wheel and use two hands and alternately push the wheel to one side, the other, up, and down. You'll know what feels wrong when theres something wrong.
 

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STRMTRÜPR
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
And you came to this diagnostic... how? Loose steering is a sign of excessive control arm movement. Excessive CA movement is tyically caused by bad control arm bushings, or as Ryan suggested, a missing/loose bolt. I'd check those CA bushings if I were you..

If for piece of mind you want to test your wheel bearings, just jack up the wheel and use two hands and alternately push the wheel to one side, the other, up, and down. You'll know what feels wrong when theres something wrong.
yeah it wasnt my wheel bearings because right before i was going to check them i remembered i got new ones when i replaced the rotors and pads.

how would i go about checking if the ca bushing is good or not? and do you think it might be a bushing in the steering coulumn itself possibly the intermediate shaft?
 

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Honestly, no. You could have an issue with your tie rods (directly linked to steering, no pun intended), but you'd have other issues like your steering wheel off center, and your car wrapped around the side of a tree lol.

All you have to do to check control arm bushings is visually inspect them (If you can get under the car on a lift with the control arms free floating with the wheels off, wiggle them around and note excessive play. You'd know it when you see it). The rear ''hockey puck'' will rot out over time, so you'll see that it's literally about to flake into pieces, and that the rubber itself is real soft. For the cylindrical control arm bushings, you wont be able to tell as much unless you can move the arm around as mentioned earlier.

When you get to about 60K miles or so, factory CA bushings tend to be quite rotted out, especially if you do alot of city/off road driving. If you have the $50 to spend and feel like taking a shot in the dark, germanautoparts.com sells hybrid poly/rubber R32 control arm bushings for the MKIV jetta. The front bushing in the kit is two pieces so installation couldn't be simpler. The rears though need to be pressed in and out.

Whether they are the cause of your issue or not, CA bushings will improve steering and overall handling.
 
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