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Author Topic: Odd steering/crap handling  (Read 991 times)

Offline swansem

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Odd steering/crap handling
« on: November 26, 2021, 06:23:31 pm »
Hi everyone, I need some help, I've been having this issue with my car for a while now and I still can't figure out what's causing it. I've replaced the steering rack, checked all tie rods, wheel bearings, sway bars, end links, done alignments, replaced tyres, replaced strut mounts, front subframe bushings, added the TyrolSport subframe kit, installed whiteline antilift kit (WALK).....the steering still feels loose and unstable at high speeds, I could turn the steering wheel like half an inch and wheels would barely move...it's like the front feels disconnected from the rest of the car....not sure what else to check at this point. I also have H&R UL Coilovers installed and I do have noticed it started happening around the time I installed my coilovers, not sure if that would have anything to do with it or just coincidence, before the coil overs I had my car already dropped on lowering springs but never had this issue. Any ideas?

Online Hypertuned

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2021, 03:44:12 am »
Did you get an alignment after installing your coilovers?

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Offline Pudding

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2021, 11:49:33 am »
If it feels fine in the corners but loose at dead ahead, it sounds like the toe is off, and maybe a bit of bump steer/tramlining if the car is set too low.

Assuming everything is tight and slop free and the geometry is good, I would look at the UJ shaft on the steering column next. It has 2 UJs on it and if either one of them (or both) has play in it, that can also cause a loose feeling when driving straight.

Also check tyre pressures and tyre condition.  When lowered and stiffened up, the car can become more sensitive to tyres.

Try raising the car up to somewhere just below stock ride height and see if things improve.  If it does, then you know it's alignment related.


2007 ED30 | 2009 TDI 140

Offline swansem

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2021, 11:08:55 pm »
I have done 4 alignments since I installed them a year ago ( subframe has had to come off multiple times because of clutch swap, sway bar, etc)
On my most recent alignment, which was done this month, I asked for the front toe to be set to 0 degrees just to see if this would make it any better, it didn’t. 

Im attaching the printouts of all the alignments I’ve had (last one is the most recent one) :










I have also tried increasing the tyre pressure to like 42 psi and even though it gets a little better, it doesn’t completely get rid of it, my other problem with having tyre pressure set that high is that the ride becomes horrible, too stiff and bouncy, not ideal for daily driving.
 Did try to raise the car a bit too, didn’t make a difference.
The steering column shaft doesn’t have any play in it either, I have checked that too.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 11:18:46 pm by swansem »

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2021, 04:49:10 am »
Are you coming to this from a more modern car?  Coz older VWs steering used to feel number around centre & needed a fair amount of input compared to more modern cars, with their electric steering & higher ratio racks.

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Offline swansem

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2021, 03:41:17 pm »
No, I’ve owned this car for 7 years, this started happening about a year and a half ago, right around the time I swapped wheels/tyres, front sway bar endlinks, upper strut mounts and coil overs(did all this at the same time), it was never like this before that.

I’ve checked all suspension components, everything looks and feels rock solid, there’s no play anywhere, don’t see any cracked bushings.

It’s mostly this numbness at the center of the steering wheel what bothers me, where you could turn about an inch to each side pretty much effortlessly as in before it would feel a lot heavier (especially after installing the WALK), obviously this problem becomes more noticeable the faster I’m going, let’s say if I’m on the highway going straight at 80mph I could turn the steering wheel about an inch back and forth to each side and the car won’t turn at all.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 04:25:48 pm by swansem »

Offline Pudding

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2021, 09:08:29 am »
Did you fit the top mounts in the correct orientation?

You've changed a lot of parts in a short space of time, so it won't be easy pin-pointing which change caused the steering issue.  What I would say though is some tyres, especially asymmetric patterned ones, can cause that exact steering issue, and then people end up chasing their tails looking over the suspension.


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Offline swansem

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2021, 12:11:36 pm »
Did you fit the top mounts in the correct orientation?

You've changed a lot of parts in a short space of time, so it won't be easy pin-pointing which change caused the steering issue.  What I would say though is some tyres, especially asymmetric patterned ones, can cause that exact steering issue, and then people end up chasing their tails looking over the suspension.

Yes, top mounts are fitted correctly, checked that as well.

I did think it was the tyres originally, that’s what I first tackled when trying to pinpoint the issue, I had Michelin PS4s 225/40r18 before, switched to Nitto Neo Gens 215/40r18, then replaced those with Michelin PSS 225/35r18, I changed the tyre size to stretch a bit since I was going to be lower I needed a little stretch to clear the fenders. However, I didn’t notice any difference when going from 215/40 to 225/35 size. I know that before, I had 225/40, which is a thicker sidewall, but I don’t think going down only one size should make that much a difference in the steering, if that was the case then everyone would be talking about that and I’ve done ton of research and haven’t read about people having this issue when stretching down one size only, additionally, there’s another guy locally who has a mkv just like mine and who’s stretching more tyres than I am since his is even lower than mine (think he had 205/40s on), I’ve checked with him and he doesn’t have the steering problem.

Offline Octoparrot

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2021, 05:24:09 pm »

Offline LC5F

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2021, 07:54:15 pm »
Subframe bolts loose?


Some rear subframe bolts are a waisted type and like to work loose.

Offline swansem

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2021, 08:55:51 pm »
What about the steering curve? https://www.mk5golfgti.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,132125.0.html

I don't think that would be the case for me since this started happening even before I replaced the rack, I usually don't mess around with settings in Vagcom

Offline swansem

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2021, 08:57:49 pm »
Subframe bolts loose?


Some rear subframe bolts are a waisted type and like to work loose.

Replaced all of those when I dropped the subframe to add a new clutch, and I even added this kit: https://www.tyrolsport.com/suspension/chassis/tyrolsport-deadset-rigid-subframe-collar-kit-for-all-mk5/6-jetta-gli-and-mk2-audi-tt/ that makes it all rigid with zero slop

Offline swansem

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2021, 09:33:59 pm »
One thing I forgot to mention, when I installed the coil overs, I noticed one side was lower than the other (passenger side lower than driver's), to even it out, I had to lower driver's side more (use more threads) not sure if this would affect it in anyway, when I had my lowering springs it was the same, one side was always slightly lower than the other, I just never worried too much about it...

Offline JoshB

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2021, 02:02:03 pm »
Are your shocks all the way in properly? I had the same thing on a Citroen Saxo years ago and it was one of my shocks was about 3mm off it’s seat.
Getting too old for this...

Offline swansem

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Re: Odd steering/crap handling
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2021, 04:37:02 pm »
Are your shocks all the way in properly? I had the same thing on a Citroen Saxo years ago and it was one of my shocks was about 3mm off it’s seat.

I'll have to go under and take another look, I did contact H&R before because I saw one of the struts was covered in grease so I thought it might've been blown, after looking at the pics I sent they told me it looked more like residual from when they were assembled not the strut fluid.  but aside from the steering problem, they seem to be fine, just really stiff.