View Full Version : Wobbly Steering!

18-12-2008, 01:40 AM
I have a Passat 2.0 GL Estate (1995) which “wobbles” when driven and it’s driving me mad! When you go along, the steering follows every little rut or line in the road – it feels like the tracking is out (and then back and then out again!!) This is me drivng down a straight road....:drive:
OK - so there is a worn suspension bush that needs replacing.... but where? I’ve checked every joint, I’ve taken it to two different garages and I have even had an MOT – nothing appears to have any play in it! The only thing I can detect is that when the car is “cold” (i.e. first thing in the morning) when I wobble the steering wheel I can feel “play” in the front wheels. (I’ve checked that the steering rack is on tight and this is OK!) Once its warmed up the play is far less although the handling on the road doesn’t change. (May be this is normal for the power steering when the fluid is cold?)
So I’m at a loss as to what is happening and what to do next. I could go round replacing each joint/bush until I find the culprit but its going to get expensive (especially as the tracking will need checking after each replacement??). Any ideas what could be causing this and why it doesn’t appear to be visible?
Any good ideas would be very welcome!

18-01-2009, 06:13 PM
OK, I've had a closer look again and the problem seems to be a "knock" in the actual steering rack. According to Haynes (#3498) the steering rack can be adjusted. There are apparently two types "ZF" and "TRW" - mine of course is the one not shown! So attached is a photo of the steering rack I have got. So anyone any ideas here how to adjust this?

18-01-2009, 06:37 PM
Or a tyre could be out of shape? What speed does it happen at low speeds?

18-01-2009, 10:19 PM
It happens at all speeds but is noticed mostly at about 30mph. The tyres appear OK (when spun). The wobble is not regular and does not increase/decrease with speed so I do not think it's "wheel" related.

When the engine is running (at idle on the driveway) when I rock the steering I can feel a "clunk". With the engine off, the clunk is greatly reduced - the only difference between the two states is that the power steering is "on" or "off" - to me this suggests that the steering rack could be the cause of my problem....?

26-01-2009, 12:24 AM
Before you start spending ,money on bushes ETC get your tyre pressures done, balance all 4 wheels and put the rear wheels on the front
Let me know whats occurs

26-01-2009, 09:33 PM
I've tried changing the back to fron (if anything it made it slightly worse - but debatable). Tire pressures are all OK (I've tried running at +3psi to try to "firm-up the tires) but no change.

I've not got the wheeles balanced, but it doesn't feel like this.. if I have ever had an unbalanced wheel, I've always had a regular vibration at higher speeds. Can unbalanced wheels give an "irregular wobble"?

I am goint to try to borrow a set of wheels off another vehicle just to rule this out but I'm not holding out too much hope on this!

The steering rack is the only fault I can find. I tried to get my local VW dealer to tighten the steering rack for me (see my earlier comments) - they basically said "You're not bringing a 15 year old car to our garage!" but obviously in a much nicer way.....

I got hold of the specific VW service sheet..I need VW Tool 3315/8 and /9 to adjust the rack (but my local garage threw theirs away when they moved location). Unless I can get hold of this tool, I'm going to have to try to make one up - anyone any ideas?

27-01-2009, 12:07 AM
It could be out of shape tyre. This would cause wobble at all speeds. Trying another set of wheel n tyres is good idea aslong as they are known to be good on another car.
Good luck

27-01-2009, 12:10 AM
check this link out http://www.scribd.com/doc/2764296/VW-95

27-01-2009, 12:17 AM
Go to section 48- and onwards loads of info on steering rack and set up