steering madness

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badluckwithcars
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steering madness

Post by badluckwithcars » 02 Dec 2003, 19:02

hi, i have a 1.8 Clio 16v and i have recently had some new break discs and pads because the old discs were warped. The breaks are now fine..better than ever infact. The mechanic also checked the tracking before handing it back to me. Now when driving in a straight line..especially on a bumpy road it feels like the front end of the car has a life of its own. At higher speeds you can imagine my delight when the car pulls off in any direction it wants, there is no wheel judder either. It feels like the wheels are loose. Have checked tyre pressures and wheel nuts.....any ideas.<font color="black"></font id="black">
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Post by badluckwithcars » 05 Dec 2003, 14:52

an update: Have recently re checked the tyre pressures, it has made a slight difference. After sticking my head out of the window to see what happens when i steer i have found out that the steering actually loses contact with the wheels while i am turning about 1 degree to the left any further than that and steering is fine and i turn gracefully to the left. This now means that the steering wheel is slightly to the left when driving in a straight line. The steering column was replaced a year ago. This one has beaten me!
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Post by arry_b » 05 Dec 2003, 19:13

Take it back to your mechanic and get him to do the tracking properly. He should have centered your steering wheel, clamped it in place and adjusted both track rod ends to do the tracking properly. Some people only adjust the track rod end on one side which gets the tracking right, but messes up the steering wheel alignment.
While he's down there, get him to check all of the ball joints and steering linkages for free play. Better still take it to another garage and get them to check it.
If the car wasn't like this before and the problem started immedately the work was done, then it looks like he's broken / incorrectly adjusted / left something undone.
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Post by Homer » 10 Dec 2003, 03:27

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by badluckwithcars</i>

The mechanic also checked the tracking before handing it back to me.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Why did he check the tracking and did he just check it or did it need some adjustment?
It would seem strange to check the tracking after only changing the brake disks+pads, unless he noticed something, such as tyre wear.
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Post by badluckwithcars » 15 Dec 2003, 16:18

i have taken the car to a professional outfit to have a look at the wheel alignment while fitting a new clutch, they checked the tracking and said it was slightly out and have rectified it, they also noticed tyre wear on the off side front wheel on the inside edge of the tyre. they recommended new tyres on the front and then resetting the tracking. the car still drives strangely with the steering wheel slightly to the left, so the tracking has not worked. Running out of ideas now. Could it be something to do with the suspension, wish bones etc...the car is lowered 50mm all round...could this have worn something?
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Post by JohnW » 17 Dec 2003, 15:02

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by badluckwithcars</i>

i have taken the car to a professional outfit to have a look at the wheel alignment while fitting a new clutch, they checked the tracking and said it was slightly out and have rectified it, they also noticed tyre wear on the off side front wheel on the inside edge of the tyre. they recommended new tyres on the front and then resetting the tracking. the car still drives strangely with the steering wheel slightly to the left, so the tracking has not worked. Running out of ideas now. Could it be something to do with the suspension, wish bones etc...the car is lowered 50mm all round...could this have worn something?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Sounds suspiciously like good money after bad! I'd take it back to the "professional" outfit. If they really are (professional, that is) they should never have given it back to you without the steering wheel centred when driving straight ahead. The least they should be is embarassed and the least they should do is finish the job without charging you more. If they aren't responsive, they may not be as professional as you thought/were led to believe. Did they give you a written report on the alignment - the "professional" place I use in Perth (Western Australia) has a proforma that they fill out with all the adjustments noted and give you after a job.
Good luck.
JohnW
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badluckwithcars
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Post by badluckwithcars » 17 Dec 2003, 19:04

Why is it mechanics don't test drive cars, a simple 10minute drive would almost always show up a problem with any work that had been carried out. I just had a clutch fitted and they didn't test it!!! Its madness. As with the trouble with the steering, anyone that has had any experince should know streight away what is wrong if they take it for a test drive, but insted all the mechanics i have spoken to just look at me blankly and scratch thier head it seems like no one in this country has a clue as to what is wrong with the Clio.
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Post by arry_b » 17 Dec 2003, 22:53

Time to start looking for a garage you can trust. This doesn't seem to have any correlation to how much they charge of if they are a main dealer.
Try posting where you are to the Citroen forum (more people hang out there) with a request for a recommendation for a trustworthy garage.
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alan s
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Post by alan s » 18 Dec 2003, 03:23

My bet is that the problem stems right back to the first guy who did the brakes. Logic says if it was driving OK before he started & all over the show when it came back, he's screwed something up in the process. This could be as simple as removing a tie rod and normal practice is to count the number of turns so that it is screwed back in as far as it was previously and he's just done a guess & been a few turns out or damage to lower control arm bushes, bent tie rod or as a worse case scenario, forgotten to tighten something properly.
The wear on the inside edge of the tyre is somewhat indicative of a wheel "toeing out" instead of "toeing in." A toeing out wheel will cause the wander you describe particularly if other factors are involved such as slight wear in the flexible disc on the steering column, slight tie rod or rack end wear or a slightly out of adjustment steering rack damper.
To set the whell alignment correctly & with an optical adjuster, the steering wheel should be set & locked in a central position and the illuminated indicators clamped to each front wheel. This should then be adjusted if necessary until the indicators point straight ahead. Then & only then should the toe in be set; normally anything from 0 to 3 degress. I would recommend the 3 deg for a car with a bit of mileage.
My guess is that you have one front wheel set correctly or near enough to it and one set a couple of degrees toeing out which is why you have the wandering.
If you take it & tell them that you need to have this wheel alignment done correctly & when it comes back it's still all over the place, I can tell you how to physically do the checks yourself, but whilst it's fairly simple to do, it's bloody hard to explain. I never get the garage to do mine; I do it myself in my own workshop using a tape measure, a straight edge and a piece of chalk. It can be done!!
Also, before you get too deep into things, check your tyres; if they happen to be directional, see which way the arrows indicating the direction they are supposed to travel are pointing....You wouldn't be the first to get trapped with that one. [:0][:I][:I]
Alan S [;)]
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badluckwithcars
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Post by badluckwithcars » 06 Jan 2004, 19:10

have fixed the problem.....it was the suspension top mount, it was worn causing the wheel in the near side to have adverse camber (hence tyre wear on inside edge)it also meant the steering was affected!
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arry_b
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Post by arry_b » 07 Jan 2004, 02:41

Nice one.
I'd have expected the "professional" outfit to have checked for that before they charged you for a tracking adjustment though.
Glad you've sorted it.
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