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Author Topic: Clunking Noise while turning - common issue on Audi's  (Read 28840 times)
Maddog
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« on: May 12, 2011, 10:33:38 AM »

I cross posted some of my thread over here, but the culprit was the top center bolt for the steering rack becoming loose. Common issue in Audi's apparently. Read through for more info and possibly other diagnosis procedures for similar noises.

Quote from: mbgt72;62170
Ok guys, I've had this for a little while, but it's starting to bug me even more. It seems that get a clunking type of noise if I'm turning the wheel from a good bit right to the left. I only really get it while stopped, low speed (sub 15-20), or sub ~35 if doing some really aggressive driving like autocross or something. It's odd though that I don't think I've ever gotten it from turning the wheel from left to right. I'm well aware of the mechanical diff (as I installed the JHM 4:1 on my car) and I seriously doubt it's that type of noise. Unfortunatley I'm wondering if its something in the steering column. I can almost feel the clunk/click as it happens. So give me your suggestions/experience/advice.


Here's a video of it (still "converting since I don't have a premium account) and you can faintly hear it while turning the wheel. It's louder in person than the video as I just filmed it on my iPhone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDHJqn1VSeY
^^^Video for above txt^^^

Quote from: 04.5 GLI;62177
heres what ive run into at the dealer

check:
1.upper control arm bushings way to diag:raise the front end and turn the wheel full in both directions. its a visual inspection. see if the bushings are torn through and rubbing in the upper strut plate

2.steering rack bolts especially under the battery way to diag:remove battery and check the triple square hardware and see if its tight. also check the lowers the same way

3.subframe seperation. this 1 is tough to diag. it sounds and feels like the steering rack. what happens is the folding and weld pointy on the front subframe loosen or crack. when the weight and body shifts you get a slight clunk noise. way of diag is get about 6 pair of channel locks and put them around the outside of the subframe alone the folded points. drive it and see if it goes away.

Quote from: mbgt72;62183
First off thanks for the quick response

1) I just replaced my UCA's with the 034 adjustable kit about 1.5 months ago and bushings look good on all control arms

2) So if I remove the battery I'll have access to the steering column? How would I see from below? I don't really recall seeing it pass through while I've been working on the car, but that's usually b/c I'm looking for other stuff and it's pretty crammed in there.

3)Would this diagnosis still apply if the car was sitting still? B/c I definitely have the clunking while sitting still and turn the wheel. And as I said, I've never noticed it clunk while turning to the right, only while turning to the left.

Quote from: koolade9;62193
There are three bolts securing the steering rack, one under the battery tray, another on the opposite side (above), and one underneath that you need a long socket extension for.  If those three are already tight, you feel it in the steering wheel, and you've already replaced your UCAs, I'd bet a buffalo nickel it's tie-rod (most likely inner).

Since you mentioned "low speed", it could also be the top nut on your struts (do you have aftermarket suspension perchance?).  It's often not torqued down enough and can loosen itself just enough to cause grief.

Quote from: halik;62201
I gotta check my power steering bits as well


Quote from: mbgt72;83875
Update boys and girls:

CLUNKING IS FIXED!!!!

A rare night, the project only took 30 min or so (not including the time to run to sears for a socket to grab the bolt). Turns out it was the steering rack bolt, but only the one under the battery. Apparently this is also common on the C5 A6's and such. about 3 days ago I finally got around to replacing the inner tie rods, and that fixed my vibration at certain speeds, but didn't do much for the clunking noise.

I wasn't ignoring other's suggestions, just been putting off the problem. After the inner tie rods being replaced, it could only be one of two parts as mentioned: either a strut mount being bad or not tight, or something wrong with the steering rack or a bolt on the steering rack. And if you listen to where the problem comes from outside of the car you can really identify it's location to determine the issue.

Today at work, I popped the hood and turned the wheel from outside the car, it sounded HORRID (like something was about to pop out or break/already broke), and decided I had to fix this either myself for pay the indi during my alignment tomorrow. So I got home, followed Saki's battery pull diy :up: and got to the bolt in question. Had to run to sears to get a special 11mm socket that would grab the bolt since my 11mm would fit but not really torque it down.

Well after a trip to sears to get some sockets that could grab the weird bolt (12-point), I got it tightened down with some thread locker on there to make sure I'm not having to deal with it again anytime soon. From another DIY it said 67NM (or about 50 lb ft) which is what I did. Based on the size of the bolt, threading, and resistance, it seemed like that was an appropriate torque spec.

Anyhow, below are some pics of the bolt and a reference to the DIY on the A6 with the same issue. Also a link to saki's battery pull DIY.

I really hope this info can help others of you all that come across similar problems.



The bolt itself:




A look from above with the batter gone (ignore all the extra wiring, it's a bit cluttered but not nearly as bad once the battery is in place since it isn't loose then, I need to rewire but haven't):




Saki's Battery removal DIY (everything worked, except I used a 6mm alan bit rather than the 7/32 he suggested, that didn't fit for me):

http://www.euroaddiction.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2928


And finally, DIY from the A6 I also used:




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RodV8
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 08:04:05 AM »

I've been getting this same noise as well im on C5 A6. Been worrried about since I just did my outer tie rods and new control arms. Im gonna check this out next time I wrench on my car.

Thanks a bunch for posting this  Smiley

(sorry for bumping an old thread but I deserve a DIY fix like this was worth the extra look)
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2000 Audi S4 JHM Stage 3

Build Thread:
http://audirevolution.net/forum/index.php?topic=240.0
Maddog
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 11:46:40 AM »

Hope it helps ya rod. It was a horrifying sound to me and I almost felt unsafe driving due to the sound when you heard it just right. But (thankfully) it turned out to be pretty minor. I wish there was more info about this prior to my digging as it seems to be a common issue, even my shop agreed with me that it was pretty common after I told them what I did to solve it (wish they said something before rather then just tell me it could be a myriad of things. . . ).

And as I said, you've got to have the right sockets in order to tighten it down. I ended up removing the bolt entirely and applying a little loctite even though there wasn't any on there before just to prevent having to do it again.
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2005.5 S4 MT6 l JHM Parts: Stg 1 Supercharger, Long Tube Headers, IM, SS Trio, LW Front Rotors, LWFW, Stg IV clutch, 4:1 Diff, Stern Motor Mounts, Snub/Trans/Diff Mounts, F.I. Res B6 Exhaust, Pedals &Weighted Shifter l H&R C.O. 24.75" G-F, 034 Adj UCA's, H-Sport RS4 Rear Sway l Hawk HPS Pads, SS lin
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 07:29:35 AM »

wow! I have that same noise and it only started after I lowered the car.  I'll have to check that out. Thank you!

Not to completely side track the original thread and it's diagnosis, but I also have another clunking noise that sounds like the springs on the coilovers (vmaxx) aren't even seated properly. Only happens on slight bumps in the road, and doesn't necessarily always happen at low speed, but generally that is the most frequent time. I was under the car, and noticed my passenger side outer cv boot has a small hole in it and some green grease was flung up under there, so I know that needs replaced.  Does that possibly indicate that my outer cv joint is bad too?  This all only happened since July 16th when the car was lowered.

Thanks
Nate
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My S5(afe) Hyden
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 04:17:16 PM »

nate I wouild like to know that as well I know lowering cars has some drawbacks with the suspension and its angles

You want to hate me.. but the S5 has the rack is under the car.
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Maddog
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 08:13:03 AM »

Just to try to answer this quickly, I don't think lowering has to do with the clunking problem I had. It apparently is somewhat common on audi's, and ride height wouldn't really affect the bolt I show listed. But yes, lowering can cause other issues or premature wear, but there are safe levels where most of that will never be seen.

LZ5L3.0, if your inner CV joint is leaking, my guess would be your outer is still fine. The only way to really know is just look and see. BUT, since I've done CV joints twice now (once on my car where I just replaced the boot, and once on my neighbors all road) I can say without a doubt, BUY THE WHOLE HALFSHAFT! It's not worth the hassle and frustration of getting the boot off and putting the new one on. And if you do go that route, then how much longer till your outer one needs to be replaced? So please, Buy the whole half shaft and just swap it in, it's soooo much less of a headache and much more reassurance knowing both are new and there's no damage to the cv knuckle.

I also doubt that lowering had anything to do with your inner cv boot tearing, and it was probably just a time/mileage thing. You can get the half shaft fully assembled and ready to go for about $110 vs $20 per boot. So it's about $70 more, but I spent 1hr getting the shaft out, and 2-3 figuring out how to get the cv off and new one on. . .

And yes, a badd cv boot that has let the grease out can cause popping and sounds like your describing. I haven't experienced it, but have been told by others about that.
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 10:30:23 AM »

I would agree on the noise you had, that lowering was not necessarily the problem.  It's just ironic that I have that same noise and it only happened AFTER I lowered my car.  I've dealt with lowered vehicles before, I had a stupid low MK3 Jetta VR6, but for whatever reason, I never went through any major suspension problems like this one!

Unless you are referring to them backwards from my interpretation, my inner CV joint is NOT leaking, only the outer CV boot.  The car has 72,xxx miles and I'm sure none of the suspension components have been touched since it left the factory.  I have replaced the lower control arms on both sides about 8-10k miles ago.  Where can I pick up the whole halfshaft?  And by replacing the entire halfshaft, it could potentially and hopefully alleviate the clunking noise I'm having?
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Maddog
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2011, 10:50:23 AM »

I would agree on the noise you had, that lowering was not necessarily the problem.  It's just ironic that I have that same noise and it only happened AFTER I lowered my car.  I've dealt with lowered vehicles before, I had a stupid low MK3 Jetta VR6, but for whatever reason, I never went through any major suspension problems like this one!

Unless you are referring to them backwards from my interpretation, my inner CV joint is NOT leaking, only the outer CV boot.  The car has 72,xxx miles and I'm sure none of the suspension components have been touched since it left the factory.  I have replaced the lower control arms on both sides about 8-10k miles ago.  Where can I pick up the whole halfshaft?  And by replacing the entire halfshaft, it could potentially and hopefully alleviate the clunking noise I'm having?

My bad, I completely read and responded to your post thinking you had said the interior boot was leaking. Typically most people say the outer one goes first, but my interior went first & I can't remember which boot from my neighbors car was bad. So it sounds pretty par for the course at you're mileage and nothing being touched before.

I can't guarantee it by any means, and as mentioned, I didn't personally experience it, but when I was trying to diagnose and fix the clunking sound that this thread is about, I had several people tell me to check the CV joints as they can be known to cause clunking sounds if the boot has been torn.


I'm also a little surprised you had to replace your lower control arms already. It seems there are very few people who have to get around to doing that, and I've seen some audi techs post saying they almost never replace lower control arms on cars (not that they're good for life, but you know). The upper ones are typically the ones that wear the most. I have 90k on my car and my lowers still look good from what I can tell, and I have replaced my uppers (with 034's adj to help reduce wear and more control).
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 09:24:25 AM »

So I finally got a chance to wrench on the car last night. I followed the battery DIY to access the bolt underneath on the steering rack. I was able to torque it some more, but it appeared to be at the right setting. Replaced the battery and it seemed to relieve some of the popping noises.  I then proceeded to check the bolts on top of the shocks from after the coilover install.  They were a bit loose, but nothing crazy.  Took it for a drive around the block and a majority of the clunking/popping noises were calmed down.  They weren't entirely removed, and that is probably because of my bad cv joint.
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Maddog
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 10:25:47 AM »

^sounds like you're on the right path. I'll be interested if you have any clunking after you replace the CV. Keep us posted.
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 09:05:15 PM »

for whatever reason, I haven't heard the popping and clunking in a couple of weeks!  However, my passenger side halfshaft is being replaced Thursday afternoon.  I will report back on what it feels/sounds like after my trek to H20!
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