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  1. #1
    Senior Member Four Rings
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    Jul 27 2011
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    IN

    Audi A4, Replacing Rack & Pinion <Question>

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    Hello friends,

    So its back to trouble again.:)

    My 98 Audi A4 1.8t makes a clunking noise whenever it goes over the bump. The noise comes from the front passenger side. Went to mechanic and he found that its a bad rack and pinion causing this sound.

    This sound just started two days before and does not occur everytime(only if i drive roughly over bumps).

    So can i go with this for some more miles? I drive almost 120 miles daily.. Please advise whether its gonna damage other components if i drive that long daily with this rack. Thanks..

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Four Rings walky_talky20's Avatar
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    Jun 30 2008
    AZ Member #
    30427
    Location
    Erie, Pennsylvania

    He is sure this isn't just a bad tie rod end? This isn't a super common problem, but the tie rods are. Rack and labor is pricey, you may want to get a second opinion just to be sure. Not saying it can't be the rack. If you trust the guy and he is sure the tie rods are fine, then go for it.

    If it is just a little bit of slop in the rack, you're probably fine to drive on it for a while. It won't hurt anything else no. Of course I have to recommend you fix it soon as it is a fault in the steering system of your car, which is pretty important. And I haven't looked at your car to see what the actual problem is either. This would be a good question for your mechanic, who actually found the fault.
    ^Don't listen to this guy, he's not even a mechanic.
    2001 Laser Red A4 1.8TQM, 5-Speed Swapped, APR 93, Splitter, electronic oil pressure gauge, B6 Sport 17's, ST Coilovers,
    Need to borrow a Cam Chain Tensioner Tool? $4 for shipping. PM me. *Available*

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Four Rings Seerlah's Avatar
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    Dec 05 2007
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    A place between here and there
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    I am thinking either a ball joint for a CA or tie rod end. My clunking issue (only on bumps) was one of my lower control arms. replaced all of them at the same time (just because, along with tie riod ends) and everything is fine now. Was chasing the noise down for a while till my mechanic properly diagnosed it for me (thought it was a tie rod end, and wanted his opinion). Trusting your mechanic is very important.
    I hate it when my car acts like a little bitch, treating me like the bitch

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings FNK's Avatar
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    Mar 07 2010
    AZ Member #
    55703
    My Garage
    Audi A4 2.8L 2001 Quattro Tip
    Location
    Montréal, Éts

    I don't trust the mechanics in general.
    I also call the control arms (mostly the outer ball joint of the steering rack).

    Jack the car, remove the wheel and try to move by hand the control arms. Even the smallest play will give you a knock or clunk.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings walky_talky20's Avatar
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    Jun 30 2008
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    Erie, Pennsylvania

    There is no less than 12 ball joints in the front of your Audi. It is surprising, but even the smallest amount of play - not even possible to positively identify on a lift - will cause some knocking/clunking. The slightest bit of looseness in the joint and it can make noise. And because they are ball joints, it is possible that the play only happens at a very specific position, such that it is "covered up" when the vehicle is raised off the ground (ie: the joint is tight at every other position other than ride height). Very tricky they can be.
    ^Don't listen to this guy, he's not even a mechanic.
    2001 Laser Red A4 1.8TQM, 5-Speed Swapped, APR 93, Splitter, electronic oil pressure gauge, B6 Sport 17's, ST Coilovers,
    Need to borrow a Cam Chain Tensioner Tool? $4 for shipping. PM me. *Available*

  6. #6
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 02 2010
    AZ Member #
    55405
    Location
    Richmond/VA/USA

    Quote Originally Posted by FNK View Post
    I don't trust the mechanics in general.
    I also call the control arms (mostly the outer ball joint of the steering rack).

    Jack the car, remove the wheel and try to move by hand the control arms. Even the smallest play will give you a knock or clunk.
    Lol. So what do you do for a living? I am assuming you design, engineer, assemble, diagnose, fix, and drive B5s for a living?

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Four Rings FNK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 07 2010
    AZ Member #
    55703
    My Garage
    Audi A4 2.8L 2001 Quattro Tip
    Location
    Montréal, Éts

    Quote Originally Posted by stofficer2 View Post
    Lol. So what do you do for a living? I am assuming you design, engineer, assemble, diagnose, fix, and drive B5s for a living?
    Close, I'm finishing a degree in mechanical engineering, but by no mean does it make me a mechanic. walky_talky20 can be blindly trusted!

    LINK FOR A COMPLETE CONTROL ARMS KIT Worth it!

  8. #8
    Established Member Three Rings SS92's Avatar
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    Jul 11 2011
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    2012 2.0T GTI
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    Charlotte, NC

    Quote Originally Posted by FNK View Post
    Close, I'm finishing a degree in mechanical engineering, but by no mean does it make me a mechanic. walky_talky20 can be blindly trusted!

    LINK FOR A COMPLETE CONTROL ARMS KIT Worth it!
    x2. Just ordered my own set.
    2000 B5 A4 1.8T ATW GT2871r, Unitronic/Maestro tune, RaceTec FMIC, etc... - > FOR SALE

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings walky_talky20's Avatar
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    Jun 30 2008
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    Erie, Pennsylvania

    Quote Originally Posted by FNK View Post
    walky_talky20 can be blindly trusted!
    Hey now, let's not be saying crap like that. I don't have room in my sig for a disclaimer, lol.

    I do my best to give good suggestions, but that is all.
    ^Don't listen to this guy, he's not even a mechanic.
    2001 Laser Red A4 1.8TQM, 5-Speed Swapped, APR 93, Splitter, electronic oil pressure gauge, B6 Sport 17's, ST Coilovers,
    Need to borrow a Cam Chain Tensioner Tool? $4 for shipping. PM me. *Available*

  10. #10
    Senior Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 27 2011
    AZ Member #
    78867
    Location
    IN

    Hi guys,

    Thank you for the replies.

    I also thinks it not really the rack and pinion. Because I replaced the passenger side axle and sway bar links last week. After that there was no clunking or clicking sound for two days and car was running great. But soon, the passenger side wheel developed a thumbing sound whenever I go over bumps. So I took it to the same mechanic and he said it's rack and pinion.

    Even when the axle was bad, I didn't have this kind of noise from the passenger side. So you think that something went wrong while replacing axle/ sway bar links? Is the mechanic fooling me to hide his fault? Do I need to get a suggestion from another mechanic?

  11. #11
    Veteran Member Four Rings Seerlah's Avatar
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    Dec 05 2007
    AZ Member #
    23104
    Location
    A place between here and there
    Items for Sale

    My rule of thumb is to get at least 3 opinions, if it is not a mechanic you are accustomed to. And if all 3 say that your issue is from a different reason, then you can see why most mechanics are not trusted. Took me a couple months to find mine (personal mechanic) and I have to drive like 25min to get to him, even though there are a couple Euro shops in my area. But to answer your question, forget what that mechanic tiold you. Find 3 more shops, get diagnosis from them, and compare.
    I hate it when my car acts like a little bitch, treating me like the bitch

  12. #12
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 02 2010
    AZ Member #
    55405
    Location
    Richmond/VA/USA

    Quote Originally Posted by FNK View Post
    Close, I'm finishing a degree in mechanical engineering, but by no mean does it make me a mechanic. walky_talky20 can be blindly trusted!

    LINK FOR A COMPLETE CONTROL ARMS KIT Worth it!
    Damn I guess anyone can become a mechanical engineer.....

  13. #13
    Senior Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 27 2011
    AZ Member #
    78867
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    IN

    Yeah, I am going to another mechanic and will see what he says :)

    Between, there is wheel rotating/growling noise coming from the same side above 60 miles/hr. And the noise increases with acceleration. Will this be a bad wheel bearing?

    I go between 85-100 miles/hour most of the time on hiways. So considering bad rack & pinion(not confirmed yet) and this wheel rotating noise, is it safe to drive at this speed?

  14. #14
    Veteran Member Four Rings walky_talky20's Avatar
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    Jun 30 2008
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    Erie, Pennsylvania

    Yeah....no. I would not drive that fast regularly in a car that made any kind of clunking or growling noises from the steering/suspension. It would be wise to slow down a bit IMHO.

    Seriously, 100 mph?! Are you being chased?
    ^Don't listen to this guy, he's not even a mechanic.
    2001 Laser Red A4 1.8TQM, 5-Speed Swapped, APR 93, Splitter, electronic oil pressure gauge, B6 Sport 17's, ST Coilovers,
    Need to borrow a Cam Chain Tensioner Tool? $4 for shipping. PM me. *Available*

  15. #15
    Senior Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 27 2011
    AZ Member #
    78867
    Location
    IN

    yeah, I guess i need to slow down a little bit..

    I have to drive 1 hr daily to reach work place and usually go at a speed in that range. Recently I put a new turbo and it reaches 100 with in no time. And that's why I love this car ..:)



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