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  1. #1
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 12 2011
    AZ Member #
    83794
    Location
    Denver, CO

    Creaking noise when turning steering wheel...

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    So, I've got a noise that comes from the front of the car when turning the steering wheel - sounds like creaking/popping. Happens at low speeds - backing out of the driveway or pulling into a parking spot. Not noticeable while driving, probably due to road noise. My first thought was control arms based on what I've read, but I'm not seeing any obvious play in the rubber bushings and nothing is torn. Same for outer tie rod ends. Also no leaks in the power steering system.

    The car has >170,000 miles on it and the CA's have never been replaced, so I'm kinda planning for this anyway, but I just want to make sure I'm not missing something else.

    I'll add that I'm not 100% sure I'm checking things properly - I will grab a wheel with two hands when I've got the car jacked up and rock side to side. I just don't see any significant movement. But, like I said above, with the mileage I've got, I figure they can't be in good shape.

    Anything else I should check before replacing these?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Three Rings Dcass08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 21 2011
    AZ Member #
    78584
    Location
    Rochester NH

    My CA bushings were doing exactly that on my A4. I gave them a squirt of WD-40 and they were good for a while until they got dry again.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Two Rings IVRNGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 27 2007
    AZ Member #
    17630
    My Garage
    2002 A4 Avant 3.0 ATQ
    Location
    Houston, Texas

    Check your power steering pump fluid level. A low level could bring on pump whine...

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings yung turbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 19 2008
    AZ Member #
    25450
    My Garage
    2005 A4 1.8T Qtip, 2008 A4 Avant S-Line 2.0T Qtip
    Location
    NYC/DE

    Not to jack but i have the same issue and my mechanic said its my control arms and tie rods. Hopefully this will give you a place to start.
    TuRboK1ng
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Three Rings f1torrents's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 27 2012
    AZ Member #
    92640
    Location
    Guelph
    Items for Sale

    Same issue here.

    Once the bushings warn up they don't creek anymore.
    I have a complete front suspension kit but will not be installing it until the spring/summer.

    I may try spraying them with SC1 (silicone based spray) to see if they quiet down.

    It doesn't really even bother me anymore.
    2004 B6 2.7T Quattro 6sp - ECS boost gauge - B7 Key & Console - Exhaust tips - S-Line pedals - Cupra R lip - R8 Coils - AMG SLK55 Wheels
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  6. #6
    Established Member Three Rings CHARLES A4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 31 2012
    AZ Member #
    87475
    My Garage
    Turbo integra 521hp
    Location
    queens ny

    Same thing with me but I figured it was from my tires sitting all night in the cold and getting a little hard
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  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings wheelmanbg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 20 2010
    AZ Member #
    67259
    My Garage
    03 A4 3.0 Quattro
    Location
    Sheridan, WY

    I have had the same issue ever since I bought the car 2 years ago.
    I replaced all of the control arms and tie rod ends using inexpensive replacement, didn't help.
    I recently changed the tie rod ends with quality parts and that helped a little. I figured it was the rack because it's leaking a little bit

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings diagnosticator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 26 2005
    AZ Member #
    7741
    Location
    Seattle, WA

    Creaking/popping noises that occur during low speed turns are most often caused by cracks in the subframe, or failed welds in the subframe. Either replace the subframe with a new or known good used part, or have the subframe re welded in place.
    Vorsprung durch Technik

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings Dan1969's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 16 2009
    AZ Member #
    46457
    My Garage
    Audi A4 B6
    Location
    Somewhere in the Pacific

    I have to do all my control arms and along with the shocks on the front, I'm at 115K miles. However I do have bad inner tire wear and my alignment suffers, I can feel when I accelerate how the car pulls toe in with the torque and toes out with braking.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Three Rings f1torrents's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 27 2012
    AZ Member #
    92640
    Location
    Guelph
    Items for Sale

    Quote Originally Posted by diagnosticator View Post
    Creaking/popping noises that occur during low speed turns are most often caused by cracks in the subframe, or failed welds in the subframe. Either replace the subframe with a new or known good used part, or have the subframe re welded in place.
    Why would it stop when the car warms up from driving?
    Mine only creeks when its been sitting for 5+ hours or really cold outside.
    2004 B6 2.7T Quattro 6sp - ECS boost gauge - B7 Key & Console - Exhaust tips - S-Line pedals - Cupra R lip - R8 Coils - AMG SLK55 Wheels
    14mm to 12mm stud conversion - ST Coilovers - S4 Cluster - H&R TRAK+ Adapters
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    VW/Audi keys. MK4-MK5-B5-B6-B7-TT-A3-A6-A8-Beetle ETC... PM for details
    RB4/RB8 Cluster services

  11. #11
    Senior Member Three Rings p8nt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 05 2010
    AZ Member #
    59923
    Location
    Traverse City
    Items for Sale

    Didn't Old Guy find a spray that he used on the bushings with success on this subject?
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  12. #12
    Veteran Member Three Rings zamflip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    64624
    My Garage
    Bayliner 175, 2014 JGC wk2, and wifey s40
    Location
    Smithfield, ri
    Items for Sale

    I got that problem too... I replaced new tie rods and upper control arms, feel little clunks when i steer it fully turn in 5mph. I will inspect them again soon.
    "Do I expect everyone to like my car? Not in the slightest, but I didn't build my car for anyone but me." --dre

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings BARRY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 02 2007
    AZ Member #
    22288
    My Garage
    AE86 20v, UZZ30 LS2, 2002 A4 B6 1.8t
    Location
    Hollywood, Ca
    Items for Sale

    bushings need lube. clunk could be due to cracked/worn bushing.

    any graphite based lube should quiet things significantly.

  14. #14
    Veteran Member Four Rings diagnosticator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 26 2005
    AZ Member #
    7741
    Location
    Seattle, WA

    Quote Originally Posted by f1torrents View Post
    Why would it stop when the car warms up from driving?
    Mine only creeks when its been sitting for 5+ hours or really cold outside.
    The only reason I can think of is due to thermal expansion/contraction, resulting in the loosening of the crack, allowing relative motion that does not occur audibly or sensationally, when warmed up.
    Vorsprung durch Technik

  15. #15
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 12 2011
    AZ Member #
    83794
    Location
    Denver, CO

    I'll try some silicone spray just for fun, but the noise is there regardless of how long I've driven the car. I do coincidentally have a groan in my PS pump as well, but the fluid level is fine and there are no bubbles when I turn the wheel.

    I'm a little unsure with what I should be looking for (and where) regarding the subframe... any pics to give me an area to focus on?

  16. #16
    Established Member Three Rings CHARLES A4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 31 2012
    AZ Member #
    87475
    My Garage
    Turbo integra 521hp
    Location
    queens ny

    Quote Originally Posted by a44mark View Post
    I'll try some silicone spray just for fun, but the noise is there regardless of how long I've driven the car. I do coincidentally have a groan in my PS pump as well, but the fluid level is fine and there are no bubbles when I turn the wheel.

    I'm a little unsure with what I should be looking for (and where) regarding the subframe... any pics to give me an area to focus on?
    I have a slow leak and bubbles in mine!!!!
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  17. #17
    Stage 3 Forum Advertiser Four Rings ECS Tuning-Audi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 02 2006
    AZ Member #
    70746
    Location
    Wadsworth,OH

    Had this happen with my B5 and it turned out to be tie rod ends. Replaced them with Meyle HD's and never heard it again. At 170k I would definitely have all your control arms replaced. Not worth the risk of a ball joint failing while at speed and causing an accident.

    I had a lower ball joint fail on my B5 while I was turning on to a main street. Luckily it failed while only going 5-10 mph and there was no traffic coming the other way because it made my car swerve unexpectedly into the other lane across the double yellow.

    Get it taken care of sooner than later! We have quite a few options for control arm kits shoot me a PM for a quote!

    Jason
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  18. #18
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Mar 22 2011
    AZ Member #
    72773
    Location
    Montreal

    After about 130,000 kms I decided to do a complete suspension refresh, Control Arms, Trailing Arms, Outer/Inner Tie Rods, Front/Rear Sway Bar links, Strut Mount/Bump Stops (Meyle control arms and sway bar links, everything else OEM, all from ECS). The work done a month ago and while the car drives and feels much better I started getting the same creaking/popping noises at lower speeds when I'm turning the wheel and parking. Just like OP it I only hear it while parking and turning the wheel, not driving at higher speeds.


    I'm not sure if this is a result of a faulty part or certain parts not installed properly (installation done at Audi dealership) but I have to bring it in and have them look at it. After I get an answer as to what was causing it I'll let you guys know.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Three Rings Dcass08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 21 2011
    AZ Member #
    78584
    Location
    Rochester NH

    Probably rubber bushings drying a little. Pick one or two and give them a shot of WD-40 and see if it goes away. Keep it up until you find the right one.

  20. #20
    Veteran Member Four Rings CyberPMG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 23 2004
    AZ Member #
    806
    My Garage
    2004 A4 1.8T Ultrasport 6MQ
    Location
    Stow, OH

    It's the bushings in the upper control arms. Happend to me. Put in a new full set of control arms and TRE (Febi/Bilstein). Must have had a bad set becasue the noise returned on the right side after two weeks. The shop is currently looking into this.
    USP CLUB MEMBER #34

    2004 A4 1.8T USP - GT2871R Eliminator - Unitronic program - ER Comp FMIC - Stoptech BBK & lines - JDM SS - CIM gauge - ECS RA4 Stage 2 clutch & LWFW - Fluidampr pulley - RNS-E - RS4 pedals, e-brake, & mirrors - S4 Bi-Xenon ecodes - 19" OZ SLIII - Bilstein PSS9 - B6 S4 Recaros - more stuff...

  21. #21
    Established Member Three Rings Bags4Groceries's Avatar
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    Jan 09 2013
    AZ Member #
    107174
    My Garage
    2012 Harley XL Nightster - Stage 1
    Location
    Cleveland, OH

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberPMG View Post
    It's the bushings in the upper control arms. Happend to me. Put in a new full set of control arms and TRE (Febi/Bilstein). Must have had a bad set becasue the noise returned on the right side after two weeks. The shop is currently looking into this.
    Paul - Cary and I were JUST talking about this. Happened to me too after 1 month...
    2005 Audi A4 B6 // FK Highsport Coilovers // RS4 Sway Bar // Panzer Skid Plate // Forge TIP with AEM filter // 710N DV // 2.0 Coils // Podi Boost Gauge // ECS Lightweight Pulley // Gates Racing Belt // APR Snub Mount // Multiple "deletes" // mk4 Euro Switch // Carbon Fibre wrapped interior // Dual Podi

    ...still deciding on a tune

  22. #22
    Veteran Member Four Rings texasboy21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 01 2007
    AZ Member #
    16891
    Location
    houston texas

    I had some creaks and moans that was corrected with the installation of new control arms and tie rod ends. I have since developed some new creaks that I suspect are coming from the subframe, or the subframe bushings.

    Does anyone know of a more rigid bushing for our chassis other than the 034 Motorsports billet aluminum?
    2003 A4 1.8TQ
    APR stg2+, MTM 420cc injectors, EuroCode FMIC, PSi testpipe, Techtonics Tuning downpipe, Forge TIP, Hyperboost DV, 240mm clutch, LWFW flywheel, B5S4 calipers, Goodridge SS lines, Stern snub, motor and transmission mounts, Powerflex rear diff bushing, JHM SS shifter, solid linkage, stabilizer bushing and weighted knob, Vogtland Jr. Cup Kit, B7 RS4 front and rear sway bars.

  23. #23
    Veteran Member Four Rings CyberPMG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 23 2004
    AZ Member #
    806
    My Garage
    2004 A4 1.8T Ultrasport 6MQ
    Location
    Stow, OH

    Quote Originally Posted by Bags4Groceries View Post
    Paul - Cary and I were JUST talking about this. Happened to me too after 1 month...
    The previous set of Febi/Bilstein arms lasted for 2-3 years. Seems the quality has gone down. :(
    USP CLUB MEMBER #34

    2004 A4 1.8T USP - GT2871R Eliminator - Unitronic program - ER Comp FMIC - Stoptech BBK & lines - JDM SS - CIM gauge - ECS RA4 Stage 2 clutch & LWFW - Fluidampr pulley - RNS-E - RS4 pedals, e-brake, & mirrors - S4 Bi-Xenon ecodes - 19" OZ SLIII - Bilstein PSS9 - B6 S4 Recaros - more stuff...

  24. #24
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Mar 22 2011
    AZ Member #
    72773
    Location
    Montreal

    The cause of the noise for me was a deformed Inner Tie Rod Dust Boot, they replaced and it completely fixed the problem.
    07 A4 3.2 quattro MT

  25. #25
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 07 2011
    AZ Member #
    77875
    My Garage
    RIP: 2002 Mustang GT
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA

    This happened to me on my old Mustang GT. Turned out it was just the power-steering fluid reservoir/tank was overfilled. Removed fluid to just below the fill-line and all was well.
    Silver 2003 A4 1.8TQM ||| Unitronic Stage 1, Apikol Snub, 034 RSB



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