If you drive a Audi, you are accustomed to luxury and quality. You have peace of mind knowing that you are safe in your reliable vehicle. But even the best of vehicles can have their share of issues and your Audi is no exception. Have you ever found that your vehicle veers to the side while driving or vibrates at high speeds? If you have, then it is time for you to call in the professionals. A loose front end steering is hazardous and requires immediate attention. Let’s unpack this issue so that we can get you safely back on the road.
What are the functions of the steering wheel?
- Steer the vehicle in the correct direction
- Ensure the vehicle is stable while driving
- Prevent vibrations from reaching the steering wheel
- Reduce tire wear
- Provides a straightening effect to the front wheels
What are the signs that your front end steering is loose?
The steering and the suspension can be found in the front end assembly on your vehicle. One of two issues causes a loose front end steering on your Audi. Either the tie end rods or the ball joints are worn. The tie end connects the front wheels to the steering. They are responsible for your Audi steering being smooth and responsive.
You will notice one or more of the following will occur if your tie rods are worn:
- Veering: If you find that your vehicle veers to the left or right while you are driving, the probability that you have damaged tie rods are pretty high.
- Vibrating steering wheel: When the tie rods are loose, your vehicle will vibrate at high speeds.
- Wearing of tires: When your Audi is not aligned, you will see the damaging effect on the tires. If you notice that the tires are worn out in certain areas, then it is more than likely that your vehicle’s tie rod end is loose.
- Steering wheel feels loose: A loose steering wheel is often referred to as “free play.” Do you find that your steering is loose or has excessive play and you have difficulty controlling the vehicle? If you need to correct the steering wheel while driving in order to keep your vehicle straight, then you need to get professional help from a trusted mechanic as soon as possible. This is extremely dangerous and you could lose control of your vehicle.
- Strange Sounds: A loud, squeaking noise while taking a bend may indicate that the tie end rod is cracked. This often sounds like metal rubbing against metal.
The ball joint is a component of the front suspension. It is a critical part which connects the wheels to the suspension and ensures a safe smooth ride. Similar to the ball and socket in the human body the ball joint on the vehicle acts as a pivot. If you have worn ball joints you may notice:
- Loud Noise: An intermittent banging noise particularly when going over a bump, a dip, or around a corner is an indication of a worn ball joint. The sound will start off faint, but as time goes on and the damage gets worse, the noise will get louder and become more frequent.
- Problems with Steering: You may notice that the vehicle drifts either to the left or right when driving over bumps. Another sign is that your steering will begin to feel sloppy or stiff depending on the level of damage.
- Uneven Tires: When ball joints are worn the inner and outer part of the tire wears faster than the rest of the thread.
Given the above, you may have established that your Audi could have a loose steering wheel. This is extremely dangerous and should be addressed immediately by a trained professional. Ignoring the problem could result in further damage to your vehicle, complete loss of steering wheel function, and worse, you could be involved in an accident.
Addressing the issue sooner rather than later could save you further damage to your Audi and the unnecessary cost involved.
Franklin Automotive is Here to Help
Franklin Automotive has been servicing Birmingham since 1992. Starting from humble beginnings in a small rented warehouse in Homeward, we moved to our current larger facility in 2015. Our facility now boasts 26 working bays and 11 qualified technicians.
We are proud to service not only Birmingham but the surrounding cities as the go-to import auto shop. If you are in Hoover, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Inverness, Cahaba Heights, or Greystone, call us today at (205) 969-2886 or visit our shop 2880 Acton Road, Birmingham, AL.