Arun Rao wrote:
> Well, it's finally happened. On the way in to work just now,
> front end and steering started shaking violently -- it was fine
> when I started out, and started about 20 minutes into my
> I limped into the Pixar parking lot with hazard lights blinking,
> and I seriously doubt if the car can be driven home this
> Symptoms summarized:
> 1. Strong, low-frequency shake both in steering wheel and
> front-end: almost as if all the lug nuts on the wheel had
> worked loose.
> 2. Seems to disappear while coasting, and I seem to be able
> to make it go away briefly by turning the steering wheel
> to and fro. Starts again if I hit rough pavement.
> 3. I thought I heard some sounds from the right front side.
> I suspect that the right wheel bearing has given up the ghost
> catastrophically. I did the left last year, but it degraded
> gracefully and noisily. I had only recently started to hear
> faint noises from the right side.
> What do you folks think? Anyone seen anything like this? Help
> would be greatly appreciated.
I had the same thing happen to me about a year ago with my VW Rabbit
(same family, no?). It sounds like you've got a dead CV joint. Mine
thumped and bumped for a good 1-1.5k miles last winter just like yours
is doing, but I would tend to agree that these things are unpredictable
and your situation may be very different. You'll know for sure when the
thing goes though! Poor car tries to put all its energy into a dead
joint as the diff locks up, lots of noise and going nowhere!
I recommend getting the whole axel done at the same time (i.e. both
inner and outer joints at once). Labor to replace the whole thing
should be about the same and there's no guaranteeing that if you pay to
replace just one that the other will go shortly thereafter and your hit
for $ again!
I've seen an axel and 2 joints for around $100 from Wolf Sport in CA
somewhere, their ads are always in European Car. Good luck!
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