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Alternator warning lite, changing ps fluid, more

Well, I decided that it was once again time to sacrifice to the Audi Gods,
so I poured some more money into the beast this past week.  This is an 86
5000CST (automatic, sucks huh?), with 89k miles on it.  Just getting
broken in, right? ;) I have had the car for 7k miles (since February). 

The belts were SQUEEEEALING all winter long, so I decided they all 
definitely should be changed.  Also, I wasn't sure that the timing belt 
had ever been done (no service records on this f**ker) so I bit the 
bullet and decided that had to happen, too.  I WOULD have had the water 
pump done at the same time but my girlfriend was the one who took it to 
the shop and she forgot to ask for them to do that.  Anyway, I think I 
did pretty well.  $165 labor for all the belts, ~18 for the regular 
belts, 36 for the timing belt.  Does this stuff sound reasonable?  From 
the last few months/archives, I thought so.  The plugs were change too 
(mechanic said they were shot) and I think that the car is definitely 
running a bit better.

Now comes some questions.  Today was the first really *HOT* day that we 
had in the tri-state area.  I drove over to Old Salem (NY) for the 
qualifying rounds for the Equestrian Grand Prix team for the Olympics, 
running the AC most of the way (for the first time).  It was WEAK.  I bet 
it needs charging --  how can I tell?  On the way back, the VOLT lite for 
the auto-check system came on.  I shut the AC off, thinking that maybe it 
was drawing a bit too much current.  Lite stayed on.  I put the climate 
control unit in test mode, went the chan. 11, showed between 12.7-13.7 
volts (it varied, eventually went up there to the 13 range).  The owner's 
manual says that the VOLT lite will only come on if the system exceeds 15 
volts or so.  Is my climate control "meter" fairly accurate?  What do we 
think that the problem would be here? Remember that one of the belts just 
replaced was the alternator belt.

I STILL have to get the Knock sensor/sensor wiring checked/replaced, as I 
am getting that trouble code (always have) and stuff.  Should I just 
order the sensor and get the dealer to put it in? Will they rip me off?  
Most of the shops I have been to don't want to deal with the knock sensor 
stuff (say it is a dealer part etc. etc. take it to a dealer).  I am near 
90k and I have some of those recall-tickets to have the transaxle oil 
changed, and I think I might do both things at the same time next week, 
as I am planning to take a 700 mile road trip in a few weeks.

I want to change the ATF fluid.  Is the procedure fairly simple?  I 
betcha the stuff has never been changed before.  It isn't "pink" when I 
look at the stuff on the dipstick, it is browner. Has it been toasted?

I also want to change the P.S. fluid (to pentosin, right everyone?!?) if 
necessary.  Do you think that it would be a good idea?  The frigging cap 
on the resovoir is is REALLY stuck.  I can't make it budge.  However, the 
fluid is between the two lines hi/lo so I haven't worried about it.  BTW, 
I think (didn't look closely) that the boot for the rack is ripped on one 
side, but the mechanic told my girlfriend that the rack was fine.  Wassup 
with this?

More problems that I haven't delved into yet:  When I am stopped and I 
turn the steering wheel from right to left (after it has been turned 
fairly far to the right to begin with) I sometimes hear some creaking 
noises coming from the right front corner.  Rack?  CV joint?  There is 
also the same sort of noise from the same region sometimes when I 
accelerate in a straight line from stop fairly hard.  What's going on 
here?  The mechanic said that the front wheel bearings were shot as well, 
if this has any bearing on the situation (no pun intended).  Shocks were 
replaced when the car was purchased, as were some of the CV joints (I 

I guess that's about it for questions right now.  If anyone has answers 
to some (*all* would be nice) of these, I'd be grateful.

 -Preston Brown
  86 5kCST