Audi 200: Steering System Check and Maintenance
Control should be in your hands if you're behind the steering wheel. There should be certainty with every twist and turn on the road when you drive the vehicle. Unfortunately, when the steering system of the Audi 200 gets messed up, this control can slip off your hands just as easily. A smooth drive can turn into a rough time on the road. Since steering is related to vehicle suspension, ride comfort and safety can suffer if you fail to fix any weak link in the system. To guide you with steering system checks and maintenance, here are some tips:
- Check the tie-rod ends and ball joints.
Some of the crucial steering system parts that you'll have to check are the tie-rod ends and ball joints. When these components wear out, you can feel the difference in steering and suspension. Steering won't be as crisp as before. Before you get into trouble steering the vehicle, have them checked before they completely wear out to avoid damage to other parts. Take note of any noticeable or excess movements. Also search for any worn-out part. Consult the vehicle manual for the tolerance or maximum amount of movement allowed and other specifications. Also consider any wear indicator.
- Inspect the idler arm bush and the rubber boots.
On the tie-rod end, inspect the rubber boots and look for any sign of damage. See if it's displaced from the seat or already torn. If the boots are no longer in mint condition, then dirt and other contaminants can get into the tie-rod end. This will lead to premature wear. When checking the idler arm bush, pay attention to any excess movement as you push and pull the idler arm or move the tire/wheel assembly from side to side. Observe the movement at different pivoting points.
- Assess the condition of the rack and pinion assembly.
To make sure that all's well with the vehicle's steering system, also pay attention to the rack and pinion assembly and other attachments and linkages. See if the housing is secure, making sure that the mounting bolts are still tight. As you check the rack and pinion, also see if the rubber bellows are still intact. Dirt and other unwanted elements can easily infiltrate the unit if these are already torn or dislodged. As you move the steering wheel from side to side, find out if the inner ball joints move excessively and also if the steering shaft joints are worn out or still rotating smoothly.
- Find out if the steering lines and other parts of the assembly have deteriorated.
Check the lines and hoses for any sign of damage or wear, along with other parts of the assembly. Look for cracks and chafing. Also see if the fittings are still tight and if there's a loose or missing clamp. If you notice free play in the steering wheel or any irregularity, this indicates a problem in the steering system. The steering issue should be properly diagnosed through thorough inspection.