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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I had my tie rods replaced back in June. I don't drive the car very often, so I've put very little freeway miles on it since then. Yesterday, I was on the freeway and it felt like the wheel(s) was/were riding uneven - there seemed like a wobble at higher speeds (>50), and it was translating to vibration in the car and steering wheel. While I wouldn't call it serious, it was noticeable. It also seems like the car was pulling ever-so-slightly to the right. It definitely felt different when compared to prior to the tie rod replacement; back then, I could feel looseness/vibration in the steering wheel & steering, but there was no wobble at high speeds.

Background: I had put off doing the tie rods for several years; I had very limited mileage during that time, so this probably equated to 5K-10K in miles. When the shop first advised me to replace the tie rods, it was because they said the tie rods were too off to perform a good alignment. When I had the outer tie rods replaced, they said everything else in the area looked OK. They also did an alignment. I have lifetime alignments with this shop, so they are happy to look at the alignment again.

I just want to understand what I'm talking about before bringing it back to the shop. Is it possible running on bad tie rods for those miles caused uneven wear on the tires, and that's possibly what I'm feeling at higher speeds? Or does that not even make sense? Or did the shop miss something? Ideas?
 

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I'm suspicious of the work the shop did. I assume it wasn't a VW specialist? You have the symptoms of worn or defective tie rod ends, and/or misalignment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm suspicious of the work the shop did. I assume it wasn't a VW specialist? You have the symptoms of worn or defective tie rod ends, and/or misalignment.
Correct, they are not VW specialists. But is Passat tie rod repair much different from most vehicles? My experience with the shop has been all positive, but they are a chain and there are many mechanics.
 

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Correct, they are not VW specialists. But is Passat tie rod repair much different from most vehicles?
No, they should be able to balance wheels, check all alignment, and adjust Toe on any car, but they would need some VW knowledge to adjust camber if required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I brought it in a few hours ago. He said the balance was way off, and offered a discounted $50 for a lifetime balance on the tires (the tires have about 60-80% tread left). I took it; hopefully I got a reasonable deal. The drive home appeared much less wobble, and the pull seemed to have disappeared. I didn't get a chance to drive it on the freeway, but I will in the next few days.
 
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