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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, so I was driving to work in pa last Saturday and I was heading up a hill and felt a click, or a slight pop, and my steering started to wander slightly, I then tried to compensate with the wheel and it seemed harder to move.

I pulled into McDonald's and turned the wheel lock to lock, and looked underneath, checked ps fluid level. Everything was normal, except the car wonders at times now.

I'm really unsure of what it could be, but with 260,000 on the odometer I'm fearing anything. Currently it is my dd and I wanted to see if you guys could give me some insight while I try to get my other truck on the road.

It is an 03 passat 1.8t with a 5sp in it.
 

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If your car is "wandering" after a pop and was hard to steer, it sounds like an important part of your suspension just broke. Carefully inspect all ten ball joints (five on each side), both steering tie rods for play, and all bushings for slack.

DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR. If something is broken, it's highly likely it's just either waiting to break even more, or the stress will break something else, and you'll be utterly unable to steer.

If you do not have the facilities to find and fix the problem at home, have it towed to a shop. This is a major safety issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If your car is "wandering" after a pop and was hard to steer, it sounds like an important part of your suspension just broke. Carefully inspect all ten ball joints (five on each side), both steering tie rods for play, and all bushings for slack.

DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR. If something is broken, it's highly likely it's just either waiting to break even more, or the stress will break something else, and you'll be utterly unable to steer.

If you do not have the facilities to find and fix the problem at home, have it towed to a shop. This is a major safety issue.
See this is what I was wondering because it comes and goes, I had no issues all week then at random it started again.

Could it be the ps pump or the steering rack underneath?
 

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How's your CV axle? Mine was bad and besides the characteristic clicking, I had some strange steering behavior.
 

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A bad pump would cause your power steering to fade in and out. A bad rack usually causes "slop" (or a leak). "Wandering" is pretty much always a suspension problem. It should be a pretty easy problem to figure out once the car is on jackstands or a lift.
 

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As a quick check, sight down the side of the car at wheel level and, look at whether both front wheels are pointing straight while the steering wheel is centered. If they are pointing outward like:

left tire=> \ ........... / <= right tire

the out of toe condition will cause your car to wander.
 
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