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Discussion Starter #1
What's up fellas,

I'm new to the whole VW thing. As you can tell by my user name, I'm a former Honda/Acura enthusiast who happened to fall into the VW world by unfortunate (but good now) circumstances. On 2/7 I fell victim to a chain reaction accident and slammed into the back of a Mercury Mountaineer, causing $4900 and change damages to my car ('95 Integra GSR). So, as you can imagine, my insurance co. totalled it out. I was planning on buying another GSR but I found my current ride, a '98 Passat 1.8t (duh).

I picked up my car with 78k miles for $8000, which I (and my bank) felt was a superb deal. The dealership ditched the stock wheels in favor for some decent Mille Miglia 17" alloys and also installed a rear spoiler, so I was totally sold on the car's looks. The ride was also a drastic change from the noisy, harsh feel of my Integra. For the first week of owning the car, it felt great... but however, this leads up to my actual question...

The roads up here in Maine are disastrous right now, since the weather is warming up and the ground underneath the pavement is shifting. It's like riding a rhythm section on a motocross track, no lie. The car has started to develop some annoying slop to it. The interior panels are starting to creak a bit, and most of all, my front suspension feels 'clunky' over certain bumps. What I mean is that if I'm driving slow over say a speedbump, it's not just the compression/rebound of the stock/springs, but also a loose clunk feeling to it as well. I can't tell whether it's ball joints (sounds similar) or part of the multilink suspension which I'm not familiar with (I've had double wishbone on most of my cars). I've heard that the control arms tend to crap out on these cars, but it doesn't make any creaking/squeaking noises when you push the car up and down. The steering still feels good so I doubt it's the tie rod ends... what do you guys think this could be? It's driving me nuts! TIA.
 

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You pretty much answered your own question. With the warmer weather comes a looser more clunky car. Especially a high mileage one. The only nice thing about cold weather is it keeps the gases and the greases stiffer, giving you a tighter feel. The warmer weather brings out the squeaks and clunks and you'll notice imperfections in the road more.

There is a noticeable difference between a 30 degree day and a 50 degree day with my fairly new Eibach setup.

Have you thought about a suspension upgrade? With 78K, you may want to consider replacing bushings also.
 

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New shocks. 78k is about the end of the life for them. Look for replacing those along with having your control arms inspected. Clunks very often times come from bad bushings on the front lower control arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well the shocks themselves do a great job at absorbing just that... but I'm leaning towards the control arm problem :( What am I looking at repair cost wise and I've heard about getting the 'updated' version of them... what exactly constitutes 'updated'? Thanks.
 
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