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VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old February 13th, 2012, 05:42   #1
bquick
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Default 2006 Jetta Transmission Mount - Was CV Joint Questions

I am narrowing down the vibration in my front end. It is noticeable above 60-65 mph. I'm going to have my wheels balanced and rotated to ensure that isn't it. Sometimes it's more evident first thing in the morning before the car has warmed up.
It isn't really bad, but does seem to come and go a little, turning left or right doesn't make a difference.
To narrow it down to which joint it is, will I have to visually inspect each joint?
Will the inners or outers normally go first?
Is the left side more prone to wear?
Where will I be able to find the best price on inner CV joints?
TIA
Bryan

Update - Transmission mount replacement solved most of the vibration. This vibration was evident through the steering wheel.

Last edited by bquick; March 30th, 2012 at 09:35. Reason: Change thread title to more accurately reflect problem.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 06:54   #2
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Just a suspicion...

Once you have the front end safely off the ground do a quick check of the CV boots. If no cracks and no dripping oil or grease I'd grab the shafts and check for anything suspicious. Rotate the wheels a quarter turn and do the same until they're back in the original position. If the boots are intact and you detect no slop in the shafts, I suspect your CV's are probably sound.

Next up is a wheel bearing. The A5 has a bearing package rather than the old style system where individual bearing are pressed into the spindle assembly. In the past 60k miles I've had two "failures". Both on the right hand side (front and rear) and neither detectable by turning in one direction or the other or by rotating the assembly either with tire on or off. No chuck could be detected and not even a slight rumble when the assembly was turned over. I suspect load or lack of load is the reason.

First time (front) was last year and blamed for the longest time on snow tires... In part correctly as I had two snows with belt problems. It turned out, though, that the tires were masking the bearing problem.

This year the right rear bearing. It sort of sneaked up on me you might say. At first barely audible, then louder with harmonics (so to speak) at certain speeds. Worse yet very difficult to pinpoint as the noise seemed to emanate from different areas of the vehicle. First thing I did was to rotate tires with no resulting change in the noise. Along with this the usual "spin the tires and wheel chuck" tests with nothing to show for it. Pretty frustrating!

After doing some road testing with my son in the back seat we decided that it had to be a bearing and that the right side was more suspect than the left. Being unsure I ordered two bearings. And now you get to laugh...

Rear bearings are stupidly simple and easy. Five lug bolts, one retaining fastener on the rotor, two retaining bolts on the piston assemble, a center bearing cap, one BIG retaining bolt holding the bearing in place, and two inner bolts holding the brake pad guide casting in place.

Assuming one has the proper tools this should be an hour job at most. It took me six! That little Mexican who torqued on the central bearing bolt must have used a ten foot wrench extender. But that wasn't the real issue. It was those two inner bolts holding the pad casting. They absolutely refused to budge!

Long story short... After several trips to a friend's shop for a heavier impact tool and various other pieces and parts... And after having applied heat in the most awkward of places... And after having *****ed up the splines on these bolts, I was left with limited options. I chose a copper hammer and a pipe wrench. In retrospect this is probably what I should have done in the beginning. Yankee ingenuity you know. Once convinced that I was serious and that these bolts were coming out come hell or high water, they gave up rather easily... After about three hours of constant attention with the proper tools and maybe a minute using the red neck method!

The sad part here is that I did the the entire timing belt and associated parts from start to finish on the A5 in less time than it took me to do this bearing. Fact is, I replaced the entire head and timing kit on my son's ALH in less time! This about a thousand miles after he had an "expert shop" do the timing kit perhaps a bit unsuccessfully.

Just be aware that all may not go as well as it should. Be prepared with the proper tools. Most of all have a backup plan for when all doesn't go quite as planned because it probably won't.

Last edited by nord; February 13th, 2012 at 09:12.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 07:56   #3
LuvDaDiesel
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I had similar issue, steering wheel wobble/vibration @ 75. Roads are not the best in my area, so I wasn't sure what the problem was. Then turning off the Interstate, I heard the clunking of the CV joint. Replaced both sides, purchased items from AutoZone and Advance. Didn't have time to wait for "OEM" equipment. Having never replaced the CV axel in the past, it was going to be interetsing. Took me about 3 hours for the drivers side and 2 for the passenger side. The passenger side outer was torn and shot, thought I would replaced both sides since I was down there. driver's side - $68 passenger side $71. There is a good youtube video that you may want to watch. It really helped me get ready. Good luck - be careful with the 12pt bolts, you don't want to strip them. I replaced these with a grade 8 hex which will be easier to work with in the future.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 08:53   #4
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There is no noise associated with the vibration. Also, the CV boots are fine.

Is the front wheel bearing still a contender?
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Old February 13th, 2012, 09:11   #5
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You bet! For some reason the right side more than the left.

I guess the nice thing (if there is one) is that by removing the bearing assembly you'll easily be able to diagnose a bad CV. Just bear in mind that you may not be able to detect a bad bearing.

Put the front end up, cramp the wheels, and rotate the tires while in neutral. If you feel no bearing cramp, then remove the tires and spin the rotor assemblies with a hand wrench and then just by hand. If all is smooth, then the CV's are likely innocent.

The wheel bearing, on the other hand, is a tougher call. No matter what you do you may not be able to verify failure. In other words it may vibrate under load or become rather loud at certain speeds without any real evidence when static or under no load conditions.

Just as with my recent rear bearing this is not really a failure condition in the sense of a total breakdown. While my bearing probably would have failed at some point in the distant future, there was no immediate danger. Just an increasing level of annoyance.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 09:29   #6
kfcoltn
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I would suspect a wheel bearing as well. I had the same symptoms that would come and go too. It finally got bad enough that I could detect a slight increase in heat on the bad bearing and finally a bit of free play with the wheel jacked up. Mine was the left front.
And yes I have been through the hard to get out rear caliper mount bracket bolts. Heat from a oxy acetylene torch works wonders on the red loc-tite they use, but be careful with nearby rubber parts.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 09:35   #7
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One think to check is to make sure your wheels are clean.

I live on a back road, and with both my '03 and '09 have had front vibration from dirty wheels affecting balance (mud or snow slush). The Jetta's are fairly sensitive to this.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 17:15   #8
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Thanks guys. I'll get on it.

And my wheels are clean and free of debris. Been through that after 18 years of duck hunting in Nebraska.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 10:08   #9
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What kind of vibration are you getting? My car does this too when I am going down the interstate around 70 mph or when having to barely steer it to keep it going straight down the road. For example with some wind and you keep slight pressure on the wheel. Driving me crazy. It does not do it all the time.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 10:47   #10
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bghartm,

I suspect that you're describing the electric steering assist. It can be very sensitive toward center and a crosswind will tend to aggravate the vibrations. Almost like a slight bind in the rack at just before center on both sides.

If I'm correct about what I've described this is just one of the peculiarities of the car. Nothing wrong other that it's trying to out-think its driver.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 14:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nord View Post
bghartm,

I suspect that you're describing the electric steering assist. It can be very sensitive toward center and a crosswind will tend to aggravate the vibrations. Almost like a slight bind in the rack at just before center on both sides.

If I'm correct about what I've described this is just one of the peculiarities of the car. Nothing wrong other that it's trying to out-think its driver.
If this is actually what it is, I have no problems then. I just want to make sure something is not broke or wearing out. Thanks. I think I read in another thread that you can change the setting with Vag-com? If so, I might borrow a buddies and try changing the setting. Sorry to muck up a thread.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 18:35   #12
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I too am having a similar, if not same, issue.

It started to be noticeable at about 190,000 miles - very slight vibration at high speed (75-85 MPH) only sometimes. It was so subtle that I wrote it off as road irregularities. Around this time the car got new struts/shocks (Koni FSD) and associated hardware, new lower ball joints and new wheels/tires from Tirerack that were balanced on their Hunter machine that measures road force variation - very high end. Inspection of all suspension/steering shows all was tight.

It very slowly got worse to the point now that I can safely say it is not road irregularities. I am at 224,000 miles, just rotated the tires again (no change) and it is getting worse steadily. Today I noticed it was only present under driving load at speed. Under decel there is no vibration. Under light power slight vibration. Punch it at speed and it will shake pretty bad.

The car has the original wheel bearings, CV axles and even front brake pads/rotors. There is no vibration under braking, no wheel bearing noise whatsoever and the CV boots are intact and feel tight, both with car weight on front tires and when suspension is unloaded on jack stands.

I hate throwing parts at issues like this without being able to pin it down. Nothing I do when driving causes or alleviates the vibes except the go pedal cause. Is it just dumb luck the axles and bearings lasted this long? I am half tempted to throw that Whiteline urethane bushing kit I have been eying, all new wheel bearings and axles at it all at once. I would like to go with Raxles but am not so happy with the cost. I could go OEM but am actually thinking of first-line parts store axles with a lifetime warranty and acceptance they will probably have to be replaced again sooner than later.

Other perspectives welcomed.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 04:58   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A5INKY View Post
It very slowly got worse to the point now that I can safely say it is not road irregularities. I am at 224,000 miles, just rotated the tires again (no change) and it is getting worse steadily. Today I noticed it was only present under driving load at speed. Under decel there is no vibration. Under light power slight vibration. Punch it at speed and it will shake pretty bad.
The car has the original wheel bearings, CV axles and even front brake pads/rotors. There is no vibration under braking, no wheel bearing noise whatsoever and the CV boots are intact and feel tight, both with car weight on front tires and when suspension is unloaded on jack stands.
This describes the vibration I am experiencing as well. It seems to be more pronounced before the engine has warmed up in the morning, it is present at 50-60 mph. After warm, it disappears until about 65-70 mph.

Could this be due to a rough-running engine? Motor mounts?

I need to get a VCDS.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 07:41   #14
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I'll throw this one out on the table because it seems implausible at first. Before I do, allow me to comment on wheel bearings...

From experience I can share that wheel bearings don't have to show any obvious signs of failure to be bad. No chuck, no grinding, in fact no physical indication whatsoever. I've had both a front and more recently a rear bearing do this. The rear drove us near crazy with harmonics at certain speeds and the noise would seem to emanate from different parts of the car. I got lucky after rotating tires to make sure it wasn't a failed belt. The rear right bearing was the culprit, though only under load at speed.

And now the implausible...

Once in awhile I've detected a rough idle that disappeared with even a slight addition of throttle. With the BRM one always wonders about a cam of course, but this car displayed no other symptoms. In any case after the bearing fiasco things seemed to quiet down, except for a slight vibration and noise. This most evident at idle, then showing up again at about 70 mph. I would have sworn a lose baffle or an exhaust problem from the sound. Just as with the wheel bearing noise, this also sort of sneaked up into my consciousness.

Long story short a bad alternator. Unlike what we usually expect where the pulley departs the alternator shaft, mine froze. This, I expect, was the cause of the rough idle at times as the clutch began to fail. To complicate matters there was also an impending bearing failure on the pulley side of the alternator causing my unexplained noises and was most evidenced by viewing my serpentine tensioner as the engine was throttled up and down.

So a new rear wheel bearing followed almost immediately by a new alternator at 126k miles. And now "Etta the Jetta" is once again quiet and a pure pleasure to drive. Don't discount wheel bearings no matter how good they feel.

By the way... Unlike the Mk IV, the Mk V is a walk in the park when it comes to changing an alternator. All can be easily done from the top.

And since I mentioned the Mk IV, my older son has had a whining buzzing noise coming from the accessory area for some months now. We had thought it the power steering pump as there was no other indication. Two days ago as he was driving his instrument lights flashed and went off and his battery warning light came on. He could shut down and restart with no apparent problem until he applied throttle. Then a repeat. Bad alternator. No codes, except for airbags which we reset with VagCom. Mk IV's aren't as friendly when it comes to an alternator change.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:03   #15
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Nord, what you describe with the vibration from wheel bearings sounds very familiar. But, I am getting no noise whatsoever, think that is possible it is still wheel bearings?

I have a questionable transmission mount (BFI) that I am going to replace with a VF urethane unit first thing, just to further isolate. I have also checked into Raxles, much more reasonable priced than expected. If I replace CV axles, it will be with theirs. Inner CV joint wear may be a culprit according the Raxle's troubleshooitng section on their website.
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