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Thread: Renault Clio - Steering wheel 'wobbles' side to side badly but no noises.

  1. #1
    Fun not Frags Geist's Avatar
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    Renault Clio - Steering wheel 'wobbles' side to side badly but no noises.

    RS Clio 172 - 2002 - 64k-ish miles – Stainless steel exhaust and different airbox are the mods I know of.

    Driving home the other day, along a section of road without pot holes (they do exist...) and the steering wheel started to 'wobble'. The wobble was the steering wheel rocking from side to side and it quickly became very disturbing. If I let the wheel go it would move left/right almost 1/4 of a turn and the car would strongly pull to the right.

    This was on Tuesday night. Last Saturday all four tyres had been replaced by Kwikfit. The car had not been used much since.

    I could not hear any new noises from the car, no thumping or anything. Pulled over and checked the wheel nuts were tight and tried giving the wheel a push. Nothing moved where it should not have.

    The wobble was happening at any speed but was Very pronounced when going dead slow stop. The wheel moved a something like 1/6 turn to the left and then a full 1/4 turn to the right at < 3mph and seems to be in time with the wheels rotating. Eg. Faster speed: smaller, faster movements.

    After a bit of reading decided that some of the wheel weights must have come off. Took it back to kwikfit and had them re-balanced. Drove away and all was good for about four minutes of driving then it started again and I went back.

    The kwikfit manager test drove the car. It was completely fine for a good 5 minutes of traffic and turns before it started to happen again.

    He’s never seen a car do this before and was a bit stumped but knew it wasn’t the wheel balance.

    We did a 90dagree left away from a set of lights and it stopped and the car went back to normal, no wobble nothing.

    The car was put up on a ramp and a few of them poked it a bit and ran the car in gear while on the ramp.

    You could hear a slight click/nock noise coming from the front right wheel and the boss said he could feel the steering wheel was going a bit rough.

    They decided it was probably the drive shaft. One of the (bits) was getting stuck and that was what was causing it to ‘wobble’ and pull to the right. The full-ish left hand turns was enough to just free it up.

    Kwikfit basically said they would investigate more but would just replace the entire drive shaft rather than say, checking to make sure there’s the right amount of grease in the gator etc.

    So the cars now back home out in the residential parking behind the house while I try and make a decision on how much to pay

    Ok that turned into a lot more text than I’d intended but…

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the above?

    Possible / likely / get a local garage who’s seen the car before to look or get ‘mates’ discount via kwikfit. Etc.

    Or even go to Renault and pay £70+vat labour on top of anything they replace.
    Last edited by Geist; 04-03-2010 at 02:36 PM.

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    Re: Renault Clio - Steering wheel 'wobbles' side to side badly but no noises.

    From what you say it could be the drive shaft, though you would have probably had more prior warning of it rather than it just going after a tyre change.
    I would also suggest having your suspension geometry looked at, I know they said it wasn't that, but my sisters car (also a clio, but a '98 1.2) had a similar problem after having a front tyre replaced due to a puncture, though hers wasn't as severe a wobble as you seem to be getting, taking it elsewhere and getting the suspension realigned and the tracking sorted solved her issues and would be one thing to look at.
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    Geist (05-03-2010)

  4. #3
    Lev is offline
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    Re: Renault Clio - Steering wheel 'wobbles' side to side badly but no noises.

    Apologies for the bump -- how did this pan out in the end? I have exactly (verbatim) the same issue..


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