I have a 1996 VW jetta gls and I had the rack and pinion replaced about 8mo ago. I then noticed a squeak or chirp in my steering when I turn the wheel "to park" or I can just turn the car on and turn the wheel, I then hear squeaking. It doesnt come on when I start the car only when pulling into or out of a parking spot and when driving through grocery store parking lot. Also I notice when I drive over water the steering wheel will get tighter/stiffer. What is the problem so I dont pay the mechanic an arm or leg. Please help. Dont know if this is a noise category or suspension category.
Sounds like the power steering belt is slipping. The pulleys should be checked for proper alignment also. The slightest misalignment will cause the belt to slide sideways across the pulley as it goes around it.
June, 13, 2011 AT 7:59 PM
So a mechanic said my drive belt is cracked would that be the cause of the noise? With vw would that be just one belt"drive belt" or is that the serpentine belt?
June, 13, 2011 AT 8:07 PM
When you have a serpentine belt, it drives most things including the power steering pump. Proper alignment is critical for them. 1/16" out-of-alignment will cause a squeal. If you can hear the noise while standing in front with the hood open, dribble a little water onto the smooth back side of the belt while the engine is running. If the noise changes, it's the belt or pulley alignment.
It is normal for serpentine belts to develop cracks in the ribbed side. Generally, if they are fewer than one every inch, they can be ignored as normal. Don't use any type of belt dressing on those belts. Dirt and road debris will stick to it and cause even more noise.