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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This evening I was happily pottering along in my 03 R32 on a residential road at around 35 mph when all of a sudden the offside front wheel literally falls into a 5 inch crevice in the road, which is not a light impact by any means.

As I was close to home, and it was dark I didn't get out to check the car as all seemed fine. I get home, have a look at the tyre and alloy (19" aftermarket while Aristo's get refurbed) and the drivers side for any damage, and all seems fine, except that the impact caused the lower grille to fall out (must have been loose already) :angry:

I think nothing of it, curse the council to high heaven and retire to my (parents) castle. Fast forward two hours later, I'm off to see a friend, I jump in the car, start it - everything is normal at this stage - and drive off. Instantly I notice that the steering is no longer completely straight, it is veering to the left, if I take both hands off the wheel the car goes to the left and a fairly considerable amount too (a lot of MKIV Golfs do this I understand, but this seems more pronounced). Also the car seems to be permanently FWD now, if I go into a corner or a roundabout with enthusiasm, the car understeers wildly, and goes where it feels like not where I point the steering. It has very little grip, and I even managed a bit of wheelspin launching it. On top of this the ESP light comes on after reaching operating temp.

I will check the car for faults in the morning via VagCom, but is it likely that I've damaged the suspension or one of its components, because prior to me falling into the hole, the car felt fine? It's already been an expensive month, buying and insuring the damn thing, this is not what I need!

** Sorry, that was a bit long! Didn't even realise **
 

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check it with vag-com, also go to the pot hole and take pictures, and if there is any damage you can claim against the council.
 

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Wayne said:
...also go to the pot hole and take pictures, and if there is any damage you can claim against the council.
Make sure you do detailed pics, ie. photos with a ruler in it to prove how deep/wide it is. Then get a quote for any repairs (on paper) and write to your local council. Chances are they will pay up if you make enough fuss about it.
 

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hope this doesnt make you fall out of love with the car, good luck with it. like others have said, you should be able to reclaim repair costs from the council just make sure you record everything via camera
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the responses so far guys.

This will in no way put me off the R32, it's the best car I've had (eclipses my previous S3 by a long way) and the noise it makes is sublime!

There is definitely something up with the car now, as I have seen some red liquid under the car which has formed overnight, it appears to be brake fluid, as it is too thick to be coolant. All these problems from one stupid pothole.

I will try and get as much evidence as I can regarding the pothole, but it's on a fairly busy road, and the council have a habit of temporarily filling out holes to stop any compensation cases.
 

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Hi cesc,

can you put a little more meat on the bone about " it is veering to the left, if I take both hands off the wheel the car goes to the left and a fairly considerable amount too (a lot of MKIV Golfs do this I understand," bit as my golf does this even after all wheels being rebalanced and the cars tracking being checked .

cheers sp
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a GTI Turbo a few years back which was bog standard, and that veered to the left too, if I let go of the wheel.

On my R32, after the pothole incident, the car veers to the left at a much more significant angle. If I hold the wheel completely straight, the car will still go left slightly which indicates something is majorly wrong. It might be due to the larger tyres, but even on the standard OZ's it was noticeable. Now it seems ten times worse, the steering wheel is completely out, if I go round a roundabout with a bit of pace the car will understeer wildly as the geometrics are all messed up.

Hope that makes sense.
 

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Its gonna be one of two things if its veering off to one side either the tracking has gone all to hell, used to happen to my works van all the time bumping it up kerbs hard etc. The other option is a bent track rod which is also quite easily done if they get enough of a bump, not a particularly expensive thing to fix.

Now the ESP light and the full time two wheel drive thats a bit of an issue, and most of this bit is speculation as I don't really know the MkIV enough. It could be a sensor on the hub, there will be one for the ABS, I would guess this doubles up to help the ESP tell what speed the wheel is moving at etc as thats what it does for the ABS and the ESP needs that information too. I know on older VAGs if these get damaged or water-logged they can intermitentlly fail when they suit themselves. With this is mind there is a good chance the ECU would drop into some sort of safe mode as if it can't tell what the wheels are doing it can't go chucking power all over the place when it feels like it!

Best way to check if the red liquid is the brake fluid, start up the car get someone down close to the wheel thats an issue and pump the brake peddle, should be very easy to hear a defined hiss as brake fluid is at high pressure. (Safety note don't let the other person look around the wheel or hub just encase because high pressure oil can cause serious injury!!!!)

If you are still unsure if its the brakes I would make good use of whatever break down service you have, just explain the situation and they should be more than helpful. I've done this with the AA before after a work van of mine decided it wasn't stopping in the wet and rammed the passenger side wing and wheel area into a crash barrier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a quick update, the red stuff was power steering fluid as the clamp which held the hose in place had gotten loose, and was causing fluid to leak out. Still leaking now after I'd tightened and secured everything, but the clamp needs to be changed to a smaller, better fitting one.

The car still veers to the left, so I will be getting it checked out tomorrow. If there's any major damage I'm going to complain to the council.

The ESP light stays on from startup, and I've not had the car scanned yet, will do it tomorrow and see what VagCom comes back with.

Thanks for all the help everyone :D
 

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where abouts in crawley is this pothole so i can give it a miss
sorry to hear about your r mate!:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, there's a particularly nasty one on Gossops Drive and also Langley Drive, but the whole town seems to be littered with cracks and holes in the roads at the moment, my shite 19" rims can't handle them! Can't wait to get my Aristo's back.
 
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