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Ford Focus Care & Maintenance

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Comments

  • jnmartinjnmartin Posts: 36
    I've noticed a strange noise, as if something was loose, from the rear right of my ZX3. When it first started, I had just gotten the hinge recall and assumed that was what was making the noise. After taking her in for the recall, I still hear the noise (when I go over a bump) and I noticed this week that I start to loose traction, and the back half kind of jumps to the left. I called my dealer and they're going to get back to me, but they want to take care of a couple of things (repainting hood because the clear coat is peeling off and looking at my brakes) at one time and have to fit me into their appointments/schedule somewhere. I was curious as to whether anyone else had this problem or may know what it might be?

    It basically sounds as if something is loose and "rattles" or "knocks" when I go over a bump. It also sounds like it's coming from inside the cabin, but if that's the case it shouldn't affect my driving.

    As far as getting wax on the trim, someone on the Focus Sedan chat offered this advice:

    "It is not true, you can keep your trim black.
    1. BE VERY CAREFUL! You can avoid getting wax on the trim and windshield washer nozzles by using a smaller applicator and more care.
    2. If you do get some, I use Mother's "Back to Black" It works well, its cheap and is available at most decent auto parts stores.
    3. I didn't mention above that you should scrub the trim a little if you did get wax on it, to loosen the particles. toothbrushes are great for this.
    4. Somewhere a while back I saw someone talking about Peanut butter as a remedy. I don't know how this works.
    5. Another recommendation is Black Magic, in the Thick Silicone version (not the spray for tires) I have had good results with this too.
  • kebbatkebbat Posts: 41
    Last night after washing my Z, I used to Mothers products and loved them!

    1) Mothers Back to Black, as recommended above. Due to carelessness by me, I got a bit of wax residue on the door trim. The Back to Black was extremely easy to use and the end result was terrific. I belive I only paid about $4 for a bottle and you use it sparingly so I feel as though it's an especially good value. Thanks for the tip jnmartin! Oh yeah, the stuff smells great!
    2) Mothers Metal Polish - my wheels were looking a bit dirty. The polish was very easy to use and the wheels now look brand new again.

    If I could just keep all of the *#@^&* pollen from falling off of the tree directly above my car I would be all set. But the california car duster seems to work very well for quick wipe downs.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Your factory wheels are painted and clearcoated, much like the finish on the rest of the car - DO NOT use a metal polish on them!!! Just wash them with the same car wash products you use for the rest of the car, maybe using a bit of Simple Green to remove built-up brake dust if necessary. Apply a coat of car wax from time to time, and you'll be set. Metal polish contains abrasives which will strip the clearcoat right off your wheels, and the paint too if you keep using it. Metal polishes are for use on non-clearcoated and non-anodized metals only.

    A good tip - wash your wheels only when they are cool, and use a separate wash mitt and wheel brush. Start with the wheels, and after you've got them clean, dump your wash bucket, rinse it out, and do the rest of the car with a fresh bucket of carwash and a wash mitt reserved for the rest of the car. Lots of grit and bad stuff on the wheels that you don't want to carry up to the rest of the paint finish.
  • kebbatkebbat Posts: 41
    .... even the very outside part is clearcoated? The very outside part of the wheel - on the front tires - that collects the brake dust and is really hard to get out?

    Yikes, it sure did look metallic to me! I can see where the center is that way, but I had no idea that the whole thing was clearcoat.

    Thanks
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Most factory wheels are painted, or are finished with a combination of painting and machining/polishing, then are clearcoated to protect the finish and keep them nice. The entire outer surface of the wheel is coated, and sometimes the reverse side as well on better wheels. Clearcoat is nothing more than non-pigmented paint - you should treat it like you would the finish on the car. Never use abrasive polishes on painted surfaces, unless you are experienced, and are trying to remedy a specific paint defect (like severe overspray).
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    Hi, I too have that sound you describe.... HOWEVER, just to be clear.... it has to be a pretty bad bump that sets it off... I'm going to look into it, maybe it's the jack, spare or floorboard in the hatch (that's the kind of noise it sounds like). I jacked the car up and looked underneath, there doesn't appear to be anything broken, bent or out of place.

    I'll let you know what I find. When I take the car in for it's 5000 miles service (got a while to go at 1300 miles)... I'm gonna have them check it too.

    Also, to you other clean nuts... took Edmund's reccomendation and bought the entire McGuire's line of products. I got the Cleaner Wax (step 2), the polishing wax (step 3) and the Deep Crystal Carnauba Paste (step 4). By the way, step 1 is there car shampoo...since I live in a condo complex with no hose outside, i go to the do-it-yourself carwash by me for the washing part.

    Anyway, this stuff is AMAZING. I did it on Sunday, and so far today it is still PERFECTLY clean. I have that pollen problem too, and with these waxes, it just blows right off the car...nothing sticks !!! I love it. I've always used either Gliptone Teflon Wax or Mother's and neither hold a candle to this.

    I also got there long-lasting tire stuff (forget what its called)...you put it on with a little pad instead of spraying it like armor-all (which I hate). And finally, there "armor-all" equivalent for the intireor and extereor plastic trim...it takes any stray wax right off with one wipe.

    Anyone thinking of using there products...go for it...they are cheap and amazing.

    Good luck everyone,

    Vic
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    works...for a while. It's a silicone-based product. It does nothing but masks the stains. Your trim will stay black for about a month or two. Then it will wash off and you will have to reapply it again and so on.
    I heard that a toothbrush and toothpaste or baking soda would do the trick (of removing the wax permanently).
  • jnmartinjnmartin Posts: 36
    Yes - it only happens on a bad bump. Don't get me wrong, I'm not driving through potholes or anything that severe - but I'm talking about "ridges" in pavement or anything else similar around that size which causes the noise and in some cases where there are multiple "road imperfections" I lose traction and the car jumps to the left a little. Syracuse has some of the worst roads in New York and my route home takes me through two areas that have the multiple ridges I described and there's no way to avoid them. They are at stoplights and kinda look like a Mac truck came to a quick stop and the road buckled a little in front of the wheels - like in a looney toons cartoon.

    I'm still waiting on the service tech to get back to me, I understand he's out with the flu or something but I was promised that someone will call me soon. I've got a little over 11,000 miles on my ZX3, but wasn't having such a noticible problem when I went in for my 10,000 so I didn't get it taken care of then. I hope they can fix it as I am going down south again and don't look forward to driving 2000 miles with something that may develop into a more serious problem and cause an accident.

    kebbat - I'm glad Mother's works well as I haven't tried it yet. Were you being sarcastic about the smell??
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    Well, I only have a slight noise...no loss of traction...but I can tell you that your car is most definetly out of alignment. I had this problem with my 2000 Accent from day 1. Here's a little test you can do to verify it.

    When you experiene the 'jumping and loss of traction', it probably only happens when you are going straight....if you hit a decent bump with the wheel turned, it's not a noticeable, right?

    If that's the case, then your front and rear wheels are out of alignment with each other. Example: on my Accent, it was so bad it was VISABLE. If you turned the front wheels perfectly straight, the back wheels will look as if they are pointing slightly to either side. At least on the Accent, this is a slightly tricky situation, and don't be surprised if it takes more than one trip to the dealer to fix. Even if you can't see a problem, don't rule it out. Only an alignment machine will pick up slight variences.

    I just got my Focus (1300 miles so far), so I have no experince with Ford Service yet (although my dealer is supposed to be VERY good...we'll see.) Hyundai dealers on the other hand (4 different ones worked on this) are horrible. The bottom line is that there techs had no idea that the rear wheels could be adjusted in this direction.(caster or camber...I always get the two confused. There are still alot of newer cars that have stationery rear wheels that are NOT adjustible in this way and only toe in or out. It took several visits from the regional service rep to get the dealers tech trained on this properly.

    To make it more complicated, the Accent and I'm pretty sure the Focus also, has what Honda used to dub 'four wheel steering'. No, you steering wheel doesn't actually turn the rear wheels !!! What does happen is that when enough drag is placed on the rear wheels when turning, they can SLIGHTLY turn (i think something like 5 degrees either way on the Accent anyway). You cannot even see this with the naked eye (I have tried).
    The complicated part is that when they align the rear wheels to the front, this secondary adjustment has to be close to zero degrees. Trust me on this, I verified it with Hyundai themselves and with a few local mechanics I know.

    This is not neccessarily a bad feature. Actually it's excellent because with older cars, if you were in a really bad accident or if the car was driven heavily for years slight movement or warping of the frame would make the car ride pretty bad. With this 'extra adjustment' in the rear a compitent alignment specialist can ALWAYS get your alignment near perfect, even if your frame is slightly off. Newer cars have much more rigid frames than older ones (especially economy cars), so normally this warping doesn't happen. However, it's nice to know that if it does....your covered !!! :-)

    If it makes you feel any better, after Hyundai finally getting it right I put about 11K miles on that car and the alignment is still perfect. I would be willing to bet money that this is your problem. It's just about the ONLY thing that will make the back of your car jump and pull. If you have alot of problems and your dealer can't get it right I would go to a Firestone service shop (or something similar), shell out the $50 or so for an alignment. If the car IS out of alignment, then bring the proof back to Ford and get them to refund your cost. After all, if there dealer checks it a few times and tells you it's OK, but another service shop was able to find the problem and fix it...I say FORD is responsible...escpecially at such low mileage.

    Sorry for the super long post, I just wanted to arm you with this information....if all else fails, I bet this is the problem.

    Good luck....Vic
  • jnmartinjnmartin Posts: 36
    Thanks for the advice, Vic

    I finally got a hold of my service tech and I'm going in on Monday and they'll give me a loaner, but when I mentioned the alignment problem, he said I'll have to pay for that. I don't think I should because I haven't had the car for a year and I' don't have crazy miles on her. Same thing with the breaks - what kind of product loyalty is inspired when things break or wear out in 6 months??? Am I totally wrong??

    I ran my old clunker two years on the same breaks, and never had a problem. Why should a new car require more attention and replacement?

    Any advice on how to handle them would be appreciated. Or if I'm out in left field, let me know.
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    hi.

    well, I don't know the full history of your car, so I can't really say. I know Ford only covers aliognments for the first 12 months. I am trying to be really fait about this. How many miles do you have on it. If it's more than 10K, then you really should be paying for it. HOWEVER, if this is an ongoin problem earlyt on, and they have never checked the alignment before (cause they might be idiots), and it turns out that it IS the alignment...well, then Ford should do it for free.

    The one thing I forgot to mention with the Accent is this. It was delivered to me on a flatbed, and from DAY ONE I had this problem (about 6 miles on the car). They really couldn't argue being that I HAD SIX MILES !!!!!!!!!!!! It took till about 3500 miles for them to get it right. When they finally DID get it right, my steering wheel was tilted to 3 o clock, while the wheel were straight......BOY WAS I FIT TO BE TIED !!!

    Give me more info, but if this is NOT an ongoing problem and just started happening...I would do this.

    1. Cancel the apointment at Ford.
    2. Go to a Firestone shop that does laser alignment (most do) and pay out of your pocket.
    3. Notify your Ford dealer and tell them that the alignment was done, KEEP THE RECEIPT AND PRINTOUT.
    4. If the problem starts to happen again within a few thousand miles...it's time to get Ford involved.

    Please remember, ANY car can come out of alignment very easily. One pothole hit at just the right angle and speed can do it. As a general rule, I usually do all 3 of my cars aligment every other tire rotation (10K miles). It's not a super expensive thing to do, and you really do get the full life out of your tires this way. The original tires on my 95 Accent lasted about 55000 miles, and they were only supposed to last 30K. Oh, and I drive like a miniac too. I'm pretty sure proper rotation and good alignment helped out there. In contrast...I have a friend who just turns the key and drives (never does any maintenance)...his tires on his new Corolla lasted exactly 17K miles. Pretty sad.

    I'm only recommending what I WOULD DO in this situation. The reason I say take it to Firestone is that I've had AMAZING experiances with them, and a Ford dealer will probably charge you MUCH more. Check it out and see for yourself.

    Good Luck

    Vic
  • jnmartinjnmartin Posts: 36
    I dropped my car off this morning for a couple of reasons, 1-repainting the hood as the clear coat is pealing off, 2-brakes are still squealing and it's not cold any more, and 3-the strange bumping noise coming from the right wheel well.

    I did take your advice and called around for prices on wheel alignments at the local firestone stores and decided to find out if that was the problem first before I shelled out $80 - the average price quoted. Ford charges $45 for the same service and I figured that once they looked at the car, they could tell me if that was the problem or if it was something else. I think that maybe something is loose, and that's why I hear that noise and that whatever is missing or loose is affecting the traction as I only have a problem when I hear the noise.

    When I was showing the car to the service guy this morning he mentioned that there was a recall on the wheel bearing and maybe that was the problem. I told him I was unaware of any recall, but the second guy I talked to with the first guy standing next to me, nodded in agreement about the recall until a third guy walked up and asked me what side and then said it was only for the left side. Seemed a little sketchy to me that the recall was conveniently on the side I don't have a problem with especially after two techs said that the recall was probably what was wrong with my car.

    Anyone heard about this recall??? I found one for the 2000 - The rear wheel hub retaining nuts can loosen and allow the left rear wheel and brake drum assembly to separate from the vehicle. This condition could result in a vehicle crash. -That recall is on the left side, but if I'm having the same problem and it's on the right side...

    Or, maybe you're right and it is an alignment problem. It started back in January, the noise, and then slowly got worse until I started loosing traction. I got my car in September and have 11000 miles on her, but that includes two 2000 mile trips and two 500 mile trips -I can't help it, I love to drive my car. I had mentioned that I had a problem to the guy who sold me the car, and again when I dropped the car off for the 10000 mile maintenance but nothing had been done.

    I'm not sure if that was the info you were looking for. Hopefully they'll find the problem and it can be taken care of efficiently and affordably.

    Jessica
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    A number of folks on the Focaljet site have reported wheel bearing failures from all corners of the car - not just the rear. I'd insist on the dealer carefully inspecting all four wheels, as well as the front and rear suspension assemblies. The recall issued by Ford was in fact for the left rear wheel bearing only, FWIW.

    Peeling clearcoat? Already? Just curious - what color is your car? When was it built (see the VIN sticker on the driver's door jamb for your build date)?
  • jnmartinjnmartin Posts: 36
    When I picked up the car, there was a scratch on the hood as if someone had put something heavy on it and it had slipped off leaving a gauge - you could see the metal underneath - in the paint and a scratch where it had "fallen" off the car. Ford repainted the hood for me in October and I noticed in January that the clearcoat was bubbling up and pealing off - it's taken this long for me to get the service guy to give me a loaner as the repainting will take a day and it needs a day to dry.

    My car is twilight blue and was built in August 00.
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    Well..Firestone Service Center charges me $69.95 + tax for the Accent 4 wheel alignment. Is this where you're getting $80.00? If so that's the right price.

    I hate to say this, but based on what your telling me, I have little confidence in the dealer you are taking the car to. As far as the recall, it doesn't really matter what model year you have, it matters what the build date is ! Look at the take on the driver's side door jam, it's clearly marked....then look at a copy of the recal at www.nhtsa.gov...it will tell you what production dates are effected. For instance, my ZX3 is a 2001, built November of 2000....my friend has a 2000 built in December of 2000. My car needed that seat hinge recall, his didn't !!!! go figure....

    As far as the noise goes....it wasn't clear to me that ou ONLY lose traction when hearing the noise. It could be a broken strut, swaybar or a bad bushing somewhere. What type of noise is it, like a creaking/cracking sound or more of a 'bass-y' sounding thump? I would let the dealer check it out...keep you service receipts...if the dealer can't figure it out (like that would be a shock), THEN shell out the $80 at Firestone. Even if it's more than just an alignment....you will now have evidence (from Firestone) to fight with Ford about, and make THEM pay the $80 and fix whatever the problem is. At 10K miles EVERYTHING else other than the alignment and tires should be covered. Although the struts may be pro-rated based on mmileage. I would still fight and make them pay the whole thing. Try pointing out how wonderful the car is and what a major disapointment this problem is, and how you are losing faith in a future Ford purchase...blah blah blah.. I know it sounds corny, but I got Hyundai to make 3 months worth of payments on my car.

    I am being somewhat offensive in my advice to you because most dealers have sub-standard service depts. I got my car at ALL AMERICAN FORD in Hackensack, NJ. They are supposedly the top rated dealer in my area. The sales and finance guys were EXCELLENT...but at 1500 miles, I have little to say about the service dept....we will see when it gets the 5000 miles service.

    I also bought the ESP Maintenance program for $900 smackers that covers all scheduled maintenance as well as struts, clutch, wipers, sparkplugs, and brakes. If this is a common suspension problem, I should be covered. HOWEVER, instead of including this contract in the financing, I took the contract afterwords, directly from Ford on a time payment plan (no interest). If they are really bad, then I will just cancel it with little or noting to lose.

    Good luck and let us know what happens.....by the way, anyone have any experiences with the above dealership?

    later
    V
  • jnmartinjnmartin Posts: 36
    In his defense, he did have pneumonia and then the guy who sold me the car changed dealerships because he got a promotion (he went from finance manager to sales manager). He said that he would have no problem helping me out, but he's down in Cortland which is about 30-45 minutes south of me. I also understand that once something is done at one dealer, you have to keep taking it back to them until they get it right as they would cover the cost of the repairs or repair fixes. At least that is what a friend of mine told me she was told by her dealer. If that's true, I have to keep going to them for the hood.

    It's not like I could get a shuttle to work in the morning if I did take it to Cortland, like I can at my dealer if I can't get a loaner car. I miss my old guy (who sold me my car), when I originally went into get the car repainted he gave me his Explorer while mine was getting worked on. He probably would have done the same this time, but alas he went south and he probably wouldn't be able to do the same if I went to Cortland, as he's further away now.

    :-(
    I hope this works out, but I feel a little more armed with information thanks to you and silver bullet.

    thanks
    Jess
  • petedopetedo Posts: 27
    I think my focus suffers from excessive torque steer. I'm aware that it'll happen to some extent in any FWD car, but it seems like a bit much to me. Then again my last 3 cars have been RWD so I don't know. Is there anything that could be causing it or is it normal?
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    Well, it sounds like your dealership is like many others. They are concerned with high volume sales and low volume repairs...hehehe

    This is kinda why I said to have someone other than the dealership check the alignment...again, that's only my opinion. Isn't it a shame that Ford built such a great little car for an awesome price and just can't seem to service it correctly.

    I have been EXTREMELY lucky with my Focus....yes it only has 1500 miles so far, but the car is very 'tight' and seems to be put together just right. My one and only concern is that the spacing between the rear bumper edges seem to be a little 'gappy', but I have looked at other Foci and they all seem that way. That is an easy fix for this, I just need to get my hands on a pair of shims from a local auto body shop. They just get screwed in on the inside edge of the bumper (where you won't see them) and that usually lifts everything back into place.

    Again, I really don't consider this a major problem...I have seen ALL kinds of cars that look like this...even a Lexus...when you use all plastic bumpers covers, this happens. Also, mine is such a slight gap, if I didn't point it out to people, they would never notice.

    Well, good luck, I hope someone finally figures out your problem (I still insist that the alignment is causing the 'hoping' effect..we'll see). Let us know.

    ************

    Petedo, I have notice the torque steer also. The problem with the Focus is the engine is pretty powerful, especially from a standstill. The more power you have, the more torque steer there will be. It comes from un-equal drive axle lengths...something tha rear wheel drive and ALL Subaru's don't have. The Sub's have the trans in dead center, so the axles are exactly the same length.

    You are probably just used to rear wheel drive, so the torque steer is more noticable to you. But, anytime you think it's bad, go drive a modified Honda or a stock Turbo FWD....if you don't hold on tho the wheel for dear life, your soing to steer right into oncoming traffic. hehe

    The only thing that will minimize the problem is...I know, I sound like a broken record...wheel alignment.

    I DO wonder what Ford is going to do with the SVT Focus though...with 40 more horsepower...the problem will be alot worse.

    later
    V
  • petedopetedo Posts: 27
    They'll probably have to use a different differential on the SVT..
    I've read that Foci have anywhere from 100-115 hp at the wheels. Maybe I got one in the upper range.
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    I'm pretty sure that mine is in the upper range too.....I get some good torque steer going at the slightest tap from a dead start. My ZX3 really hauls @ss from a dead stop, I was in such shock the first time I drove it. When I test drove the first Focus, it was Auto, and I was even impressed with that one.

    I really wish that all of the auto makers would take a tip from Subaru. Even if they can't get EXACTLY the same size axles, even if they get them closer to equal length, it would be better. The worst torque steering car I ever had was an old Rabbit GTI (the original GTI). I changed a CV joint on this car once, and it was hysterical to see the axles....one was about twice the length of the other.

    I'm not really sure on this, so don't quote me, but I think that a 'locking' differential will be an option on the SVT. If so, this would proably eliminate or at least, greatly lessen the torque steer effect. I'm not 100% sure on this, because I never had a FWD car with this feature.

    I did see that Ford Racing sells a differential kit for all FOCI, though from the picture, I can't really tell what exactly it is. If it involved opening the trans to install it, then that would certainly not be worth it.

    Anyone else have any experiance with FWD locking diffs?

    later

    V
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    "I realy wish that all of the auto makers would take a tip from Subaru."

    What do you mean? Switching to the boxer engine layout?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Just so you know, torque steer isn't related directly to half shaft length - it is more closely related to the mass of the drive axle. In the case of the VW you mentioned, the axles were of different length, but very similar mass - how? VW used a hollow shaft on the long side and a solid shaft on the short side. Very clever. Those early GTIs still suffered from some torque steer, though. Try driving a new SAAB Viggen if you want to experience serious torque steer :)
  • petedopetedo Posts: 27
    I think modernperformance.com sells a differential for the ZX3 for $300. I've seen a Quaife differential but I think that was ALOT.
    I don't know what the difference is but I'm thinking I'm going to need one to lay the power down after I start modifying my Focus. For the time being I'm trying to put some easy miles on to break it in. I'm going to hit 1000 miles tomorrow.
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    No, vadp, what I meant was that more effort should be put into trying to eliminate torque steer in mid to high power FWD cars. Obviously, other automakers are not going to switch to the boxster layout, but even with our 'regular' 4-bangers it is still possible position everything to get more even length axles. Maybe I'm ranting a little, but you would think after 20 years of mostly FWD cars be produced, more effort would go here.

    And Silver_bullet, just so YOU know, your completely wrong about mass. It is in no way MORE important than length. Anyone good at physics will confirm this. The physics equation for torque is 'torque=forceXdistance'. It has nothing to do with mass. You can have the same length axles with a DIFFERENT MASS on each one and it will have no effect. It may be true that VW and others MAY have tried to compensate by different mass axles (I can't confirm or deny that one), but it would have little effect. Think of this....have you ever tried to break a bolt free on say, a lugnut that was really stuck on? If you put a long pipe on the end of the the lug wrench then broke it free, it came right off right? Same principle for the longer axle. The mass of that pipe has nothing to do with it, it's the length. That's why the harder you step on the gas (more force), the more torque steer you get. It's a whole different ball game once the car is already moving, that's where a locking differential would help. That's a really complicated equation that you can't really apply without knowing the weight of the car, speed, length of the axles, etc...

    As far as driving a 'SAAB Viggen', my guess is that model SAAB is turbo right?....MORE FORCE, MORE TORQUE !!!! (see torque=forceXdistance above)...hehehe

    Please don't think I'm trying to flame you, cause I'm not. Just trying to point you towards the truth. Now, when some idiot tries to argue with you about this, grab the nearest physics book and bash him over the head with it. Even with our ultra-modern, technologically advanced, new millenium automobiles (yeah right), we STILL cannot defy the laws of physics or gravity....YET !!!

    later
    V
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Yes, 20 years as an ASE certified tech taught me a few things about stuck fasteners :). And yes, I remember my college physics, too - but your lesson about force x distance has nothing to do with this drive axle discussion, because the drive torque is being applied along the axis of the shaft - not at some perpendicular distance from the center line of the shaft. If you assume that the differential is delivering equal torque to both drive axles, and the wheel/tire/brake assemblies are the same at the outboard ends of the shafts, the MASS of the shaft itself will affect how it responds - Isaac Newton taught us that objects at rest like to stay that way, so when you apply torque to a massive shaft and a less massive one simultaneously, the less massive one will spin up faster. It is the difference in how each side "spins up" that produces the phenomenon known as "torque steer". No flames meant from this end, either.
  • estoesto Posts: 136
    So torque = mass x acceleration x distance.

    Seems to me that torque is directly proportional to mass, n'est pas?
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    Ok, I've considered BOTH of our equations here. Mine has everything to do with this, you just have to 'reverse' the process. As it turns out, we are BOTH right !!!!

    Here's something I found on another site:

    "There are two another torque steer problems unique to front-drive cars with transverse engines. typically, the engine is mounted on the right side of the chassis with the transaxle on the left. As a result of this configutration, the right halfshaft is usually much longer htan the left halfshaft. The first problem arises as, itf these were manufactured from iddentical materials, the longer right shaft would have a much greater torqe angle then the left for the application of an equal amout of torque. Step on the gas, and the car would veer immediately to the left then straighten. This is a fairly easy fix - change the Torque moment of the shafts to be equal. On VW products using trnasverse engines, the right halfshaft is usually a much larger diameter than the left and is hollow.

    The second problem arises as a result of the CV joints needed (two per side). Torqe si needed to drive CV joints unless they are running with zero deflection. The torque required is a function of the angle between the driving and driven halves. The more they are deflected, the more energy they consume. As a result, under acceleration, drive shafts on either side of a FWD will tend to adjust themselves to equalize torque. As the shafts are of unequal length, the CV joints on either side would run with unequal deflections. The geometry involved usually causes transverse FWD cars to pull slightly to the left under acceleratione. One FWD manufacturer (whose identity escapes me) used a layshaft on the right side of their vehicle so that both halfshafts were of equal length and torque steer was minimized. My bet would be Cadillac on the Northstar equipped vehicles, as that much power from a transverse engine could be a real wheel-ripper, and a rude surprise to your typical Cadillac owner."
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    Sorry, had to do this in two posts because of the length....now, read this page:


    http://www.motorage.com/edindex/0299032.htm


    Like I said, we ARE both right, but the LENGTH (or distance) of the axles is still more important. If adjusting the mass worked correclty, then my old GTI would nt have had ANY torque steer. If VW is still doing things this way, it's not working 100% because even the new cars (especially any with the 1.8T) still have very noticable torque steer. The Audi on the other hand has a similar front end, but the AWD models don't have the problem because of the AWD and traction control. There are OTHER ways to compensate, but the only MECHANICAL way that works 100% is having the same length axles. If you want proof, go drive any Subaru or Porsche Boxster for that matter....they both have equal length axles.

  • jnmartinjnmartin Posts: 36
    I haven't gotten my car back yet, but the tech I talked to said that the noise was a loose shock. I guess when I get it back I'll be able to tell you if the noise and the loss of traction are gone.

    I hate my dealer and am asking around for a reliable one in the area to take care of my baby. There are 4 in the Syracuse area and I still have a couple to work with.

    I'm leaving for vacation today, and expect to put close to 2000 miles on her round trip. That's if I get her back today, we're still waiting for a part. For my dealer's sake it had better be a smooth ride. I'm not in the mood for continued problems with them right now and the smile and compromising attitude is gone.
  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    That's good news.....if the dealers telling ou the truth. A loose shock or strut would definetly cause that problem also. When I said wheel alignment, I asummed the idiots would have actually CHECKED for something so obvious by now. Stupid me !!!!!

    It reallt S**CKS that the car is so good, and the dealers so bad. I'm still crossing my fingers...no problems at ALL yet, so I have no idea if my dealer's service dept is any good. We'll see...

    Let us know what happens, and good luck !

    V
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