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Poor steering / wandering / self-centre
#1
Hi All. Once again, it seems the 'lovely new van' is doing it's best to itch my sh!t.

My steering is very 'rubbery' and requires constant correction when driving along - it is simply annoying to drive!

Tracking has been done twice in the last 2 months by a trusted source with a brand new Hunter alignment machine. It is always the drivers side front wheel that needs adjusting - which interestingly is the wheel the seems to lack any 'feel' through the steering wheel.

I don't bounce it up kerbs, I never scrap a wheel when parking (I wouldn't do it to my Alfa so i won't do it to my van) and yet the alignment seems to be altering?!

I have just had 2 new front tyres fitted (OEM Michelin as fitted when I got it). The pressures are bang on. It feels to my like the bushes have gone soft (lower arm?) but at 18,000 miles I refuse to believe this can be the case - if it turns out to be, things are not looking good for the future!!

The other thing I do occasionally notice is when parking and going lock to lock, i OCCASIONALLY get a click from what sounds to be the top mount area? I am wondering if i have a spring seating issue / worn top mount?

Either way the steering feels rubbish, you have to fight the wheel at times to get it to turn (compared to how it should be / was when new) and the van doesn't feel 'straight'.

At the first service I mentioned to the Citroen mechanic that steering felt heavy, especially on the motorway at speed. The mechanic's reply was 'you don't have power steering on the motorway' and the feathering on my front tyres was caused by the 'power steering' ?! At this point I lost a lot of faith - main dealers, not my favourite of garages!!

So, does anyone else have any experience of a vague front end on their Berlingo? Yes I know its 'just a van', but its a bloody expensive new vehicle which replaced my old, worn 2003 Pug Partner van.........the only difference being the Pug was into 100,000 before it felt as sloppy as this 18,000 Citroen!

I need to get it back to Citroen I feel, I just dread them trying to fob me off again. Personally, I feel it needs a front suspension strip to investigate the struts / bushes from top to bottom?

Cheers all.

Rob.
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#2
I have always got results by emailing Citroen UK from the Citroen website. The dealer won't do warranty work unless ok'ed by Citroen UK & main dealers sometimes assume Citroen won't ok work & fob you off. Best result I ever got was £300 refund of a £500 repair bill for egr valve failed at 4yrs, out of warranty but it should have lasted longer than that so I wern't best pleased. Citroen paid for parts but main dealer got his labour costs so we were all happy-ish. You have to be a bit firm with them, start talking about 'not fit for purpose' etc & they seem to play ball.
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#3
Are you sure the front tyres are balanced correctly, I had the same problem on my old Mercedes V class which was also front wheel drive, I had 2 new front tyres fitted and the handling went to pot. I new it had to be down to the tyres or their fitting as the handling was spot on before, I took the car back to the fitters and they rebalanced both wheels and the handling was restored. Perhaps one of the weights has come off yours, evidently poorly balanced wheels cause more problems on front wheel drive cars.
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#4
Balancing is okay, no wobbles on the motorway.

At times, you literally have to 'FIGHT' the wheel to turn right at speed.
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#5
I have some friends who runs a company where they have 3 Berlingo MK3 (2010 MY). They all have got replaced some rubber bushings in front within the first 2 years / approx 20.000 Miles...
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#6
Yup....that sounds about right! I don't suppose you know which bushes they were, do you? It feels like a bush / top mount issue to me. It won't maintain its steering geometry and it is a lot softer than it used to be.

19,000 miles and this started to develop a few K ago! Great engineering. Wink
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#7
Well it goes in tomorrow - dubious!

Thankfully, it is now REALLY bad. The front drivers wheel feels to be bouncing around, the van pulls all over on bumpy roads and generally feels un-safe. It almost feels like there is no shock absorber, but on bigger bumps the damping is okay, leading me to the conclusion that it must be a bush (top mount is my money).

So.....fingers crossed that they find what it is, and then lets see how they try and play it; there is NO WAY I am accepting that a bush should be wear and tear after 1 year / 19,000 miles (it started feeling crap months ago)
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#8
Please get back to us and let us know the result or latest excuse!
[fon‌t=Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]The Older I get the Better I Was!  Cool [/font]
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#9
(15-10-2013, 10:29 PM)robertoc Wrote:  Yup....that sounds about right! I don't suppose you know which bushes they were, do you? It feels like a bush / top mount issue to me. It won't maintain its steering geometry and it is a lot softer than it used to be.

19,000 miles and this started to develop a few K ago! Great engineering. Wink

Sorry late reply, missed your reply (not sure I got a mail). Anyway. No, sorry, I do not know what bushings, all I know it was "some". Anyway, it shouldn't be to complicated to find, as I have seen the front suspension is pretty simple.

Have you got the car back from fixing? Result?
:-)
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#10
Are you ready for it???.......................

.........No fault found!!!!

I cannot begin to explain how angry I felt when I dropped the van off this morning. The technician came to see me so I could explain the symptoms and what I was feeling. I even made the extra effort to get copies of my alignment checks to show him how I have had the same wheel adjusted TWICE in the last few months. He had NO interest what so ever in my alignment reports, and suggested it may be down to the equipment I was getting it aligned on.......Which is the lastest generation of Hunter laser alignment gear at a bodyshop I know and trust very highly!

The Citroen dealership I use (used) do not even have a system capable of producing a printout of their wheel alignment results; and he questioned the ones I have been using Sad By this time I knew I was bouncing my head against a wall. I explained that I was experiencing the occasional click / crack when going lock to lock in car parks, and the it alters the 'feel' of the van when this happens.....I also explained that I am having to constantly correct the steering when driving and it feels very vague / floaty at the O/S/F wheel (which is the one that always needs adjusting). The van feels loose and uncontrollable when travelling over un-even surfaces with both wheels....the ABS kicks in very easily over bumps and the steering is VERY keen to return to the central position.

No interest was taken at all of what I had to say, all i was given was a shake of the head and the comment that he would drive it and make his mind up!

I left the garage in a a very bad frame of mind, so you can imagine what I felt like 7 hours later when I got the phone call stating it was ready to collect and nothing is wrong with it!! Oh, and apparently the engineers have stated that they checked the tracking and it was ok - I questioned this with the technician, asking if they had put their tracking gear onto it........"no we haven't, there is no point if you have had it tracked elsewhere with better equipment than us'.

SHOCKING! ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING!!! I wish I had bought a 3 year old VW Caddy that is already out of warranty - not only could I use my own decent mechanics, it would probably be in better shape too!

His parting comment was to try another dealer and get their opinion - There was never any question about that in my head!!! I just can't believe how un-helpful and abrupt he was!

Oh....and the steering feels a bit lighter.....probably because they have had the weight off the car and then let it settle back on its springs.....but I bet £100 that they have fired more air in the tyres, above the required pressures Wink

Not a happy bunny!
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