Situated on the border of Chadderton, Failsworth, Oldham and Hollinwood, Drury Lane Services was the perfect garage for the owner of an Audi TT who had recently moved into the area from Stockport. The customer had taken the Audi TT for an M.O.T test in Failsworth and unfortunately the vehicle failed the test due to two worn rear tyres. The Failsworth garage directed the customer to an Oldham tyre fitting centre where rear tyres were fitted.
Whilst driving the Audi TT away from the tyre fitting centre, the owner noticed that the steering was making an unusual noise. Following a series of exchanges between the Failsworth M.O.T testing station and the Oldham tyre fitting centre, the customer concluded that the vehicle may have slipped off the jack causing suspension damage.
Panicking, the customer searched the internet for four wheel alignment and geometry specialists and discovered Drury Lane Services. Upon hearing the series of events at the Oldham and Failsworth garages, our highly trained technicians proceeded to check the four wheel alignment and geometry angles using our state of the art equipment (Hunter DSP600 4 wheel alignment and geometry imaging system). Our technician was able to analyse the images
produced by the DSP600 and concluded that the alignment/geometry of the Audi TT was slightly outside of the manufacturers recommendations. We completed all of the adjustments as necessary and took the vehicle for a road test.
During the road test, the technician reported that the Audi TT was still drifting to the right hand side and the steering wheel was pulling to the right although the steering wheel itself was straight. It was clear that we needed to investigate the problem further and so our customer liaison officer contacted the customer to confirm that the problem did not exist prior to the M.O.T test and rear tyre change – it did not.
Following a careful examination of the steering, suspension and antiroll bars revealing no obvious problems, it was suggested by our experienced technician that the drifting to the right and the pull of the
steering wheel was due to a problem with the tyres – possibly one of the rear tyres was heavier than the other. We tried a series of configurations of the tyres and wheels on the Audi TT swapping them from front to back and
side to side with various outcomes and results. Analysis of the results allowed us to identify the cause of the problem, the off-side-front (Front right hand) tyre was much heavier causing the Audi TT to drift to the right.
Consultation with the owner clarified the situation: When the car was purchased by the current owner and before the recent tyre change and M.O.T, there was a degree of inconsistency in the tyre circumferences. The Near-side-rear (back left hand) tyre had a greater circumference/weight than the Off-side-rear (back right hand) and the Off-side-front (front right hand) tyre had a greater circumference/weight than the Near-side-front (front left hand) hence two heavier tyres on different axels diagonally opposite one another effectively cancelling each other out.
No alignment or geometry issues existed on this Audi TT but the cause of the drifting and the pulling to the right of the steering wheel was the remaining Off-side-front tyre with a greater circumference and weight to the others.
We changed the Off-side-front tyre which was in perfect condition and the vehicle drove perfectly in the road test (no drifting to the right or pulling on the steering wheel). Without checking the four wheel alignment and geometry using the Hunter DSP600 imaging system we may never have resolved this issue for the customer.
In conclusion, the noise the customer had heard was simply a power steering belt tension issue.