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Palio MJD : play in the steering wheel, thud noise from the wheel assembly

Discussion in 'Classic and Retro FIAT's' started by reggaerahul, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. reggaerahul

    reggaerahul Novizio

    Pune, Maharashtra

    Well it all started when I had taken my Palio (1.3 SDX 2008, 52K Km) for some minor handbrake work to a local mechanic and he found that there is some noise coming from the left wheel. This is Shinde Garage from Pune and the guy is known for his Fiat skills from the Premiere time. After analyzing, he said the 'tack' rod (not sure if its 'tie' rod or tack rod) is gone and needs replacement. This is a rod that moves at one end that connects into the rack and other end joins to the wheel which takes care of turning it.

    This was replaced and then I found that my turning radius is different for left and right turns, significantly. Took him a while to figure that out and finally it was found that the rod length was different, so then he replaced both of them which were same in size. That kinda fixed the turning radius problem. Another issue I started observing immediately after first replacement was that , I could never keep my car in straight line. I had to keep tapping it (very minute taps but its enough to kill the joy of driving in straight line) to the left and right to finally luckily find a spot which may keep it straight. Did alignments numerous number of times but no luck. He always denied this observation saying that earlier my car had the wheels turned inside due to faulty camber or something which was keeping it stable in straight line which apparently was a defect but I still don't feel there was a problem.

    Now after changing those 2 rods for fixing turning radius issue, there is a serious thud noise coming from the wheel assembly at lower speeds on rough or smooth roads. The noise is really annoying and for a newby it may sound very serious; feeling like your full wheel suspension is gonna rip off from the mount. I also find that the straight line problem is still there and now there is some play in the steering wheel. The mechanic says that the play is from the steering rack and replacing that would be costly and is not an options generally and you should live with it (which I do not agree)

    I usually get my car serviced from Acumen Motors in Pune in right intervals but they are not very keen on diagnosing tricky problems so I did not want to waste my time explaining the problem to them which I guess I have already wasted with local mechanic as well.

    Any suggestions on what should be my next course of action ? Is it the rack that needs replacement ? Are those new tack rods faulty ? Should I just go to the authorized dealer and get the rack and rods replaced. Its going to be expensive but I really need to get this sorted. Thanks for your help in advance...

    - Rahul
  2. teky

    teky Esperto

    A weak Steering rack can cause the ply in the steering and it can be re-conditioned at a nominal cost, However it should be noted that the life wouldn't be guaranteed in this way. For the Palio I would recommend you checking the lower arms and the ball joint including the mounts, this can be the problem which is causing both off-alignment and also the thud noise you're hearing.
  3. reggaerahul

    reggaerahul Novizio

    Pune, Maharashtra
    Thanks teky. I will get those things checked and update.
  4. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    I'm not sure what is the expertise of that person who worked on your Palio, but he doesn't seem to know his work even a little bit.

    Correcting unequal turning is the alignment guy's job, not the mechanic's. Just ask him to make the turning to either side equal. I got this done on the Palio last month when it's faulty steering rack was replaced.

    Go to a reputed alignment shop in your city and then see.

    As for the thud sound, it can be tie-rods, mounts, anything. What you need is an expert to look at your car, not some two bit timepasser.
  5. reggaerahul

    reggaerahul Novizio

    Pune, Maharashtra
    Hi Gurjinder,

    Thanks for the reply. Actually that guy had taken me to two alignment shops which were supposed to be good at aligning but they just couldn't figure it out after trying for long time, even he said that its alignment job that should fix the radius but in the end, everyone was clueless. Later he found that the tie rod he had put was actually an inch or two larger than other original and had more threads at the end which goes into the rack, so then he put both of the same size. I still seriously doubt if they are any good and genuine and the noise could be because of that.

    I stopped going to that guy and had shown my car to another reputed garage on Saturday. He found that there was something wrong with the rack but wasn't sure if it would need full replacement, he said he currently thinks there is some setting that needs to be done for the steering but he would know more after opening. For the thud noise, as per his initial analysis after taking a test drive, its probably due to break calipers and the noise stops momentarily when you apply breaks. I am not totally sure if thats the root cause. Will be taking my car to him tomorrow. Lets see..

    - Rahul
  6. gautamkhadse

    gautamkhadse Regolare

    I had a similar issues in my punto and they just replaced the LINK ROD and the thud sound was gone .
  7. reggaerahul

    reggaerahul Novizio

    Pune, Maharashtra
    Thanks Gautam. Where do you service your Punto usually ?

    Well, the new garage fixed the issue, thud noise was gone and the steering felt right too. The steering ply was gone as well and I could keep it in the straight line. The alignment seemed ok. The mechanic said that the 'ball joint' was not fixed correctly and its good that I showed it to him on time otherwise it could have come out :shock: anytime. The thud noise according to him was because of lose brakes and that was fixed too.. BUT ...

    This was about 2 weeks back and since last 3-4 days, I started getting that sound again. :( This time its more in the right side but can't comment as its hard to guess as the sound is not always continuous. Also, another thing I observed was that the steering would move on its own if you take the car over edge of a pot hole. Difficult to explain here but for example if you are going in a straight line and let your hands go off steering and take the car over a small bump, it would actually move the steering and car to the right (or left). Of course I know this happens on a very bad bumpy road and the steering gets a big feedback but in my case its happening for small pot holes and bumps/stones and is really scary. Going to get the car analyzed soon.

    Anyone from Pune reading this thread recommend a good mechanic for Palio for such issues ?
  8. rishike007

    rishike007 Esperto

    Pune- Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.2
    Rahul, Why you are not showing your car to the Millenium Service Center which is only ment for FIAT.
    Just show your car to them & take their opinion on it also. As from your posts you used to visit Acumen then just have a try over there.

    Because the mechanics are not sure all the time if they knew the issue also they will try to fix other & keep some for next time so that the car has to come at their garage again & again.

    You can call Millenium Drive @ 020661520850, 02066152061
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  9. Prajash


    there are some good mechanics for palios in Pune. There is Sharad Mob 9422350206 (Bibewadi), Ravi 9766622610 (Bibewadi kondhava Rd), Vitthal Mob 9850811304 (Kothrud). Where do u stay in Pune ?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  10. reggaerahul

    reggaerahul Novizio

    Pune, Maharashtra
    @rishike007 : Thanks . Went to Millenium yesterday. Its actually very close to my house. He took a test ride and the thud noise wasn't totally reproduced as I'd expected but he could sense that there was some noise from the front right wheel. They pulled the car up on their automatic ramp and 3-4 mechanics looked at it.. As per them the noise is due to the calipers and the last mechanic did not fully fix it, so he asked me to get it fixed or they could fix it. They were not able to know the cause for another issue of light ply in the steering wheel. It occurs when you take the car over a rough rode and even at normal speed and the feedback from wheel actually steers the steering which is irritating and wrong. Last time this was fixed temporarily and the cause was loose ball joint, but then showed up again after a week.

    - Another thing they observed was that both strut mounts (which my first mechanic replaced) are not in good shape and are actually fitted wrongly. There is a wear on the right strut mount. He said, for Palio, its difficult to source these mounts currently as they were sourced from Tata godown , so they need to put an order to Tata and then it will route and stuff. Anyways, he asked to go back to the mechanic and check with him if the parts were genuine (chances are thin) and ask for replacement. But not sure if this is linked with the current problem.. He also noted that the right side of the car is raised a bit lower than left, could be due to different tensions/ply in the shocks.

    @Prajash - Thanks. I had actually called Sharad from Amrapali garage two days back but was finding it hard to get time to meet him and show the car. Was planning to go to him on Saturday but looks like my next one or two weekends would be busy, so would try and meet him sometime during weekdays. I have heard very positive reviews about Sharad and Ravi online but the reason I was trying to avoid independent mechanic was that, they each have their own views and fix the car and if its not fully fixed you keep going back to them and then there is no track of time and money spent and no central authority to take responsibility. Thats the reason I thought to try Millenium Motors. I would still go and take Sharad's opinion. I stay behind Pune IT park @ Bopodi, off Aundh - Khadaki Road and work from Hinjewadi.

    Well, I guess all the replacement the first mechanic made under "Faulty tie rod" are the root cause of all these. I guess the struts were OK and even the original rods weren't that bad. But now I have 2 strut mounts and 2 tie rods which I doubt are genuine and working correctly.. Huh..

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