Intermittent rubbing noise when turning right at speed

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Hi all!

I crashed my car yesterday. It was a right turn, I didn’t see the slow down sign and understeered my way into the concrete divider (like this one: https://www.shop-ore.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SVNF50-1.jpg) at about 35-40mph. Both left wheels hit almost at the same time, with the front wheel taking the impact slightly earlier than the rear one. The impact didn’t stop the car but shaved about 15 mph. Definitely got shook but it wasn’t violent.

My car now has an intermittent rubbing sound when turning right. Do you see those white lines that make noise when you drive over them? It’s REALLY close to that sound, only “faster” and a bit deeper sounding. But it doesn’t happen at all speeds! It’s absent below 35mph. The most noticeable is at 50-ish when I’m solliciting the tires for some grip in a right turn. The weird thing is: it’s not a constant noise. Instead it’s intermittent and also transmits vibrations that I can feel with both feet and slightly in the steering wheel too.

Back home I lifted the wheels one by one, trying to wiggle them while holding them at 3 and 9 then 6 and 12. None of the wheels would move (the ebrake was on if it makes any difference). Both front wheels had the slightest 3-9 wiggle, but seriously I’m talking about a millimeter at most. If I put the car on a straight line, the steering wheel stays straight and doesn’t push left or right. The ABS works fine, and so does traction control. I am extremely confused…Google also points to the CV joint but people say bad CV joints make a ticking sounds which mine definitely does not. The steering wheel turns with the same amount of effort left and right, at low and high speeds.

I did 300 miles since the incident and can confirm the noise happens on very strict conditions: never in a straight line, never in a left turn, and never at slow speed no matter the turn’s direction. But if I turn right with some speed (>40mph) and a bit “hard” (not even close to scaring a passenger, but let’s say enough to make you move in your seat), then I hear it and feel it.

Any idea? Just the diagnosis (without guarantee of result!) is 180$ so…yeah.
Is it safe to drive?

The car is a 2015 Audi TT S-Line 2.0L TFSI Quattro. The previous owner put the RS4 B8 20" RS wheels if it makes any difference (the 10 spokes version).

Thanks!

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How can you expect someone over the internet answer that question . If you are not willing to pay a diagnostic fee and have driven this thing 300 miles frankly I would not ride with you . And apparently you still want to race around corners with a suspect suspension problem .

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I’m looking for someone who might be familiar with this issue and could point me in the right direction. It’s perfectly fine if that person isn’t you, thanks for replying though.

Damaged wheel bearings, bent control arms, usually a couple thousand dollars to repair.

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There may be damaged to the belts in one of the left tires.

That’s something that can’t be seen.

Tester

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+1
When a friend of mine had a similar "accident’’–albeit at less than 20 mph–he needed the lower control arm replaced immediately, along with an alignment. A couple of months later, he also needed to have the wheel bearing replaced.

Short of a careful in person inspection, you won’t get a good answer. It could be minor, it could be a critical safety issue. Jack the car, put it on stands, spin the wheel and look for a bent rim. Remove the wheels and start looking for bent parts; ball joint studs, control, arms and knuckles. Compare with the right side. Feel the rotation of the bearings and driveshafts with the e brake off. Look for rub marks. If you can’t find the problem, take it to a pro.

The car may not be safe to drive and you don’t value your life to be worth $180, so please consider the safety of those who share the road with you.

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Not that it matters much, but which is it?

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look under the car and see if there is any plastic pieces that maybe loose. wind could be catching it causing a flapping sound. without being their and seeing the car. its hard to give you a answer.

Sorry, really tired…It happens when turning right.

The chance of not having sustained damage to the front end when the wheel hit concrete–sideways–at 35-40 mph is somewhere between slim and none. If you continue to drive it without in-person inspection by a qualified mechanic, you are being both foolish and a potential hazard to the folks with whom you share the road.

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I agree with weekend-warrior. Check the inner fender or other plastics. Years ago I had an “alligator” (tire cap) slap into my bumper and spin through my passenger tire wheel well. It broke a bumper bracket and tore some inner fender fasteners loose on the way out. The result was intermittent noises and rubbing at some speeds and steering angles.

Hi all!

I took your advice and lifted the front end to compare both sides and they were sadly strictly identical. No leaks either. So I looked for a shop with high ratings and brought them the car. They put it on a lift, inspected it: nothing. Well, 2 clips were missing on a plastic cover so they fixed that. They then took both left wheels off and put them on a wheel balancer. They added a small weight to one and that was it. The wheels weren’t bent or cracked. All of that took an hour and was very inconclusive so the mechanic took the keys and we went for a drive.
It took a couple turns for him to blame the front left wheel bearing, and notice the alignment was off and pointed the wheels to the right ever so slightly (to quote him, 1°).

Tomorrow the front left wheel bearing is getting replaced, after what if the issue is fixed I’ll get an alignment. If it’s not fixed, well…let’s not think about it :slight_smile:

Again thank you for the advices, I’ll keep the thread updated if someone ever finds it.

Well, got the front right wheel hub replaced on Tuesday, the alignment made on Thursday, and drove the car today. Everything is back to normal!
As for the dangerosity of the thing, a dead wheel hub is a wheel that detaches from the car.

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