Mk 4, 2000 VW Golf - Front Suspension Noise, Shudder



I have a 2000 VW Golf, 1.8T, 5spd, made in Brazil.

I have a nasty front suspension noise (thunking over some little bumps at ~30mph, creaking over bigger bumps at low speed, funny feeling in the steering/noise when taking bumps on curves at +50mph), I believe primarily on the right side.

What it shouldn’t be:

Tie-rods: both have been replaced in the last year, the right side less than 2 months ago (complete assembly),

Ball Joints: both were replaced less than two months ago,

Brake Rotors: while the problem isn’t any worse when braking, the left rotor was warped and replaced 1 year ago.

What I think it is: bad/loose strut/housing and control arm bushings.

The problem lessened after the recent trip to the mechanic where the ball joints and right tie rod assembly were replaced, but, after a trip to Seattle (from St. Paul, MN) and back for the Sasquatch music festival, is back in full force if not worse.

Again, I can feel a slight vibration or bump in the steering wheel when it “thunks”, but there is no pull (unless I’m taking a bumpy left curve at high speed (more weight on the front right wheel), which doesn’t feel ‘safe’).

If my diagnosis is correct, what should I expect to pay (as in what is the labor time)?


Check the tires first. A worn-out, low, or unbalanced tire can fake these symptoms.