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Volkswagen 1999 passat, something hanging loose?

Hey guys, I’ve recently ran into some issues with my Passat. The other day while driving I noticed a scraping noise under my car. I got out and saw two bracket looking things were hanging down. As far as I know, nothing has changed to the driving but I want to know if it is something really serious. They are on opposite sides of each other, each about a foot length from the front tires (toward the middle) and one appears to be more bent than the other, probably due to scraping. Thanks in advance.

Here’s a picture I got of it.


When driving a vehicle, there should be no parts dragging on the ground.

It might be a good idea to take the vehicle to a shop to find out what’s dragging.

Since you don’t mention that the exhaust has gotten louder, you don’t want to wait on this one.



That picture is REALLY grainy

Could be the sway bar, which is definitely a safety item

Either post a clearer picture, take it somewhere to be fixed, or try to handle it yourself

It looks like some sort of support strap. There are heat shields and other stuff hanging on the bottom of the car. A VW knowledgeable mechanic can get the car up on a lift and tell you if this is a critical part or not.

I lost a heat shield off my '03 civic years ago, and just drove happily on.

If I had this problem I’d use some bailing wire to tie it up out of the way until I could get it fixed. It’s possible for something like that to swing around possibly, so the end is facing forward, then it could hit a high spot in the road and go flying almost anywhere. There’s a bridge across the bay nearby here where some years ago a woman was found in her car along side the road, dead, with no apparent cause. An autopsy x-ray revealed a length of rebar had come up from the road and through the floorboard somehow.

I STRONGLY urge you not to drive this car any further than up a set of ramps until you determine exactly what those straps are and secure them. Drive into a gas station like this and you could easily make the evening news… when the gas tanks explode.

And then there’s George’s excellent example of how a part like this can kill a person.

Or it could fall off and the lady behind you driving her kids to school hit it and go off the side of an overpass.

THIS IS UNSAFE. Drive it up some ramps and figure out what’s going on or call a tow truck. PLEASE. I beg you.

+1 all of the above. This isn’t something for an internet diagnosis. If you or a friend can SAFELY get under the car (ramps and wheel chocks) to check it out, do so, otherwise get it to a pro.