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VW GTI; Have i hurt my suspension?!

I have a 2006 Volkswagen GTI. It had about 60,000 miles on the odometer when i started to have a problem. Living in Ohio most of our roads are very flat and straight, there’s not that many twisty turny roads. Not to mention that i almost always drive alone.

After a trip back to my father’s house 500 miles away in Lancaster PA he jumped in my car and we backed down his rather steep driveway. As i turned the wheel i heard this terrible noise emanating from the passenger side front wheel well. After hearing the sound i was disturbed, but didnt think much of it since my father weighs about twice what i do.

Driving around that day we were actually on the hunt for a new car. Every single time i turned my wheel to the right we heard this awful sound. After a few miles we found a used German car dealer and while we test drove an Audi we asked them to take a look at it. Upon returning they told us that it may be the cap on the suspension that has come loose and the spring is actually pivoting everytime i turn the wheel. OR it could be the suspension sound dampeners they put in the suspension were getting old and needed to be replaced.

Not wanting to get it fixed in PA and having to drive home the next day i left it go. All the drive back it was fine until we got to slower speeds and i was forced to turn the wheel more.

After putting the car in the air to change the oil after my long trip a small piece of rubber dropped from the passenger-side wheel well. I picked it up and decided to see if i could find this dampener the dealer spoke about online and see what it would be to replace. I couldnt find much but i did find someone that had complained about having their GTI for 6,000 miles and finding out the dealer in the US had not removed the suspension restraints they place in the vehicles for safer passage over on the boats from germany (or where ever they ship them from in europe). Looking in the wheel well i found the remnants of these HUGE rubber pieces that the dealer had never removed from my car! I’ve been driving it for over 60,000 miles with these rubber pieces being jammed up between my suspension and the wheel well housing! I asked VW America via email what they thought about the issue and they offered no sort of correspondence besides a rather eloquent way of saying “it’s fine.”

My question is, did i hurt my car? Should i be worried at all? it’s been over 15,000 miles since the incident and everything has been relatively fine. knock on wood

Here’s the deal: I can tell from what you’ve told us that you don’t know a whole lot about suspension components. I’m suspicious of the idea that there was any sort of restraint on the suspension because if the suspension is prevented from traveling, the ride should be atrocious. I have trouble believing that you bought a car that rode so terribly, and then drove it for 60,000 miles with a terrible ride without ever noticing that the ride sucked.

Because of that, I have no idea what it is that you removed, and therefore have no idea what, if any, problems might crop up. Were I you, I’d hunt up a friend who is good with cars, or a good independent mechanic, and have the suspension looked at. If you have whatever it is that you removed still, it’d be good to bring that along so they can see it.

You need to have a good mechanic (doesn’t have to be a dealer) look at it, see what needs to be fixed. The front suspension is fairly simple, easy to work on, so it shouldn’t cost too much to fix.