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Boxster S steering clunk


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Hi,

I've just bought my first Porsche - a 2004 Boxster S - an I'm absolutely loving it. One issue has cropped up, however, which is a clunk in the steering, most noticable when doing low speed manoeuvers. If I rock the steering wheel left and right whilst the car is stationary there is no noticable play at the wheels, but the clunk is obvious. The clunk can also be felt through the brake pedal whilst parking, for example.

I realise that this sort of issue is difficult to diagnose, but wondered if there was any common problem amongst Boxsters that might be the culprit or might point me in the right direction.

Andy

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Hi,

I've just bought my first Porsche - a 2004 Boxster S - an I'm absolutely loving it. One issue has cropped up, however, which is a clunk in the steering, most noticable when doing low speed manoeuvers. If I rock the steering wheel left and right whilst the car is stationary there is no noticable play at the wheels, but the clunk is obvious. The clunk can also be felt through the brake pedal whilst parking, for example.

I realise that this sort of issue is difficult to diagnose, but wondered if there was any common problem amongst Boxsters that might be the culprit or might point me in the right direction.

Andy

There are several common possibilities, including the upper strut mounts, suspension arm bushings, and the joints on the steering knuckle end of the steering. You need to put the car up in the air and start shaking things.........

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to update, this issue has now been resolved. The cause was due to considerable play where the universal joint attaches to the steering rack, caused by the bolt not being tight enough! The red arrow on the attached photo shows the bolt I'm referring to.

post-91086-0-07258700-1377101652_thumb.j

The clunk has now gone, the steering feels tighter and the turn in sharper and more predictable. The car doesn't feel loose and clunky over rough surfaces any more either! I have noticed, however, that there is a slight creaking sound that seems to be coming from the steering column inside the dash when I turn the wheel from one direction to the other when doing low speed manoeuvers such as parking. It's more annoying that anything else and I can probably live with it if I really have to. I don't know whether it always did this and the clunking was just masking it, or whether it has somehow started as a result of tightening the bolt back up. Any ideas? It sounds more like lack of lubrication somewhere. I have already tried some lithium grease on the universal joint and some silicone lubricant on the bellows where the steering column goes through the bulkhead. Neither have helped.

Edited by whit613
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Ok, this issue is starting to become a real pain.

I went back under the car yesterday and tried to find the source of the new creaking. It appears to be coming from the U-joint at the steering rack end, but it's hard to pinpoint for sure. The weird thing is that this started when I tightened the loose bolt as per my update post above. If I slacken it off again so the clunk comes back, the creaking stops!! It's almost like when everything is tight with no play, a joint/bearing is under stress and is groaning/creaking. This is confirmed by unlocking the steering reach adjuster, as the noise pretty much disappears as some play is introduced back to the column.

The noise is present even when turning the wheel when the front end is unloaded on jack stands. the creak appears to coincide with every 90 degree rotaion of the steering wheel, i.e it is not constant during rotation.

Any ideas suggestion would be HIGHLY appreciated as this fiasco is starting to spoil my relationship with the car aleady!

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Ok, this issue is starting to become a real pain.

I went back under the car yesterday and tried to find the source of the new creaking. It appears to be coming from the U-joint at the steering rack end, but it's hard to pinpoint for sure. The weird thing is that this started when I tightened the loose bolt as per my update post above. If I slacken it off again so the clunk comes back, the creaking stops!! It's almost like when everything is tight with no play, a joint/bearing is under stress and is groaning/creaking. This is confirmed by unlocking the steering reach adjuster, as the noise pretty much disappears as some play is introduced back to the column.

The noise is present even when turning the wheel when the front end is unloaded on jack stands. the creak appears to coincide with every 90 degree rotaion of the steering wheel, i.e it is not constant during rotation.

Any ideas suggestion would be HIGHLY appreciated as this fiasco is starting to spoil my relationship with the car aleady!

You simply may have a bad U-joint and will have to replace it as they do fail, but only rarely. There is also a bearing where the steering column enters the rack, which could also be the source of the sounds. Try disconnecting the U-joint from the rack and then move each separately to see if you can pinpoint the source of the noise.

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The bearing where JP is talking about can indeed be the cause, some Cayenne have(had)also suffered from. However, a little lubrication helps only temporarely, if you can not live with, only a rebuild can help.

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