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Calling all new T6s - is your steering wheel straight?!

VW Guru

VW Guru

Messages
549
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I am booked in to Robinsons VW on 7th August to be inspected.
Having spent 30 plus years in the trade I'm looking for a qualified explanation why this is affecting these vehicles.
The normal route is if a customer complains of a fault which has no known available rectification then feed back is passed to the manufacturer to collate and instruct a repair or modification, it is not acceptable to have a steering wheel off centre.
The fact it's only slight makes it even more annoying, try driving 300 miles down a French motorway for hours with the wheel off centre it's no fun, and remember this is a 50k plus vehicle.
It is also not acceptable to be told its within specification, how many other vehicle have you driven with this fault, answer none!
I've arranged my appointment for me to demonstrate the fault with the technician, I plan to drive with the vehicle dead straight on a straight
road and watch his/ her reaction as we via to the kerb!
As a number of owners seem to be having a similar problem on 19 registered vehicles it may be a factory issue?
In my opion its definatly not a camber issue and shouldn't be confused as such, all vehicle follow road camber( slight incline on roads to allow water run off) this is purely incorrect alignment to top dead centre of steering wheel.
So on the 7th I have the pleasure of hours in a VW dealership, a day off work (self employed) and a three hour drive.
Hopefully I will not be treated like an idiot.
I will keep you informed
Hi @Wondering Star just to give you a heads up on what has happened in the past with the geo issue. This has been reported many times by many different dealers to vw and they have produced a technical bulletin for us which is what is quoted to most people by the dealers “ it’s due to the camber of the road” at that point as far as vw are concerned that’s the end of it. From a warranty point of view adjustments for example geometry issues are only accepted up to 6months or 6000miles which ever comes first. According to the workshop manual the steering wheel is in an acceptable position if it is within 5 degrees either side of 0. The issue raised is not only for the Cali it’s the whole T5 and T6 model range. One of the biggest issues I have found is that people carrying out the geometry checks are not checking that the steering wheel is straight to the steering rack. There is no master spline on the column or a center mark so 9 out of ten times the wheel is not inline with the center of the rack the geometry is carried out to the center of a miss aligned steering wheel which means when the rack centers the road wheels are pointing in the wrong direction and off you go that way. I would make sure that after your dealer has checked the tyre pressures etc then you ask them to check The steering wheel alignment to the rack before proceeding with a geo. This can be checked by removing the lower column gaiter between the rack and lower column under the vehicle and aligning two arrows at the point of the arrows being aligned the steering wheel should be dead level if it’s not then it needs to be moved to the correct position before carrying out a geo. I appreciate you have been in the trade along time and that what I have said is a bit simplified but I thought this may help others out to.
 
W

Wondering Star

Messages
41
Location
Cambridgeshire
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Thanks for the information that's very interesting.
I'm assuming the steering geometry is correct.
The vehicle does not pull and does not unduly tram or follow road camber whilst holding the steering wheel.
It's purely when driving in a straight line the wheel is not, if it were straight it would feel perfectly normal.
In the thirty years in the trade working for a number of manufactures I've never experienced any thing like this unless steering geometry is in need of correction. Surely VW would not produce this effect from new?
I dont want to give the impression that this is a major concern, it's just irritating and not what you would expect from German engineering.
 
B J G

B J G

VIP Member
Messages
2,000
Location
Stamford
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Drive down the crown of the road then the camber is neutral. I always do this when centring my steering. Four things affect the pulling. Road camber, unequal castor side to side, unequal camber side to side, tyre (mainly from wear due to toe). The tricky one and often missed one is the castor.
Camber and castor aren't adjustable unless body/chassis mods are carried out on a transporter.
 
Legin

Legin

Messages
440
Location
Chester
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Camber and castor aren't adjustable unless body/chassis mods are carried out on a transporter.
Not on my X3 front either but that doesnt mean they are correct. On my X3 they are within tolerance but still someway apart. So wrong really. I
Im purely stating what causes the pulling not whats involved in correcting it.
Tighter manufacturing tolerances and value engineering mean alignment can be permanently a poor compromise vs what used to be possible.
 
pjm-84

pjm-84

VIP Member
Messages
1,066
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Gravity/weight causes the issue. To compensate for this you steer slightly up the slope.
 
B

bloomers100

VIP Member
Messages
14
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
I have noticed this on mine too, I have a theory: The steering wheel is straight but the instrument binnacle behind it is slightly asymmetrical, therefore giving the appearance or illusion that the steering wheel is turned slightly to the right. have a look and see what you think. Put the steering wheel where you think it is straight from the driving seat then look from a wider perspective, you maybe be trying to line it up with the instrument binnacle. trouble is once this is 'seen' it cannot be 'unseen' prompting you to sell your van.
 
Jonathan Duke

Jonathan Duke

Messages
832
Location
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
After being told by my local dealer/supplier that " the rear axle isn't adjustable" I went elsewhere.
It took a few different (more expense) sources to get it just right. I found that the alignment data used by the Independent garages differed to the VW data sheet settings. VW had less toe in front and rear. A return visit visit to a local garage (very helpful) with the VW figures and an accurate setup has resulted in much lighter steering, more foot off the accelerator and needing to brake on downhill sections where none was necessary previously. Camber effect is there but only as would be expected.

I did find that some only adjust to within the tolerances which isn't what is being paid for. Old adage about the equipment only being as good as the operator applies.

The rear is just as important as the front in relation to settings.
I went thru a similar process to yourself..... My OCD took over in the end.... Multiple garages, until they "got it right!" Only to then find, on my next tyre change the tyre wear was uneven, it had been even tyre wear when the steering wheel felt a smidge off. :headbang
 
B J G

B J G

VIP Member
Messages
2,000
Location
Stamford
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I went thru a similar process to yourself..... My OCD took over in the end.... Multiple garages, until they "got it right!" Only to then find, on my next tyre change the tyre wear was uneven, it had been even tyre wear when the steering wheel felt a smidge off. :headbang
Only thing that was consistent with the different wheel alignment checks is that the left and right front and rear axles have different camber angles left to right which have no adjustment.

Main benefit now is that I don't get an aching hand/wrist after a few hours 'holding' the steering wheel straight.

My OCD bit still demands a tyre check for feathering on a regular basis.:sorry
 
john eagle

john eagle

Eaglehead
VIP Member
Messages
69
Location
Runcorn England
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Hi Everyone

I have been pondering if I should ask about this or not but I thought what the hell...

Our new Ocean has come with the steering wheel not being straight compared to when the vehicle is travelling in a straight line. It's more like 2 or 3 minutes past (so slightly to the right).

Usually I'd have just put this down to either camber on the road or a minor factory thing and just got it tracked from a local alignment place. HOWEVER, the loan T6 TSI (was brand new when we got it) also had exactly the same steering wheel alignment issue.

So now I'm wondering if there is an issue at the factory with their alignment jig?

Anyone else had a new T6 in the recent crop had a steering whee alignment issue?

Thanks
My T6 was exactly the same even after tracking. I took it back to Kwik Fit and they tracked it again. Now it’s ok but the wheel is still very slightly to the left
 
Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky

Forever young (ish!)
Moderator
VIP Member
Messages
3,443
Location
My World
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
My out going Cali was a bit wonky but no strange tyre wear so I lived with it. My new Cali (June19) is just about perfect as to be almost imperceptible - so its hands off!! (not the steering wheel :embarrased)
 
B

BeeBee

VIP Member
Messages
107
Location
Glasgow
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I'll be checking that today, but as we use a steering wheel lock the SW always has to be set at 'to left' angle for lock to fit !
 

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