: Front end "chirp", pulling to the right, & excessive tire wear. 1979 CDV

08-02-11, 11:56 AM
The Phaeton is having a problem. I've known for a while now I need to get an allignment, but it has a new issue.. It will randomly chirp like a bird. Doesn't take a big bump in the road, it just chirps randomly, like if I'm driving down an average unperfect road, I won't really feel a bump, but something will make it chirp. can't tell exactly where in front it's coming from, but it's loud enough that I thought I was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie for a few trips until I figured out what the sound was. Front end was last lubed by an oil change place a little over a year (maybe 1,500 m.i.) ago.

I've put less than 10,000 miles on this car since I bought it in 2006, and have had to have the front end alligned twice so far, without having hit anything to throw it out of place. Could the front end be wearing out? Steering if pretty tight, but it does have 225k on it, and I have no record of what work was done before I bought it. Front right tire is wearing too fast on the outer edge... actually both front tires are wearing fast on the outer edge, but I drive a bit hard, so..

But still, tires with maybe 8,000 miles shouldn't be going bald on the front.

Sorry for rambling on. But i guess I'm asking 1) What could a random chirp be? 2) What are the signs of a front end needing a rebuild/something lesser yet still effective?

08-02-11, 01:04 PM
My guess would be a wheel bearing. Mine has been make a similar sound, to what you describe, for the last three years, and every time I shake down the front end, it feels tight. I think the bearing might have been packed wrong when I had the brakes done.

The front end always being out of alignment indicates that there is a lot of slack in the parts; maybe the threads are loose and the bolts won't stay tight or maybe the bushings are worn out. But if you always take it to the same place, you should have the alignment done somewhere else, because if the tech doesn't get everything exact, it can throw the alignment out (especially on an older car).

08-02-11, 10:13 PM
Holy SH!T. Ben lives. Dude where have you been hiding?

08-03-11, 07:44 PM
Agree with the bearing theory. As far as the front end, symptoms usually include uneven/irregular tire wear, the car will wander esp. at speed, you may hear clunking when turning if it's bad enough. The steering may not be loose, esp. if your steering box is in good shape. Best to spend the couple hundred to have the front end overhauled, or DIY if your parents will let you use the house.