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post #281 of 428 (permalink) Old 7th April 2009
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Slight Judder at 80mph / tracking

Has anyone else with a Vel Satis experienced a slight judder, which seems to come from the front, when going about 80mph?

I take my Vel Satis to a garage to get the tyres tracked/aligned every 6 months (as when I bought the car and got new tyres fitted, the tyre fitter told me the tracking was out by quite a bit). so I'm hoping it's not tracking again.

The MOT last year did pick up a minor advisory point about the suspension, as follows:

Nearside Front suspension has slight movement at a tie bar joint (2.5.A.1c)

Offside Front suspension has slight movement at a tie bar joint (2.5.A.1c)

I just wondered if an other Vel Satis owners have had problems with tracking needing to be done regularly, and/or a slight judder at 80mph?

I've put it down to either the tyres/tracking, the suspension advisory from the MOT, the bulk and size of the car just not being very aerodynamic for 80mph, or perhaps the gearbox not liking that speed for some reason.

I can feel absolutely no vibration at all through the steering wheel, it just feels a bit shaky in the front footwells.

All the best,
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post #282 of 428 (permalink) Old 7th April 2009
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Hi Hu88ertvelsat

When was the MOT 'Last Year'? The track rod ends needed doing shortly after the MOT - the advisory was not a fail but advice to get the thing seen to. I would think that the shudder from wandering track rod ends would be quite noticeable at 80 mph. I have run my VelSatis at 120+mph in Germany so I would comment that the car is fine at these speeds.
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post #283 of 428 (permalink) Old 8th April 2009
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Thanks for your reply John.

Bear with me, as I'm 25 and this is my first car (am I the youngest Vel Satis owner around?).

The car was bought from an independent dealer in January and it came with the service book showing a full set of Renaily main dealer stamps, so it looks like it's been looked after and the condition inside and out was nothing but pampered.

I knew when I got it that the rear tyres needed replacing, so I got a couple of UHP tyres fitted (Continentals). I got tracking done at the same time.

The documentation which came with the car did not include any MOT stuff. So it was only out of my being nosey that I logged into the VOSA website using the previous MOT's ref number, and saw the advisory notices about the slight movement.

The MOT was late April 2008. Between then and me buying the car in January 2009, it had done an extra 3,000 miles. Since I got the new rear tyres fitted in January, I've done another 2,000 miles but I got 2 new front tyres put on in February, and had the tracking done again at the same time.

It's booked in for a pre-MOT service (to fix things so it then passes the MOT) and the MOT itself in 2 weeks time. Between now and then, I'm only going to be doing 100-150 miles tops and I drive slowly to be honest, usually about 67mph on the motorway to get good fuel economy - I just wanted to see what it was like at higher speeds.

So to summarise:

* Last MOT was late April 2008

* Car is booked for service MOT in 2 weeks

* Since last MOT it's covered about 5,000 miles, on 4 new tyres, with the tracking done twice (i.e. when new fronts and new rears were fitted at different times).

* I hardly use the car and drive it carefully when I do drive it

* The previous 2 MOTs referred to advisory points regarding the REAR tyres, even though it's the FRONT track rod ends that April 2008's MOT refers to.

* The car doesn't pull, doesn't knock or have any other noises and it seems to drive ok, with no steering wheel vibration, only this front footwell SLIGHT shake at over 80mph, but otherwise it all seems well.

So do I need to worry enough to pay over the odds for a garage to sort the track rod ends, track it again and give me other added worries over the next 2 days (I doubt they'll fit it in, being near a bank holiday), or can I relax and drive the 100 miles I'm planning over the Easter weekend, then hardly drive it and take it for the pre-MOT service and MOT in a couple of weeks?

Hope all that makes sense - many thanks for all your help.

Best Regards,
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post #284 of 428 (permalink) Old 8th April 2009
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Oliver, i had my track rod ends done about 3 months ago. Its not unusual for them to go on Laguna and Espace models and the VS shares chassis components with them both. Good news is you can get a pair of track rod ends on eBay for less than 30 delivered, most tracking places will fit them as well if they are doing an alignment.

Having said that i'd start with a wheel balance all round to see if the shudder goes. Rear wheels being out can cause front end problems so don't assume because you have new rears they are balanced ok. Go to a different shop to get the balance done to make sure its A1.

Hope that helps out,

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post #285 of 428 (permalink) Old 9th April 2009
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Thanks Andy,

When I take it in for its pre-MOT service in 2 weeks, I'll ask them to look carefully at the balancing, alignment and track rod ends. Glad to hear the track rod ends aren't expensive.

It's funny you should mention balancing, as the new rear tyres were balanced by the (reputable) mobile tyre fitter in January, then the new front tyres which were put on a few weeks later were balanced then, plus I had tracking done after each time, so basically the balancing and tracking have supposedly been done twice, by 2 different garages. The mobile tyre fitter who put the fronts on more recently said the offside wheel was quite a way out of balance, but I'm sure that from the HPI, service history and general condition of the vehicle, that it's not been in a collision. Unless someone's kerbed the wheel at some point and it's put the offside front out of balance...

Anyway, I'm going to risk it and do my 100 mile round trip without worrying, as the judder doesn't occur if I drive fairly slowly. Then it'll be going for a full service soon thereafter anyway...

Have a good bank holiday.

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