Broken Drive Shaft

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MickB3
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Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:37 am

Looking for any suggestions or experience here folks.
My Lad has a 2003 1.4 16v Golf. It has just snapped its 3rd NSF inner drive shaft.
We bought it last June for him to learn in he passed his test in Ocotber and all was fine,
we had the clutch changed in January at the same time it was noted the large gearbox mount had broken so this was replaced also. The Drive shaft broke in May while turning right. It then broke again about 100 miles later while turning right and it has just broken again 700 miles later while turning right.

I cannot find anything obvious and neither can my (very trusted) mechanic.

I have put a lot of work into this car for the lad and it would be a shame to have to give up on it.

Any help / advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
E46 B3 3.3 ALPINA
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MCB
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Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:52 pm

With no obvious signs of a cause this is very strange. Especially as the drive shaft failure is happening in such a short time after replacement!

I had a Pssat once that used to knock out the n/s drive shaft on a regular basis, but I am talking about several thousand miles. Are you using original fitment drive shafts?

If your mechanic cant find an obvious cause, then I would take the car along to your local VW dealership and explain the problem. If they can not find a fault and fit a new drive shaft you will at least be covered under there warranty should it fail again prematurely.

I appreciate that using a main dealer will be a bit more expensive, but the way you are getting through drive shafts at the moment it will prove much cheaper in the long run.

It may also be worth having a full geometry check done by the main dealer to ensure nothing is out of line before they fit the new drive shaft.

Some young drivers have the habit of bouncing of kerbs, but not saying anything about it. My son was one of them. In fact even though he is now in his 40s he still does it on occasions. :shock:

Without seeing and driving the car I am afraid I am unable to offer any further help. But what I have mentioned above will certainly save you money long term.

EDIT:

A quick update for you on the above. I have just spoken with my local VW main dealer and they have informed me that there are no known faults on the car. As you have this problem they would want to do a thorough check on the car before fitting the new drive shaft. The cost of the check would be £144 but would normally be wavered if you still get them to fit the part. The good thing about this is that they will then cover the part for 2 years should it fail again. I could not get an exact price for you because I do not have the vehicle registration number.

I hope this helps.
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1998 E36 1.8 Touring
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Charles
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Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:10 pm

Having a new driver in my family too, my immediate reaction was to wonder about how close he drives to the nearside and how fast?

This might be disingenuous towards your son but I can't help wondering whether hitting kerbs and/or driving fast over sunken drain covers could transmit an excessive loading through to the drive shaft.

Alternatively, if it isn't a problem at the wheel end of the shaft, then what is going on at the other end that might be causing excessive twisting in the shaft? Perhaps the differential is partially sticking, causing strain through the nearside or there is excessive movement in the gearbox mounting which is being transmitted.

Having re-read your post, you've already dealt with the gearbox mount. However, there may be a connection to the failure occuring when turning right. During such a maneouvre, the NS components of the front diff will have to travel further than the OS parts, and any tightness in the NS components movement may result in excessive strain in the drive shaft.
Charles
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MickB3
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Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:08 am

Yes it is fair to question his driving habits he is 18 after all. I had 4 new tyres fitted and the wheels re-furbed while he was learning. Not a mark on the tyres or wheels over a year later. I have been in the car when the drive shaft broke the second time, turning right hand corner at normal speed.

Baffled.
:doh
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MCB
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Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:26 am

Looking through the VW forums this is a very common fault, but only if the car has been lowered. If it has not then it is indeed a mystery.

I still think the main dealer option is a good idea. Especially if you want to keep the car. With the 2 year main dealer guarantee it will be more cost effective long term.
1997 E36 Alpina B3 3.2 Touring. No.66
1998 E36 1.8 Touring
1989 E30 M3.
2004 E60 530D
2004 Vauxhall Signum (for the shopping)
2002 E39 M5 (Sold)
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MickB3
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Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:38 am

MCB wrote:Looking through the VW forums this is a very common fault, but only if the car has been lowered. If it has not then it is indeed a mystery.

I still think the main dealer option is a good idea. Especially if you want to keep the car. With the 2 year main dealer guarantee it will be more cost effective long term.


We have fitted a whole new shaft this time rather than just the inner piece. I am going to strip the old on to see if it is bent on the lower piece.
After that I think you are right it will be VW

Cheers
E46 B3 3.3 ALPINA
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