(apologies if this has been covered before - have a feeling it has but
couldn’t find it just now on a quick search of the archive)
I’ve just had the sliding joint at the lower end of the steering column
replaced (under warranty - hurrah!) and it’s rid my car of a clunking that’s
been driving me nuts for months. I’m passing this on in case anyone else is
suffering from the same irritating fault (undiagnosed) on their car.
The car had been to a main dealer twice but each time they checked it, they
assured me nothing was wrong. And yet it to me it was constantly intrusive
and not something the car did when I bought it. Apart from marring the fun
of driving the car, it also worried me that something was clearly loose. In
the end, I went to back to Sunningdale, the independent where I bought the
car (which is what I should have done in the first place) and their
technical manager very generously spent an hour or so tracking it down.
Turns out it’s an uncommon but known early wear item - my car had done 35K
when the problem started.
So, if you can feel a softish ‘clunking’ at low speed, through the steering
wheel and a little but through the pedals; plus maybe actually hearing the
clunk as a ‘bonking’ (easy now) noise - like someone was tapping the RHF
(LHF in US I guess) spring coil with a rubber headed mallet - check the
sliding joint at the bottom end of the steering column. Jack the car up at
the front, on the drivers side (next to the steering column), just high
enough to lift the tyre an inch off the ground. Then get a BFO pry-bar under
the tyre and lever it up and down. On mine the clunk was audible at that
point and you could feel it through the suspension.
After the fix, the steering is also back to razor-sharp (it seemed to have
gone a bit vague before) and tramlining is a lot less marked.
Hope this helps someone.