Question about 2001 Volkswagen new Passat

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Car drives to the left when steering wheel is neutral

My VW Passat 2001 has problems with steering. When I am driving, I have to constantly pull the steering wheel to the right, just to drive straight. If I put the wheel in a neutral position, the car will drive towards the left. It has been doing this for almost a year now. I tried to take it to get an alignment, but the people at the tire place said that my "boot was broken." Does this sound like a likely answer? and if so, how do I fix it?

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No.  Go to another shop,and don't return to this place if ALL they told you was the boot was broken. Sounds like you know about as much as the shop you went to ... you wouldn't want to pay you to work on your car, right?
If they had said a tie rod end was bad, you could go back, but based on your description of what they told you, I  wouldn't let them fix a flat.
You have a 2001 Passat,and at that age ALL front wheel cars will need new CV boots.  The front outer CV boots are probably both broken and need to be replaced, but this has nothing to do with the pulling.   If you ignore the boots, you will be buying 2 rebuilt axles or 2 new CVs in the next year or two.
You need to find a reliable shop in your area that work on VWs or Audis (essentially the same thing).  Many shops will not touch VWs.  Check for a VW club in the area and ask around. If you are going to keep this car, any time consuming research you do to find an honest VW mechanic will pay off.

You need to go to an QUALIFIED alignment shop and ask for a 4 wheel alignment. This shop should do only alignment, NOT be a tire store.   If they are competent, they will notice any suspension problems and tell you what to get fixed before they can align it.  Make sure that they think that alignment will resolve your problem, and get them to agree if it doesn't, they will align it for free in the next month or so, when you get the front suspension fixed.   
One of two things are causing the pulling
1. First when you lent your car to your college buddy last year,  he hit a pothole or a curb or something so hard as to knock the suspension out of alignment.  Or possibly the alignment is out fo other reasons.
Or 
2.Some suspension part was worn out,  check with the VW dealer for recall notices on either upper or lower control arms, (98 Passat had recall on one of these).  

Posted on Nov 01, 2008

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