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Thanks for having this forum; I wish I had found it sooner. My wife's car is a 2010 Tiguan; 170,000 miles. It has had some interesting problems over the last several years.
It is hard to find a non-dealer mechanic to work on the car, and the the dealer shop generally replaces the obvious thing, or the item scheduled for maintenance with little troubleshooting.
The current problem centers around steering. It started with very difficult steering, which felt like a worn rack/pinion unit, but the problem is not as consistent as a rack/pinion problem. Note that the Tiguan has electronic steering! The local dealer shop was not help, offering only to replace the rack and pinion for about $1,500. The problem will go away some times by turning the ignition off, remove the key, then restart the car; sometimes it resets if the car is driven (very carefully!). Sometimes the car can be driven several days without any symptom. Sometimes, the front end seems to "wobble," seeming to have a mind of its own. One day, sitting in my garage, the steering went side-to-side though the vehicle was not moving forward! (Could it be haunted?!?). The problem is obviously an electrical one, made more difficult by the involvement of sensors and computer programming using the steering system to indicate a problem not truly related to the steering but involved in steering. It even seems to affect traction control.
Any suggestions?
 

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It does indeed sound like the rack is on its way out. 170k on a tiggy is quite impressive. A good first step is to use VCDS to do some initial basic settings resets. Most shops are not set up to work on VWs electronics and others if there is no code no problem exists. Vcds will show errors that normal scanners won't. Obd11 is another cheaper alternative scan tool.
 
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