'93 Camry Power Steering Problem - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (1992–1996 & 1997–2001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 02-28-2005, 08:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy '93 Camry Power Steering Problem

I have a '93 Camry with 240,000 miles. Recently the steering wheel has been sometimes very hard to turn, especially to the left. The steering gets very hard to turn every 1/4 turn of the steering wheel, and alternates, hard to easy, as the steering wheel is fully turned through the entire range (almost can't turn the steering wheel at the hard spots). Feels like something is sticking in the steering gearbox? The power steering fluid is ok, and the belt tension is ok. The problem has been getting worse slowly, and the car is almost not driveable. Any ideas are much appreciated!
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i have the same problem. while getting my exhaust fixed one day on a lift, i asked the mech. since it was still hard to turn in the air he said it was a 'U joint' or sumthing like that that needed to be replaced. i haven't actually replaced mine yet as it costs a quite a lot to fix...

although you might want to actually get it checked first before replacing it...

Last edited by elvasoshexai; 02-28-2005 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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could be the powersteering pump.... but you should get it looked at. steering problems equal saftey/drivablility problems. no buttah!!
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yup, sounds like the universal joint at the bottom of the steering colum. Mine did the exact same thing. I sprayed some grease on it and its been perfect ever since.
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Old 03-02-2005, 04:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Problem Solved

That was it. Sprayed WD40 on the U-Joint at the bottom of the steering column shaft. The steering turns fine now! Thanks very much for the idea.
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No problem, Glad I can help. I came that close to putting a new rack in mine before I found it.

I had it to a couple of garages and they all told me it was the rack. But I kept thinking to myself if it was, youd hear the rpms changing in the binding areas. And there was none of that.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I realize this thread is now nearly 4 years old, so I hope some of the participants are still around!

I developed the same symptoms in my car, a '96 Camry with 177K miles. I tried the WD-40 and, initially, it didn't seem to do much. I let it sit for a few hours, however, and it had the chance to penetrate a bit and (Presto!) the steering was back to normal.

My question is this: How long was this technique effective for? I assume that one could just keep squirting WD-40 in there as needed, but I'm curious how long the treatment lasts.

Also, are there better lubricants that could be used? (A Teflon spray for example?) My thinking is that WD-40 is more of a solvent than a long-term lubricant.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To continue, I suppose if you could actually get grease in there it would probably be a better long-term solution. (I’m assuming there are NO grease fittings, but does anyone know that for sure? If I could get underneath the car I think it would be easier to tell, but there’s a foot of snow out there, it’s in the teens and I don’t have a heated garage!)

One last question: I guess eventually that U-joint would need to be replaced. Anybody have a ballpark figure as to what an independent shop would likely charge for that? Maybe one more: anybody DIY this job, and how difficult was it?

Thanks much.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Bump.

Nobody has any experiences to share on this?? Even if the original posters on this thread don't come here anymore, surely someone has some useful input on this subject.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Is yours a Gen 3 or 4? Where abouts is your uni joint? There was a thread about some guy replacing the steering rack not too long ago(on gen 4) and shows you the universal joint near the bottom of the rack on the pinion. I (have a gen 2 and) think the gen3 steering system is very similar. You should be able to take it off after you undo the 2 pinch bolts. Your uni joint may be seized, which could cause the tight spots. Not sure if they still make new OEM, but you can get a 2nd hand one from the wreckers.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The most important thing is to keep the u-joints clean. grease attracts dirt. So be sparing.

I would take the car to a local coin wash place and blast the U-joint clean and spraysome aerosol spray grease onto it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajoca View Post
I would take the car to a local coin wash place and blast the U-joint clean and spraysome aerosol spray grease onto it.
I personally don't like pressure washers as they force dirt and other crap further past the seals. Kinda how it gave in the first place. I cleaned mine first (not in a bath of solvent as smaller sediments of dust can get past the seal) and then lubed with some motorcycle chain lube which doesn't attract as much crap as normal lubes and grease.

I didn't have tight spots, but my steering became really heavy( had 'manual' rack and pinion steering sys) and as soon as i went 40 or 50km/h, when the steering damper would start working, it became impossible to turn. Not even to aviod a large branch on the road. I thought it was the rack, but it was the universal joint.

Just my 2c

Last edited by Jimnist; 01-30-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstream View Post
Bump.

Nobody has any experiences to share on this?? Even if the original posters on this thread don't come here anymore, surely someone has some useful input on this subject.
Direct experience with this: My tech, whom I'm quite fond of, replaced my steering rack because of several other issues with the rack itself, and we hoped that the new rack might cure the stiffer steering problem. It did not.

I've had my '92 ES back in the shop a couple of times to have the steering stiffness checked out and the tech confirmed that the u-joint requires replacement. Because of the considerable expense ($220 + labor IIRC), and to prolong my use of the current u-joint, he soaked the u-joint in some type of grease. This tends to relieve some of the stiffness for a while, but it's in no way permanent. A new u-joint is in my future, and in yours as well I believe.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am currently having a similar issue with my 93 Camry LE-151,555 miles. it seems when im parked or have my foot on the brake pedal while trying to turn the wheel (usually while parking) i hear a stiff noise. I had it checked and there was a powersteeing leak which caused the hose to be replaced but the stiffness still occured. This was due to the power steering pump not pumping enough pressure due to the car sitting for 2 years and running on empty power steering fluid during getting it serviced and prior to knowing it had a leak.

it will get fixed tomorrow. i will keep you guys posted on how it works.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yep! I just took my 1993 Camry out of the shop and indeed it was the power steering pump. The car is so smooth now-much smoother than before, it's unbelievable. This is surely a great ride even in the slushy snow down here in New York. The total cost for the job was $400. That includes the power hose, power steering pump, and labor. It took them forever to find a tiny leak in my hose. I'm grateful.
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