Steering wheel sticking on turns, not returning to center - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 03-26-2012, 11:32 AM
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Steering wheel sticking on turns, not returning to center

Has anyone else experienced their steering wheel sticking or not returning to center properly? When making turns at low or highway speeds and releasing the wheel it doesn't fully return to center. This is noticeable only on left turns in our Highlander. It seems to return to center normally on right turns.

Are there any TSBs or info on this problem?
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#2 Old 03-26-2012, 02:04 PM
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I can interpret your description a couple of ways. One would be that it comes almost straight but doesn't quite straighten out due to some sort of steering problem.

The other interpretation I see is based on what I experienced when we bought ours. I found that it felt like it didn't want to straighten out coming out of turns...especially at highway speeds. Felt like there was a point coming out that if I let go of the wheel the HL would keep turning instead of going straight. Always felt like a resistance in trying to get it to go straight after the turn. In my situation, it was the stock tires. After installing new tires, it no longer does it. Handles normal now. So this may not be what you're experiencing, but thought I'd throw it out there just in case.


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#3 Old 03-26-2012, 02:21 PM
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If the steering wheel returns to center when turning right, but not when turning left, it looks like an alignment issue. It may even be incorrect tire pressure (one side inflated more than the other).
Does the steering wheel pull to one side, especially when braking or accelerating?
I would start by checking tire pressure. If both front tires are at correct pressure, then check alignment.
If this does not solve the problem, you will need your steering checked by the dealer.
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#4 Old 03-26-2012, 06:27 PM
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Also, a bad upper strut mount/bearing, bent strut, bent tie rod, or tie-rods of uneven length (botched alignment) can make the turn-in and return feel different from left to right turns.

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#5 Old 03-26-2012, 06:31 PM
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Another thoughts; electric steering "zero" point miscalibration. Although, it would appear that if that is too far off it sets a VSC trouble code.

Never seen it reported, but could also be a failure/binding of the torque sensing assy at the steering column.

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#6 Old 03-30-2012, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05Moose View Post
The other interpretation I see is based on what I experienced when we bought ours. I found that it felt like it didn't want to straighten out coming out of turns...especially at highway speeds. Felt like there was a point coming out that if I let go of the wheel the HL would keep turning instead of going straight. Always felt like a resistance in trying to get it to go straight after the turn. In my situation, it was the stock tires. After installing new tires, it no longer does it. Handles normal now. So this may not be what you're experiencing, but thought I'd throw it out there just in case.
This is a reasonably accurate description of the problem. If I let go of the wheel in a turn it will return close to center but not all the way. Enough that the car will still be turning. This happens more on left turns than right.

We bought it used with new tires installed and it's done it as long as we've owned it. It's been aligned at the dealer with no change. Maybe I'll try swapping some of the wheels around to see if the problem changes or not.
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