loose steering wheel feel - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
1st Generation (2001-2007) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 1st generation Toyota Highlanders.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 Old 07-23-2011, 10:38 AM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
loose steering wheel feel

I have changed tires once on my '05 HL, 70k miles, but I hadan alignment 2 twice already. I am just about ready to get new tires, but one thing concerns me. My steering wheel feels very loose while driving and while at a stop light. I know it's not a Porsche, but it shouldn't feel that loose. Ok it might just be that I need an alignment, but for a 3rd time in 6 yrs?

2008 Toyota Rav4 Sport - Flint Mica
2005 Toyota Highlander V6 - Bluestone Metallic
dinosaur1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 07-23-2011, 11:21 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: DFW
Posts: 564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 39
Thanked 67 Times in 61 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
I have changed tires once on my '05 HL, 70k miles, but I hadan alignment 2 twice already. I am just about ready to get new tires, but one thing concerns me. My steering wheel feels very loose while driving and while at a stop light. I know it's not a Porsche, but it shouldn't feel that loose. Ok it might just be that I need an alignment, but for a 3rd time in 6 yrs?

Loose steering feel (excessive play) is caused by worn out front end components, worn bushings, worn out ball joints, or a worn out steering box/rack. None of this is corrected by alignment.
jabberwock is offline  
#3 Old 07-23-2011, 11:45 PM
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
 
humanoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sunny SoCal
Posts: 12,509
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Thanks: 831
Thanked 519 Times in 463 Posts
iTrader Score: 2 reviews
Maybe worn steering rack bushings (is there one on the HL?).

humanoid is offline  
#4 Old 07-24-2011, 01:22 AM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
The last alignment made it feel much tighter though. My dealer hasn't brought up any other concerns...

2008 Toyota Rav4 Sport - Flint Mica
2005 Toyota Highlander V6 - Bluestone Metallic
dinosaur1 is offline  
#5 Old 07-26-2011, 10:20 PM
AvConsult
 
AVConsult's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Thanks: 5
Thanked 310 Times in 256 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Dino, other than loose steering (which needs some elaboration) you don't say why you've have had it aligned so often. Is it ruining tires? Doesn't rack straight? Wanders?

An '05 with lower miles *probably* isn't a candidate for my "bushing fix". Do note that the front alignment seems to need to be pretty spot on zero toe for these HL's to feel right.

Also hate to say it, but a lot of alignment guys seem to make adjustments to the toe and camber without bouncing the suspension and turning the wheel to remove built up tension in the bushings, between adjustments. In older cars with sloppier bushings, *IMHO*, it's important. Otherwise what looks like zero toe or correct camber may not be after it's driven.

If there are any alignment masters on the forum, would like to hear their take.

-----------------
'08 Highlander Base with goodies
'02 Highlander V6
'01 Honda Civic
'93 Camry LE V6 (departed)

Last edited by AVConsult; 07-26-2011 at 11:05 PM.
AVConsult is offline  
#6 Old 07-26-2011, 11:41 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVConsult View Post
Dino, other than loose steering (which needs some elaboration) you don't say why you've have had it aligned so often. Is it ruining tires? Doesn't rack straight? Wanders?

An '05 with lower miles *probably* isn't a candidate for my "bushing fix". Do note that the front alignment seems to need to be pretty spot on zero toe for these HL's to feel right.

Also hate to say it, but a lot of alignment guys seem to make adjustments to the toe and camber without bouncing the suspension and turning the wheel to remove built up tension in the bushings, between adjustments. In older cars with sloppier bushings, *IMHO*, it's important. Otherwise what looks like zero toe or correct camber may not be after it's driven.

If there are any alignment masters on the forum, would like to hear their take.
It wanders. Tires are always rotated. I guess I'll need to wait when I get new tires in fall to to the alignment again.

2008 Toyota Rav4 Sport - Flint Mica
2005 Toyota Highlander V6 - Bluestone Metallic
dinosaur1 is offline  
#7 Old 07-27-2011, 06:41 PM
AvConsult
 
AVConsult's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Thanks: 5
Thanked 310 Times in 256 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Unless it has a case of toe-out at front wheels, the other causes of wander are suspension or steering rack related. No amount of alignment or tire rotation will fix that.

Someone has to start inspecting parts and eliminate what *isn't* bad and/or discover the smoking gun.

-----------------
'08 Highlander Base with goodies
'02 Highlander V6
'01 Honda Civic
'93 Camry LE V6 (departed)
AVConsult is offline  
#8 Old 07-28-2011, 08:36 AM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVConsult View Post
Unless it has a case of toe-out at front wheels, the other causes of wander are suspension or steering rack related. No amount of alignment or tire rotation will fix that.

Someone has to start inspecting parts and eliminate what *isn't* bad and/or discover the smoking gun.
You have to remember I live in rough WI winters so 2 alignments in 6 yrs isn't that unusual. My worry is that I tell the dealer about something being wrong and they will magnify the problem to get more $$$$.

2008 Toyota Rav4 Sport - Flint Mica
2005 Toyota Highlander V6 - Bluestone Metallic
dinosaur1 is offline  
#9 Old 07-28-2011, 07:54 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVConsult View Post
Unless it has a case of toe-out at front wheels, the other causes of wander are suspension or steering rack related. No amount of alignment or tire rotation will fix that.

Someone has to start inspecting parts and eliminate what *isn't* bad and/or discover the smoking gun.
The main concern I have is when I am traveling at slower speeds (non-highway) when I turn left or right I feel that it's not responsive as it should be. Meaning I have to turn it a little bit more than what I think is normal to turn left or right. It also doesn't have that tight steering wheel feel that makes me feel comfortable when going faster on the highway. The last time I got an alignment it felt like it was brand new.

2008 Toyota Rav4 Sport - Flint Mica
2005 Toyota Highlander V6 - Bluestone Metallic
dinosaur1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums > Toyota Truck, SUV and Van Forums > Highlander Forum > 1st Generation (2001-2007)

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome