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How to cure the Return of Steering Click Credit to wesrick
Greased the shaft today. Fixed the clunking.
It ended up being more simple than what I had thought, but there are a few tips that could've come in handy, tips that weren't in the TSB. Since the TSB is already readily available through a search, I'm not going to detail every step...
1.) To stop the wheel from turning, I put a piece of rope around one side of the wheel, through the drivers side door, wrapped it around the front of the windshield and back through the passenger door, then tied it to the other side of the wheel. Worked very nicely.
2.) Remove the air filter container (just three screws inside of box, and clamp on intake hose to yank it out). This makes it a cinch to get down into the 2nd steering shaft clamp listed in the TSB.
3.) After removing marking both fittings, and removing both bolts, remove the fitting inside the engine compartment first; it was easier to remove than the one located under the dash. Use a screwdriver to 'rattle' the u-joint around a little bit to help loosen it from the piece it connects into. Otherwise, it can be a bit of a pain to pull out. I also used a screwdriver to -thoughtfully and lightly- pry the shaft away from the column attached to the wheel.
4.) When you grease the shaft, you're putting the grease into the plastic piece in the middle of the intermediate shaft (they can be seen when you look under the dash - before you even remove it). Look closely to find the missing splines the TSB talks about. It can be a bit hard to see, but when you find it, the grease kit fitting slides right down in, just like shown in the TSB. It's hard to push the grease in, but slowly and surely, it flows in, both sides of the shaft (again, as listed in the TSB).
5.) When putting the shaft back in, use just a touch household of oil to help the shaft slide back into place a little easier. Again, I used a screwdriver to 'rattle' the shaft back into the place with both the fitting under the hood, and the fitting under the dash.
Hope these tips help.
Total time spent was about an hour, start to finish (with cleanup).
This is for Camry.I somehow doubt Highlander is much different. Technically all modern cars have intermediate steering shaft.