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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The dealer wants to replace the intermediate section on my 2012 Highlander for around $690 plus he said we need to have them do a wheel alignment. Is this a fair price and do we need the alignment done too?

I prefer getting this done at the dealer as they know the parts and how its put together. A local type repair shop tends to break trim pieces, leave parts off and then the vehicle is left with rattles in my experience.
 

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The dealer should know. Are you questioning their ethics? Call a different dealer for the same job and see if its the same or....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that response. Im not questioning the dealers ethics. If anyone’s ethics are in question it should be Toyota’s for not doing a recall on a known issue (from my readings on this issue).

I was going to check with another dealer anyway, but Im sure all Toyota dealers are using the same job rate sheet.

But my question is “if we need to do an alignment” since I will probably get the same answer from another Toyota dealer. Im looking for an opinion from another source if an alignment is also necessary when replacing this piece on a “steering” column?

We need new tires by Spring and I’d prefer to do an alignmnent “after” installing new tires and a winter of potholes coming up.
 

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I don't know where this part is actually going. However, if its part of any of the linkage between the wheels and to the steering gear. Alignment will be affected.

Hence it depends!!
 

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If you are talking about replacing the intermediate shaft, there is a diy for it. Search it up. I replaced myself. The part itself costs over $200. I don’t think u need to do alignment.




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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, that's great! For $200 or so I don't mind doing it myself. This shaft is a known issue. I wonder if they are using the upgrades shaft. I'll contact the seller. Thanks for this info.
 

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08 Toyota Camry 2AZ-FE R9K Tuned
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You don't NEED to do an alignment but it also doesn't hurt either because one way or another, that steering wheel is probably going to be a hair off what it used to be and since it is steering related you might as well do it now than complain about it later because you felt that it was not needed.

It's the intermediate driving shaft, it connects the steering wheel to the rack-and-pinion by splines and while people can get it very close to what it was before by using bright markers to mark where it was, basically just get the alignment done unless you want to complain more.

If you are gonna do it, make sure you disconnect your battery and wait 30 seconds or so and make sure to "lock" your steering wheel in place with the seat belt so that the clock spring is not unwinded (or something like that).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all those replies so far. I just checked the Amazon seller and there are the old models floating around the net: A buyer comment: Very good detail that you mention, that it replaces part #45220-48170. Last thing people should do is buy that instead of #45220-48171. The original, badly designed part is still available around the net. Thank you for clarifying that small but very important detail.

I have the tools, but it sounds like it can be a bear to install as to the tightness of the space under the steering wheel plus the other end is in the engine compartment. I'll just have Toyota do this and Ya, I'll get the alignment done, but I'll wait for a coupon in the mail as they should include the alignment with the job IMO. Especially since they are not doing a recall on that part being there is a service bulletin out on this known issue and an upgraded replacement part. They should cut us some slack and at least re-align it.

My Son suggested I check with Firestone and get their lifetime alignment which is currently $169. I'd rather do that as if we hit a pothole over the winter we can have them check it again for free. and not ruin two front new tires in the Spring.
 

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Dealer just trying to make extra money off you. If your car drives straight and the tires do not show any uneven wear, I would skip the alignment.
 

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Dealer just trying to make extra money off you. If your car drives straight and the tires do not show any uneven wear, I would skip the alignment.
You can either get everything fixed now or you can come back on your own time for an alignment after complaining about not getting a alignment. It's part of the rack-and-pinion, it's connected by spines, people can mark where those splines go but I doubt it will go exactly right but if it does and the dealer does check the alignment and finds that it does not need it they might not charge for it. Easier to do it now than come back later.
 

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You can either get everything fixed now or you can come back on your own time for an alignment after complaining about not getting a alignment. It's part of the rack-and-pinion, it's connected by spines, people can mark where those splines go but I doubt it will go exactly right but if it does and the dealer does check the alignment and finds that it does not need it they might not charge for it. Easier to do it now than come back later.


Yeah I took me several times to get it straight even though I marked on both sides. Definitely very diy. I wouldn’t pay $500 for it for sure


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Ask the dealer why an alignment is required. The steering shaft is not adjusting the toe or camber. Tires worn unevenly? If it does need an alignment is that a sign of other steering gear parts that need to be replaced i.e. tie-rods, control arms etc.

Sounds like the dealer is selling you some work over and above the desired repair.

I had to replace the intermediate steering shaft on my Chevy pick up, did not require an alignment. Also, had to move the intermediate steering shaft out of the way twice on separate repairs of my son's S10 pickup, did not require an alignment. I get it, those are Chevy's yours is a Toyota. But the intermediate steering shaft does the same thing.

Good luck.
 

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Ask the dealer why an alignment is required. The steering shaft is not adjusting the toe or camber. Tires worn unevenly? If it does need an alignment is that a sign of other steering gear parts that need to be replaced i.e. tie-rods, control arms etc.

Sounds like the dealer is selling you some work over and above the desired repair.

I had to replace the intermediate steering shaft on my Chevy pick up, did not require an alignment. Also, had to move the intermediate steering shaft out of the way twice on separate repairs of my son's S10 pickup, did not require an alignment. I get it, those are Chevy's yours is a Toyota. But the intermediate steering shaft does the same thing.

Good luck.
The alignment is just a precaution for keeping the steering wheel straight because it only takes one off spline to make the steering wheel off center. They will then do the alignment to fix it. The OP can decline the alignment and hope they get the steering wheel straight or he can do it now and not come back until another repair is needed.
 

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Yeah, alignment is needed if they don't do the job correctly. If they mark the two splines correctly and install it correctly (along with tying off the steering wheel as should be done), then replacing the shaft will not impact the alignment. If they misalign the shaft (off a spline or two), then the steering wheel will be turned. I had it off one tooth and corrected it after a short drive. It's pretty simple. Someone not knowing what they're doing will probably try and fix it via an alignment (we've seen a dealership do that to someone in the 2nd Gen Tacoma forum). That leaves the clock spring turned different than how it's supposed to be). Honestly, I'd do it myself to avoid the risk of them not doing it right. Part is still only just over $200 from Toyota dealerships (online where they're cheaper). As for taking things apart to get to it, there are no other parts impacted. Tie off the steering wheel (make sure it can't turn on you!), mark the two ends, undo the bolt at each end, put marks in identical spots on new shaft, reinstall. It is a tight fit if you wear glasses and can't see up close. That was my challenge.

Edit: To clarify why it doesn't impact the alignment...the shaft does not have anything to do with the two wheels and their angles in relation to each other.
 
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