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Wolly

Advice Please

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I'm in the process of buying an 05 Avensis 1.8 VVT-i T3 S, I've had a test drive and it's fine ... apart from a slight niggle that is now starting to worry me - don't you hate it when that happens after you've paid the deposit :rolleyes:

The car has done 90K miles, has 7 (Toyota) service stamps in the book, was MOT'd end of June, and looks & drives really well. My little niggling problem is that while on the test drive the steering didn't seem right when in a straight line, it was OK when taking bends & roundabouts etc, but in a straight line I had to constantly correct the driving line with slight movements of the wheel to the left and right ... a bit like driving on cross-plys (remember them ? lol)

For just an inch or so of movement either side of center, the wheel felt ... stiff I suppose is the best way to describe it, and didn't return to the center position. When I commented on it, the dealer mentioned the car had just had 2 new front tyres fitted and that may be the cause (tracking/tyre pressures), and with the wife ooohing and aaahing in the back seat I was too caught up in conversations about the trim and comfy seats to give it more than a fleeting thought :unsure:

I've looked here (and other car forums) for similar threads, but none seemed to give any definite answers as to whether it may be something simple like UJ's or track rod ends, or whether it's a sign of needing a new steering rack. I believe this car would also have the EPS which may also be a factor ?

I *think* if it was track rods/ball joints they would have been picked up on the MOT, which rather leaves me worrying about the more expensive solution .... unless it's a trait of these particular cars with this 'speed sensitive' steering and EPS gadgetry ?

Any help will be most appreciated, as will input from any other owners with high mileage steering issues,

Thanks in advance,

Wol

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Hi.

The wifes 3 series is the same. Makes it feel horrible to drive. Unless they fix it, stay away. I hate my wifes car for the very same reason. Even for a 5 mile drive, I would rather empty my boot, put the baby buggy in, change over the child seat and use my car. I really hate it lol...

It could be like you have said above track rods etc, or it could be bushes elsewhere. You could end up changing parts to try and fix it without success. Or you could get the right part first time. I found on the 3 series its hit and miss.

The garage saying its because its new tyres is rubbish.

There are more cars to choose from mate. If the car is a little cheaper than it should be, I'd still stay away. A £400 saving could cost that in fixing plus hassle of taking to and from a garage.

Unless they fix it, I'd leave it. Thats from personal experience mate.

I *THINK* the Avensis has a re-call on a part of the steering rack?? Check out the re-call data on DVLA I think??

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Thanks LEIGH T180, I actually just got off the phone to the dealer about 30 minutes ago, he's still adamant the tyres are the problem ....

dealer: it just needs tracking, it happens on all cars when they have 2 fronts fitted

me: aah, so why didn't they track it when they replaced the tyres ?

dealer: err umm they probably didn't think it was neccesary

I asked if their 3 month warranty would cover me if I discovered anything amiss with any parts of the steering or front wheel setup, and his (standard) reply was simply that 'there is nothing wrong with the car, we wouldn't be allowed to sell it if there was'

anyway, I've asked him to try and get it sorted for when I pick the car up tomorrow as I'll be having another test drive before handing the cash over.

I could end up losing the £100 deposit, but that's cheaper than what I could end up spending :yes:

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If the dealer is so sure, get him to change the tyres and get it tracked. I bet you your deposit they wont because they know it wont solve it.

Unless they are really really crap tyres. I put some cheap ones on once, and they felt like the tyre wall was made out of paper as there was so much flex in the tyre. I got them changed for something else - sorted. But it still felt nothing like the wollowy feeling from my wifes 3 series.

The guy you spoke to mate is obviously doing his job, getting rid of the car whatever - typical sales man, bulls**t bulls**t all the way to the bank.

They would argue that a five pound note was actually a tenner if they could have the fiver difference lol..

If the car still isn't right, get your deposit back. Tell him your go to trading standard etc etc.... That stuff normally works. If you pull out, and they argue about the deposit, tell him that if the car is so good, then he'll have no problem selling it to someone else....

I'd rather loose the £100 than have to drive a car that I would end up hating with a passion and could cost 5 times that to fix.

You want to buy a good car from the start, not one you have to repair from the start.

A good idea is to go and test drive another one. Even though you dont intend buying it. Just so you can feel the difference between the two.

Then you can tell the salesman that you have driven another and there is definately something wrong and that you cannot beleive they are selling dodgy cars to the public - especially ones with steering issue - you are so disgusted you are even going to go to the local paper!

When you say things like that, you'll soon get your money back lol...

After driving my wifes car around with the same problem, I would not ever go for it

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Bumpy bump 4 days later :unsure: well for the past couple of days I've had some interesting calls from the dealer who ensures me there is nothing wrong with the car, and they've had it into their service area and given it a thorough going over.

Outcome is that if I still don't accept the car (deposit paid, agreement was signed) then I'll be losing the deposit (obviously) and also liable for extra charges due for expenses of making the car ready ... 6 months Tax £99, vehicle status check £90, and quite probably various add-ons as they see fit such as dealers time & trouble doing the steering check, 'missed sales opportunities' due to the car being taken off sale (for 2 days), and anything else they come up with :blink: Wife is getting a little stressed 'cos she can see a bill for £400 dropping through the letterbox :rolleyes:

Todays latest call had a little give & take though, if I go for another test drive they'll show me all the documents relating to the cars history and all/any work done on it whilst in their possession ... I can even sit and speak to the Service Manager (puppet ?) and if I'm still wary they'll throw in an extra guarantee (£140 worth ?) that the steering/suspension/alignment is 100% spot and and trouble free. Unsure how they'd work that around the 'fair wear & tear' clause though, but anyway I'll be having another test drive - and it will be a test drive - and if anything is remotely noticeable I'm walking away, hopefully scott free as they have documents to show they've sorted the problem :yes: If the car drives as sweetly as I think it should, I'll be happy to pay the balance and drive it away.

Maybe, if all goes well, I can then post as a member who actually owns a Toyota :D

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Bumpy bump 4 days later :unsure: well for the past couple of days I've had some interesting calls from the dealer who ensures me there is nothing wrong with the car, and they've had it into their service area and given it a thorough going over.

Outcome is that if I still don't accept the car (deposit paid, agreement was signed) then I'll be losing the deposit (obviously) and also liable for extra charges due for expenses of making the car ready ... 6 months Tax £99, vehicle status check £90, and quite probably various add-ons as they see fit such as dealers time & trouble doing the steering check, 'missed sales opportunities' due to the car being taken off sale (for 2 days), and anything else they come up with :blink: Wife is getting a little stressed 'cos she can see a bill for £400 dropping through the letterbox :rolleyes:

Todays latest call had a little give & take though, if I go for another test drive they'll show me all the documents relating to the cars history and all/any work done on it whilst in their possession ... I can even sit and speak to the Service Manager (puppet ?) and if I'm still wary they'll throw in an extra guarantee (£140 worth ?) that the steering/suspension/alignment is 100% spot and and trouble free. Unsure how they'd work that around the 'fair wear & tear' clause though, but anyway I'll be having another test drive - and it will be a test drive - and if anything is remotely noticeable I'm walking away, hopefully scott free as they have documents to show they've sorted the problem :yes: If the car drives as sweetly as I think it should, I'll be happy to pay the balance and drive it away.

Maybe, if all goes well, I can then post as a member who actually owns a Toyota :D

My Avensis had a recall on the steering before I bought it. Intermediate pinion shaft could come loose. I checked the VIN No. on the Toyota site and the main dealer confirmed this had been done.

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Well it looks like I'll be sticking around for a while longer yet. Off I tootled and had another test drive, and it's now parked in the drive outside :thumbsup:

Considering they 'allegedly' haven't touched it (apart from a valet) since my last visit, the car has made a miraculous recovery all by itself ... don't you love technology nowadays :D

oh ... and 12 months warranty for free too.

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Nice one Wolly.

I can only hope my wifes BMW will just fix itself. I'll keep you posted - although I wouldn't expect much on this lol...

:thumbsup:

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