mrfixer

T25 1.8 sticky steering

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I have just purchased a 2008 1.8 automatic. The car is one owner, 30k miles and has a full dealer history - looks and feels like new.

One problem though, when driving on motorway/dual carriageway the steering feels very 'sticky' around the straight ahead position. It takes a bit of effort to move the wheel and if I move it by, say, 10 degrees, it doesn't self-centre.

Around town the steering is light and normal. No warning lights or fault codes. No knocks, rattles or other noises from the suspension or steering. The previous owner had four new tyres and a four wheel alignment done late last year (I have print out and its spot on).

I am thinking partially-siezed track rod ends or strut top mounts?  Any of you had this kind of problem.

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Hi Jim.

First of all welcome to the club.

Basically I feel it's dismantle a few parts in the steering and see what's hard to move. My guess would be the N/S lower ball joint, (If it has them).

Regards, Mike.

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Have a quick check on your power steering fluid before you pull anything apart.

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8 minutes ago, paul9 said:

Have a quick check on your power steering fluid before you pull anything apart.

Its an electric power steering system (torque sensor and electric motor integrated into the column).

I don't think there is anything wrong with the power assistance because the steering is light at low speeds. Its the stiffness and lack of self-centering close to the straight ahead position that is the concern. I think I will have to disconnect the TRE's to isolate any partially seized components.

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This car should have electric power steering. 

Mine is and it feels just the same, i think it's normal behavior. 

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Bottom line is, electric steering can feel weird and you have to let yourself get used to it 🙂

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Sorry to butt in, but stickiness in the straight ahead position isn't normal behaviour.  My T25 Avensis (well strictly my wife's, but we both drive it) has a perfect feeling and sensitivity to the steering under all conditions.  No kidding, but I actually prefer its steering to my Mercedes S-class (too light) and BMW 5-series (too heavy) and I would rate it as equal to my wife's MX5.  Yes, really.  So, I'm sorry to say your sticky steering is not normal.  As to the cause, I can't say because it's not something I have needed to investigate.

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Rule out crap tryes first.

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Thank you for all the comments.

The car is in great shape and accident free. It had a set of new tyres and a full four-wheel alignment about 1500 miles ago, just before the last MoT. The suspension angles are all to factory spec.    It tracks beautifully at high speed and there is plenty of assistance at low speed. Its just the 'stickiness' around the centre position that's the problem. I don't have much experience of Avensis but I have driven plenty of post-2010 Toyotas fitted with EPAS (Yaris, Vios, Altis) and not noticed this characteristic.  I suspect something is 'tight' in the steering. Going to start with the column UJ's and then TRE's and upper strut mounts and balljoints. 

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This must have been a long standing niggle otherwise why would the previous owner have gone to the expense of having all 4 wheels tracking checked. I do not think there is any magic, quick fix only what you plan to systematically check steering joints etc. Good luck with it as it sounds a lovely low mileage Avensis. My 08 T25 auto has done 80k and is excellent apart from the poor headlights which is a well know issue.

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19 hours ago, sproutdreamer said:

This must have been a long standing niggle otherwise why would the previous owner have gone to the expense of having all 4 wheels tracking checked. I do not think there is any magic, quick fix...

The problem is really only noticeable on the motorway and I don't think the previous owner used it on the motorway much (he was very elderly and only used the car for local journeys). The alignment was done when new tyres were purchased.

I'm going to examine the steering this weekend.

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Hi I would check with your local Toyota dealer as it may need recalibration due to sensors adjust steering stiffness the faster you go .

 

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