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2007 Avensis T180 Tourer Steering Wobble


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Guys, I wonder if you might be able to cast your eyes over this issue for me and let me have your thoughts.

I have a 2007 Avensis T180 Tourer and at 8,000 I decided that the wobble that I had on the steering was not related to road surface, tyre pressure or my imagination.

So, when the car was in with Toyota having its head unit replaced I mentioned it to the Service Desk as an issue... They couldn't find anything.

It was mentioned again at the 10,000 mile service and again at the 20,000 mile. On each occassion it came back with nothing to be found.

In the meantime Toyota suggested that it might be a problem with my tyres if I've experienced it since new, so because both of the front tyres are scrubbed on the outside edge they suggested I get those replaced and they would check the geometry.

A kwik-trip to Kwik-Fit led to more frustration as they said the tyres, although worn on the outside egge, aren't actually illegal so my lease company wouldn't authorise their replacement.

After a bit of toing and froing between Leaseplan and Kwik-Fit they agreed that they would check the alignment on the vehicle to make sure the issue wasn't caused by tracking.

Kwik-Fit checked the tracking and according to their jig everything was fine.

At 23,000 miles I became concerned enough that I reported the issue to my lease company who promptly logged a complaint with Toyota and the car went back to a different dealers this time.

When I dropped the car off I took a technician out in it to demonstrate the wobble, which is a distinct rocking on the steering wheel, possibly a 1/2" across the full range of movement. The technician saw the problem straight away.

He asked if I'd had any collisions in the car. The only thing I have done is scraped the kerb whilst parking, which I pointed out to him.

When showing the technician the damage I noticed that there is half a ton of lead on each of the wheels, much more than I've ever seen before on a balanced wheel! The technician also pointed out the wear on both tyres advising that there looked to be something wrong!

However, the investigation was undertaken and after half a day or so I received the report that I had a bent alloy wheel. The drivers side front wheel was bent, which was causing the wobble.

The responsibility for the bent wheel is apparently mine especially as I didn't actually report it until 8000 miles!

I argued the point with both Toyota and Leaseplan who suggested that I was at fault for not reporting the issue sooner. After explaining to them that I am not a mechanic or a technician and that the car was driven mainly on the motorway, where the issue is not evident and that I reported it to them as soon as I was satisfied there was an issue they still weren't satisfied.

I also highlighted to them that even though I was none of the above, I was still able to determine there was an issue after 8000 miles. The issue had been reported to Toyota 15,000 miles ago and even with their technicians and facilities they had only just acknowledged that there was actually an issue.

So the upshot is that I got nowhere and my company have advised me to treat it as an insurance claim...

However, the insurance company have basically said that the issue looks to be more serious than a bent wheel...

1. Distinct wobble (1/2") between 20 to 40 mph

2. Both front tyres worn on outside edge

3. At full lock the car "crabs" around with no pressure back on the steering

Their initial assessment suggested it might be a steering rack problem, but they're going to take it away for a full assessment.

Does anyone have anything they can add to hopefully get this issue resolved?

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Suggest perhaps you try an independent automobile engineer, one with proper accreditation, hopefully get him on your side and present his written report to Mr.T (Head Office if necessary), and your lease company.

Good luck.

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