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Max Q
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Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 1:01 am

I have a 2009 Camry with 115K miles


I take pretty good care of it with all required maintenance regularly performed


It runs well with decent fuel economy but there’s one issue that bugs me and no one seems able to address successfully


Despite several 4 wheel alignments at different facilities it is more difficult to turn the steering wheel to the right than the left


The car doesn’t ‘pull’ it holds a straight line in normal driving however while a left steering wheel input is effortless an input to the right is noticeably harder, it’s not like it’s ‘binding’ up though, the force required is still linear


Any ideas ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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NIKV69
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 1:08 am

First thing that comes to mind is the steering rack. If the suspension is in good shape and alignment done correctly that is a good direction to start.
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
Max Q
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 1:32 am

NIKV69 wrote:
First thing that comes to mind is the steering rack. If the suspension is in good shape and alignment done correctly that is a good direction to start.



Is the rack an adjustable component ?

If not it sounds expensive, anything else I could try ?


One other thing, in order for both front wheels to be perfectly ‘straight ahead’ the steering wheel is about 20 degrees to the right

Does that have any significance?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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NIKV69
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 2:19 am

Max Q wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
First thing that comes to mind is the steering rack. If the suspension is in good shape and alignment done correctly that is a good direction to start.



Is the rack an adjustable component ?

If not it sounds expensive, anything else I could try ?


One other thing, in order for both front wheels to be perfectly ‘straight ahead’ the steering wheel is about 20 degrees to the right

Does that have any significance?


Yes they are expensive, no you can't adjust it once it goes that is it. As for your steering wheel part of a proper alignment is to make sure the steering wheel is straight but its not an issue with your car. Not sure what your financial situation is but I would drive it till it fails and think of a newer car. Toyotas are great but you have got more than enough life out of it.
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 2:28 am

NIKV69 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
First thing that comes to mind is the steering rack. If the suspension is in good shape and alignment done correctly that is a good direction to start.



Is the rack an adjustable component ?

If not it sounds expensive, anything else I could try ?


One other thing, in order for both front wheels to be perfectly ‘straight ahead’ the steering wheel is about 20 degrees to the right

Does that have any significance?


Yes they are expensive, no you can't adjust it once it goes that is it. As for your steering wheel part of a proper alignment is to make sure the steering wheel is straight but its not an issue with your car. Not sure what your financial situation is but I would drive it till it fails and think of a newer car. Toyotas are great but you have got more than enough life out of it.


Agree with Nick....doesn't really make sense to do a $1500 repair on a Camry worth $5-$7K, especially if you have a way of dealing with it when driving.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Dogman
Posts: 148
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 2:33 am

Max Q wrote:
I have a 2009 Camry with 115K miles


I take pretty good care of it with all required maintenance regularly performed


It runs well with decent fuel economy but there’s one issue that bugs me and no one seems able to address successfully


Despite several 4 wheel alignments at different facilities it is more difficult to turn the steering wheel to the right than the left


The car doesn’t ‘pull’ it holds a straight line in normal driving however while a left steering wheel input is effortless an input to the right is noticeably harder, it’s not like it’s ‘binding’ up though, the force required is still linear


Any ideas ?


The left arm is stronger than the right one? :duck:
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 2:59 am

Do you have the OEM wheels and tires on it?
Does it also happen if you lift the front of the car off the ground? (no weight on the wheels)
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 8963
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 3:10 am

Francoflier wrote:
Do you have the OEM wheels and tires on it?
Does it also happen if you lift the front of the car off the ground? (no weight on the wheels)



No, they’ve been replaced several times, not tried your second suggestion
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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Francoflier
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 3:26 am

Ok, just wanted to know if you had aftermarket wheels on it, though there is a very small chance that would be the source.

Lifting the front up could help determine whether it came from a load bearing part of the suspension rather than the rack or power steering system itself.

Also, does it happen equally at all speeds and when stopped?
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
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seb146
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 3:26 am

I have a 2012 Corolla I bought used from a bunch of shysters in Petaluma. Every time I would make a right turn at higher speeds, the steering wheel would rhythmically slam to the right. It finally got so bad that I took it to the dealer here in Oregon and demanded they keep working on it, spare no expense, until that issue is resolved. The way it was explained to me, there was a front end issue before I bought the car. When it was fixed, they used the wrong type of grease so, instead of lubricating, it acted as glue. The dealer here made the issue go away like 99%. It still makes a sound like a baseball card in bicycle spokes, but it no longer bucks.
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Max Q
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Posts: 8963
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 4:48 am

Francoflier wrote:
Ok, just wanted to know if you had aftermarket wheels on it, though there is a very small chance that would be the source.

Lifting the front up could help determine whether it came from a load bearing part of the suspension rather than the rack or power steering system itself.

Also, does it happen equally at all speeds and when stopped?



No aftermarket wheels


Yes, it’s an issue at all speeds, I don’t turn the wheel when stopped but it’s a problem when almost motionless
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 8963
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Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 4:49 am

seb146 wrote:
I have a 2012 Corolla I bought used from a bunch of shysters in Petaluma. Every time I would make a right turn at higher speeds, the steering wheel would rhythmically slam to the right. It finally got so bad that I took it to the dealer here in Oregon and demanded they keep working on it, spare no expense, until that issue is resolved. The way it was explained to me, there was a front end issue before I bought the car. When it was fixed, they used the wrong type of grease so, instead of lubricating, it acted as glue. The dealer here made the issue go away like 99%. It still makes a sound like a baseball card in bicycle spokes, but it no longer bucks.



Thanks for the idea, will look at that
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
N965UW
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:31 pm

Re: Weird car issues

Mon May 31, 2021 3:55 pm

Max Q wrote:
One other thing, in order for both front wheels to be perfectly ‘straight ahead’ the steering wheel is about 20 degrees to the right


My car is the same way except to the left. In my case it's because I had a control arm replaced on the left but not the right. The difference between the non-OEM part on the left and the OEM part on the right is enough to slightly affect the steering wheel position. All four tires themselves have been aligned, it's just that the steering well is offset. If your car ever had similar front end work done, that may be why.

I also have a golf cart with an even more drastically misaligned steering wheel. The tire alignment looks ok. There was no front end work that I'm aware of, but it was bought used so anything's possible.
You can always go around
 
Max Q
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Posts: 8963
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Re: Weird car issues

Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:01 am

N965UW wrote:
Max Q wrote:
One other thing, in order for both front wheels to be perfectly ‘straight ahead’ the steering wheel is about 20 degrees to the right


My car is the same way except to the left. In my case it's because I had a control arm replaced on the left but not the right. The difference between the non-OEM part on the left and the OEM part on the right is enough to slightly affect the steering wheel position. All four tires themselves have been aligned, it's just that the steering well is offset. If your car ever had similar front end work done, that may be why.

I also have a golf cart with an even more drastically misaligned steering wheel. The tire alignment looks ok. There was no front end work that I'm aware of, but it was bought used so anything's possible.



Interesting, thanks for that, have to see if they can align the steering wheel better with the front wheels
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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NIKV69
Posts: 14317
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

Re: Weird car issues

Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:29 pm

N965UW wrote:
Max Q wrote:
One other thing, in order for both front wheels to be perfectly ‘straight ahead’ the steering wheel is about 20 degrees to the right


My car is the same way except to the left. In my case it's because I had a control arm replaced on the left but not the right. The difference between the non-OEM part on the left and the OEM part on the right is enough to slightly affect the steering wheel position. All four tires themselves have been aligned, it's just that the steering well is offset. If your car ever had similar front end work done, that may be why.

I also have a golf cart with an even more drastically misaligned steering wheel. The tire alignment looks ok. There was no front end work that I'm aware of, but it was bought used so anything's possible.


I dunno, an aftermarket part is made to exact specs that if it's installed properly and the alignment is done properly you should never get any issue with the steering wheel or ride.
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Weird car issues

Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:08 pm

I wonder if there is an issue with the the pumps that enable the power steering, coupled with the improper alignment of the steering wheel?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did..So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.--Mark Twain
 
N965UW
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:31 pm

Re: Weird car issues

Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:18 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
N965UW wrote:
Max Q wrote:
One other thing, in order for both front wheels to be perfectly ‘straight ahead’ the steering wheel is about 20 degrees to the right


My car is the same way except to the left. In my case it's because I had a control arm replaced on the left but not the right. The difference between the non-OEM part on the left and the OEM part on the right is enough to slightly affect the steering wheel position. All four tires themselves have been aligned, it's just that the steering well is offset. If your car ever had similar front end work done, that may be why.

I also have a golf cart with an even more drastically misaligned steering wheel. The tire alignment looks ok. There was no front end work that I'm aware of, but it was bought used so anything's possible.


I dunno, an aftermarket part is made to exact specs that if it's installed properly and the alignment is done properly you should never get any issue with the steering wheel or ride.


That's true, what I was trying to say (and worded it poorly) is there is likely a difference between the more worn OEM part and the brand new aftermarket part. The wheel alignment itself is not an issue, it's just that the steering wheel sits to the left when the wheels are straight ahead. It's very slight - maybe 5 or 10 degrees (not as drastic as Max Q's 20 degrees).
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fr8mech
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Re: Weird car issues

Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:21 pm

Max Q wrote:
Despite several 4 wheel alignments at different facilities it is more difficult to turn the steering wheel to the right than the left


The car doesn’t ‘pull’ it holds a straight line in normal driving however while a left steering wheel input is effortless an input to the right is noticeably harder, it’s not like it’s ‘binding’ up though, the force required is still linear


Any ideas ?


Alignment is good? Ok.
Any shimmy? At any speed? I'll assume "no"
Tires in good condition? Equal wear? Didn't replace one tire and not the other? Ok.

A couple of things:

Check your power steering fluid level. Yeah, yeah, I know...it's ok to one side but not the other. Check it anyway...you've no idea what the internal plumbing of the pump and other components is.

If you can jack the front of the car, do so. Start the engine and go 'stop-to-stop' several times. Slowly and quickly. See if the problem goes away. If it does, then you likely have a mechanical problem, Some kind of bind that manifests itself under load...read that as the rack...most likely.

If the problem does not go away, it's likely a pump, or more correctly, a valve in the pump assembly. Change the pump.
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Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 8963
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Weird car issues

Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:34 pm

fr8mech wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Despite several 4 wheel alignments at different facilities it is more difficult to turn the steering wheel to the right than the left


The car doesn’t ‘pull’ it holds a straight line in normal driving however while a left steering wheel input is effortless an input to the right is noticeably harder, it’s not like it’s ‘binding’ up though, the force required is still linear


Any ideas ?


Alignment is good? Ok.
Any shimmy? At any speed? I'll assume "no"
Tires in good condition? Equal wear? Didn't replace one tire and not the other? Ok.

A couple of things:

Check your power steering fluid level. Yeah, yeah, I know...it's ok to one side but not the other. Check it anyway...you've no idea what the internal plumbing of the pump and other components is.

If you can jack the front of the car, do so. Start the engine and go 'stop-to-stop' several times. Slowly and quickly. See if the problem goes away. If it does, then you likely have a mechanical problem, Some kind of bind that manifests itself under load...read that as the rack...most likely.

If the problem does not go away, it's likely a pump, or more correctly, a valve in the pump assembly. Change the pump.



Thanks for the information
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
KFLLCFII
Posts: 3617
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:08 am

Re: Weird car issues

Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:38 am

Max Q wrote:
I have a 2009 Camry with 115K miles


I take pretty good care of it with all required maintenance regularly performed


It runs well with decent fuel economy but there’s one issue that bugs me and no one seems able to address successfully


Despite several 4 wheel alignments at different facilities it is more difficult to turn the steering wheel to the right than the left


The car doesn’t ‘pull’ it holds a straight line in normal driving however while a left steering wheel input is effortless an input to the right is noticeably harder, it’s not like it’s ‘binding’ up though, the force required is still linear


Any ideas ?


The shaft between the steering wheel and the rack may be becoming worn out...It's usually a mini-version of a driveshaft containing 2 universal joints and a greased slip-yoke joint, and can create weird symptoms when the joint(s) are not operating properly/smoothly. A worn universal joint/joints on that shaft could theoretically also cause a mis-alignment of the steering wheel when the car is travelling straight.
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jetwet1
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Re: Weird car issues

Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:48 am

I had this happen many years ago, pretty much the same issue, it turned out that the CV joint on one shaft was going out.
 
Max Q
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Re: Weird car issues

Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:21 pm

Thanks for those additional ideas, will look at that
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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BawliBooch
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Re: Weird car issues

Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:28 pm

I had a similar problem with my old 2002 Suzuki Jimny. Problem was eventually traced to a compromised steering assembly. I had toppled this notoriously unstable car at speed on one offroad adventure and this had caused the issue. Since fix was expensive I dumped the car!

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