Toyota Highlander Steering Shakes...

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  #1  
Old 10-03-09, 04:25 AM
gsr
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Toyota Highlander Steering Shakes...

I have a 2004 Toyota Highlander that the steering wheel twists back and forth when going around 25-35mph.

If you hold the wheel tightly you don't notice it, if you have a loose grip or let go the steering wheel rotates both directions ~1" each way. The car drives straight when you let go and I don't feel a shake anywhere else in the vehicle it's just visible in the steering.

Tire wear is normal.
I've rotated the tires and no change.
Had an alignment done.

It's been this way for a few years with no change in how it occurs. It's something that would be nice to figure out why and maybe fix but it's not worth spending a lot of money on yet.

Any ideas?
Thanks
 
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Old 10-03-09, 05:05 AM
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Well, it's awful young for things to be worn out, but items like tierod ends, ball joints, and even CV joints would be on the list of suspects. When you had the alignment done I would expect any competent garage to have checked the suspension and steering parts, but you never know and the CV's maybe could be overlooked.

How many miles are on it?
 
  #3  
Old 10-03-09, 08:48 AM
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This doesn't specifically answer your question, but a co-worker of mine has a Toyota Tucoma. His steering wheel gets vibration. Doesn't cause drifting either and getting alignment done didn't help there either. But I think that's almost worth disregarding.
When you turn your steering wheel even softly, like when changing lanes, do you get an immediate response or do you notice that ~1" of slack? Any groaning or hissing noises? From the steering I mean. Not you.
 
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Old 10-03-09, 02:52 PM
gsr
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Fixed - maybe...

Well I 'fixed' the problem today.

I rotated the tires and the problem is gone for now.

I kind of ruled out the tires because I 'thought' it existed with the first set of tires too. I usually rotate the tires every 5,000-7,500 miles and have 65,000 miles on the car (~25K on these tires) so the tires on there now have been rotated around a time or two.

It's my wifes vehicle - she's never noticed the problem until about a week ago. I can remember it going back 2+ years - I'm guessing she holds the wheel tighter so she doesn't see it.

I'll try to drive it again in the next couple weeks and see if the problem comes back. Who knows.
 
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Old 10-03-09, 08:43 PM
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Another way to check tires would be to put the spare (full-size, hopefully) on one side then the other to see if you get a change.
 
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Old 10-05-09, 03:48 AM
gsr
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Tires...

Next time I have to rotate maybe I'll bring the spare in to check things since it has a full size spare. I had written the tires off because the problem persisted through several rotations.
Thanks
 
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Old 10-05-09, 03:29 PM
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It sounds like you have a seperated tire, Either jack it up and look closely at tire to see if it is worn more in one spot of tire,
 
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