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Discussion Starter #1
hi there ( greetings from Poland )
I know there are a lot of posts about similar topic, but let me describe my problem more in details
Sienna 2014 XLE , 61k miles on dash, no issues so far , I did a bit less than 20k miles last 12 months, and one thing makes me worrying.
at the very low speed, usually on parking lot or when I make deep turn (u-turning or 90 deg turn) , while turning in or out the both sides I hear and feel a one time strange noise and feel it gently on the steering wheel. It is a quiet mechanical knock like something tensed up and suddenly the tension is released
My car service inspected the whole front suspension and they haven't found anything there, they were able to replicate the sound and they suspect it might be steering gear or steering column. I don't expect worn out steering gear after 60k miles (shall I ? ) .
They say it might be something with steering shaft where the tension might originate from, but they can randomly exchange elements if my wallet is thick enough :)
they have another customer who experiences same symptoms since 8k miles and nothing happened.
Any clue or experience you have had ?
stay safe in corona-virus times
Michal
 

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One item comes to mind: Over the years Toyota has had manufacturing issues with the Steering Intermediate Shaft. It's the coupling where the steering assembly passes thru the floor at your feet. It's a U-joint and sleeve that allow the sharp direction change from the column to the steering rack on the firewall. When they bind, they make all sorts of noise and you feel a 'bump' as it transitions past the bad spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
thanks fibber2, this is where my thought went when I looked at the picture - see attachment , it that what you mentioned ? And now more important question - what did you mean by "manufacturing issues" , can I drive with that ? how long ? the first time I heard that was at 60k miles
steering shaft.PNG
 

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Hello, my 2011 XLE started to have this problem right around 45K miles. It now has 130K miles and I have not fixed it yet.
 

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Yes, that's the assembly. Those that have taken it apart usually report that the lower joint (outside) is the one that seizes up, although at least one said the interior U was bad too.

Agree. For the most part it is just an annoyance. I used to get an occasional kick and noise on some rough pavement, or when low speed parking (full rotations of the wheel). In the worst cases members have reported that the steering got overly tight (bound up). So far I've not seen any reports of outright failure.
 

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We had a similar problem on our first Sienna (a 2004 AWD). It turned out that the springs around the shocks are supposed to pivot in their holders when you turn the wheel. In mine, the parts that allowed it to pivot had started getting sticky and freezing up. As I turned the wheel, instead of spinning, the springs would "wind up", then eventually let go when the torque was enough to overcome the stuck part. I ended up having those assemblies replaced, and it was fine until I got rid of the vehicle at about 180,000 miles.
 

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Agreed, half-shaft. My 2011 did that; first dealership claimed they couldn't hear it, so I took their mechanic for a ride and he said "Brake pads". Um, no.

Second dealership poo-poohed "half-shafts", DXed it as ball joints, did those under extended warranty. Halfway home...clunk. Back it goes; surprise, half-shafts after all.
 

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Drive shaft u joints exposed to "weather" often need repacking after high miles. My 2005 Sienna has 97,000 mi in California and has no steering-clunk problem, so if your steering is not exposed to ice and such, I doubt that is your problem.
 
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