Been searching all morning and found quite a few threads regarding following problem but none had a solution.
Since I have my own thread decided to update it with my recent problem.
About a week ago I had both lower ball joints replaced.
After that I told my mechanic about the "steering wheel free play movement" (The problem that made me create this thread).
He then said that there is a bolt on the steering rack that can be tightened/loosened up and he thought he'd give it a try to see if it fixes my free play problem.
Here is the place I'm talking about
Once he tightened it up a bit I drove out and right away sensed that my steering wheel feels hard to turn and stuff.
I haven't driven my car right after the ball joints have been changed so I can't tell that steering wheel feels that way only due to tightening that bolt on the rack.
Well after a day I came back to the shop and they loosened that bolt to where it was originally (at least they said so).
But the problem is it still feels hard to turn and following stuff is also observed:
* fist of all wheel is harder to turn
* steering wheel doesn't come back after turning as fast or as easy as it used to before (it does come back but not all the way and very slowly as if there is some tension or something simalr)
* once I reverse with my steering wheel turned to one of the sides at a max I cannot turn to the other side without driving a little forward. I feel that the steering wheel is blocked by something
But once I drive a little I can turn it to the opposite direction.
At the moment I'm thinking two things:
Should the alignment be done after changing out lower ball joints?
Or that bolt on the rack is to be blamed?
My PS fluid is dark but the level is fine.
And I forgot to mention that tightening that bolt on the rack didn't fix my free-play problem it's still there...
Please help, I'm ready to provide you guys with any info on request regarding this problem, pics, videos, info. I really want to fix this problem and make it drive as Lexus should once again!