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Steering sticks/locks when turning. Anyone?

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Old 01-05-14, 11:10 AM   #1
MD99SC300
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Default Steering sticks/locks when turning. Anyone?

Bare with me, there is more than just one question.

Recently purchased an '08 IS350 that included an extended warranty from Mercury Insurance. I noticed that when turning off freeway on ramps or even switching lanes the steering wheel has a sticky/locking feeling to it half way through turning the wheel to the desired direction. When it gets into the sticky/locking state you can actually take your hands on the steering wheel and it will stay in place in that direction. So when I took the car in for some recall work at Lexus I mentioned this to me and they came back and told me that my rack and pinion is broken and it will cost $1,400 for the part.

Here's where things get complicated: I called my extended warranty company and they said that the rack and pinion is covered but that $1,400 for that part is out of the limits of liability so they asked Lexus if they could send them the part which they said they can get from their own supplier, Meridian, for $700 (which is the limit). Lexus refused saying that they cannot put anything on that's not OEM. The warranty company said either I pay for the difference or I go another licensed shop and ask if they install aftermarket parts on customer cars. I called another shop locally who specializes in Lexus and mentioned what was going on and he said he's never heard of a warranty company doing such a thing but understands where they're coming from. He said the best thing to do is take it to his shop to get a look and confirm if it is the steering rack or something else that could be minor.

By the way, steering feels fine other than the symptom I mentioned. No whining, no leaks that I can see.

1) Anyone ever had the feeling I describe? Was it indeed a broken steering rack?
2) Anyone had experience with an extended warranty company doing such a thing?
3) Anyone install re-manufactured steering rack on their Lexus? Any issues?
4) What would you do in my case?
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Old 01-05-14, 08:00 PM   #2
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Steering is nothing to be messed with. Either go with the OEM rack with money out of your pocket or an aftermarket unit installed by any shop. I've read about vehicles completely locking out their steering while driving and crashing; so it is a issue issue that can happen...but is RARE.
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Old 01-05-14, 08:26 PM   #3
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Does it only do this when driving, or will it do it sitting still? I've changed a LOT of steering shafts due to seized u-joints here where we get a lot of snow and salt, I'm pretty sure the IS doesn't have any exposed joints though, so its not likely. It could also be a bad tie rod end or ball joint, not likely though on an '08.
I'd have no problem installing a reman or even a used rack into your car, we do it often, as long as the shop doing the job flushes the steering system is should be fine. The system needs to be flushed though, any of the fluid in there could contain steel or aluminum from the failed rack (if indeed that's the problem).
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Old 01-05-14, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD99SC300 View Post
1) Anyone ever had the feeling I describe? Was it indeed a broken steering rack?
This has happened to me once a couple months ago. It might happened another time before, but I can't clearly recall.

What happens is the road is about a 35 degrees constant curve not on freeway, and I hold the steering in that direction for about 5 seconds; when the road straighten out, I tried to lightly guide the steering wheel to the new straight road, but the steering wheel seems to be locked in the previous position. I have to use quite a bit more force than normal to force it straight.

I can't reproduce this, so I didn't get it check at the dealer. I have a 2008 IS350 as well.
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Old 01-06-14, 01:07 PM   #5
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^Scary!
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Old 01-06-14, 04:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gville350 View Post
Steering is nothing to be messed with. Either go with the OEM rack with money out of your pocket or an aftermarket unit installed by any shop. I've read about vehicles completely locking out their steering while driving and crashing; so it is a issue issue that can happen...but is RARE.
I know, I do realize that. I'm a bit annoyed that the warranty company refuses to pay for an OEM rack because it exceeds their limited liability. I guess my only option is going with the aftermarket steering rack.

This is a warning for those who end up purchasing extended warranties. The warranty company "...may use replacement components of a like kind and quality that may be rebuilt, remanufactured, or used. Parts pricing will be determined by the lesser of your vehicle manufacturers suggested retail price or the suggested retail price of a like kind and quality part, whichever is authorized by Us."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Largefarva View Post
Does it only do this when driving, or will it do it sitting still? I've changed a LOT of steering shafts due to seized u-joints here where we get a lot of snow and salt, I'm pretty sure the IS doesn't have any exposed joints though, so its not likely. It could also be a bad tie rod end or ball joint, not likely though on an '08.
I'd have no problem installing a reman or even a used rack into your car, we do it often, as long as the shop doing the job flushes the steering system is should be fine. The system needs to be flushed though, any of the fluid in there could contain steel or aluminum from the failed rack (if indeed that's the problem).
It does it while driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosurprise View Post
This has happened to me once a couple months ago. It might happened another time before, but I can't clearly recall.

What happens is the road is about a 35 degrees constant curve not on freeway, and I hold the steering in that direction for about 5 seconds; when the road straighten out, I tried to lightly guide the steering wheel to the new straight road, but the steering wheel seems to be locked in the previous position. I have to use quite a bit more force than normal to force it straight.

I can't reproduce this, so I didn't get it check at the dealer. I have a 2008 IS350 as well.
Hmmm, that sounds close to what I'm experiencing except it happens to me all the time when I'm going on a curve: steering wheel gets stuck in position while turning it (gets stuck at a set degree, haven't figured it out what it is). It doesn't take much effort to get it out of position though. Just really annoying.

Last edited by MD99SC300; 01-06-14 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 02-07-15, 04:36 PM   #7
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Default Might just need WD-40

WD-40 on the Universal Joint (steering shaft) fixed my problem of stiff / intermitting steering. It wouldn't take much effort to return the wheel to the straight position, but it was just annoying. I applied WD-40 and it is back to behaving like what I imagine is brand new.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/es30...sal-joint.html
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Old 02-07-15, 04:36 PM
 
 
 
 
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