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Rack and pinion help :(

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Old 10-08-13, 07:30 PM   #1
1timduke
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Exclamation Rack and pinion help :(

Obviously by the picture included I too have joined the r+p club. I've read in other threads how there is no scheduled maintenance for [I]replacing[I] power steering fluid, only checking it and the boots for leaks.
I've got about 95k on my 07 RX350, my wife and I noticed a slight rubbing sound when the wheel is turned earlier in the week. It went like this...
Me: Hmmm, that sounds weird, I gotta look at that.
Her: What is it?
Me: Sounds like it's power steering related.
Her: Is it safe to drive?
Me: Absolutely not, you take the car seat and put it in my 97 GMC Sonoma and I'll drive the Lexus, I just want you to be safe
Her: Not buying it.

Anyway, I checked the fluid, and it was at the proper level at operating temp, checked it later, it was still good. Never a drip of anything on the ground. I do all the maintenance myself and I check the boots and hoses, etc, whenever I'm changing the oil. I've seen a slight sheen on it for about 10k, but it never changed, dripped, or spewed anything out. This has obviously developed pretty quickly, I don't recall hitting anything and neither does my wife (or she won't admit to it....). Even if one of us did hit something, I couldn't see any other damage in the vicinity so I doubt that is the cause.
Something obviously needs to be done, and rather sooner than later. I like to keep it running smooth just so I don't hear any complaints .
I did purchase an extended warranty when I bought it two years ago, I paid for the upper tier program and it does not specifically say that it does not cover it or anything like it. I know you're thinking "Wow, this sucker bought the extended warranty? What a dope!" Truth be told, I only bought it because the last car I bought my wife ('01 VW Jetta) I bought the warranty with and I squeezed about $4500 worth out of its $1400 purchase price before the warranty expired. I took a chance and thought "I just might need it".
Turns out I need something to be fixed so here's the big questions...
1. Are these boots replaceable? I'm thinking if i can remove the old boot, clean the joint and repack and reboot it, that may solve the problem.
2. Does anybody have any (positive) experiences with this item being covered by a third party warranty?
3. If not and replacing the whole ******* thing is the only option to fixing it, is this a DIY thing or do I need to take it in. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being my father (you change the oil when the light comes on, son), and 10 being a master wizard mechanic I'm about a 5. My wife thinks I can fix anything, but that's only because she never catches my watching the 'how to' on youtube.

Any help is appreciated, thanks for looking

-Tim
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Old 10-08-13, 07:46 PM   #2
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Part 45535 plus of course new clamps, etc.

http://lexus.sewellparts.com/oem-cat...X350-2007.html

Are you still under that extended warrany? If so, let them replace the whole rack if possible. Not an easy job.

Looks like something scuffed up the underside there.
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Old 10-08-13, 10:54 PM   #3
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The boots and the inner tie rod can be replaced. You need a inner tie rod tool. Looks like a mag flashlight.

The boots can be replaced easy too.
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Old 10-11-13, 06:19 PM   #4
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I appreciate the info guys, one more question tho...

In the fine print of the extended warranty agreement it says you must show receipts of oil changes every 3000 miles, inspection of suspension components, blah,blah, blah... if you have a claim.

I do it all myself, when I had the work done on the old VW I never had to show anything, what's the chances that this actually might be covered if I can't come up w/ very many receipts.

I know, I should have kept the receipts

Thanks,

-Tim
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Old 10-11-13, 06:31 PM   #5
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As long as you keep a record of some kind with dates and mileage, they cannot refuse you warranty, they cannot make you pay for the services. it just has to be recorded.
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Old 10-11-13, 07:08 PM   #6
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Replacing the boot won't fix your problem. The end seal of the rack is leaking, and it needs a rebuild or replacement. It is an extremely common problem on the RX330/350. It got so bad that toyota switched manufacturers of the racks.
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Old 10-11-13, 08:08 PM   #7
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But if it's the end seal that's leaking, wouldn't I be losing power steering fluid? It's always been at the same level.

I'm also getting more curious if if this is indeed the source of the rubbing/rubbery sound when I turn the wheel, or if I'm misdiagnosing it. Though I do realize that the r+p issue is in serious need of attention.

The steering is still smooth, just a rubbing sound, like a finger slowly dragged on a balloon. It also sounds like it make be more located near where the steering shaft and pinion meet (universal joint area).
I haven't had a chance to get someone to turn the wheel while I'm looking actually under the vehicle.

I know there's a rubber boot at the bottom of the shaft that sometimes rubs, but is there a way to reach the u-joint to spray some grease just to test its 'lube integrity'?

Thanks,

-Tim
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Old 10-14-13, 06:03 AM   #8
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Just had our R&P assembly replaced at Pohanka Lexus in Chantilly, VA; 2008 RX-350 w/65K. Corporate picked up cost of the parts, and dealer lowered price on labor and alignment. Had to get leaking rack seal on passenger side confirmed by dealer beforehand. Yours looks like an obvious leak, good luck.
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Old 11-21-13, 06:45 PM   #9
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Well this same thing happened to me. I ordered a R & P seal replacement kit from auto zone for $39. I intend to only replace the outer seals, so that I don't have to remove the R & P.
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Old 12-03-13, 05:20 PM   #10
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Today was my day to be bit by the R&P flu. I had my 2005 RX330 with 86k miles in for it's annual VA state inspection when I got the call that the passenger side R&P rubber boot had been eaten through and was leaking. I was told the car would not pass state inspection, so my choices were a rejection sticker or repair. I was taken by surprise because there were no drops of oil on the floor in the garage and no loss of fluid in the reservoir, no symptoms at all...go figure. The quote was right at $1,000 with a lifetime warranty on the part ($700) and one year on labor ($290) at Firestone. I was surprised when I drove home that the power steering turned easier than before. I don't remember if it was this easy when new and got stiffer over time, but definitely easier to turn now. I had the struts replaced at 83k mile. Sure hope my suspension parts will last another 80k miles because we intend to keep the car.
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Old 12-04-13, 07:13 AM   #11
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Poqman,
Ouch! 1k is a lot, but seems cheaper than some other estimates... Was that the whole r&p?
I'm hopefully finding a workaround. One of my co workers is an ex lexus tech, regardless of his skills he still knows guys at the dealership. Apparently for the rubbing sound there is a grease kit as the noise seems to be up under the column and not near the wheel. And I may be able to get the r&p covered under my extended warranty if I play my cards right.
Fingers crossed.
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Old 12-04-13, 01:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1timduke View Post
Poqman,
Ouch! 1k is a lot, but seems cheaper than some other estimates... Was that the whole r&p?
Yea, the $1k covered everthing, entire remanufactured R&P, labor, alignment, taxes, shop fees, etc. It was a turn key job. I was concerned about the R&P being remanufactured, but it is warranted for life.
This and the struts are the only repairs this car has ever required. It's unfortunate they occurred within 3 months of each other. Really hoping the suspension repairs are at an end and the car returns to its former reliability.
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Old 12-05-13, 12:18 PM   #13
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$1k sound resonable. I just got a state inspection denied for r&p and the quote was $1,700 to repair.
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Old 07-15-14, 12:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1timduke View Post
Poqman,
Ouch! 1k is a lot, but seems cheaper than some other estimates... Was that the whole r&p?
I'm hopefully finding a workaround. One of my co workers is an ex lexus tech, regardless of his skills he still knows guys at the dealership. Apparently for the rubbing sound there is a grease kit as the noise seems to be up under the column and not near the wheel. And I may be able to get the r&p covered under my extended warranty if I play my cards right.
Fingers crossed.
Hello: After reading your post, I am curious as to the outcome. I have an RX330 with the same problem. Boot is torn
no leaks on the ground. I plan to replace the boot and see how long it will keep. Did you replace the boot yourself or take it to a shop. Thank you.
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Old 07-15-14, 12:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkplugg View Post
Well this same thing happened to me. I ordered a R & P seal replacement kit from auto zone for $39. I intend to only replace the outer seals, so that I don't have to remove the R & P.
Hello: After reading your post I was curious. Did you replace the seals yourself. How difficult was it and are there any instructional videos available. Thanking you in advance.
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Old 07-15-14, 12:50 PM
 
 
 
 
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