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Choppy feeling to the steering

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by PA452, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Dec 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM
    #1
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The steering on this truck has never felt great on rough roads, even when brand new. But it's to the point now where it feels terrible on the average paved surface. I've been through a number of threads talking about steering issues, but I have kind of a new symptom that I've been zoning in on lately.

    The best way I could think of describing it was "choppy", and after doing some searches, I found someone on another vehicle forum who described the exact effect I'm noticing a lot better than I can. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to find answers.

    This is exactly how I would describe the feeling.

    Say when I'm coming out of a turn and onto a straight run, when I let the wheel come back to the center position, it's like it wobbles and kind of jumps here and there, notching it's way back to center. I'm hesitant to use the word "notch" though, it's not really that hard of a notch. It's just kind of a choppy effect.

    Another thing I wanted to ask about is it seems like uneven road surfaces affect my steering more than most vehicles I've ever driven. Say when I hit an angled pavement transition, even just a very, very minor lip in the pavement, I'll feel the wheel kind of jerk one direction. On more uneven surfaces it's worse. I've even noticed if I accelerate fast to get up to speed, I notice a sudden slight torque in the wheel, as if the wheels wanted to kink to one side under the acceleration.

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Dec 16, 2010 at 9:41 PM
    #2
    07TacomaDan45

    07TacomaDan45 Well-Known Member

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    I seem to be having the same exact issues with the steering. The wobbling is worse at highway speeds. It is quite annoying at times, and at other times I experience no wobble. Do you have the stock tire size?

    Subscribed for some answers. Hopefully someone knows whats up. I have a feeling a lot of people are gonna say to have your tires balanced.
     
  3. Dec 16, 2010 at 9:52 PM
    #3
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yep, stock tire size. No lift. No real modifications of any kind, the truck is practically 100% stock.

    I think I actually notice this less at high speeds. I notice it the most from parking lot speeds to 35-40mph I would guess.

    You might be right with your prediction, but it's definitely not an out of balance tire.
     
  4. Dec 16, 2010 at 10:56 PM
    #4
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    Have you checked into the steering TSB ?
     
  5. Dec 16, 2010 at 11:03 PM
    #5
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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  6. Dec 16, 2010 at 11:04 PM
    #6
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    I just saw you are selling a new intermediate shaft in the B/S/T . Am I missing something ? The TSB for the steering was not going to fix your issue ?


    EDIT : haha ^^^ we were thinking the same thing at the same time
     
  7. Dec 16, 2010 at 11:09 PM
    #7
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm surprised you saw it that fast after posting about it. :D Of course your mentioning of it reminded me to bump the ad.

    I think the TSB shaft may help some with the feeling on dirt roads, mostly just because most everyone who has posted that they've had it done has noticed a significant improvement. But, I'm pretty sure this will not solve my problem. I think it's something else.
     
  8. Dec 18, 2010 at 7:24 PM
    #8
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    bump
     
  9. Dec 19, 2010 at 4:36 AM
    #9
    buddywh1

    buddywh1 Well-Known Member

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    Have you had alignment checked?

    One of the parameters...caster I think...can make the steering feel very sensitive to small bumps and lines in the pavement if it's out. You'd feel that as little bumps in the steering wheel, kinda like a notchiness might be. Even if it's "correct" you could try having them dial it a little further and try that.
     
  10. Dec 19, 2010 at 6:19 AM
    #10
    Rocketball

    Rocketball If The World Didn't Suck, We'd All Fall Off

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    Did you put it in 4x4 by mistake? :rolleyes: Check the switch......

    This sounds like how it would drive on dry pavement in 4x4.
     
  11. Dec 19, 2010 at 6:26 AM
    #11
    Kdawwwg

    Kdawwwg Well-Known Member

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  12. Dec 19, 2010 at 6:33 AM
    #12
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey Well-Known Member

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    ya, i was gonna say that too.

    its the camber and toe that can make the steering feel jittery and such.

    if the camber is off, then you can start seeing wear on the front tires. either the inside or the outside of the tire will be wearing more.
     
  13. Dec 19, 2010 at 8:09 AM
    #13
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No, I am not retarded.
     
  14. Dec 19, 2010 at 8:18 AM
    #14
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Interesting possibility.

    Back in August the steering started really feeling like crap. Among other things, I had a somewhat strong pull to the right, so I figured it was an alignment issue.

    First I took it to a Toyota dealership, they said it was out of alignment, they did an alignment, no effect. A couple weeks later I had decided I didn't trust their alignment, so I took it to another dealership partly to check the alignment and partly to check for problems overall. They came up with nothing on the overall problems, said they noticed a vibration but not the pull to the right, and said the alignment was good. A day or two later I found out they didn't actually check the alignment, they just looked up the numbers from the last dealership. :mad:

    So next I took it to a tire place to have the alignment checked. They said it was just slightly out, but they didn't think it was going to be enough to affect the pull to the right, which they did notice. They did their alignment, no effect.

    So next I was done looking at the alignment, took it to a private shop that someone recommended. They couldn't find anything wrong otherwise, but they thought the alignment was way out. They also said they noticed the pull to the right plain as day. They recommended yet another place to do an alignment.

    So I go to the last place. This guy lets me stand there and we're talking the whole time he's doing the alignment. He did it the "old fashioned way", no computers. He said the camber was way out. When he was done, the pull to the right was gone.

    But, this problem with the choppy steering as persisted. I think it was there before and after that alignment.

    It makes sense though, I can see the steering behaving this way if it were kind of running on the edge of a tire. I can say though that the tires are wearing very evenly, no sign of serious wear on the corners.
     
  15. Dec 19, 2010 at 8:34 AM
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    Enzo

    Enzo Well-Known Member

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    I have all of the symptoms listed above and when I'm on the interstate my truck wanders like hell. My truck is stock and even after getting the tires rotated, balanced and an alignment done it still does it. I've driven everything from 43' long custom built Prevost coaches to corvettes and I've never had a new vehicle handle so poorly. Don't get me wrong, I still like my taco-just not all the TSBs and recalls.
     
  16. Dec 19, 2010 at 8:40 AM
    #16
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    How many miles do you have on yours?

    And I agree with you, I've driven old dump trucks from the 70s that handled better than my Tacoma does right now.
     
  17. Dec 19, 2010 at 1:23 PM
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    Enzo

    Enzo Well-Known Member

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    38k
     
  18. Dec 19, 2010 at 2:33 PM
    #18
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Has yours always had this problem or is it a recent development?

    The steering on my Tacoma never felt all that great, but it seems like just in the last 7-9K is when it has really taken a turn for the worse. I'm at about 57K now.
     
  19. Dec 21, 2010 at 5:27 PM
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    Rocketball

    Rocketball If The World Didn't Suck, We'd All Fall Off

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    I'm not suggesting you are, just sometimes we miss the obvious. :cool:
     
  20. Dec 21, 2010 at 5:33 PM
    #20
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, sorry for the way I replied to that. There's just no possible way I could miss something that obvious. To me it was like asking if I made sure that I had all four wheels mounted to the truck. ;)
     
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