Question about 2005 Toyota Sienna
Power steering res full no leaks belt tight but feels as if pump possibly running at 50%. very hard to turn in parking and slow moving situations
Most likely the problem is the lower steering knuckle. This is the one outside of the firewall, under the vehicle and it hooks up to the power steering assist cylinder. In my opinion the knuckle has to work at an unreasonably steep angle and this compounds the problem. The knuckle (especially in salt areas starts to corrode and becomes hard to turn. Toyota says the water gets into the bearing and they beings to rust the bearing and turning the whell starts to feel stiff. I have this problem and I sprayed liberal amounts of a rust inhibitor that a local place uses to rust proof cars (They sell small spray bottles of it for $5). They are called OIL TECH in Barrie, Ontario and make up their own formula. The formula has addatives that breaks the surface tension on the oil treatment and gets it into the tiny cracks and crevices on your vehicle. I sprayed this all over the knuckle, turned it back and forth a couple of times and continued spraying. I let it sit for an hour and went for a test drive -- problem solved. You could actually see the rust on the exposed parts of the knuckle. I probably will have to do this once every month of two but what the heck. It is a lot cheaper than having to replace the steering shaft ($1000+???) Probably other types of rust proofing or lubricating oils will work. I long for the old days of grease fittings and you never had to replace ball joints and tie rod ends etc.
Posted on Aug 10, 2009
Norman 783, Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I had the same problem with my Toyota sienna that when you try and turn the steering wheel it is stiff,,, etc etc. And your solution about the STEERING KNUCKLE was EXACTLY what was the problem!! You saved My wife and I an enourmous amount of time and money! Many thanks for your tip, I had no rust but, since the Knuckle is essentially exposed to the elements it had gotten some white stuff,,, corrosion/salt etc. like you said and I just sprayed it with carb cleaner(its all I had)and had someone turn the wheel back and forth and Immediately they said it became free and easy to turn!!! I had already replaced the belts, which is not really such and easy task and when that did not work,, I could only think the worst, pump, armature,,,whatever it may be, it was gonna cost a lot!! anyways in a few months if I gotta do it again,, no problem,,,, much easier than shelling out a couple of thousands of dollars. I am laid off and this made my day,
Posted on Oct 12, 2009
Norman783, I would like to thank you for helping sienna owners save a lot of money. Your solution (#2) really help me fixed and solve the steering problem of my 2004 sienna. Who ever you are, you will get a lot of blessings for doing a really good job in helping people. Keep up the good work.
Posted on Jun 25, 2010
Shortly after posting on April 16, 2009 I brought my Sienna in again and insisted it be fixed before being returned. I mentioned the steering intermediate shaft which I had seen other posts about on the internet. They discounted this because there was no associated noise. As it turned out this was, in fact, the problem. They noted significant corrosion and replaced it. It has been perfect ever since...finally. The link below describes this:
Posted on May 11, 2009
I just spent $1100 to replace the rack and tie rods, plus some other corroded parts. As I left the service station, I still had the same issue! for a few months, I had been losing power steering fluid, and felt like I was turning on a flat tire when at low speed... so thought replacing the rack would be the answer- the dealer, a complete rip off for service, did tell me that they have replaced the knuckle on several 2004-06 siennas.
When I brought my car back to the service station, they had one of the guys test drive it, he called a foreign auto specialist and immediately, that guy said Steering Knuckle!
Could have saved me over $1K! I wish I had seen this first!
By the way, the NHTSA did some sort of investigation, but since most folks go to private shops rather than get molested at the dealer, there was not enough data for them to warrant a recall or further investigation. Only about 1300 people had the EXACT same complaint on their website (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/complaints/results.cfm) but will not do anything because we are not on TV in a high speed televised crash!
Posted on Mar 06, 2011
There may be a problem in the rack , you need to take it to a shop have them install a gauge to check the pressure . you propbley see the issuse more in the am before the vech is warmed up to operating temp? i have seen flushing the system and added new fluid solve this issuse to . you have to keep in mind this is a fluid that dose break done and no longer dose the fucntion that it was made to do good luck kdc744
Posted on Jan 18, 2009
Thank you Norman 783...for the great tip on spraying Liquid Wrench on the steering U-Joint (Knuckle). I did that on my 2005 Sienna Van last night and it loosened up the steering stiffness after an hour. I didn't jack up or drive onto a ramp, to get under the front, to access the u-joint. I sprayed LW with the can nozzle tube attached. Used a flashlight to see where the u-joint was and sprayed lots of LW at the u-joint.
Being that the U-Joint is exposed to the weather elements - I recommend that you get a can of White Lithium Grease and spray all over the U-Joint. Or use Hi-Temp Grease for wheel/drive axle ball bearing and apply in the area where you see rusting. This will protect and repel water. Spending less than $5 for a can of Lithium Grease will SAVE you at least $500+ in repairs.
Thanks again Norman 783 for the money saving tip on the Stiff Steering problem.
If anyone needs help in fixing their van's power sliding door problem - just post a question. I replaced a tiny motor ($5) inside the door latch motor assembly and saved myself $1000+ from the Stealership (Dealership).
Posted on Nov 08, 2016
After I saw you post I had already been to the dealer twice. First visit they found nothing. Second they blamed it on an after market fanbelt but still charged me $70 to tighten. I could not even pull out of the parking lot with out it binding up. Went back into the dealer the blamed it on age and again on the after market belt. I googled the problem, you solution as well as NHSTA webbsite and brought that into the dealer they then believed me and replaced the Intermediate Steering Shaft part number 45220-08042. The part cost $254.02. I do have the extended warranty, when they call for my opinion I will try for a refund on the fan belt adjustment.
Posted on Mar 17, 2010
My 2004 Toyota Sienna experienced stiff steering and I was able to lubricate the u-joint on the steering shaft and have documented in detail how you can repair your too: How to Fix Toyota Sienna Stiff Steering Share Your Repair
Posted on Jun 04, 2016
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