Mechanics

SUDDENLY A LOT OF PLAY IN THE STEERING WHEEL

2004 Lexus IS 300 • 75,000 miles

Have owned a 2004 Lexus IS 300 for 9 years! 75,000 miles now. I have been diligent about taking the car in for servicing on a regular basis. Just had my 75,000 mile service during which they rotated my tires (both front to back and vice versa). When I got the car back, there was a lot of play in the steering wheel (I was almost fishtailing down the freeway on the way home). I immediately drove it back to the dealership and complained. They said that the only thing that they did that could possibly affect the steering was the tire rotation. So they rotated them back and the steering went back to normal. But they warned me that the tires with the most tread were now on the front and for safety reasons, they should be on the back.

I had made a reservation to get my wheels resurfaced the next week. They talked me into purchasing two new tires to replace the ones that were on the back. After they replaced the two tired and did the resurfacing, the same situation presented itself. I took the car back to the NTB location where I had purchased the last set of tires. I had purchased the lifetime front alignment package, so they suggested an alignment.

after the alignment, the problem was a LOT better, but not completely gone. Over the last week and a half it has been becoming worse and is now worse than it was when I picked the car up. The dealership claims that they have no idea what is going on (although I suspect that my surface advisor doesn't have much depth of experience). They have offered to try to repair the issue, but I am nervous about giving it to them when they don't seem to have a clue what is going on.

Any suggestions?


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Mspatrick
October 8, 2012.



Since the tires are affecting the stability of the vehicle, you should have the rear end alignment checked as well if it was not done previously.

KHLow2008
Oct 8, 2012.
Oh, and all four wheels have been aligned.

Tiny
Mspatrick
Oct 8, 2012.
You would need to have the suspension system checked, There could be a worn bushes somewhere causing the problem.

KHLow2008
Oct 8, 2012.
Would that explain the way the problem seems to come and go? In other words, can the worn bushing be causing a change in alignment? Or something like that?

Tiny
Mspatrick
Oct 8, 2012.
Yes, worn bushes would result in the alignment going ouy of specs and affecte stability and driveability.

KHLow2008
Oct 8, 2012.
Thanks! I am taking it out there this morning! I'll let you know!

Tiny
Mspatrick
Oct 11, 2012.
Any updates on this?

KHLow2008
Oct 21, 2012.
Took the car in. The dealership swears that this is an alignment issue. The production manager of their service department talked to me. He says that because of an accident that I had 8 years ago, it is impossible to get the car into perfect alignment.

They redid the alignment and it WAS better, but now it feels like its getting wonky again. Not a lot, just a lte. And the accident theory doesn't hold water in my estimation as the handling has been TIGHT for the last eight years.

So if I take it back in and ask them to look at the suspension, do you thi k they will take it seriously? Or should I find someone else to work on my car?

Tiny
Mspatrick
Oct 23, 2012.
Seems they have concluded that it is the accident that caused the problem, I don't think they would be enthusiastic about checking the suspension.

If they were not able to get the alignment correct, they should at least be able to tell you what specifications are out so that the necessary work can be made to get them back. What they said about not being able to get the alignment perfect is not really convincing.

An alignment specialist is whom I would recommend you to refer to.

KHLow2008
Oct 23, 2012.