I went to the toyota dealership to check on my steering. I was hearing a noise on the left front tire each time I tried to turn the wheel to the left. Toyota said they checked the front wheels and could find nothing wrong. They said my powersteering was making a noise and needed to be replaced, which it was makeing some noise.They replaced it, drove it around.The mechanic said he could feel it tighten up.Since the power steering did not solve the problem, they said it was possibly the rack and pinion going bad. They said take it home and bring it back in a couple of days they would have the parts to replace the rack and pinion. I asked and made sure they checked everything out on the front end and was it safe to drive home. They said yes. I get home and the left front wheel comes off. The left lower ball joint had broken. I made them replace both lower balljoints on bothe sides. I was told that the top joints didnot need to be replaced. The steering is tight but I can feel the steering loosen up at times and then tighten back up again. The rack and pinion is not leaking. They did a front end alignment after putting in the lower ball joints.It seems to be veering to the right and when I brake it sometimes pulls to the right and sometimes the steering tightens up. Can you give me any ideas what it might be.I'm tired of the guess work and paying for parts that not solving the problem.If it isn't the rack and pinion what else could it be? I am a woman getting ripped off and I dont know what to do.Can you help
steering on 2002 Toyota Tacoma
by Visitor in Moultrie, GA on October 28, 2010
ANSWER by patrick mannion , October 28, 2010
Call Toyota North America Customer Service, give them the VIN number of your truck and ask them is there a recall on the lower ball joints of your truck (some trucks had a recall) if they say yes tell them your story and ask why did the dealer not look/know about this when you told them your initial problem, if they say no tell them your whole story any way and displeasure with your service experience. That being said I love Toyota products and drive a Toyota truck myself.
ANSWER by cooporginal , May 25, 2016
When the lower ball joint fails , it puts such an extreme stress on the upper ball joint & tie rod end that it should be replaced . Lower ball joint replacement should be done with lower ball joints that has 777 imprinted on the ball joint . The pulling to the right issue is an alignment issue that to fix you add 1/4 - 1/3 (.25-.35 positive degree positive caster to fix the right. The Toyota Tacoma stays in the lane better with 1 degree more positive caster than the factory settings recommend .