Gen 3 prius steering rattle - tried tightening the bolt at the column but did not fix it

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by priusroadtrip, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. priusroadtrip

    priusroadtrip New Member

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    Hello-

    After searching, I've read numerous threads on this infamous steering rattle in Gen 2 and Gen 3 Priuses. I have a 2011 Prius with a slight knock at low speed and while sitting when I turn the steering wheel +/- 5 degrees in either direction. I tried tightening the bolt underneath the dash on the column that many posts have suggested and that didn't eliminate the problem. I described the issue in an email to a a local shop and they mentioned it may be the steering column shaft that needs to be lubed. I've read some of those posts as well. But it seems to be coming from near the floor board and I tried going under there to shake the column at the floor to see if it was loose but it doesn't seem like it.

    I also did a trip into the mountains recently and drove the car on a gravel road and there seems to be more knocking and suspension rattle noise on the driver's side and column area that I'm not sure is associated. My go to mechanic did do a once over on the lift on the suspension components and all looked good.

    My plan is to take the car to this other shop that mentioned it might be the steering column needing to be lubbed so I'm hoping they can pinpoint it.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    if the steering is loose, it would be a problem with the steering intermediate shaft. If there's a rattle/clunk feel through the steering wheel when you hit bumps, it's probably bad strut (tower mount). So if your car has over 100k miles and on original strut and mount, you may want to change those and see how it feels afterwards.
     
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  3. priusroadtrip

    priusroadtrip New Member

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    Hi. Thanks for the response. The steering doesn't seem loose but the knock/clunk is minor but noticeable. The mileage on the car is 70k. Is there any way to check the strut tower condition without pulling it off the car?
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I can only answer your question on what causes what issue as I've experienced both issues and know what ultimately fixed them. I bought a complete strut/spring unit and just put it on the car and problem went away. I wouldn't know how to check for them as the suspension looked really solid (similar to your mechanic inspection)
     
  5. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    It needs an intermediate steering shaft. I had a similar issue with mine several years ago.

    The part was around $250 back then, IIRC
     
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  6. adonturia

    adonturia Junior Member

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  7. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    No gen3 recall on that? Curious why some will go bad, was it a lack of lube or otherwise?
     
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  8. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    My 2010 had a problem with the intermediate shaft, it got really loose. I complained to Toyota that this was a persistent problem with Prius cars (gen2 had the recall), and they did a goodwill repair on it to keep me happy
     
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  9. uzairamir

    uzairamir New Member

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    Dear one,
    Were you able to solve your problem? I'm facing the same issue and am unable to solve it.. I'm quite worried

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  10. priusroadtrip

    priusroadtrip New Member

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    I've been to two independent shops, one that services Priuses regularly. The first shop says it's likely the gears inside the steering rack that have some play. The Prius shop also suggested to replace the steering rack. I'm not sure what causes this in the first place. As someone mentioned above, if it's inherent in many Priuses, they should recall and replace the steering racks for owners. The cost I was quoted for this repair was ~$1000. Both shops said it's not a safety concern and more if you can live with the sound. I personally will likely replace the steering rack at some point in the future because the sound is somewhat bothersome.
     
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