More "wobble" in steering wheel after ATF change ... why?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by pingd, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. pingd

    pingd Member

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    2013 Prius Two with 153k miles, ATF drain and fill for the 1st time using Genuine Toyota WS using the NutzAboutBolts tutorial (not the original owner).

    Before the ATF change, I could feel a slight "wobble" in the steering wheel, usually when accelerating slowly and under say 30 mph.
    It was more pronounced if ascending an incline, or, if the ICE was NOT engaged.
    Instead of accelerating slowly and steadily (i.e. as close to full EV mode as possible), I instead accelerate more quickly (upper end of ECO mode/Power mode), it is nigh imperceptible.
    [By "wobble" I mean a few degrees of oscillation, like a seesaw (i.e. a few degrees CW, then a few degrees CCW rather rapidly). [Others might describe it as the wheel is shaking slightly.]]

    After the ATF change I could immediately feel that it is more pronounced.
    Have driven it about 80 miles after the ATF change with no change.

    Pretty sure it is not the tires or the alignment (no changes to either).
    Up to this point, I attributed it to something like "the electric engine is struggling to output the necessary torque".
    But now I have to guess it is something with the CVT.
    Has anyone else experienced this?
    Would Techstream help troubleshoot whether it is the CVT/which parameters to monitor?

    Thank you.
     
    #1 pingd, Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  2. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Sounds like rim or tire out of round. But you could have a bad CV joint.
    I would check the boots and see if they are damages and the grease is missing.

    You could also jack up the front end and put the car in neutral, then spin the wheels.
    See if you notice anything moving up/down. Check tire for out of round. You could have hit a rock
    or hole and damaged a tire.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    How did you raise the car, what method? Was it level when you added the new fluid? You filled till it started coming back out, and approx how much did you get in?
     
  4. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Raised front via floor jack, then rested down on car ramps.
    Raised back via floor jack to make level (checked via bubble tube level and measuring distance from pinch welds to floor).
    Put 4 jack stands and a bottle jack in as a precaution (did not bear the load).
    It took 4 qts of ATF ... at which point it was dribbling slightly out, so stopped and capped it off.
     
    #4 pingd, Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Previously, you were all worried about how old the tranny fluid was and how badly it needed to be changed. Now you're stressing less about that, and noticing the steering more.
     
  6. pingd

    pingd Member

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    I don't believe so - I've always been able to discern the steering "wobble" - even with a complete, alternate set of (snow) tires with rims and wheel alignment.
    I am concerned though that immediately after the genuine Toyota WS ATF change, that it has intensified, and that I could note the difference within the first 2 minutes of driving - and it continues at 80 miles driven.

    As for the ATF first change at 153k: I was not that concerned as the family acquired a 2007 RAV4 that did not get one until 200k miles - and it got 2 more shortly after that with no detectable performance difference (and using the cheaper Valvoline MaxLife WS to boot (had very good experiences with it with a couple older Honda's)).
     
    #6 pingd, Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Somehow the jacking procedure exacerbated something??

    All I got. :oops:
     
  8. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

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    Mine did that when my egr was clogged and head gasket blown
     
  9. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    When you jacked it up, you extended the drive axles. You could have a damaged axel, or wheel bearing.
    Maybe your brake rotors are out of round.
    It could possibly be the transaxle. But from my experience: tires, rims, rotors, cv axle, wheel bearing,
    tie rod end, control arm ball joint, least of these, transaxle, steering rack.

    You've possibly eliminates the tires and rims by using the winter ones. But if the bearing/axle is damage,
    it could cause the wheel to wobble causing abnormal wear.....

    You, or a good front end technician, need to ride with you so you can create the problem. Then they drive it.
    Then put it on the lift and check everything.

     
  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    HIGHLY unlikely that the transmission has anything to do with the "wobble" that you are talking about.......unless maybe one of the motor mounts is broken allowing the engine/transmission to move around under acceleration.

    Despite some of the conclusions you have come to......mostly with NO good evidence it seems.......the problem likely IS with the tires, wheels or suspension.
     
  11. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I have seen a front strut mostly come apart when the car was lifted off the ground for unrelated undercar work, such that it would not drive properly once it was lowered back down. This was not a toyota, but struts are struts, more or less.

    Have you (or anyone) inspected the struts & link bushings?
     
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