Steering Wheel Decomposing Gen 2 '08 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by harrybet, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. harrybet

    harrybet Junior Member

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    My ʻ08 Gen 2 steering wheelʻs rubber coating is DECOMPOSING on the spots where we habitually hold the wheel . Best guess is a UV /hand oil /perspiration /phenomenon . Dealership states it is not a known issue...no bulletins or recalls..best they could do is fill out a ʻproduct reportʻ . Am awaiting Toyota Corporate for a response. Any one out there have a similar issue ?
     

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  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Never seen that before. Usually they just go really shiny with age. I imagine in a desert they'll corrode due to UV but that seems early on a 2008.

    You been using some weird oil on your hands or used some weird cleaner? Is it due to a medical condition maybe?
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Time to try a Wheelskins leather steering wheel cover. They have an excellent fit.
     
  4. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    I noticed exactly the same thing happen to the steering-wheel of my 1993 Toyota Corolla DX Wagon (failed inspection (rotten sills/rocker panels)) last Dec, which is the reason I bought my 2009 Gen II Prius, and one of the reasons I purchased a WheelSkins real leather cover (see my other threads on that saga, and don't forget to ask for Irene) - I guess I should have got a WheelSkins for my old Corolla! :(
     
  5. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    Unlike metals, plastics behave much different with age.

    They deteriorate with internal chemical reactions and age.

    If you've heard of the Kinetic Molecular Theory, all molecules and compounds are in constant vibrational motion, Heat speeds up and accelerates this motion and speeds up the reaction.

    You would think that a premium car like a Porsche uses the best materials,

    It's not the case in their plastic radio knobs.

    Gooey volume knob and other bits?? - Pelican Parts Technical BBS

    It seems like almost all of them become gooey.

    Adding insult to injury, instead of the $2.50 that Toyota charges retail for two knobs, Porsche wants over $60 for a NEW set.
     
  6. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    With older Toyotas like from 90s steering wheel would break down pretty fast if you did get oil into it (like motor or gearbox oil). Might it be happening here?
     
  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    First thing I buy for a car is a new Wheelskin.

    I found the steering wheel very rough on my new Prius. Couple that with rough hands and its like a cheese grater. White skin dust everywhere on the dash. Wheelskin makes it feel like a new car.
     
  8. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    Well, I've always been into fixing autos since I was very young, my family used to say I was "…car mad!", so perhaps I have 4 qrts of Castrol GT-X coursing through my veins, and as we all "…sweat blood" with some car problems, so perhaps that was it! ;)
     
  9. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    The wheel in your pictures looks exactly like that on my old Corolla! :eek:
     
  10. budrow56

    budrow56 Junior Member

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    Could it be from a solvent that was used to clean it or non tinted windows or dry rot.
     
  11. harrybet

    harrybet Junior Member

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    That's what we first thought ....Armor All ? Soap & Water ? I wouldn't think so given how seemingly rare or under reported this issue is .
     
  12. Cadenza

    Cadenza Member

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    Looks like someone got hungry!!!
     
  13. Morris Minor

    Morris Minor Junior Member

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    Hand lotion maybe? I have to clean it off my steering wheel periodically (wife). But I have not seen it rot out the wheel.
     
  14. harrybet

    harrybet Junior Member

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    Just received word from Toyota Hawaii ...my '08/40k prius steering wheel disintegration and the oxidizing plastic spoiler do not qualify for replacement ...what a surprise........Having been a Toyota family for 30 years & them knowing it ...reflects how they look after their own and step up . Have contacted Corporate for a 'Hale Mary'...do the right thing . This is a materials issue . 30 years of loyalty & future purchases about to be undermined by short term greed /protect the margin mentality.
     

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    #14 harrybet, Nov 4, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  15. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If it makes you feel any better, many people have the paint issue with the spoiler and haven't gotten any goodwill in replacement. Steering wheel replacement is fairly cheap on ebay, used maybe $60 or you can buy a cover.
     
  16. harrybet

    harrybet Junior Member

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    Ta,mate
     
  17. harrybet

    harrybet Junior Member

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    Just heard from a paddling pal w/ a '08 prius /160k mi. and her steering wheel is in worse condition than mine...and her plastic spoiler paint job is not been oxidized. Go figure.
     
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