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ToyotaTom, Toyota Technician
Category: Toyota
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Experience:  Toyota, ASE, MSE, MECP Certified
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2008 Toyota Tacoma: 4wd truck..When i am driving my steering

Customer Question

I have a 2008 Toyota Tacoma TRD Package 4wd truck and I have a question I am needing to ask. It is a two fold one.

1) When i am driving my truck and i am makin ga left or right turn, my steering makes a slight popping noise and it sounds as if it is coming from the steering area. Also, when i am turning the steering wheel and i am going down a gravel road or over a bump in the road, it seems as if the steering wheel slips some when I am turning and going over. Also, when I am driving down the road straight. It seems as if the steering wheel isn't lined up straight, is it suppose to be? The toyota logo isn't lined up straight.

2) WHen i am going at low rpms and at 25-35 miles per hour, I can hear a buzzing noise that is coming from behind the glove box in my truck. I think i have pin pointed the issue. It is the bundle of wires behind the glove box. I actually tried to pop the hood and bend the bracket some that holds the wirings coming inf rom the engine to put tension, but no avail
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

I have come across one tacoma that had a weird buzzing noise from behind the glovebox. Yours may or may not be the same, however what I found was the actual label on the wire harness was flapping up agains something. Never would have expected it to be that loud! However there is also a TSB for the air intake rattling that could also be the culprit here. Try to shove a rag or something in where the airbox goes into the fender (there's a hole where it passes through) and see if the noise stops.


The steering wheel should be straight, assuming there isn't a lot of crown in the road, uneven road, wind, etc. If your alignment is out, this could also cause what is called bump steer, which basically when you go over bumps and stuff your wheel can kinda jerk around a little bit. The noise you're talking about is most likely the turn stops. There are little 'nubs' for lack of a better term that prevent you from turning your wheels past a certain point. These need to be lubricated from time to time, or if you hit a bump when you have the wheels turned near maximum, they make quite a racket.


Get a good alignment, tell them to lube the steering stops (they'll know what you're talking about) and that should take care of most of your issues. With the noise, your best bet (if you're out of warranty) is to have someone else drive the truck with you in the passenger seat, and just keep moving stuff, playing with stuff, etc until you either eliminate the noise, or change the noise. If you can change the noise, you know you're on the right track, and are not far from stopping it.


IF you're under warranty still, your 3/36 warranty will cover squeeks and rattles. You'll have to pay for the alignment, but you'll get your noises fixed for free :)

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The issue with the buzzing seems to be the bundle of wires from behind the dash. I have been driving and had the glove box out and my wife has acutally heard the buzzing as well and has placed her figures on the wires and held them and the buzzing stopped. I have taken it once to toyota and they placed some foam tape around the wires to stop the buzzing, but it hasn't went away.


A guy also told me there is a metal brackett which is underneath the hood and to bend it some to put tension on the wires coming from the engine through the firewall to insde the cab behind the glovebox. The buzzing still happens.


The steering noise I hear... is when i am turning and it sounds like a little popping noise.

Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

I would have to say that the tech at your local dealership probably didn't put the foam tape in quite the right spot. You can get some felt tape at an arts and crafts store and put it exactly where your wife put her fingers, or possibly if all she did was put tension on the wires use a zip tie to 'mimic' what her finger was doing. This should remedy the noise.


The steering noise, is it just when you have the wheels turned a lot, or just turn the wheels a little bit?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What do you think is causing the buzzing noise?


when i am turnin the wheel... it sounds like a popping noise. Is there a test you can do when you have the wheel straight and the truck kind of veers of the left or right? IF the wheel is ligned up straight, the truck should go straight, right?

Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

Your truck is full of small vibrations when you are driving. Some at faster speeds, some at slower speeds. It's all about harmonics. While you won't feel most of these, fixed items in your vehicle will feel them (like plastic panels, wire harnesses, brackets, etc). For the most part Toyota does a good job at insulating against these so you don't hear them.


IF the wheel is straight, yes the truck should drive straight. Again, this is assuming there isn't a lot of road crown, wind, uneven surfaces, etc.


I will still need to know if your steering noise is only when you turn your wheel a lot (like almost all the way) or during any turn, even if you only turn the wheel a little bit.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It is when I am turning the wheel left or right when i am making a complete turn... it sounds like a popping noise.


I have noticed when i am driving and i have the wheel straight that it does veer off some. I did have a addition on my truck and I am wondering if this may be my issue. About a year ago I had audio controls added to my steering wheel and they took my steering wheel off and had to change the air bags. Do you think they may not have Match-marked it right? and didn't like the steering wheel teeth back up on the steering rod. Could that be the issue?


Also, the buzzing noise is getting very irritating.... to the point that I can't stand it.


I have taken it to the dealership a few times and it seems like they get frustated with me and think it is silly that i am complaining about the issue.

Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

If your steering wheel was off a tooth, it would be WAY off. Your 12 o clock position on the steering wheel would be at about the 10 o clock position. It is a large difference.


Have an alignment done, and have them lubricate the steering stops with some grease. This will fix both of these issues.


It is the dealer's job to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the repair. If they aren't willing to work with you on it, then you should call Toyota's corporate customer care line. Toyota takes their job very seriously with making sure the customer is happy, and the repair is completed correctly the first time. ESPECIALLY now with all of the accelerator pedal recalls. Dealers now are literally bending over backwards to make sure you are a happy customer. If you are still under your 3/36 warranty, take it back to them until it's fixed. We get paid to fix cars. Not push people away.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have been in a few times, I just hate goign in sometimes and they look at you like you are an idiot for coming back in.
Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

Unfortunately you're either going to have to take it in and have them try again (would help showing them where your wife touched to make the noise stop) or just fix the buzzing noise yourself. Either way you're gonna need to have an alignment done, so if you are taking it in for the alignment, may as well have them fix it.


Best of luck to you :)

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
How can I tell if it does need an alignment? What issues will it be having?
Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

It may drift to the left or the right, the steering wheel not being centered during straight line driving, uneven tire wear, bump steer, etc. Pretty much everything you're describing that is steering related except for the noise (which is a 10 second fix literally).


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

So if I go in tommorrow, what all should I ask them about?


How much do you think it will be for the alignment?

Should I also have them look at my brakes? I haven't even really thought about them.

I have had the truck since July 2008

Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

Alignments are usually about 80 bucks or so, but every part of the country charges differently, as cost of living varies. Tell them exactly what you told me about the noise when your turn (grease the steering stops), the steering wheel off center during straight line driving, etc.


Also remove whatever is necessary (glovebox and what-not), and show them exactly where the noise is coming from, and exactly what you can touch to make it go away. If necessary have them go for a ride with you so that you can demonstrate.


They should automatically check your tires, tire pressures, brakes, etc every time you bring it in for service. With your truck being an 08, unless you do a lot of towing, or ar really hard on your truck, I really don't see it needing brakes yet. Usually (under normal circumstances) front brakes will last 60k miles or so, but this varies greatly dpending on personal driving habits.


Good luck, you should be able to get everything sorted out tomorrow :)

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

okay, i went to the dealership today.... I showed and describe to them my issues.


After they had taken a look they called me and this is what they said.


About the buzing, they could not reproduce it, but right before i went i bent the brackett under the hood alittle and it hasn't buzzed since, so maybe i fixed it, i will see tommorrow or the next day when it is not raining since it is hard to hear the noise when its wet.


About the noise in the steering.... they greased the steering stops, but on the way home... i still noticed the sound... when i am steering to the left or the right it sounds like a small POP..... to be honest it sounds more like a plastic pop... like something is rubbing.


About the steering wheel not beings traight and the vehcile going to the lef or right, when i have the hweel straight.... he said the truck did not need an allignment. he said it could be that a Wheel is pulling and I may be able to notice da differnce next time i get my tires roated.


What do you think?

Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

I think you need to take it to a different dealership. They obviously aren't real on top of things, I know we would NEVER handle something like that.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i can still here the pop noise in the steering when i turn the wheel, i have no idea what it is.
Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.
Unfortunately, without hearing exactly what you're talking about, it is nearly impossible to diagnose a noise over the internet. Best advice I can offer is take it to another dealership and hope for better service. You also may want to call Toyota customer relations and describe the situation to them as well. Technically (readers digest version as there are other things that can affect whether or not you'll actually be able to lemon law a vehicle) the dealer only has lets say 3 attempts to fix the problem or you can lemon law the vehicle. On the first attempt, they're admitting that there is a problem. IF they still can't fix it, they need to get someone else involved up the chain. If you're really that dissatisfied with your local dealer, I'd highly recommend finding another dealer and try them. Any dealership is only going to be as good as the techs they have working there. Some dealers have a very young staff. Some (like ours) over half of the techs we have are expert or master certified technicians with many years experience. The youngest tech we have I think is 28 or 29. Maybe another local dealership (even if it's a bit of a drive) may have a lot more experienced techs and better able to diagnose your concerns.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well I really like my truck.... it is just this little noise in the vehicle I am having an issue with. He said the steering wheel issues is because a wheel is pulling.
Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.
You can swap the front left and front right tires, and if it is the tire that is making it pull, it will either pull in the opposite direction, or go away all together. If it were the tire pulling to begin with, they should have cross rotated the tires like that to either confirm or deny that diagnosis. NOT just say "the tires are making it pull". You really need to try another dealership.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hey I was also wanting to know this, my wife has a 2010 prius. What would it take to install an autodimming mirror and install foglights? Her car just has the blnaks for the fog lights... the blank covers. It is a prius III it does have the navigation screen with gps.
Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.
It takes about 2 wires to install an electro chromatic mirror in a 2010 prius, and about 10 minutes. Foglights, your best best is to find a set on ebay or one of the online stores that are made to fit the 2010 prius. To do OEM fogs would cost you on average 600-700 dollars to buy the things (foglights, brackets, relays, etc) and replace the things (headlight switch, etc) you'll need to make them work. Not really cost effective. Usually the sets on ebay are about a hundred bucks or so, and screw right in.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The Auto dimming mirror, i have looked into ... i just don't see how you can run the wires when there is no hole or way to run the wires up into the overhead console... we have a Prius III 2010.


Here is a link for a page of a guy who did a writeup on the prius 2010 Fog light installation, tell me what you think.


It is a PDF file

Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 7 years ago.

The wire runs from the mirror on top of the glass into the headliner and it should come with a little plastic cover to cover the wires up on the top of the windshield so that you don't see them.


Don't see why that fog light setup wouldn't work.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am soo sorry, I forgot to give you the money. I have an issue though... and was wondering if you could help me. It may just be a very quick answer you could give me. I have a 2008 Tacoma truck and I am wanting to install the VIP security. I know there is a 2005-2008 version and there is a newer one for the 2009 - 2010 trucks because of the plugs to the left of the steering wheel being taken up and now they have the blank ones under the AC controls in the 2009 and 2010. Well i changed out my lower dash in my 2008 truck to be like the 2009 - 2010 truck. I did this beacuse i had used up all my black plugs to the left of the steering wheel. Do you think the 2009-2010 version of the VIP security will work on my truck? I was just curiuos if the only change was that the plug was different to fit underneath the AC controls now. Thanks!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I hope you got my response.