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Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 6117
Experience:  20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Expert Witness
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Rav4: Hope you can. Here goes; In 2014, in order to pass

Customer Question

Hope you can. Here goes; In 2014, in order to pass inspection, I had to have the steering rack and pump changed in my 1998 Toyota Rav4 because of a leak in the power steering fluid. This year, I was advised that "a grommit" had to be "tightened and fixed on power steering," in order to pass inspection. I authorized the repairs but wondered why this issue wasn't addressed when the steering rack and pump were replaced the year before. My question was not answered. The dealership just fixed it and I went on my way. I didn't complain because there had been some play in my steering and after they fixed the grommit, this problem went away. The play in the steering returned. I have now been advised that "excessive play in steering shaft from steering wheel to power steering rack is tight and tie rod ends are tight. 752.25 to replace." Aren't all these parts and functions related? Should all of this been repaired when the steering rack and pump were relpaced? Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand from the Les Schwab guy that the steering rack and tie rod ends" should be tight. I'm not sure if this was simply an unintentional misstatement made by the dealership tech, or if I'm misunderstanding something.
Expert:  Ted G. replied 2 years ago.
On this one I would lean toward the dealer. The Schwab estimate is replacing a bunch of stuff that you replaced with the rack in 2014. (Inner and outer tie rod ends) and I think the dealer would have caught the bearings if they were bad. Now, the steering shaft they are talking about at the dealer is a small shaft above the rack, that connects the shaft from the actual steering wheel to the steering rack, and it has a small joint that can wear and get loose. It is not replaced when the rack is replaced and could be bad. But of more concern to me is why all of these things have gone bad at such low mileage. The Rav is not usually tough on these kind of parts and so there may be something wrong with yours to cause it. I would recommend asking the dealer why it has so many issues and if they can't answer that perhaps let a Toyota dealer look it over and give you their opinion. Plus it may save you money as the Honda dealer marks up the Toyota part they purchase from the Toyota dealer, just adds another hand in the till as it were.