Steering went funny

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Steering went funny

Postby BlakJak » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:22 pm

Here's a good one for the Toyspeed brain trust...
Yesterday I was pulling into a car parking area when the steering in my Gaia went... funny. It was like the direction I was pointing the steering wheel didn't match the direction the car was travelling in (or the trajectory change didn't line up,).
I was travelling at quite a slow speed so I was able to come to a complete stop.
Dashboard then threw up the battery warning.

Turned the car completely off and on again, and eveyrthing seemed back to normal, steered through opposite locks and all was fine. But very freaky to feel the car not doing what it was told!

Driven around a little bit since then, no sign of an issue. Can only assume it somehow got confused - was wet at the time, maybe ABS or something got involved. Can't imagine why the battery warning came and went. No other oddness i've been able to pick. Pondering going to a dealer to see if they can pull any diagnostics off the ECU.
-.-. --.-
BlakJak - 2001 Toyota Gaia (yeah i'm all domesticated now)
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Re: Steering went funny

Postby RS13 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:29 pm

Odd. My first thought would be something getting flicked up into the belt or an idler seizing enough to jam the belt and make it spin on the crank pulley momentarily. This would cause the power steering pump to stop and the steering to suddenly get heavy (you'd suddenly find the steering requiring more input as it would want to centre), the alternator would also possibly slow or stop enough to throw the warning light.

I'd be checking the belt for damage, belt tension and all rotating bearings for noise etc, but pulling the codes might shed more light!
Daily driver: Toyota RunX/Toyota Caldina
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Re: Steering went funny

Postby jondee86 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:34 pm

Theoretically it is not possible for the steering angle and the movement
of the steering wheel to get out of synch. There is a mechanical connection
between the two, and you would know if something broke. But, if you
happened to be making a turn on smooth wet concrete, the car may have
momentarily understeered as the front wheels slid (think driving on ice).
Then the car trajectory may not have followed the steering input.

It is also possible that if this happened, it would have caused the ABS to
twitch even if you weren't braking at that moment ? Is the battery warning
light also the ABS warning light ?

Cheers... jondee86
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spec small port, twinscrew s/c and water/methanol injection :)

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Re: Steering went funny

Postby BlakJak » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:05 pm

jondee86 wrote:Theoretically it is not possible for the steering angle and the movement
of the steering wheel to get out of synch. There is a mechanical connection
between the two, and you would know if something broke. But, if you
happened to be making a turn on smooth wet concrete, the car may have
momentarily understeered as the front wheels slid (think driving on ice).
Then the car trajectory may not have followed the steering input.

It is also possible that if this happened, it would have caused the ABS to
twitch even if you weren't braking at that moment ? Is the battery warning
light also the ABS warning light ?

Cheers... jondee86


The mechanical tie-in is exactly what made it felt so weird. It's almost like I was turning the wheel and the wheels weren't behaving the way I was expecting them to. Wheel turned a bit from a stationary position, accelerated forward a little bit, car did not turn as I would have expected to. Turned everything off and on again and turned the wheel left and right, it felt normal again and basically all was back to normal.

Dashlight was seriously weird, my last experience with an ABS warning was the handbrake light, not the battery light.

RS13 wrote:Odd. My first thought would be something getting flicked up into the belt or an idler seizing enough to jam the belt and make it spin on the crank pulley momentarily. This would cause the power steering pump to stop and the steering to suddenly get heavy (you'd suddenly find the steering requiring more input as it would want to centre), the alternator would also possibly slow or stop enough to throw the warning light.

I'd be checking the belt for damage, belt tension and all rotating bearings for noise etc, but pulling the codes might shed more light!


This stuff rings pretty true; something causing a belt to slip leading to the alternator doing something odd would seem to connect all the relevant dots.
I havn't heard any other weird noises specific to this scenario, but I do think it's idling rougher than it used to on cold start (struggles not to misfire when fast-idling cold with my foot on the brake holding it back, too) ... I think it's due for a general check and tune-up, I just cringe at the hidden expenses these checks often reveal :o Needs two tyres soon too :(
-.-. --.-
BlakJak - 2001 Toyota Gaia (yeah i'm all domesticated now)
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Re: Steering went funny

Postby RS13 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:54 pm

Hmm, 1AZ? I know those early D4 engines were chronically bad for blocking the EGR valves, perhaps with low idle RPM on top of loading up the powersteering pump in the turn, revs stumbled enough to make the PS and alternator drop out?

Symptoms of a blocked EGR valve include a lumpy idle and power loss.. you can get EGR delete kits if this is the issue.
Daily driver: Toyota RunX/Toyota Caldina
Ex: 2x AE101, 5x KP60, KP61, EP71, 3x KE70, KE72, AE70, AE82, 2x TE71, AE90, AE92, ST170, plus 11 Hondas, 12 Nissans, 6 Fords, 4 Mazdas, 3 Mitsis, an Isuzu and a Lada!

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Re: Steering went funny

Postby BlakJak » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:13 pm

RS13 wrote:Hmm, 1AZ? I know those early D4 engines were chronically bad for blocking the EGR valves, perhaps with low idle RPM on top of loading up the powersteering pump in the turn, revs stumbled enough to make the PS and alternator drop out?

Symptoms of a blocked EGR valve include a lumpy idle and power loss.. you can get EGR delete kits if this is the issue.


Yeah. ACM10 with 1AZFSE.

That could be it, however, generally the idle isn't usually too bad and I havn't noted a serious power loss... maybe a small/gradual one. It's a familywagon so it's not like it gets much of a thrashing. Longest decent drive it gets is about 20km each way to Upper Hutt from Lower Hutt ~weekly, havn't noticed any issues.
(Though interestingly I often feel like there's a phantom miss when i'm trolling along at ~80kph on the motorway. It's doing relatively low revs at that speed. At 105km/h I never notice it, but if the traffic has brought the general speed of advance down (or the VSL's are on) I sometimes notice it.)

Getting tempted to take it to Toyota for the service, and not just an ordinary mechanic.

Or to just hold out until next year when I can afford to trade it in for something a little newer. :o
-.-. --.-
BlakJak - 2001 Toyota Gaia (yeah i'm all domesticated now)
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Re: Steering went funny

Postby RS13 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:39 pm

BlakJak wrote:Or to just hold out until next year when I can afford to trade it in for something a little newer. :o


Generally the cheapest option! lol.
Daily driver: Toyota RunX/Toyota Caldina
Ex: 2x AE101, 5x KP60, KP61, EP71, 3x KE70, KE72, AE70, AE82, 2x TE71, AE90, AE92, ST170, plus 11 Hondas, 12 Nissans, 6 Fords, 4 Mazdas, 3 Mitsis, an Isuzu and a Lada!

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