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Steering feels loose - Possbily Bushes

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Evening, I am just wondering if anyone has had the same problem on their IS250. When I am driving the steering feels a little loose. I am thinking either the Control Arm Bushes or D Bushes. Has anyone else experienced this?

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Tyres pressures all OK ! As low pressures can give you a 'Spongy' or 'Wooly' feel on the road? 

Are you 'Feeling' something mechanically loose? With like a delay in road wheel action after you make an input on steering wheel ?

more precise symptoms required I feel.

paul m.

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15 minutes ago, Texas said:

Tyres pressures all OK ! As low pressures can give you a 'Spongy' or 'Wooly' feel on the road? 

Are you 'Feeling' something mechanically loose? With like a delay in road wheel action after you make an input on steering wheel ?

more precise symptoms required I feel.

paul m.

Hi Paul,

Tyre pressure is all okay, they were checked when the temp started to drop. Also checked last week when I filled up. Not mechanically loose, but when you move the steering, there is a delay as you say in the road to wheel action. I had similar issues with another car and it turned out to be the bushes. So I was just wondering if anyone has had similar issues. 

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Can't say I have but my mot guy normally picks up on iffy bushes before I get to feel them going south! ( not on the 250 I must add)

paul m.

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8 minutes ago, Texas said:

Can't say I have but my mot guy normally picks up on iffy bushes before I get to feel them going south! ( not on the 250 I must add)

paul m.

It goes in for a service in January with Lexus, I will ask if they can take a look.

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Here's my reply to a pretty much identical question a month or so ago:

In my experience, this sort of feeling etc is due to wear in the joints in the tie rods at the inner end. See the drawing which is, hopefully, attached. People have heard of track rod ends - that's the short bit that screws on to the tie rod. It has a ball joint which often wears, but if bushes etc have been checked these may be OK. But see the inner end - there's a joint where the tie rod screws onto the steering rack, covered by a gaiter. (NB - tie rod, track rod - same thing)

I am not sure just how easily accessible the gaiter is on our cars - you may need to remove the under tray. But if you grip the gaiter with your hand and get someone to turn the steering wheel slightly, you may be able to feel obvious movement within the joint.

The tie rods are easily replaced and shouldn't cost too much. (Relatively - no Lexus parts are actually cheap!)

This wear is caused, IMHO, by turning the steering wheel when the car is stationary. In the days before we had power steering you almost never did this because it was too hard to turn the wheel. But power steering is very powerful so the wheel is easy to turn. Go to any high street or car park and you see people doing it all the time. It puts enormous stresses on the tie rod joints , both inner and outer ends. Don't do it, folks - make sure the car is moving, even if only slightly, when turning the steering wheel.

2018-11-17_100041.jpg

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+1 on above info, but like I said if there is any noticable ( visually, audiolby or mechanically) wear then a decent MOT inspector should pick it up.

paul m.

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@johnatg - I red you response few times and still struggling to understand it. The inner end of tie rod is solid screw for steering adjustment + nut to keep it in place. If anything they can get stuck, but not loose?! Not saying you wrong I just could not understand 😄

Do you mean rack ends wears in place where they attach to the steering rack? Like below:

809631619_Rackend.jpg.73bf1af5a30b723bdc4bd274500b7e34.jpg

Or do you mean that tie rod ball joint wears in place where tire rod end connects to lower ball joint? like below:

1169304536_balljoint.jpg.b6e7f5dc9bb94f950b7ff55ece4cafdb.jpg

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The inner end of the tie rod consists of a ball and socket joint.The socket (the enlarged bit which has the torque specs pointing to them on my diagram) screws in to the end of the steering rack. The ball is formed from the end of the tie rod. The tie rod as received from a supplier comes assembled - ie the ball is well and truly in the socket - like your arm attaching to your shoulder. it is not disassemblable. There is no adjustment available - the socket bit screws in to the steering rack to the torque specified - and that's it. It can be unscrewed/assembled with a big open ended spanner - fairly easy if there's access and once the gaiter has been removed..

I think it is not commonly appreciated that there is a joint at this point (but otherwise how would the suspension move the tie rod up and down (and as you steer, side to side) without affecting the solidly-mounted steering rack) or that it can and does wear.

The outer end (your diagram) - the part commonly known as the track rod end - is a short piece which attaches to the suspension (steering knuckle) via the lower ball joint. Adjustment of the tie rod length (for tracking purposes) is achieved by turning the (inner part of) the tie rod so that it screws in or out of the tie rod end, hence changing the overall length of the tie rod assembly. You are able to turn the tie rod because it has a ball joint at the inner end!

The joint at either end of the tie rod can wear - either causes the steering wheel to feel 'loose' - it is the sort of thing that you don't notice until there is substantial play - then changing the tie rods and lower ball joint makes an amazing improvement in the 'feel' of the wheel - like a new car again! (As does changing the anti-roll bar links - another part with a joint at either end which might seem a bit insignificant but makes a huge difference to the feel of the steering and front suspension)

Hope that makes it clear!

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Ok seems I understood now, so it is this bit here:

52 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

 rack ends wears in place where they attach to the steering rack

809631619_Rackend.jpg.73bf1af5a30b723bdc4bd274500b7e34.jpg

I have actually ordered new Lower ball joints a while ago, just could not get myself to fit it. But never considered other end as you mentioned, which mounts into steering rack. After slight accident in September nobody can get my steering aligned properly, I hope that after replacing lower ball joints it will finally work, although car has 182k miles on it - not exactly brand new, so expectations not very high 🙂 

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The outer joints move a lot more in relation to the inner joints and therefore I would expect outer joints to wear out first.

My 2001 Ford Mondeo has had a number of outer joints replaced along with the bottom ball joints ( not Genuine's I stress) but the inner joints have yet to be highlighted on an MOT sheet!

Paul m.

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It could be that the inner ball joint is damaged. Or the lower ball joint. Or the tie rod or tie rod end - or something else!

If you're going to change the tie rods yourself, disconnect the outer end first, then loosen the gaiter clips and slide it down the tie rod. Unscrew the tie rod from the steering rack. Whilst you're doing all this, do not touch the locknut which locks the tie rod end to the tie rod. Now make up some kind of jig to record the exact length of the assembly, then separate the tie rod end from the tie rod and remove the gaiter (if you're reusing the old gaiter). Now slide the gaiter on to the new tie rod and assemble the new tie rod and tie rod.

Now carefully adjust the overall length with the jig to make it exactly the same length as the old unit, tighten the lock nut and recheck, screw the assembly to the steering rack then reconnect the outer end. That way the tracking should be more or less correct (at least the same as when you started). You''l still need to get the car tracked but it should be driveable meanwhile.

You're supposed to change the claw washer between the tie rod and steering rack but I reckon you can reuse the old one if you reshape it, unless a new one comes with the tie rod. Probably a good idea to use Loctite (other brands available) on the threads.

Note that the front lower ball joint is separate from the tie rod. And it's a complex arrangement with two ball joints (one connects to the wishbone, one to the tie rod end). You will need to buy the 'lower ball joint' and 'tie rod end' as separate components.

Paul - most of the time you'll be correct, but it ain't necessarily so, partly because the construction of the joints is completely different. I think it's why 'tie rod ends' are sort of well known in motoring circles (even if people don't know what they are). 'Tie rod inner ball joints' are not part of popular parlance!

 

 

2018-12-22_174903.jpg

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@johnatg Thanks for the information, John. As you have said it could be anything, its due to go in for its MOT & Service on the 3rd Jan with Lexus. I will get them to check it all over completely, as something is not right. I know on a Mini I had, that needed, Lower Control Arm Bushes, Track Rod Ends, Tie Rod Ends and Track Rod Arms. I sold the car before that needed doing at it was close to a grand in parts and labour. The car was only several hundred pounds more. 

Do you think any of that will be covered under warranty?

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RE the warranty, I reckon ( unless you have the conditions in writing and can check) that they might class these parts as 'wear & tear' items. I know that they are not exactly in the same group of 'consumable' parts like tyres and wiper blades but they are going to 'wear out' eventually! But then again you could say that about 99% of the parts on a car will wear out eventually! 

So I guess on Jan 3 you find out out 'good' the warranty is? That's if there is anything a-miss down under there?

paul m.

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So Jan 3rd has come and gone. So did anything get picked up on the MOT test regarding something possibly amiss under the front end?

paul m.

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@Texas No nothing was picked up on the MOT and Service. I did ask them to full check the car. But they said that all the bushes etc are fine and there is no wear in them. 

One thing they did do was clean the throttle body because of carbon build up.

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Should you need bushes, we offer a decent range of them for the IS250.

Front control arm, lower inner bush kit is only £30

image.thumb.png.02af12ec2a6926115091d3b3261504c0.png

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Do you think it might have something to do with the lower control arm bushing? Apparently these models are known to have soft bushes.

I am waiting delivery on some GSF/RCF control arm bushes. I will feed back here how the car feels after the swap. Parts are below.

image.thumb.png.b8afa2c2ad166ef9152eec28f121b72c.png

I've got a 2012 IS250  with 56k on the clock and the steering wheel feels the same. 

 

 

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I know when mine went into Lexus for its MOT & Service, they said that the bushes were fine.

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I think it most unlikely that the wishbone bushes are worn at 55K.

But the inner track rod joints could easily be if the steering has been turned when stationary on a frequent basis (town car?)

Sent from my PSP7551DUO using Tapatalk

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I had the same issue a few months ago on my IS250 and it was due to one tyre losing pressure due to a small puncture.

 

See below:

 

 

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+1  on double checking tyres pressures ( I did mention that above in the first reply!) gotta cover the basics first before getting too bogged down in complicated areas.

paul m.

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