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Mystery With My Car


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As you might have read I've been trying to find an annoying rattle on my IS200. It starts up after 5 mins of driving, and sounds like a loose bolt. It is aggravated by bad roads. Tapping the bottom of the steering wheel rim with my fist aggravates it. Holding the top or bottom of the rim firmly (i.e. pushing the wheel forward) stops the noise.

I've spent ages already trying to find the source, but today I noticed something interesting - 1/2 way between the steering wheel and the floor is a part that fits around the steering column. This part has a sticker on it with a date of 04/05/05. My car is a September 2004 car.

I think this might be what is rattling.

Can anyone shed any light on what this item is, any ideas why it would be changed?

I'm going to ask Lexus Chester who supplied and did all the servicing on the car, but sometimes dealers can be a bit funny about supplying info, so I'm not sure if they'll help.

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I've spent ages already trying to find the source, but today I noticed something interesting - 1/2 way between the steering wheel and the floor is a part that fits around the steering column. This part has a sticker on it with a date of 04/05/05. My car is a September 2004 car.

Don't the Japanese put the year first in their dates ? So that could be a part from 2004 (so probably original) ? I don't know if that's the format that Lexus/Toyota use on their parts.

I'm starting to think that my own car might have developed a similar rattle, I only just noticed it the other day. Thankfully I don't hear it when I have the stereo on though.

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That's interesting Steve thanks (and it makes more sense than it being a new part), might save me looking stupid with the dealer!!!

The problem seemed to start after I adjusted the steering column to make the wheel lower. After that the noise started, but now it doesn't matter where it's positioned the rattle is there.

I'll try and get some pictures woz :)

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That's interesting Steve thanks (and it makes more sense than it being a new part), might save me looking stupid with the dealer!!!

I imagine that's something the dealer (e.g. the parts department) should be able to clear up for your pretty easily, i.e. what the date format means for Toyota/Lexus.

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could it be one of the springs that are attached to the back of the steering wheel maybe??? have you taken all the surrounds of the dash behind the wheel off to have a look at it yet? just thinking you may of got a spring that was not sprung properly and its now misshaped or lost some strength in its coil so bounces about more than it should from after you adjusted the position of the wheel? just a random thought that could be worth checking.

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could it be one of the springs that are attached to the back of the steering wheel maybe??? have you taken all the surrounds of the dash behind the wheel off to have a look at it yet? just thinking you may of got a spring that was not sprung properly and its now misshaped or lost some strength in its coil so bounces about more than it should from after you adjusted the position of the wheel? just a random thought that could be worth checking.

I've checked all the springs, like you say they would seem like an obvious answer. But it seems to be lower down than that, in the section of the steering column towards the floor. There's also two small metal tongs that I thought could be the problem but I've modified those a bit so they can't make any noise and it's not that either!

Thanks for your help though :)

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Cheers for the link I was looking on that last night actually!

Anyway I think Steve is spot on with the date format on that part I saw. I spoke to Lexus Chester who did all the servicing on the car and they confirmed that it's just had the four services and some brake pads, so nothing else has been done to it. Which means I probably misunderstood the date on that sticker and it is the original factory part.

Rattles always seem a pain to me, independent mechanics don't seem keen to get involved, and it could cost me a fortune at a Lexus dealer if it's not something they've come across before as they'd have to do quite a bit of investigating. But I might try Lexus Bolton which is near me.

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