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2004 Camry Power steering Problems

I have brought my Camry in a few times already for a power steering issue. Even have left it overnight for them a few times so they could start it in the cold weather and all I get from the dealer is they can’t find anything wrong! It squeeks terribly and is aweful to try and steer just to get out of my spot in my driveway. When I get out into the street I can hardly turn the darn wheel. It gives me trouble for a good 1-2 minutes before it will loosen up. Letting it warm up does nothing. When the car gets to driving after a few minutes, its not bad. Whats the issue? A pump, belt, fluid??? Help! Driving me nuts here and Toyota mechanics should know what the problem is!

What you’re describing is called morning sickness. This occurs when the seals on the spool valve inside the rack and pinion assembly allow the power steering fluid to leak past them. The hydraulic pressure is then no longer applied to that piston inside the rack and pinion assembly to provide steering assist. Then as the steering is used and heat builds in the power steering fluid the seals expand and steering assist is restored. This problem usually comes about from old oxidized power steering fluid that causes the spool valve seals to wear grooves in the spool valve bore.

You might try a product such as this to see if fixes the problem. If not, then you’re looking at replacing the rack and pinion assembly.