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2006 Toyota Prius - grinding when turning wheel all the way to right while stopped

Well, lately, my 2006 Prius has been making a strange grinding sound in an oddly specific situation: namely, turning the steering wheel all the way to the right, with the foot on the brake (most often happens when in a parking lot). This does not happen when I turn the wheel to the left, nor does it take place during the normal course of driving (even turning right after a stop). The car seems to have no other problems.

I had the car inspected at Goodyear yesterday, and they found no issues excepts for needing to replace the air filter with the next oil change. As for the grinding, I called up the shop this morning and asked them about the CV joint, the wheel bearings, and the brakes (which seem to be the causes most commonly mentioned in this forum and others). The people at the shop said that all those components were working normally and had no problems.

Might anyone know what’s going on? For all I know, it could just be some debris caught in the tire or the wheel, or possibly a loose lug nut. With winter in Kansas City being what it is, you never know what it might be. I would just like to see what others might think. Like I said earlier, the car seems to be doing great overall, and the people at the shop said as much yesterday.

That’s an indication that the electronic steering rack has worn out.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,2006,prius,1.5l+l4+electric/gas,1432870,steering,rack+and+pinion,7388

Tester

It’s gonna require a shop tech looking and listening in the area of the noise source while a helper turns the steering wheel as you describe. It could something as simple as one of the wheels is interfering with something, like a dislodged fender liner. If the shop was told of this issue before the recent inspection, they’d probably have noticed if the wheel lugs were loose.

A common complaint. The steering system is more designed for cornering at driving speeds and less for parking lot maneuvers. Customers often complain about a scuffing noise from the tires during extreme turns in late model vehicles.

I was also going to mention an electric rack n pinion… Even if it is electric it will still have conventional parts that it uses to function. Tie rod ends and ball joints are components that have the ability to make the noises you are mentioning when steering wheel movement is involved.

Are you simply turning the steering wheel while the vehicle is not in motion? If so, this is actually one thing I have been told to try an avoid whenever possible as it is this one specific action that will exert the most forces upon the steering gear as possible. The caveat here is the non forward or backward movement during steering wheel inputs. (If this is a true comment on the actual situation)

The effort to turn any steering wheel (and the forces exerted upon the suspension components) decreases with forward or backward movement…and the inverse is also true. My father would always say that it is “not good” to turn your wheel when you are not moving, but lets ignore that for now, what cannot be ignored is that the forces are greater, this is not a point that is arguable…the good or bad can be argued I am sure. I have always followed this advice as it makes sense to me and it was my pops advice…lol

So yes, it can be an electric rack n pinion making noises when being taxed, be it a motor or a gear assy…as well as the conventional components that exist. Tie Rod Ends and or ball joints are common causes of noise that involves steering wheel movement. Also if there is a wheel bearing issue you can get noises from that as well… this can manifest via the wheel bearing itself and or the brake caliper and rotor due to deflection (from a failing bearing)

So it would help to have an assistant help you look for this noise while the vehicle is on the ground… If the noise goes away when the vehicle is jacked up…just keep in mind the forces are far less in that context.

Hope this helps

Patient: Doctor, my arm hurts when I do this (patient contorts arm and body to demonstrate).

Doctor: Don’t do that.

I have found that practically any type of power steering “complains” when taxed and held all the way to a stop by turning the wheels to their maximum turn.

I don’t do that and my wife has learned through me to not do that.

Don’t do that. Don’t turn the steering wheel that far and hold it there.
CSA
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