I have an '07 Highlander with 100K miles. It has hydraulic power steering (not electronic). I only drive it occasionally, my son drives it most of the time. I am noticing a very slight shudder when I move the wheel slightly off center when I am going straight. Am I just imagining this in a vehicle much older than the one I normally drive or is this a known symptom of something? It is very subtle. Almost not there. Fluid level is normal, has been changed according to the manual’s intervals over the years. Any insight much appreciated
Did you check your tie rods?A mechanic needs to check the steering components for wear.
Might be tie rods, might be a sloppy rag joint in the steering. It could be than wear in the ball joints, the tie rods and the steering gear have loosened up the entire steering system to allow small vibrations.
Friction is damping. Friction keeps those little vibrations you are feeling in check. Loosen the old girl up, and those vibrations become noticeable. It isn’t necessarily problem to fix. A full rebuild of the front suspension can get back to the “new” feeling if you feel the need.
These are very helpful. This helps me to decide and also to communicate with my mechanic if I go that route. The feeling that I am trying to describe is sort of a very rapid pulsing or shudder in what I am guessing-imagining is the boost of the steering. At least that is the feeling and my best description. It does not do this when I make a wide turn or if I am stationary and turn the wheel side to side. I notice it when cruising and making slight course adjustments. Thanks again. 100K vehicles do have differences in their feel. Maybe I am just feeling normal wear. I will get it driven by my mechanic at the next service at the latest.