Steering problem

toyota
steering
sienna

#1

I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna mini van. I took it to the dealership in late December for new brakes, alignment, etc. When I got it back, when I braked, the car would track straight while braking (if the wheels were straight to begin with…e.g. it didn’t pull to the right or the left), but the steering wheel pulls to the left about 1/16th of a turn. This is driving me crazy. I have taken the car back to the dealership several times complaining about this, but they say everything is normal. It didn’t do this before they worked on it. What could be causing the problem?



My warranty on the car is running out soon and so I need to deal with this asap if it turns out to be a warranty related problem.



Thanks for any help/info/insights you can give me.


#2

Further info: The van has 98,500 miles on it (with an extended warranty to 100K). Tires are new as of last fall and have been rotated once. They don’t show any cupping or uneven wear. Car tracks fine as long as wheel is straight. The pull of the steering wheel is about 1/16th to 1/12th of a complete 360? rotation of the steering wheel (like from 12 o’clock to 11 o’clock). I got completely new front and rear brakes in December.


#3

I have taken the car back to the dealership several times complaining about this, but they say everything is normal. It didn’t do this before they worked on it. What could be causing the problem?

First I would suggest asking them to prove that it is normal by showing you another car on their lot that does the same thing.  

Next I hope you have been saving records of all the related service stops you have made.  You MAY be covered under the lemon law.  It varies from state to state and you might be covered if that extended warranty was from the dealer/manufacturer.  However I suspect you don't have any coverage under the lemon law since you are on the extended warranty.  Of course it is also possible the power train warranty may still be in effect.  Check out all those possibilities.  http://www.lemonlawamerica.com/  

In any warranty situation it is not your job to figure out why the car does or does not do this or that, but only to define what the problem is and let the shop figure out what the problem is.

Good Luck

#4

The ability to center the steering wheel is key to making the customer happy with their alignmrnt. The tech should give it another try IMHO. are alignments covered under your extended warranty? I my experience this would be rare.