Toyota Camry XLE 96 - slips when turning!

I’m brand new to this forum, and have a pressing question. When I turn the steering wheel on my Camry left or right, it ‘slips’ - I don’t know how else to describe it but it feels like I lose control for a fraction of a second. My mechanic hasn’t figured it out and it’s kind of unnerving. Any ideas???

By slip do you mean the wheel jerks, like a momentary lose of power steering assist? If so your steering rack likely has internal leaks which would require the replacement of the rack.

To me it sounds like he is trying to say that the steering wheel feels like it’s turning but the steering column’s internal parts aren’t.

Despite a description of symptoms that is not clear to me, I agree with Xebadiah that the steering rack is a likely suspect here. I suggest that you go to a different mechanic, as a bad steering rack is a safety hazard.

There’s not much to go on here, and you did not state if this occurs only at slow speed or at all speeds, but here are some possibilities.

Low tire pressure. One would have hoped this was checked.

Alignment issue; likely due to a pothole or curb strike.

Oddly worn ball joint or tie rod, or tie rod end. (latter more than likely) It’s quite possible for any of those parts to be tight (which gives the assumption they’re fine) but in reality the ball in the socket may develop a flat spot on it. The slightest movement of the steering wheel will cause the flat to move in the ball socket and this in turn may cause a steering jolt, or lurch.
Sometimes there is no way of determining this short of partially disassembling the component and checking it by feel.

Worn steering shaft/steering rack coupler.

Worn or glazed power steering belt. One would have hoped this was also checked.

And always the possibility of a steering rack problem.