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Old 5th October 2020, 11:40   #1
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Default Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

Dear Members,
This is my first post in Team BHP and I am looking forward to the forum helping me make a decision on my Innova. I bought this car from a First Choice dealer and the model is 2.5V 2009. While the car is comfortable, the power steering is quite ineffective - very heavy and cumbersome. I got basic service done sometime back and see a 20% improvement but I think in the long run it needs an overhaul or replacement of the entire column. What do members suggest - considering that the model is a decade old, is considering replacement of the stack a good idea? From your knowledge or understanding will it be helpful?

Looking forward to the inputs from the group.
Best regards,
Kartik
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Old 5th October 2020, 13:20   #2
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Default re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

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Originally Posted by carticaya View Post
What do members suggest - considering that the model is a decade old, is considering replacement of the stack a good idea? From your knowledge or understanding will it be helpful?
Get it checked by a FNG or Toyota's service centre. It's an expensive part. Replace only if necessary.
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Old 5th October 2020, 13:50   #3
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Default re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

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Originally Posted by carticaya View Post
This is my first post in Team BHP
Welcome to Team-BHP.
Quote:
While the car is comfortable, the power steering is quite ineffective - very heavy and cumbersome. I got basic service done sometime back and see a 20% improvement
Please compare with another Innova with similar age and running to get a better idea if this is specific to you or a trait of the model itself. Also can you confirm (preferably from the bills) what exactly was done in the service that showed the improvement?
Quote:
I think in the long run it needs an overhaul or replacement of the entire column. What do members suggest - considering that the model is a decade old, is considering replacement of the stack a good idea?
Personally, I will not go for this as this might be expensive and the life of 10+ year old diesel cars are under the threat of the scrappage policy looming on us. You may fix leaks if existing and completely change the power steering fluid if not already done.
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Old 5th October 2020, 14:33   #4
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Default re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

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Originally Posted by carticaya View Post
I bought this car from a First Choice dealer and the model is 2.5V 2009. While the car is comfortable, the power steering is very heavy and cumbersome
I have never come across the power steering in any Toyota of this vintage requiring attention and am therefore surprised.

Few questions and suggestions :

1. How many kms has the car done? Since it is a 11 year old Innova, I'm assuming the car would have done at least 1,65,000kms. Even at 2,50,000km, an Innova's power steering would be good.

2. How old are the tyres, and what is the condition of tyres?

Most of the time, bad or old tyres can make even a proper power steering feel heavy.

If you have two new and two old Tyres, please put the wheels with new Tyres in the front and then see how the steering feels.

My own 2005 Corolla had a "heavy" steering. Change of tyres made it super smooth.

3. Turn the steering to it's left lock and right lock positions, and around these positions, do you hear a grinding or clinking noise from the power steering pump? That's a sign that the pump has started to wear out. Not serious but just giving you an input.

4. Do you see oil seepage or leaks at the power steering rack ends OR at the point where the steering column meets the rack ( at the pinion area) ? This has nothing to do with the heaviness feel of the steering, but just asking.

Last edited by vigsom : 5th October 2020 at 14:37. Reason: minor addition
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Old 5th October 2020, 17:40   #5
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Default Re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

Have seen absolute wonders on an old car's power steering after a simple fluid change . Try that first - simplest & cheapest. Change fluid, drive for 50 - 100 km & update. If it doesn't solve the problem, then get to the pump, rack etc. Note: Steering racks can be properly repaired in the after-market (authorised dealers will only push for expensive replacements).

Last edited by GTO : 6th October 2020 at 07:47.
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Old 5th October 2020, 20:09   #6
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Default Re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

I faced this issue in my Duster. I bought used Duster which had done 8500 kms on ODO. From the day I bought, I noticed steering is on heavy side and suspension was bit sharp. I ignored this initially but not for too long.

I took help of my service advisor to check about this issue. After thorough check, SA told me that steering rack is defective. Fortunately, the car was still in warranty period hence I asked SA to replace the steering rack assembly. He did the same and the old part was sent to Renault for inspection.

After few kms of drive, I still noticed steering is bit on heavier side. Again, I visited the service center, this time SA noticed that I was using nitrogen for my Duster tyres. He suggested that Duster doesn't go well with nitrogen and asked me to replace with air-30 PSI. I took his suggestion and replaced all tyres from nitrogen to air. I started testing car after filling air and to my surprise this actually sorted out heaviness on steering and also suspension hardness.
Of course credit goes to steering rack as well. But things are definitely much better than what I was experiencing in my initial days.
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Old 6th October 2020, 15:33   #7
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Mod note: Please use Multi Quote [Quote+} instead of back to back posts, also please trim large quotes. Thanks

Thank you for your advise. I visited the service center and they said that being a hydraluic system, it does tend to get a little heavy after prolonged use. They mentioned that in the next service they would check the components and try and make it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
I have never come across the power steering in any Toyota of this vintage requiring attention and am therefore surprised.
====
This has nothing to do with the heaviness feel of the steering, but just asking.
KN - No Sir. There is no leakage.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Have seen absolute wonders on an old car's power steering after a simple fluid change . Try that first - simplest & cheapest. Change fluid, drive for 50 - 100 km & update. If it doesn't solve the problem, then get to the pump, rack etc. Note: Steering racks can be properly repaired in the after-market (authorised dealers will only push for expensive replacements).
KN - Yes I will request the service agents to do that this time round.

Last edited by Jaggu : 6th October 2020 at 15:39.
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Old 11th October 2020, 16:45   #8
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Default Re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carticaya View Post
Dear Members,
This is my first post in Team BHP and I am looking forward to the forum helping me make a decision on my Innova. I bought this car from a First Choice dealer and the model is 2.5V 2009. While the car is comfortable, the power steering is quite ineffective - very heavy and cumbersome. I got basic service done sometime back and see a 20% improvement but I think in the long run it needs an overhaul or replacement of the entire column. What do members suggest - considering that the model is a decade old, is considering replacement of the stack a good idea? From your knowledge or understanding will it be helpful?

Looking forward to the inputs from the group.
Best regards,
Kartik
Check your Power steering pulley and V-belt, if it is old, it would perform little rough. Qualis, Sierra and other vehicles have a seperate Power steering belt, Innova has an integrated belt I guess. So check and replace if needed. Also check for any oil leaks from power steering rack boots, if they are worn out, replace them on priority.


I was in the same position as you. I have a 2008 Innova Gx, our Innova power steering is very heavy, compared to Qualis 2004 G8 Power steering which is butter smooth. I drove an other Innova of our relative and it is also heavy. Again to cross check, 2 of our neighbours have Innovas (2009 Gx 2,00,xxx kms and 2014 V 1,05,xxx kms), even those were as heavy as our Innova. I showed it in TASS, many FNGs and they confirmed everything is intact, there's no power steering fluid leakage, all seals are good, good tie rods, even the front end suspension is also good. So I'm just living with it, don't expect the hydraulic power steering of Innova to be as light as an EPS of Hyundais or Marutis.

I'm still surprised how on earth the power steering in our Qualis (4,24,000 kms) is butter smooth (similar to Crysta and EPS of newer Hyundais and Marutis). It is still on original power steering pump. Don't get your power steering rack opened outside, that is very vital component and if it fails on highspeeds due to counterfeit parts, it would be fatal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Have seen absolute wonders on an old car's power steering after a simple fluid change . Try that first - simplest & cheapest. Change fluid, drive for 50 - 100 km & update. If it doesn't solve the problem, then get to the pump, rack etc. Note: Steering racks can be properly repaired in the after-market (authorised dealers will only push for expensive replacements).

Great advice, I'll try replacing my power steering fluid. I've only topped up whenever the PS reservoir was showing low fluid, not sure when was the last time I actually replaced the fluid in our Innova.
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Old 12th October 2020, 10:25   #9
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Default Re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carticaya View Post
Dear Members,
This is my first post in Team BHP and I am looking forward to the forum helping me make a decision on my Innova. I bought this car from a First Choice dealer and the model is 2.5V 2009. While the car is comfortable, the power steering is quite ineffective - very heavy and cumbersome. I got basic service done sometime back and see a 20% improvement but I think in the long run it needs an overhaul or replacement of the entire column. What do members suggest - considering that the model is a decade old, is considering replacement of the stack a good idea? From your knowledge or understanding will it be helpful?

Looking forward to the inputs from the group.
Best regards,
Kartik
Hi,

Please have the suspension geometry checked. If there was accident history and if there was suspension mounts damage etc, and if it wasn't rectified correctly, then this problem can occur.
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Old 12th October 2020, 22:27   #10
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Default Re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

Hi,

What is/was your car before this Innova? I have a 2006 Innova and it's power steering seems much heavier than that of my small hatchback with it's electric power steering.

Maybe there is nothing wrong with your car's power steering and you just feel that it is less effective than your other car. As others have also suggested, please try driving another innova of a similar vintage, if possible, before you go about replacing any expensive parts.

Cheers,
Abhishek
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Old 15th October 2020, 12:26   #11
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Default Re: Heavy & cumbersome power steering - How to solve?

I don't know about Innova Power steering but I can tell whats to be done for a Tractor Power steering. Considering that all the hydraulic steering components are working as they should be, what we change is a small part called FLP. Its a valve which limits the flow of oil to steering rack from the hydraulic pump. This valve restricts excess flow of oil when the hydraulic pump rotates at high rpm when the engine rotates at high rpms. By increasing the flow through this valve at normal operating rpms we have achieved reduction in force required to operate the steering wheel. High flow of oil to hydraulic piston reduces steering effort.

In short by design if the steering rack is heavy you can't make it lighter unless you change some critical hydraulic components.

Please try aftermarket and check what solutions the repair mechanics have to offer. Ask them how it functions if you get a similar answer to the one which I have mentioned you can think of trying it.

Amd as GTO said try changing power steering oil and its filter (if any exists) it really helps.

Last edited by amit_purohit20 : 15th October 2020 at 12:35. Reason: Last line added
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