Posted by Michael Pardee on November 29, 2008, 1:56 pm
Yow... He's right; there is no point in tweaking the steering if it isn't
part of a real alignment (my dealer charged about $0 or $0, which was ten
dollars more than a local tire shop wanted). Prius alignment is critical but
probably not as much as it was for the 2001-2003 models. They get squirrelly
if the toe is off by a fraction of a degree. It sounds like the previous
owner was really hard on the car; the Prius holds alignment very well but it
appears one wheel hit a curb or pothole pretty hard. The good news is that
the engine and transmission are hard to hurt through operational abuse as
long as the oil was changed when it needed to be.
You can get an idea of how the tires are wearing right now by taking it to a
straight stretch of road, placing a strip of masking tape (duct tape if the
masking tape won't stick) across each tire from sidewall to sidewall, and
driving a mile or so. The wear pattern on the tape will tell the wear
pattern on the tires.
Posted by Chas Gill on November 30, 2008, 1:06 am
<some good stuff snipped for brevity>
Here in the UK we had a recall on 2004 - on Prius related to a replacement
steering universal joint in the column assembly (I think) which had been
known to very occasionally collapse. Mine was called in and the work done -
we all got a free bottle of champagne for our trouble! In many cases the
replacement part was misaligned by one tooth on the spline, resulting in an
off-centre steering wheel. Mine was, and they fixed it at the next service,
FOC. Might be worth checking to see if this work has been done on yours -
if so you might be able to get it corrected for free [although I doubt you'd
get the champagne ;-( ]
Posted by Lu R on December 1, 2008, 1:47 am
Interesting you state that, because the car has had the universal joint
replaced on recall previously by the last owner accordign to the Toyota
dealer here. I just wonder if they bothered to align the wheels after
replacement and therefore this is the reason for the offcentred steering
wheel!! I bet they wont admit to that tho.
Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on November 28, 2008, 3:00 am
Get a second opinion.
Posted by Tomes on November 28, 2008, 4:12 pm
"Elmo P. Shagnasty" ...
I second the second opinion. It should not be this way so soon. If this is
so you would feel it in the pedal when breaking gets down to less than 5 MPH
or so - it would be grinding that you would feel in your foot via the
Either this dealer is trying to scam you or the previous driver was a
braking nut. Makes me wonder what else was treated roughly on this car.