Steering column noise - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Steering column noise

For more than a year, I've had a moaning/groaning sound coming from the steering column. At first, it was only present when it was cool/cold out. Now, it's present when it's also warm out. After consulting the forum, I had the dealer replace both the directional as well as headlight steering column mounted hardware. That wasn't it. The problem continues. Would prefer to be proactive versus reactive. So, any suggestions/ideas would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 04:54 PM
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Re: Steering column noise

Are you absolutely certain itís coming from the steering column itself? Moaning sounds happening as you turn the steering wheel are most often the pump. Have you noticed any difficulty with turning? I replaced my steering fluid pump a couple years ago and no more groaning. The sound seemed to come from the general front area and I can see how that could be interpreted as the steering column....sounds travel. How many miles on your FJ? Pumps have a lifespan.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering column noise

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debFJVT previously said: View Post
Are you absolutely certain itís coming from the steering column itself? Moaning sounds happening as you turn the steering wheel are most often the pump. Have you noticed any difficulty with turning? I replaced my steering fluid pump a couple years ago and no more groaning. The sound seemed to come from the general front area and I can see how that could be interpreted as the steering column....sounds travel. How many miles on your FJ? Pumps have a lifespan.
90,000 miles on my 2013 FJ TT. Haven't noticed any difficulty steering. Agreed sound travels. What other symptoms would a bad or going bad pump have?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 10:08 AM
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Re: Steering column noise

"What other symptoms would a bad or going bad pump have?"

open the hood, engine on, and have someone operate the steering while you monitor for any change in noise from the engine area

If you can hear a noise change, narrow it down. You can use a long screwdriver, held against a pump, and touch the other end to your skull, just below your ear (or put the handle end right in your ear), and you can hear like a stethoscope. This is also handy for pinpointing a failing, noisy bearing too. Pay attention to where you put it so you don't get it caught in the spinning belt or fan, or short any wiring of course.

If everything spinning on the front of the engine gets ruled out you might also try the stethoscope trick on the steering column shaft itself, as perhaps a failing u-joint in it could make a noise.



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering column noise

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norm356 previously said: View Post
"What other symptoms would a bad or going bad pump have?"

open the hood, engine on, and have someone operate the steering while you monitor for any change in noise from the engine area

If you can hear a noise change, narrow it down. You can use a long screwdriver, held against a pump, and touch the other end to your skull, just below your ear (or put the handle end right in your ear), and you can hear like a stethoscope. This is also handy for pinpointing a failing, noisy bearing too. Pay attention to where you put it so you don't get it caught in the spinning belt or fan, or short any wiring of course.

If everything spinning on the front of the engine gets ruled out you might also try the stethoscope trick on the steering column shaft itself, as perhaps a failing u-joint in it could make a noise.



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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 04:53 PM
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Re: Steering column noise

Good advice on locating the sound. If the pump is failing it will gradually become more difficult to turn the wheel and eventually will be impossible. If you donít feel any extra resistance, particularly at the extremes yet hear increased groaning at full lock, your pump my still have some time left. Mine transitioned from that state to being VERY hard to turn when aired down/crawling through boulder fields. If youíre not offroad, it may only show mild symptoms and go on for a long time. Also the steering U joint is very easy to locate and lubricate. Iíd really be surprised if that was failing at only 90k mi, or capable of making so much noise. To lube, on drivers side look in the opening just above the area of your CV axle and youíll see a small U joint attached to a horizontal cable - hit it with plenty of WD40. Itís a maintence item well worth adding to the list.



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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 05:11 PM
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Re: Steering column noise

It could be the ball joint or uniball if equipped above the spindle at the UCA. That spins whenever you turn the steering wheel. Standing outside you should be able to tell where the sound is coming from so maybe thats not it.
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