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Toyota Repair/noise in steering column.


QUESTION: The motor for the Electronic Power Steering makes a "whining" noise every time I turn the steering wheel in either direction. Is this normal? There is no loss of power or function. It is a very low grade sound and seems to have gotten slightly louder over the last year. I have 65K miles on it with no major problems.

ANSWER: Hello, some of the EPS units can make a slight amount of noise due to the electric motor turning the wheel, I would not worry too much about it, unless the warning light turns on there is no problem detected by the computer.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your help. My only other question is that this "whining" noise only started about a year ago. Why would this noise start after owning this car for almost 5 years, new from the dealer?

ANSWER: I personally have not run into an abnormal noise from the steering like this so I can't be objective in my answer, if it's loud enough to be annoying there may be a problem with it, what year and model is it?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 2011 Sienna Limited.

The noise is very low and subtle but noticeable. You can only hear it while steering and driving slow (such as out of a driveway/parking spot) or when turning the wheel at a stop.

It only occurs when the steering wheel is moved and the sound is definitely coming from the motor of the EPS which I believe is close to dashboard on the column.

I am just worried that I may take to the dealer and they may tell me that they have to replaced the entire steering column when it could be normal electric motor noise.

Thanks again.

I think in this case it would be best to at least have the dealer listen to the noise and give you an opinion, most  dealer's will call a tech or shop foreman to the driveway to just listen to a noise without writing a repair order, since I can't hear the noise and have had no complaints such as this it would be the best thing to do.

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


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