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Vehicle is a 2002 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4WD. For as long as I can remember while owning this vehicle (about 3 years) the steering wheel is cocked to the left, maybe 20 degrees or so while driving straight. Only recently did I realize that this seems to be the case exclusively after making a left-hand turn. If I make a right-hand turn, it will align properly while driving straight until the next left turn.

The steering wheel doesn't seem to have much play, not enough to explain this. Outer tie rod bushings are a little worn but not worryingly so and there is no noticeable play when trying to wiggle the tires with hands at 9 and 3 or 12 and 6.

Sway bar links and bushings recently replaced because they were worn. It's been aligned twice, most recently about a month ago, no change. Also recently passed safety inspection in PA and they are pretty thorough. If it was bad ball joints or something I think they would've failed it.

What am I missing here? What should I be looking at more closely?

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  • @hazoriz thank you, great find! After I've asked this question I did also try to inspect the steering rack from underneath and couldn't find anything loose, though I didn't have anyone available at the time to try and turn the wheel back and forth. Definitely worth another try when I have free space in the garage (recently got a Triumph TR6 that needs a ton of work, so not any time soon!)
    – Luke
    Feb 2 at 16:18
  • You drove a vehicle with this issue for years and it caused you no problems? (So this type of issue is probably not an urgent fix?)
    – hazoriz
    Feb 3 at 23:50
  • I missed this question, this seems to have the full answer mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/93693/81910
    – hazoriz
    Feb 4 at 2:08
  • mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/61470/81910 this answer also is interesting
    – hazoriz
    Feb 4 at 2:21

1 Answer 1

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Check the steering rack mounting. Maybe the steering rack is able to move from side to side under heavy force. With the wheels on the ground and the engine running, get someone to move the steering from side to side. Can you see any movement in the steering rack?

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