Squealing Like a Stuck Pig

RAV4 Hybrid Limited

Car problems: About a week ago, the steering wheel on our newish Toyota RAV4 began to squeal when turned. The squealing sound seemed to get louder and more insistent over time. Doing some internet research, I discovered that the number one cause of squealing steering wheels is low power steering fluid. I went out to the car, popped the hood and began looking for the power steering fluid reservoir. No joy. I found the brake fluid and coolant reservoirs, but no power steering. Returning to the internet I discovered that the power steering on my car is all electric and does not use any hydraulic fluid. Further researching the problem, I discovered that a typical solution to this problem is some silicon spray in just the right place. It also warned that spraying such lubricant in the wrong place can damage the steering.

So, I took the car into the dealer. After a couple of hours of sitting in the waiting room, the service tech came by to give me the good news and the bad news. The good news is that the car is still under warranty. The bad news was that simply spraying the steering column didn’t fix the problem. We ended up scheduling another appointment next week, where I’ll leave the car there. Driving home though, I could no longer hear the squeal anymore. I dealt with this tech once before. Our car had been attacked by a squirrel earlier this year that cut open the fuel line. Gas was spraying everywhere. He did a good job fixing the car and dealing with my insurance company too. This problem is somewhat similar in that it sounds expensive, but not to me. Toyota will be on the hook for all of the cost. I shouldn’t be looking this gift horse in the mouth, especially since we are planning a three-week road trip next month. Anyway, the silicon spray always seemed no better than a band aid. So, I’ll be there to leave the car at 7 AM. It beats having to turn up the radio.

4 thoughts on “Squealing Like a Stuck Pig

  1. I wouldn’t have much confidence in the silicone spray either but glad it’s a warranty repair. Cygnus (Subie Crosstrek, pandemic purchase) lit her tire light when I had owned her about a week. That *was* a simple fix, bad sensor and NO problems since, knock on wood. When I had my crappy old minivan, the POC, I did have a problem once with steering wheel fluid (many other problems throughout the years). Fortunately we were at the cabin and so was my brother (auto engineer) and he loved nothing better than taking a car (anyone’s car) to town to get it fixed. All I had to do was pay for it 🙂

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