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Old 01-17-2023, 09:29 PM   #1
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2013 Scion FR-S Steering Wheel Wandering (Information Dense)

(1) Car Information:

-Year/Trim: Scion FRS 2013 10 Series

-Millage: 110,000

-Trans: Manual

-Location- Lower United Sates ( never in the north)

(2) Problem:

My steering wheel does not always point straight when driving straight. Straight position wanders with steering wheel 10 degrees clockwise after left hand turn and/or intense bump and/or elevation change in road. Creates hazard. I pucker the poop shoot every time turning left at speed. I describe the issue as feels like the car is tripping over itself.

What is going on!!?!?!?!?

(3) Problem Origination:

Ran over rubber wheel choc with front RH/Passenger side wheel. Swerved left , hit it, then ran off road. Insurance covered initial body work in late 2021 into 2022. ( New bumper, side rail bondo)

(4) Symptoms (since wreck, some days are worse, some days very minor):

-Increased bump steer

- Floaty suspension

- When steering wheel angle locks clockwise, small to large jerk back to center as steering wheel returns to 0 degrees. This typically causes ABS to turn on. I reduce speed.

-when steering wheel angle locks clockwise, I can jerk steering wheel to return to center, hit bump to return to center, or wait to be jerked back. If road is even, I can drive over a mile with steering wheel positioned/locked 10 degrees clockwise. (At times when jerking steering wheel back to center ABS engages. At times I feel like I can hear a small grinding sound as I jerk the wheel, which may still be ABS but no ABS light.)

-Pinball effect, when issue happens at speed (typically on uneven and/or change in elevation chicanes on freeway) , jerk back to center starts left to right death wobble. Feels like controlling a floating bull as the gauge cluster lights up like a Christmas tree.

-Long left hand freeway ramps if taken at speed starts ABS on left hand wheel. NO ISSUE when turning right at speed.

-When ABS engages. Light does not always go off unless intense ABS. When car is put in Trac Off, ABS still engages with Issue. No change in symptoms.

- Car shaky over 75 mph . Feels like tires are not balanced.

-Problem intensifies over uneven roads or large change in elevation

-Increased speed on even roads with less than ~10 degree steering wheel angle variation left or right , NO ISSUE

-Increased inside tire wear. Bald tires wander worse then full tread tires.

-(other)I know I probably need new bushings, front suspension sounds like bag of rocks when going over minor rough terrain at parking lot speeds.

(5) Work that has been done over 1 year period to try and fix: ( At first Service would not believe me and shrugged me off)

-Multiple Alignments by Dealer

-ABS Diagnostic by Dealer

-New steering rack assembly including inner an outer tie rods by Dealer (This hardened the steering and helped stop the pinball effect)

-Steering angle recall by Dealer

-Computer codes reset by dealer

-New Brakes by me (Helped reduce ABS intervention at lower speeds)

-New rotors by me

-Added Brake Fluid

-Wheel Balance

-New Tires (Current tires Micheline AS4, Previous Micheline AS3/+, will need 2 new tires soon from front end issue chewing them up)

-Reducing/increase tire pressure

(6) Documentation
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Old 01-17-2023, 11:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jrr33468 View Post
-(other)I know I probably need new bushings, front suspension sounds like bag of rocks when going over minor rough terrain at parking lot speeds.

this is likely where you need to start. the front suspension is a mcpherson strut design, meaning that any movement(noise) in the shock body assembly directly translates to an alteration in wheel alignment and steering precision.

though i appreciate your effort in thoroughly attempting to convey the problem and remedies applied thus-far.
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Old 01-18-2023, 09:04 AM   #3
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I personally would have gone back to insurance and say it's not fixed to begin with.

Something is clearly loose that shouldn't be. If your mechanic can't find the problem, it's time to find another mechanic. Unless you are going to check things out yourself that's the best advice I can give.
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Old 01-18-2023, 10:29 AM   #4
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I would first check every suspension component on the FR, especially the control arm & bushings, knuckle, strut, tire rod end and sway bar end link, but since you've had it to a couple of places to check it is likely these components are ok. Because it is a high mileage 2013, with noise and steering binding/slop, I would also check the steering coupler. It's a simple part that fails often.

Replacement istructions here:

BTW, the dealer will not just replace the coupler, they will want to sell you a pwer steering motor because that is what the service manual tells them to replace.
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Last edited by Opie; 01-18-2023 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 01-18-2023, 03:01 PM   #5
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Post alignment sheets.

Take car to competent respected alignment shop - they can probably diagnose it in an hour or two.
Originally Posted by Guff View Post
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bump steer, steering angle, suspension

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