View Full Version : Steering creak

02-18-2012, 07:08 PM
I need a little help tracking down a noise that I noticed today on my 2001 4Runner. While pulling into my driveway I got a loud creaking sound while turning.

I don't notice anything while driving straight...just during turns. I haven't noticed it before but it's obviously been a little chilly so I haven't had the windows down much but it's definitely coming from underneath the 4Runner.

I am wondering if the steering rack decided to start it's death throes today. It is the original rack and it has been pushing around 35s for several years. I've searched a few sites so far but have not really coming up with anything that seems to match.

I would appreciate any help.


02-19-2012, 07:26 PM
when you noticed it.
was the car going over a bump ? Such as the curb at the end of the driveway while turning ? If so it sounds more like a bushing issue from the chassis flexing.

02-20-2012, 07:45 AM
Thanks for the response.

When I first heard it I was backing out of a parking spot uphill and at a weird angle I initially thought it was the suspension.

When I got home I pulled into my driveway and coasted downhill to the garage. I did hear the noise going over the curb but it wasn't too loud...just caught my attention. Making the final 90-degree turn into the garage made the noise especially loud. I then drove it around the block (no bumps) and it was very loud making the turns.

It seems the tighter the turn, the worse the noise is.

02-20-2012, 10:04 AM
Lance - from what I can tell, the steering racks are pretty stout. I just adjusted the preload on my steering rack to cure a wee bit of play and a knocking sound. It made a huge difference in road feel. Details are on Mud (or a link to them anyway). I'm trying to recall any creaking sounds with my '98 4Runner (180K miles) - just haven't heard any. Do a full visual inspection and be sure it isn't something like a broken sway bar link (as I once had).

02-20-2012, 10:34 AM
I had a bad creaking on my Tundra, but it was a suspension flex issue. The bushings on the shock absorbers were worn through and were rubbing metal on metal on the a-arm tabs :eek:

:wav: Fabtech adjustable height springs, hello OE height springs

02-20-2012, 11:28 PM
if you have a grease gun, lube up all the tie rods and ball joints. If they don't have grease zerks. Get a needle adaptor for the grease gun and probe into the joints and apply grease. Even the sealed type joints need more grease from time to time.

another way to test the steering, with the truck parked and engine off. Turn the steering from lock to lock and listen for noises. You can also shake the truck back and forth (driver to passenger ) hard ! And listen for squeaks.