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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
I need some help, let me describe my problems, I would like to apologize in advance for a long post.
I have early 05 SRX V8 AWD with 10000 miles on odometer. Just picked up my car today early in the morning from dealer after warranty repair, one of the problems is freaking sunroof and the second one is rack & pinion which was changed second time. First time it was replaced exactly one year ago because of backlash in the steering wheel and after it was replaced everything was fine for about 3-4 months and then backlash came back not as bad as it was prior replacement and mechanic on dealership just gave me BS explanation that this is characteristics of these cars and it operates as designed. So, time past by and yesterday I left my car on dealership with the same problems because knock in the steering wheel became more pronounced and sunroof creaks became unbearable, later I received call from dealer with news that they need to change steering rack again and also that they ordered new sunroof which should arrive sometime next week. After rack & pinion was replaced car feels more solid with much greater feedback in the steering wheel but when engine is off and the key is still in the ignition to prevent steering wheel from being locked I tried to turn steering wheel rapidly left and right and guess what the knock is still there. I immediately called dealer and demonstrated it to him, he replied to me that this is normal sound with I guess familiar to everybody on this forum look like "Are you crazy man?" and added there are gears inside like I am first graders and don't know this. I tried to explain to him that it's not suppose to be like this and I checked several different cars and non of them does it on what he replied this is due to different setup, so basically I left without further arguments and I will revisit dealer next week for sunroof replacement.
Do you have any comment regarding this issue, I would like to know your opinion based on your experience with your cars (steering wheel knock-backlash while car is parked and engine is off)

Thanks in advance.
 

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2012 SRX Lux; 2013 XTS Lux
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I just tried my '04 RWD, and there is absolutely no knocking when turning the steering wheel, engine off, ignition on. I do not know if there is any reason that an AWD would act differently, but would be surprised if it did.
 

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My 04 V8 AWD had the R&P replaced due to an intermittent squeek from the input shaft seal at the rack that resonated in the steering wheel.
Now the free lash with engine off and ignition on is 1 inch at the steering wheel's outer rim. While leaning out the open door I do hear the gear lash "click" from the R&P assembly when quickly moving the steering wheel from left to right and vice versa. I'd expect that kind of barely audible noise. With the door closed and windows up the "clicking" travels to the passenger compartment via the steering wheel. When my R&P was replaced the alignment was not reset and the front wheels wanted to stay turned when the steriing wheel was within a few inches of the maximium (lock to lock) when turning either left or right. Matter of fact I had to "fight" the wheel to come out of a turn.
Another "call back" determined that the engine "cradle" bolts were not tightened and when turning the entire assembly that supports the front end was wallowing. That too presents some strange noises and handling sensations!
The "working as designed" was what some say God told Adam about Eve.
Just look where that's got us!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi John D,
Did you try to fight with your dealer or you just left everything as it is?
Another question how is your driving experience after R&P was replaced and I mean car ride, is it solid and tight especially at front end as it should be on this class of cars when you drive over the bumps and potholes or it is lousy and loose? Just to give you an idea of how it should be try to play with steering wheel on the Lexus RX 400 (H, 330) and you'll hear nothing it doesn't have even 1 mm of gear lash in R&P assembly, it seems like everything is filed with butter and believe me ride quality depends on the conditions of steering assembly all together.
 

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LMM - After the dealer re-aligned 4 times I took it to an independent family owned alignment, body and frame shop I'd used and trusted in the past for alignments on my family's cars over the last 8 years.
The "before" readings were no where near the dealers last "after" readings and were out of spec both front and rear. Trusted tech called me and other shop tech's look at the "before" screen as they'd never seen readings on any vehicle (not previously wrecked) so far out of spec. I was escorted into the shop area due to insurance rules and was suprized the shop invited me into the work area. Incidently, mine was never wrecked or even brushed against a curb since new.
Now SRX doesn't pull, steering wheel's centered, seeks straight ahead direction with hands off wheel coming out of turns, etc, just like a car properly aligned!
Have noted however, that new R&P is not as tight feeling as original. Steering is too ez, like the old Chrysler "Coaxial PS" (I think that's what it was called) of the 60/70's which had no road feel at all.
 
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