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Doug C.
Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 8652
Experience:  ASE Certified Technician
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could you please tell me what is involved in changing steering

Customer Question

could you please tell me what is involved in changing steering shaft on a 2005 toyota avensis,what has to be touched & removed to change the steering shaft & could you explain in fine detail please.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Doug C. replied 5 years ago.

I suspect you are referring to the intermediate shaft that fails on these. This is not too difficult to change but extreme care needs to be taken while changing it as a mistake can lead to airbag problems.

You will need to get the vehicle elevated so that the front wheels are off the ground. Remove the driver side front tire.
Looking through the wheel well you will see where the steering shaft attaches to the steering gear.
You should have the pinch bolt on the bottom of the shaft pointing at you. If not, rotate the steering slightly so that it is.
Remove the lower pinch bolt, it is a 12mm bolt.

Inside the car, pull the seatbelt out all the way and tie it around the bottom of the steering wheel. This prevents the wheel from turning too much and damaging the airbag components in the column.

From below again use some paint to mark the alignment of the shaft to the steering gear. These are typically not keyed so you want to get it as close to the same spot as possible, if not dead on. Just make a paint mark you will remember... either in reference to the bolt head or the "slot" where the pinch comes together, etc.
Slide the steering shaft up off the steering gear. This can take some gently persuasion with a pry bar but usually will slip up and off without too much trouble.
Once off, the steering wheel is free to move, which is why we tied it up with the seat belt.

Back above look at the foot well where the steering shaft passes through. There are two designs possible here; either a boot that covers the shaft that needs to be pulled off, or an exposed shaft in a large rubber ring. Being a 2005 you should most likely have the exposed shaft.

Again you will have a 12mm bolt holding the shaft to the column, remove it.
Paint mark the column so that the new shaft can be reassembled in the same position.
Slide the steering shaft off the column... this can be a bit tricky. Every once in a while you get lucky and it slips right off, but often you will have to take a drift and a hammer and tap it down the column end to remove it. They like to stick on the column.

Once removed you can pull the gear and rubber boot out through the interior.

Installation is in reverse order of course, and do your best to get your paint marks lined up. With adequate paint marking (I like to mark in the end where the pinch meets) there is no reason why you shouldn't get it dead on again.
If you find you are slightly off, you can slide the shaft off and adjust it over a tooth, or you can simply take it for an alignment to compensate the toe. You will only want to use the toe alignment to fix 1-3 teeth off though. Any more than that and the rack will be significantly off center. Again there is no reason not to get it dead on during reassembly if it is paint marked adequately though.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Do you have to touch anything to do with the timing belt or cam belt.i have a friend who had their steering shaft changed & since then they have had problems.their oil light has been flashing,vsc light came on & engine are wanting to charge them a significant amount of money that they just cant afford but toyota are just saying its bad had their car on fri 8th feb & it was picked up sat 9th,my friend had been ill all week so the car wasnt used until the following saturday & thats when this all started,so within 1 week & the car not being used & never having problems with the car before ever,they now have this going on.

Expert:  Doug C. replied 5 years ago.

Their is no need to fool with anything timing belt related when replacing the steering shaft.

With regard to the VSC and engine light however, if the shaft was not installed correctly (off center due to not marking the column and gear on removal) and they used to the toe adjustment excessively to center the wheel (as I warned against) then this will turn these lights on as the steering angle velocity sensor will give an incorrect reading and need to be recalibrated (as with any time a significant adjustment to the alignment is made).

The oil light is not relevant to this repair either, and I can't honestly see any way they could have knocked the sensor wire off or anything like that.

While I am always a firm supporter of "there is no such thing as coincidence", and typically when a car comes in for one problem and leaves with 3 more it is always related, sometimes these things do happen. I always raise an eyebrow at the accuracy of the account as well just in case someone was trying to pull a fast one.

The best thing to do would be to determine what fault(s) are turning on the VSC and engine light and go from there. The oil light will need to have the sensor checked out to make sure it is connected and if so a mechanical pressure test will need to be taken to see if it is an accurate reading and proceed from there.

Again just to be clear..... timing belt work is not needed to get to the steering shaft. The oil pressure light should not have any relation to the work either. The engine/VSC lights may be related depending on if the alignment was changed significantly or not if the shaft was installed off center, but ultimately would require scanning the faults to see what problem or problems are being reported to determine if it is possible they affected something in the area during the job.

As rare as it is my first instinct jsut because of the so very separate natures of each issue are that there is no relation whatsoever. The second instinct that I prefer to think is incorrect is that these are deliberate issues, in which case a second opinion (hands on inspection that is) would be in order to verify what is going on.