binding sound when turning steering wheel while stopped/at low speed? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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binding sound when turning steering wheel while stopped/at low speed?

The last week or two I've noticed what I can only describe as a "binding" sound while turning the steering wheel while the car is either stopped or going very slowly (ie maneuvering out of a parking space). At speed everything appears to be fine.

Any idea what might be causing this, and whether or not it is cause for concern? My warranty is expiring in 8 weeks, FWIW, haha...
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 01:53 PM
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Can you describe the situation a bit more...

Type of sound: Creaking, squeaking or whizzing, whirring buzzing?

Is it a sound only or also vibration or sensation through the wheel?

Affected by engine rpm or not?

Affected by amount of steering travel ie: only near end of travel?

Anything else to describe it?

Slow/parking conditions have both the highest load on the steering system and the lowest ambient noise. That makes any steering issue more noticeable.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 02:08 PM
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Are you are referring to the clicking/ mild groan? Mine does it intermittently.

Does it sound like this?


One possible cause was the clock spring, but mine was replaced a while back for an unrelated issue. It didn't make a difference.

There is also supposed to be a TSB regarding the clicking: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f170...lletin-117914/
But no one has actually listed the TSB.

Some say its the spacer, but it appears that usually goes with front/back play in the wheel. Mine has absolutely no play.

One other possibility is the steering column. zymotix3 had his replaced several times and it appears that his is the only one that it stopped making noise on.

I'm not sure anyone came up with a definitive root cause or 100% fix.

BTW, some say it gets more pronounce with temperature change. I tend to agree.
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Last edited by 2011 chrome orange; 10-21-2015 at 02:23 PM.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texevora View Post
My warranty is expiring in 8 weeks, FWIW, haha...
I suggest that you take it to the dealer. Even if they can't fix it, you'll have it documented that the problem started prior to the warranty expiration and that means Lotus should be responsible for it even after the expiry. And if they fix it and it comes back, the repair should be warrantied.

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Originally Posted by 2011 chrome orange View Post
Does it sound like this?
[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?
OMG... that would drive me crazy in one day.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 04:19 PM
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Holy cow! The clicking in that video is intense! Every so often, when traveling at slow speeds and turning the wheel quickly, my wheel sounds like fabric rubbing, kind of like wind breaker material. It's often light and lasts for one turn and it's gone. I thought about having it looked into, but decided it wasn't worth it. Nothing even close to that clicking.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 04:58 PM
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I agree. That bad of a noise would drive me crazy too.

But, that isn't my car or my video. It was made by phaphaphooey back in January. I only posted it to see if that is what texevora was referring to.

Also, I note that it was made in January because I wonder if it sounds worse in colder weather as some have mentioned.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 05:27 PM
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I thought that video looked familiar. Still haven't gotten it fixed. Waiting for my car to go into limp mode again so I can convince Lotus to change my engine wiring harness out while it is in for service. It still makes the noise and it is definitely worse in the cold.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 06:50 PM
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unlike phaphaphooey, my steering noise was 3-4 spaced out individual clicks during slow parking turns, most noticeable when backing out while turning steering wheel, fixed by replacement of pinion rack


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:52 AM
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If you have someone outside the vehicle and they hear a creaking/clicking type sound that you'd think was coming from the aero venting zone, have them check your steering rack. My was replaced because it was binding. Inside car it will be a creaking, popping type noise as you are moving off center esp at slow speeds. Also your steering may feel slightly vague.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zymotix3 View Post
unlike phaphaphooey, my steering noise was 3-4 spaced out individual clicks during slow parking turns, most noticeable when backing out while turning steering wheel, fixed by replacement of pinion rack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ikEXhG4R_o
This is exactly the sound that I am having. I'm dreading going through my local dealer, but i guess i will have to in this case.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 05:57 AM
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Good luck with the bleeding of the rack. Find a section of road being ground down for repaving. The vibrations are great for getting the air out from front to rear of car.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 04:28 PM
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As long as you have dealer initiate the warranty issue before warranty expiration, Lotus should be covering the cost for the fix if the issue goes beyond the deadline. But I would definitely bring it in. Mine started out infrequently, and then over time it was happening every time I slow turn. Not sure if there would have been anything more than minor annoyance, but I drove with the clicks for around 6 months before bringing it in for them to address it.

MY13 IPS, no steering play.

Just to recap what my dealer did:
- Noted original steering clicks, replaced steering column, added spacer, spring clock also replaced. Noted leaking pinion rack and replaced.
- Newly replaced pinion rack did not solve issue. Dealer diagnosed new pinion rack also defective, reordered 3rd pinion rack.
- 3rd pinion rack put in, original clickings gone.

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Last edited by zymotix3; 10-23-2015 at 04:46 PM.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 04:42 PM
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What's odd is that its a TRW rack which is supposed to be a really good piece.

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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Are you sure this is accurate as far as Lotus covering the fix as long as the original issue was brought to attention before the warranty ended?

I brought my car into the dealer in Nov/Dec last year (2015) for the steering rack creaking issue. They said they lubricated something (don't have the paperwork in front of me right now), and I still get the creaking sound. My local dealer rarely fixes things first time around, and my warranty has now expired.



Quote:
Originally Posted by zymotix3 View Post
As long as you have dealer initiate the warranty issue before warranty expiration, Lotus should be covering the cost for the fix if the issue goes beyond the deadline. But I would definitely bring it in. Mine started out infrequently, and then over time it was happening every time I slow turn. Not sure if there would have been anything more than minor annoyance, but I drove with the clicks for around 6 months before bringing it in for them to address it.

MY13 IPS, no steering play.

Just to recap what my dealer did:
- Noted original steering clicks, replaced steering column, added spacer, spring clock also replaced. Noted leaking pinion rack and replaced.
- Newly replaced pinion rack did not solve issue. Dealer diagnosed new pinion rack also defective, reordered 3rd pinion rack.
- 3rd pinion rack put in, original clickings gone.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 2011 chrome orange View Post
Are you are referring to the clicking/ mild groan? Mine does it intermittently.

Does it sound like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFFo...ature=youtu.be


One possible cause was the clock spring, but mine was replaced a while back for an unrelated issue. It didn't make a difference.

There is also supposed to be a TSB regarding the clicking: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f170...lletin-117914/
But no one has actually listed the TSB.

Some say its the spacer, but it appears that usually goes with front/back play in the wheel. Mine has absolutely no play.

One other possibility is the steering column. zymotix3 had his replaced several times and it appears that his is the only one that it stopped making noise on.

I'm not sure anyone came up with a definitive root cause or 100% fix.

BTW, some say it gets more pronounce with temperature change. I tend to agree.

mine just started doing that today and it just happens to be the coldest day of the year by far in texas (basically freezing). i am going to try and spray lithium grease up in the steering shaft later to see if that helps any. anyone else find a solution to this issue?

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 07:25 PM
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I did end up getting the noise from the video addressed when the car went to the dealer. The spray lithium grease did the trick. I was told that some rubber boot was rubbing on some part. They adjusted the rubber part, used some lubricant, and the noise hasn't been back since.

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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 05:30 PM
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I did end up getting the noise from the video addressed when the car went to the dealer. The spray lithium grease did the trick. I was told that some rubber boot was rubbing on some part. They adjusted the rubber part, used some lubricant, and the noise hasn't been back since.
I actually had time to look that was definitely the issue. Follow the steering column to what would traditionally be called the firewall in a front engine car and the is a boot/grommet that the steering column goes into. When it got cold (I am not a mechanic or engineer though lol) the rubber shrank and when the steering column turned it binded up with the rubber. it was very obvious visually and by sound when I got under the steering wheel. Lithium grease on it, problem solved.

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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 04:50 AM
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When greasing rubber, I am wary of type of lubricant; many (often petroleum based) will degrade the rubber being lubricated. One consideration is using Castrol Red Rubber Grease.....just a thought..........

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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 10:03 PM
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Steering squeak Fixed

I have had that binding sound in my steering (when cold) since the car was brand new. I complained while the car was under warranty and the dealer changed the so called clock spring in the steering column. Within a few days the same problem started again, so I just decided to live with it since it only happens when the car is cold.

Well, jumping forward a couple of years, I felt my clutch pedal was not operating smoothly, it felt like it might be binding a little bit, I could even feel the binding affect the throttle pedal. That may seem impossible since the throttle is really not connected to the same support as the clutch pedal, at least it appears that way. Anyhow, I decided to crawl under the dash and try to shoot some silicone lubricant on the joints where the clutch pedal pivots from. While under there and lubricating what I could at least see, I happen to grab the steering wheel and turn it just to see if there was anything binding in it. It was then that I noticed the steering shaft going through the rubber boot at the firewall. The rubber boot seemed so tight that it twisted with the steering shaft until it snapped back. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, the rubber boot was the culprit of that binding sound I've been hearing since the car was new. It never was the clock spring or spacer, but rather that rubber boot binding on the steering shaft and sounding like a binding spring sound. I took a very small flat head screwdriver and pried the rubber boot open just enough to spray some of the silicone lubricant between the boot and the shaft. Wow! That fixed the problem in the steering I've lived with for three years! Not only fixed the binding spring sound, but made my steering feel better than it has since the car was new! It is actually smoother, easier and quieter to turn the steering wheel now. It is unbelievable that a simple rubber boot surrounding the steering shaft could make that binding sound all the way up the steering column and make you think it is at the steering wheel itself. Now when I back out of my garage and turn the car, it is noticeably much smoother and easier to turn. Could a rubber boot simply surrounding the steering shaft make that big of a difference? YES, it can and did!

Well, for anybody having that binding sound in their steering, it's an easy fix if they can squeeze under the drivers side dash and lubricate that boot with a little silicon spray. I think a silicon type of lubricant would be much better than an oil based lubricate on the rubber boot. Even if some of you aren't experiencing that binding sound in your steering wheel, you will probably feel a difference in how easy your steering wheel turns by simply lubricating the shaft where it goes through the boot, I could sure feel the difference even when the car is warmed up. Oh, and don't forget to take off the bottom dash cover (2 screws) before attempting to squeeze underneath the dash, that couple of inches makes a big difference for a guy my size.

Cheers
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Last edited by EFE EVS; 03-03-2017 at 10:23 PM.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 05:02 AM
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Great info: I recall quote by A. Einstein, I believe:
"It's simple to make things complicated; complicated to make them simple" - paraphrased........
When you hear hoofbeats, don't think of zebras............

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