Some 2005-10 4WD Tacoma and 2WD Tacoma PreRunner pickup trucks may emit a rattling sound from the steering column when being driven over bumpy roads. One likely cause for the noise, says Toyota, is a defective No. 2 intermediate steering shaft. Replacing the original steering shaft with an upgraded unit, Part No. 45220-04020, should eliminate the noise.
Start the fix by making sure the front wheels are straight, then install a steering wheel holder to lock the wheel in position. Next, remove the steering column hole cover on the floor by disengaging the four clips. Using a grease pencil, place match marks at the yoke of the No. 2 intermediate shaft where it connects to the steering column, then remove the one bolt and discard it.
Continue by getting the truck on a lift. Now remove the driver's side lower engine cover. Using the grease pencil again, place match marks on the lower splines of the No. 2 intermediate shaft and the coupler. Next, remove the upper bolt connecting the No. 1 intermediate shaft to the No. 2 shaft, loosen the lower bolt, then slide the No. 2 shaft up and out of the vehicle.
Using the illustration above, place the new No. 2 shaft next to the old and transfer the match marks to the new shaft in the exact same locations, as shown. Install the new No. 2 shaft into the vehicle, making sure all the marks align. Install a new bolt to secure the new shaft to the steering column, then torque all the bolts to 26 foot-pounds. Now reinstall the lower engine cover, lower the vehicle, install the steering column hole cover, remove the steering wheel holder and go on a road test to confirm that the rattling noise is gone. To complete the fix, calibrate the yaw rate and steering angle sensors as outlined in a repair manual.
GM says that the ignition key on some of its 2005-09 cars and light trucks may be difficult to remove and/or bind in the lock cylinder when trying to start the vehicle. The carmaker attributes the condition to a badly designed cylinder. Installing an improved lock cylinder, Part No. 20869121, will eliminate further trouble. Full installation and coding instructions are provided with the new part.
Vehicles that are most susceptible to the condition and can benefit from the new lock cylinder design are 2005-09 Chevy Cobalts; 2006-09 Pontiac Solstice sports cars; 2006-10 Chevy HHRs; and 2007-09 Chevy Equinox SUVs and Pontiac G5 coupes.
Some 1995-99 Sentra and 200SX models with the GA16DE four cylinder engine may shift harshly and/or be down on power when accelerating. One likely cause for both problems, says Nissan is a binding throttle cable.
To make a proper diagnosis, begin by adjusting the throttle cable to specifications. Next, start the engine, allow it to reach operating temperature, then shut it down. Now lean into the engine compartment and manually operate the throttle cable, checking for a binding condition. If you can feel the cable grab in the housing, replace it with an upgraded assembly, Part No. 31051-31X10. If the cable operates smoothly, you're most likely dealing with mechanical problems in the transmission.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].