The number of potential steering problems with a Toyota Yaris can be numerous, though Toyotas are known for their reliability. Nevertheless, as with all vehicles, even Toyotas will eventually break down and experience problems. Unfortunately, most steering problems that automobiles experience require the hands of a skilled and trained mechanic. Unless you have a high degree of experience and familiarity with automotive systems, do not attempt to repair steering and alignment problems on your own.
If you are having increased difficulty steering the Toyota Yaris, you should first check your tire pressure and the power steering fluid level. Tire pressure can also affect your gas mileage and is easy to check with a gauge. Other problems could include the front wheels being out of alignment with the amount of toe-in, camber or castor. If the balljoints do not have enough lubricant sealed inside of them, you may also experience difficulty steering. Alignment and lubrication problems can also lead to difficulty keeping the car centred.
Decreased Steering Stability
If you are experiencing a decreased ability to stabilise the car while steering and if the car is drifting easily over the road, the tires may be mismatched or uneven. Make sure that both front tires are exactly the same size. Do the same for the rear tires. It is not always necessary that the front and rear tires match. Other issues leading to decreased steering stability may include wheels out of alignment, a loose stabiliser bar, worn-out springs and struts, and lack of lubricant in the ball joints.
Reduced Control When Braking
If you have reduced control when braking, either your steering, suspension or braking system may be at fault. First, check your braking system to make sure that your pads, discs and drums are still in good shape and do not show signs of wearing out-- such as cracks or rust. Additionally, the Yaris' wheel bearings may be worn out or the strut and spring system may be broken or sagging.
Vibration and Shaking
If you experience vibration and shaking during steering, the wheels may be out of balance or out of round. Check your tires for possible bumps or blisters that may be causing the vibrations while driving. The wheels may also have an excessive runout, which is an indication of needing realignment. Other causes for shaking and vibration may include loose or damaged wheel bearings, worn tie-rod ends or damaged balljoints.
- "Haynes Repair Manual Nissan Maxima 1993-2004"; Haynes Publishing; 2005
- AA1car.com: Diagnosis & Repair Help for Steering, Suspension & Alignment Problems
- Family Car: A Short Course On Wheel Alignment
- Automechanics: Car Maintenance 101: Diagnosing Your Car's Steering Problems (Part II)
- If It Jams: Diagnosing Rack and Pinion Steering Problems