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Discussion Starter #1
Recently flew to Florida for a month and left the RAV outside in the driveway. My neighbor started it up after 2 weeks, didn't move it but let it run for 5 or 10 minutes to top off the battery.
When I came back, I started it up and ran some local errands. As expected, the rotors were rusty but cleaned themselves off after a few stops. I was surprised the tires were flat-spotted as I keep 35-36 lbs in them but that too disappeared in a mile or two.
What puzzled me was the very stiff steering which didn't get back to normal till about 3 days of local driving. I know it's electric with no hydraulics, so what could have caused that? Could the linkage have stiffened up after a month of sitting?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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The power steering is mostly utilized at slow speeds, and parking lot maneuvers pull a lot of amperage from the battery. Have your battery load tested at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The power steering is mostly utilized at slow speeds, and parking lot maneuvers pull a lot of amperage from the battery. Have your battery load tested at once.
Battery's only 2 yrs old, but probably wouldn't hurt to get it checked, so will do.
 

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The batteries can cause a wide variety of issues, especially intermittent ones. It's surprising to see how many things can be caused by batteries (and not even very old ones!)
 

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Did you drive another make of car while you were in Florida? If so, could be that the power steering had a different feel from that on your RAV and when you began using your RAV again it took some time to get used to it again.

If I drive my wife's CR-V which has hydraulic power steering with a much lighter feel than my RAV's, getting used to the RAV's heavier steering again takes a bit of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you drive another make of car while you were in Florida? If so, could be that the power steering had a different feel from that on your RAV and when you began using your RAV again it took some time to get used to it again.

If I drive my wife's CR-V which has hydraulic power steering with a much lighter feel than my RAV's, getting used to the RAV's heavier steering again takes a bit of time.
Ha, funny you mentioned that! I rented a 2017 Hyundai Elantra and yes, it had very light steering. But, the RAV was VERY stiff when I took it out and it has gradually loosened up since. I'm inclined to think lower battery voltage is the culprit. I'll try to find time to take it for a long ride this afternoon, depending on how good the football game is.
 
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