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'07 LS; EPS; FE1; 60K miles

Background: I installed a (used, not reman) rack and pinion and (new) intermediate shaft about a year ago. The old rack was seriously failing, and this took care of the problem.

The last few days, there's been intermittent noise when the steering wheel is slightly rotated with the car stopped. The noise was very 'metallic'; and, when I (slightly) rotated the pinion shaft by hand, it seemed like I could feel something catch. The noise was the same regardless of steering wheel angle. So, I figured change the rack, and this time don't get a used one.

Come today, the noise is absent. (OK, that's what intermittent means.) But, with the car stopped (engine running) in a parking lot, when I turn the steering wheel about 90 degrees, it locks up, pretty hard. I can push past it, but it takes considerable effort.

Now, the weirdness: after that happened, I tried the same thing on the street. No problem. Back to the parking lot; locked again, like before. Back to the street; no problem. In our driveway; no problem.

All I can think is that the parking lot tarvia is less worn smooth than the street, and that little extra resistance is causing ... something. So, I thought I'd see if anyone has any thoughts, before I spring for the rack.

Thanks
 

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60K miles On a rack??? That is a shock unless your car has been chasing curves and very deep pot holes that try to eat the entire wheel.
Test it again with the front wheels jacked up and unloaded (no weight on them).
I assume no error codes from the steering motor? Is there not a recall on the 07 steering motor?

How did you lubricate the i-shaft flex joint?
 
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