I've used this forum quite a few times but never had anything to offer in the way of tips however a few months back I had this steering problem that gradually got worse.
46k miles, slight stiffness that seem to come and go till eventually it was quite off putting. Would stay where I put it into a corner and I could put on full lock and it would stay there (there a field behind my house to play on).
Reading all the posts it sounded like it was going to be expensive and thinking that the stealers could plug it in and tell me what was wrong I took it to them. Got a £40 price quote for the investigation, dropped it off and waited for the call.
Quote was £800ish for a steering rack and maybe another £800 for the pump, nothing on the computer though. 'Like driving a thruppeny bit mate, which i agreed with though the price I thought was outrageous.
Initialy I said just do it and slammed the phone down but after a cuppa I rang them and told them to leave it alone. I figured if anyone was going to make any money my local garage would be the ones.
The boys fitted it in the next day and took a look, rang me mid morning, sit down they said......£30, sorted, come and get it when you like!
What had they done?, greased the ball joints is all, they think the inner end of the track rods was the problem, anyhow, 4000 miles later and still fine.
I wrote to the dealer and complained and got my £40 quid back, told them what I thought of there diagnostic skills.
They keep phoning to tell me about my MOT or such like so I've had lots of opportunities to tell them where to poke the offer of service from them.
So a good story of a cheap fix, but as usual, not from a dealer.....