2nd Generation GE8 Specific DIY: Repair & Maintenance Sub-Forum Threads discussing repairs and maintenance you can do yourself on the 2nd generation Honda Fit (GE8)

Squirely steering on the highway: Any Consensus?

  #1  
Old 03-02-2015, 07:29 PM
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Squirely steering on the highway: Any Consensus?

At highway speed my 2013 feels like it randomly wants to wander a little to the left and right, not like its settled in a groove. Apparently this is not unusual from looking at past posts. Some have said its related to tire pressure, the width of the tires or the brand or that it needs an alignment or that an afternarket rear stabilizer bar will help. Is there a consensus on this for my generation of Fit?
Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 03-02-2015, 07:41 PM
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crosswind will do that.

im sure a front swaybar will improve things but the install process is kind of a pita and ive not done it on mine. plus i only drive surface roads 99% of the time in this car.
 
  #3  
Old 03-03-2015, 12:06 AM
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My first highway trip with my '10 Sport, I found the same thing. My wife STILL wanders when she's driving it on the highway. I've gotten used to the steering, and it seems 90% of the time, my car doesn't wander, doesn't feel the least bit squirrely.

I hate to say "get used to it", but when I first got the car I noticed that the electric power steering is a lot more sensitive than the hydraulic steering on any other car I've driven. It's all I drive, now, but my wife drives a 1990 Taurus usually, with hydraulic steering.

I'm NOT saying there isn't something strange with your car, there might be something loose in your front end, or uneven tire pressure, or something like that (or it could be really windy!). How long have you had the car?
 
  #4  
Old 03-03-2015, 07:54 AM
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Good article... Tramlining: Coping with the Ruts in the Road

I've had this on my new GK on some smooth but highly grooved concrete.
 

Last edited by tbFit; 03-03-2015 at 07:56 AM.
  #5  
Old 03-03-2015, 08:29 AM
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Oneoldphlaytis:

2010FitInSKL hit the nail on the head. When I first drove my 2012, I experienced the same sensation…that the car tended to wander, that the narrow tires and light weight of the vehicle, as well as the "sensitive" steering…was unusual.

Assuming there really isn't a problem with your car, and it's just a matter of adapting to the "feel" of it, I suspect that you'll learn to love it.
 
  #6  
Old 03-03-2015, 10:46 AM
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The only time I find it tough is when there's a crosswind. It doesn't take much of one since the side of the car is so large in ratio to the wheel track.

Changing wheels (and thus track) and tires helped a lot with it.

If it's not windy at all and it's wandering, it's probably wheels, tires, or alignment. I don't think adding a sway bar anywhere is going to help anything. I don't even have a rear sway (base model) and I can cruise on the highway without putting any pressure on the wheel as long as it's not windy. Those shouldn't even come into play when you're driving straight...
 
  #7  
Old 03-03-2015, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tbFit View Post
Good article... Tramlining: Coping with the Ruts in the Road

I've had this on my new GK on some smooth but highly grooved concrete.
+1
put new tires on my 2009 Fit, wife complained it was wandering on the hwy but I couldn't feel it - until I did the school pickup run, that has grooved concrete..

these are 195/60 R15 Michelins, generally excellent, car is stable at 80mph+ on the Wyo highways except when that Wyo wind is blowing..
 
  #8  
Old 03-03-2015, 12:56 PM
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I've only noticed it wandering when there was wind. Otherwise, it goes where I point it.
 
  #9  
Old 03-03-2015, 02:01 PM
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My 2011 Sport was unstable in the wind on expressways when new. It was much worse than the Protégé 5 I traded in for it.

I checked the front toe, it was toed out 1/16". Toe out isn't good for straight line performance. I adjusted the toe to 1/16 toe in. Most of the problem was solved with that simple adjustment. It still has the stock wheels and tires.

Honda tolerance for front toe is 0 +-.12". Honda probably would have said it's in tolerance and done nothing to correct the problem.


Clifton
 

Last edited by flash75; 03-03-2015 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Correct spacing
  #10  
Old 03-04-2015, 08:45 PM
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I think that Honda did not do a good job of calibrating the electronic power steering on the 2nd gen fit. It's way too responsive (twitchy) and does not have a lot of feedback so the car feels squirely at highway speeds. I get the sensation of playing a car video game on the Playstation console. The car is just awful in the crosswinds.
 
  #11  
Old 03-04-2015, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by flash75 View Post
My 2011 Sport was unstable in the wind on expressways when new. It was much worse than the Protégé 5 I traded in for it.

I checked the front toe, it was toed out 1/16". Toe out isn't good for straight line performance. I adjusted the toe to 1/16 toe in. Most of the problem was solved with that simple adjustment. It still has the stock wheels and tires.

Honda tolerance for front toe is 0 +-.12". Honda probably would have said it's in tolerance and done nothing to correct the problem.


Clifton
This is a very good suggestion for those of you that would like to tone down the twitchyness a little bit without buying any new parts.

Mine is actually toed out on purpose but I like the turn in response, and it doesn't bother me on the highway (as long as it's not windy)
 
  #12  
Old 03-04-2015, 09:56 PM
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It very well could be the electric power steering. To me it's kind of like a video game too ... no real road feel, the only cues are visual. It reminds me very much of a 2010 Corolla, which also has electric power steering.
 
  #13  
Old 03-05-2015, 07:31 AM
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GE8 Sport owner here. Tramlining is a bit of a problem but only on grooved pavement. Crosswinds tend to be counteracted easily by careful attention to steering inputs, but the issue does indeed exist. It is tolerable, though, in my experience, nothing traumatic or threatening in the slightest.

That being said, I speak as a prior owner of a Chrysler 300M Special, where our benevolent Chrysler overlords decided sticking super low profile sport tires on a relatively stock chassis with stiffened shocks translates into making a Corvette out of a Camry. Over 100 mph (not that I had EVER done this :P), it most certainly does. The car had the granitic force of Jupiter at those speeds. At anything below 80, it would track grooves in the pavement as if it were a religious obligation, with immense desires to wander towards any direction the shoes found themselves directed towards. I don't think any car can be accused of tramlining before driving a 300M Special.

In short, the GE8 Fit Sport (can't speak to the base or the prior or newest models) has some mild but easily controllable issues with crosswinds and maintaining a steady track.
 
  #14  
Old 03-05-2015, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by flash75 View Post
I checked the front toe, it was toed out 1/16". Toe out isn't good for straight line performance. I adjusted the toe to 1/16 toe in. Most of the problem was solved with that simple adjustment. It still has the stock wheels and tires.
Interesting suggestion. If you don't mind my asking, how does this affect the handling outside of straight line highway driving? Have you noticed any adverse effects or differences in turning, steering feel, accuracy, etc.?
 
  #15  
Old 03-05-2015, 08:51 PM
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No change in steering feel, accuracy or turning. I drive on public roads, if on a track the change would probably make a difference.


Clifton
 
  #16  
Old 03-05-2015, 10:30 PM
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just wanted to throw my 2 cents in here, as it's something i've struggled with since purchasing the car last may (a 2013 base model, brand new). i otherwise love the thing but the highway stability is, frankly, horrid. i had a 2010 insight previously and it was awful as well. in contrast, my old '98 civic dx with 205/45r16's with stock suspension that my girlfriend now drives is a dream compared to either of these.

the first time i'd driven the insight on the interstate with a little wind, i was on a 40 mile journey and by the time i arrived my hands and arms were aching from gripping onto the steering wheel so hard trying to keep the thing in its lane. when i got home that evening in the same conditions, i took the civic out for a short trip on the interstate to check out if it was really that bad, and the thing stayed planted, nice and straight.

i really, really hate this about the car. i'm going to be putting some 16's on the fit soon with 205/50s and pray that it helps out. if not, the fit's probably going to find a new home unfortunately. i love the car otherwise, but this is just awful.
 
  #17  
Old 06-16-2015, 11:16 PM
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yeah, my fit is a little sloppy on the highway, but i've gotten used to it. just bought my rear sway bar, don't think it'll help on the straights, but am hoping it will help in other areas upping my overall feel.
 
  #18  
Old 06-17-2015, 04:58 AM
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I have no problem usually. It will track with hands off pretty much. I do find because of our narrow track it will wander on some roads where traffic has more or less cause two depressions and our cars will either have one side or the other in one of them. It may tend to feel like it is squirely as it goes from one to the other.
 

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