Hard steering..Is it a common problem for Sentras? - B15sentra.net - Nissan Sentra Forum
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#1 Old 01-12-2005, 09:56 PM
nckbdm
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Smile Hard steering..Is it a common problem for Sentras?

Hi...I have a Sentra 01, CA edtion. I recently went to visit my brother and when I drove his Toyota Corolla(98) I found that the streeing wheel was really smooth(can turn all the way to one end with one hand) and I know it is not like that in my car. When I came back, to make sure that my car does not have a problem, I drove another Sentra(01) of a friend of mine and I found that the streeing wheel was as hard as mine(not that easy to turn with one hand). Is this something common in all Sentras(01) or something is wrong with my streeing and my friend's one?
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#2 Old 01-12-2005, 10:04 PM
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Check your power steering fluid, you may need to fill it up some, or replace it. Also, if you have wider rims, that will make a difference as well. Really sticky tires can also do this.

I think the SE's have front sway bars (not sure) this will add rigidity and unity to the steering response, and can also make the turning feel stiffer.

Many possible things. Turning the wheel in my Spec-V is not as effortless as it was in my old Accord, but it has wider, stickier tires, and a more sporty suspension. At the same time, I also have more feedback and control because of this.

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#3 Old 01-12-2005, 10:44 PM
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Assuming nothing is wrong (which I doubt since it's similar to another you tested, and failures are rare), it's normal, and in fact good. Good because you will get more information about the road, tires, grip etc. etc. than you ever would with an over-boosted system (like the toyota).
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#4 Old 01-13-2005, 05:24 AM
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Not to be a dick. But if you tried to turn the wheel while the car is not moving=bad idea. Its hard on PS unit and tires. As long as you are moving there is very little difference among cars.

I always shake my head when I see people in parking lots turn the wheel from when car is not moving. Folks just don't have a clue.

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#5 Old 01-13-2005, 06:36 AM
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Hmm never thought of that before...

Wouldn't those stresses be a design concern for the power steering system? I've never heard anyone say that not turning the wheels while the car is stationary is important.

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#6 Old 01-13-2005, 11:44 AM
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Hmm never thought of that before...

Wouldn't those stresses be a design concern for the power steering system? I've never heard anyone say that not turning the wheels while the car is stationary is important.
Well its designed to do it. The have to design for folks that don't do it. But it requires much higher pressures in the pump which will wear it out quicker and cause seal failures more readily and again you leave pieces of tire on the road.. You have to remember that cars I learned on didn't have power steering so I have always done it.

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#7 Old 01-13-2005, 01:16 PM
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My sentra has some of the stiffest steering of any non-power steering car I've driven, and I like it like that. Nissan probably just uses a lower strength power steering unit in the car than more expensive cars come with.
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#8 Old 01-13-2005, 01:31 PM
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^^^^ huh??? your sentra has power steering, and I doubt that nissan put the same unit in their economy model that more expensive cars use - most luxury cars use a regressive-rate power steering system so that it is easier to turn your car at low speeds, but at high speeds a slight twitch does not send you towards the ditch. Most lower-price cars come with one ratio for their power steering, in an attempt to find a healthly/safe balance between low speed and highway speed turning.

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#9 Old 01-13-2005, 01:49 PM
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Nissan does advertise the speed-sensitive steering on the Spec, but I dunno how much of a difference it makes.

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#10 Old 01-15-2005, 06:23 AM
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My car's steering is a little bit stiff at all speeds -- but that's ok because then road feel is better. It's noticeably lighter with the snow tires on than with the summer alll-weather tires. Different styles of tires will make a big difference, I know from nearly 30 years' experience driving. Also, check inflation pressure.

I agree, don't turn when you're dead-stopped. Probably won't cause a sudden failure, but will accelerate wear of your tires-tie rods-pump-etc. if you do it all the time. If you ever drove a manual steering car you'd know why.

My Sentra's power steering sometimes reverts to 'armstrong' steering when I try to turn it fast when moving very slowly or stopped. Feels to me just like a manual steering car would in a similar situation. This could be a design problem -- too small a pump, not enough pump capacity for the force needed. I'm not going to worry about this, it's a minor annoyance and I'm on guard for it when doing tight parking maneuvers.
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#11 Old 01-15-2005, 08:35 AM
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Yesterday I drove a 95 Toyota Tercel..man… the steering was so smooth like in the Corolla.....I feel like my Sentra does not have power steering.....specially when u are about to take the car out of a garage or a parking lot...that is where you have to do most of the steering...... I think when u are parking the car in a place where there is no much room you have to do some dry steering whether u like it or not. As this is my only vehicle I get used to the stiffness of the steering wheel......as a matter of face I did not even know that is was hard until I drove this Corolla......I am the first owner of this car and it has original Bridgestone 195/65 tires...and they are always properly inflated according to the specifications given in the owner's manual. I am using an electronic gauge that I bought at Sears to measure the tire pressure. If it is accurate then my tire pressure is alright.
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#12 Old 01-25-2005, 08:35 AM
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My '00 feels great. It's power assisted steering, not the boat like feel I have felt in cars like the Lincoln Town car. Nowhere near as hard as an '85 RX7 or '81 Mustang with no PS.

Yea, don't dry steer, my driving instructor taught us that (back in 1993) but it came as common sense to me any way.
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#13 Old 01-25-2005, 09:38 AM
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i like the steering on the sentra. i test drove a couple corollas, a camry, civic, and it just seemed like the sentra steered better. the corollas and camry's steering was a little more effortless. but it was more difficult to do a u-turn in a corolla than in a sentra. i tended to oversteer with the corolla, i couldnt get a sense of the road or grip of the tires. i would be afraid of hydroplaning in wet weather.
i can easily steer my sentra with one hand. no problem. and i like that i can feel the grip of the tires and feel the road better. i can tell if the tires are low on air or if i'm hydroplaning.
try driving an older pickup or car. then compare that to the sentra....i had a 1996 Ford Explorer before and it was a pain to steer. it had power steering but it didnt feel like it. definitely had to use both hands to crank that wheel around.

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