Just got my first Subaru, a 99 Forester S :)
Maybe because it's my first time driving a Subaru,
I feel the steering wheel is very sentive to the road.
When the road is not flat, the wheel moves quite a bit.
So I have to hold it quite tight otherwise I'll be
changing directions if the road is a little bumpy.
I drove some other cars before but I didn't feel this
on other cars. When the road is a little bumpy, the
steering wheel remain quite stable. Not sure if it's
just this car or all Subies are more sensitive to road
Could be oversteer from tires being wrongly inflated... This effect is
amplified by a taller stance in a car. My girlfriend's Saturn VUE used to
handle like crap that way until we realized PSI was at 45 instead of the
suggested 28. ....Give it a try and see how it works out for you.
My 2000 Forest is not as you describe. Subaru's do however have "good
road feel". What you have may be as suggested high tire pressure. Tire
pressures should be 29 front and 26 rear although later Forester say
29/28. You may also have tires that are not tracking well due to funny
wear pattern or last but not least is the alignment. I suggest a test
drive in another Forester before spending much money.
Its not oversteer, it tramlining (Called so as the car tends to follow the
lines of joined tarmac) and is usually caused by the type of tyres and or
inflation pressures. Wider tyres tramline more than narrow tyres the bumps
in the road actually cause one side of the tyre to reduce in circumferance
as a result of the deflection (Causing a cone shape) while the other remains
the same this causes the steering effect you explained.
It could be torque steer but youd need to be accelarating plus, Subaru's
dont tend to suffer from this due to their superior AWD systems.
Check your tyre pressures and consider trying a new type of tyres next
The tire pressures were around 32 PSI, a little higher than 29/28.
I adjusted them to around 28-29 PSI. It helped but not a lot.
I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like this...the car runs fine
as long as I hold the wheel tight but it does steer a lot more
than the other cars I drove before when the road is bumpy.
What kind of tyres are on the vehicle? Are they matched ie same type of
tyre on left and right side of each axle (Arguably as car is AWD you should
have the same type of tyre all round and replace them all in one go and
rotate them through their lifetime).
Are the tyres evenly worn at each corner (IE same tread depth all round)?
Are the tyres evenly worn accros the contact patch?
What about alignment, is the toe correct on front and rear, get it laser
checked most places (In the UK anyway) will do this bit free? But make sure
they know what they are doing with Subaru AWD transmission.
OK getting more serious now, what about your suspension bushings are they
loose and worn? do you hear any subtle clunking/creaking noises as you go
over bumps, the suspension arms could be moving in the bushings? Grab the
wheel and firmly try to force it back and forward in directions it shouldnt
go, it should NEVER move in any direction other than to steer and to roll,
the bushings in my old WRX were gone in the rear and you could feel the rear
wheel click if you done this.
Hi Ross, thanks for the reply. Please see my answers inline.
They are all michelin tires 215/60-16, I didn't get the model but
they look all the same, should be the same model.
Yes, they look to have similar, normal wear.
Sorry, I don't really know what a toe is :-p
Not sure if they do that here in US. The car goes straight though.
I won't be able to answer these questions until I found
out what suspension bushings are ... I don't remember hearing
noise when it goes over bumps. The wheels seem tight but I'll
double check. When it goes over a bump, it could turn the
steering wheel by 90 degrees if I don't hold the wheel tight.
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