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Discussion Starter #1
Got the new 04/blue/5sp/ac yesterday (#543). Of course, had to take a drive. I noticed right off that the steering is responsive - too responsive.

At freeway speeds on straight, level, wide roads. I have to continuously 'jiggle' the wheel to keep it inbetween the white lines. It seems to have incremental adjustments rather than smooth moves. I move the steering wheel just a fraction to the right and it seems to take 2 or 3 degrees. This means than within a second I have to nudge it gently to the left which the car then starts drifting for the left white line. Over a few hundred miles this takes up a LOT of attention. I can only imagine what this would be like at 90mph.

I expected it to be more 'sporty' than a Civic/Accord but this is a bit too much. It can not be left 'unattended' for a second, and it does not favor any side. I've had sports cars (and a CRX) for years. This was not expected. If you plot my progress down the road from above it would be a zigzag.

Could it be toe-in?

Anybody else have this problem?
 

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SPeacock said:
Could it be toe-in?
Yes, it could. Perhaps an alignment check is in order. That should answer the question.

Too much negative toe (toe-in) would make the steering too responsive to turn input. Not enough, or even positive toe, would tend to make it wander.

Just keep in mind that the Insight has responsive steering, but with the relatively narrow tires and F/R track differential, it tends to follow road grooves, etc, much more than other cars.
 

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I have a 2000 model, and have never had a problem with the steering at any speed, even at speeds above 100mph. It could be the toe, alignment, the electronic power steering may need adjusting, but it sounds like a problem that you should be able to take it in to Honda and have them fix. The steering on the Insight is indeed "tight", but you shouldn't be having to constantly be giving steering corrections when you're going straight. I've noticed virtually no "dead spot" in the steering, and have found that the steering, while sensitive to inputs, is very linear in its operation. From what you've said, I'd say your car needs to be looked at, hopefully they'll fix whatever the problem is (under warranty I'd imagine) so you can enjoy your Insight to the fullest.
 

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Guess I'll have to chime in on the other side of the coin. The OP's car sounds a lot like my '00. It requires constant, unwavering, "both hands on the wheel" attention to stay on the road. The vast majority of my driving lately has been 70-75 MPH, smooth roads with just a hint of "rutting", 25-35 MPH cross or head wind.

A couple of weeks ago, after 3 hours of constant attention, I made the mistake of taking one hand off the wheel to get a sip of water. A rogue gust of wind hit and I was suddenly about 1/2 a lane to the left of where I was. My CRX has never performed like that and now that I run 195/50 tires it feels like it is glued to the road.

I always just thought the Insight's problem was the poor handling of the stock Brigestones. Kind of wating to see if anything develops on the other "my car handles like crap" threads. If not, I'll probably get the allignment checked and if that turns out OK, the next step will be to invest in some type of tire which will offer a bit better control.

I have always had the feeling that the Insight was primarily a city / short commuter car, but with slightly better handling, it could be a great cross-country touring machine as well.
 

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My Insight when properly aligned and not being influenced by side winds or ruts will hold a straight line for over a mile. I find ruts can be disconcerting but they rarely go off the road, so they're not dangerous IMO.
 

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Check your tire pressure. With the track being narrower in the rear and low air pressure any "wiggle" will be magnified.
(Dealers deliver new cars with low pressure.)

I use the std Bridgestone tires on the front and wider Goodyear Integritys on the rear. It cured most of the "wiggle" from the rain grooves here in Sunny Calif.

Long trips?...........Been across the USA in the Insight (and back) three times in three years and going again soon. No problem at high speed, construction zones?...........now thats a different story.
 

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I believe I experience what you are talking about. I got used to it and don't notice it any more. If it is the fault of the electric steering it would be because electric steering is incremental not linear. If this is the case a tiny adjustment of the steering to the left or right would cure the problem as it would put one increment straight ahead. I've never bothered, but if you do have something done let us know.
 

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steering

The simple solution to solve your 'problem' is to remove the hard-as-a-rock, ultra-low-performance tires, and put on just about any other tire in the correct size range. You'll lose some (alot if you like to drive at lower highway speeds) fuel economy, but the car will offer a 'normal' steering feel, better braking, better handling, and better stability in windy conditions.
 
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Hi All:

___The Insight is spec’ed w/ 0” of TOE right from the factory so it is an inherently “twitchy” or better described as a performance feel design. Adding a ¼” will help stability but your fuel economy will probably suffer by upwards of 5%. I simply got used to the Insight’s fast steering inputs and kept its fuel economy at its maximum.

___If I ever get the MDX’s or Corolla aligned; I am hoping to go to this 0” setting as well …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:301yqzls][email protected][/email:301yqzls]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So the gent at the service area says, "We don't have an opening until June 3rd...and don't expect much, we get a lot of calls that turn out to be nothing...". Thanks for the encouraging words (Goudy Honda, Alhambra).

So I get the number for the Long Beach Honda guys from 411 and spend a few anxious minutes chatting with the service guy explaining my problem. He keeps asking interesting questions with a lot of "HMMMS" and thoughtful pauses. Then he finally asks, "What model Honda is that?".

"Insight", I say.

"Yeaaaahhh... Is that the european model?", he asks tentatively.

It turns out the operator gave me the Bikers Honda number.

"Bring 'er in any Tuesday/Thursday and we give you a shuttle return to work", sez Long Beach Honda CARS. They suggest it is normal handling. But will try it out. I don't think they can get it up to 60mph anywhere within 20 miles of Long Beach anytime outside of 3AM Sunday Morning. They need it all day in case anything is amiss...or in case they get caught in traffic.

I am expecting something just sort of zero from Honda.

Tire change in a pit stop may be next. I'll pump the Bridgestones up to around 50 and give it a try this weekend. Or just ride with it. Too fun a car to toss now. Hmmm, wonder what G force they get for these tires on a skid pad?
 
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