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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
  1. New owner, certified car with 35k miles. I really like this vehicle. I had the common nervous steering problem. At interstate speeds it was both hands on the wheel white knuckle scary. I took it to Kia for the eps reprogram. They performed an available software update but for mode choice they stated on the service report that "Kia has locked that feature out of scantool". Before the update there was no change in steering within the three driving modes. Now, In sport mode it definitely takes more force, but standard and eco still feels too light and twitchy. I searched all the older posts but there has been nothing current about this dangerous situation. And yes, I told them it is a dangerous oversteer. Is the software update as good as it's going to get? What say you?
 

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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
By the way, I hail from Prescott AZ. 100 miles north of Phoenix. I bought the car from Prescott Valley Kia and it was the best dealership buying experience I ever had. They were complete professionals. And I'm 66yrs old.
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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2,103 Posts
Welcome, I have an '11 2.0 Turbo, so can't comment on the feel of the '17, but what I can say is that the '11 steers like a truck at highway speed and is not adjustable.
 

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Your K5 Optima Vendor
2017 Tesla Model X
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28,535 Posts
Welcome to the Optima Forums.

Congrats on getting your 2017 Optima SX-T model.

There are tons and tons of threads here on the forum discussing this topic of the drunk feeling with the steering.

I thought they would have definitely addressed this by now, as this was a thing back when I had my 2012 model.

-David
 

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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ok. Kia did a four wheel alignment and the toe in was way far in. That fixed about 70% of the twitchy, unstable steering. I told the service advisor it felt like when there is too much air in the tires. Just tracking too light and being pulled all over the road at interstate speeds.
The TPMS showed 34psi all around. I bought a higher quality "Slime" digital pressure gauge. Cold tires showed 37psi but the TPMS showed 34psi? I took the tires down to the Slime reading of 34psi (31psi on TPMS) and took it out at 60+ until the TPMS read 34psi. Parked and outside Slime reading sure enough was 37psi.
Ok, the question is why the discrepancy between the TPMS and Slime tire reading?
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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2,103 Posts
At one time I had about 6 different air gauges in the garage, stick type, dial type, a gauge that was attached to the air compressor hose and they all read different pressures, so purchased a couple Accutire digital gauges, both the same, so dumped all the other gauges that were in error.
 

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2015 Kia Optima
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833 Posts
Welcome. I have a 2015 sxt and just had the dealer switch my steering mode to sx sport....after I told them how to do it. Much better feeling .
 

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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Steering update. The TPMS reads 2 psi lower than any digital gauge. Ok, so I set it to 34psi cold according to the gauge. Kia said there wasn't anything wrong with the car and did a 4whl alignment. Steering control problems continues but doesn't happen until after 50mph. I was on the interstate today. It feels like I'm driving an old Volkswagen van in a crosswind. It just won't stay on a solid track. It came with new Nexen cp671 tires.
Once the tires heat up the problem intensifies. The Tpms will read 37psi on the open road, which means it's actually 39psi. Never mind traveling in a straight line, but negotiating a sweeping grade at 80+mph while compensating for oversteer is nerve-wracking. This sucks as I really enjoy how this car runs. I'm going to set the psi to 33 cold before 200 mile roundtrip down to Phx on Monday.
 

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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Set tires to 31psi cold and drove 110 miles one way to Phx. It was frightening w/the twitchy oversteer. Worse on "sport" than "normal" setting. But I noticed a difference coming back up 1100ft-5500ft elevation. Going up a grade is not as bad, but still dangerous and unacceptable. When I crested a hill and started down the steering was at it's worst. Even worse on a downhill long curve. It was all I could do to maintain control and stay in my lane.
Went to Kia today and reported such. I took a new 2019 sxl w/Michelins out for a spin. I could feel a huge difference before I left the parking lot! There was no steering problem and I went up to over 80mph. I had checked the tire pressure before I drove. It tracked perfect and felt like a different car.
SA assured me the problem will be taken care of. I sure hope so because he said a mechanic drove my car and reported it steered like other Optima's.
The current tires a new CP671 Nexen.
 

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2018 Kia Optima
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744 Posts
Not to discount your observations regarding the twitchy-like steering feeling but it is sort of apples and oranges to compare the steering feel of your 2017 to a 2019. Having said that, I've read comments not overly positive about the OEM Nexen tires that come on non-SXL trim Optimas (or at least on those trims; SXLs come with OEM Michelins (at least here in the U.S.). Maybe take your car to a reputable tire shop and have them check for the possibility that one or more of your tires may have a defect or damage that may not be readily noticeable to the naked eye.
 

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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. Will get evaluation from pro tire shop.
I was informed aside from the "smart" mode on 2019 sxl that the steering/suspension on 2017 sxt is the same.
 

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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Twitchy oversteer problem continues. It's dangerous. Returned to dealership and took mechanic for a ride, and he also drove. He said I hate to tell you this but this is how these cars steer and there is no KIA fix on the schedule. I then took another new 2019 sx-l with Michelin's for a spin. Night and day; like a different car. Again, before I left the parking lot I could feel the difference between in the steering. Hit the highway and got to 90mph. Much tighter and precise, solid and safe. Tracked perfectly and felt like a different car. KIA locked the computer out of any driving mode changes. Went to Discount Tire as suggested by KIA. They inspected tires, and remarked same suspension? It's the Nexen CP671 tires. They had a deal going. The Nexen's are $600 and the Michelin's are $1000. Also, I pushed on the sidewalls of each type of tire. The Nexen's had give and the Michelin's were very stiff. Of course KIA wants to sell me the 2019 SX-L.
There have been reported safety problems with the CP671 tires. I figure I'm going to contact KIA direct and prepare for a battle? The key word I will use is "dangerous". It truly is.
 

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2017 SX-Turbo
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Got the Service Mgr involved. Tomorrow morning they'll install wheels/Michelin tires from a 2019 sx-l to test and rule out possible tire problem.
 
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