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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, So I have a 2013 optima sxl. Long story short, from day one I noticed all the steering problems people have been posting here. First steering problem was that the wheel would stick. Almost like it would get stuck and you would have to use force to get it to "break loose". Even more noticeable during the winter. Problem #2 - After about 45 mph, car would not go straight, sways back and forth on its own, over steers no matter what I do. Feels like I am drunk driving.
Brought it in at least 6 times, to multiple dealers. Dealers first tried telling me it was normal for electronic steering and that I had to get used to it. F**K OFF! Then they finally did an alignment. No luck. They even changed the steering setting, no luck. I even tried showing them how the stock tires were wearing unevenly due to this problem! Now, what they FINALLY did that helped.

1) New steering column: This included the electronic motor. Now this did fix my sticking steering wheel problem, but not cure the steering problem. It helped slightly, but car was still all over the road.

2) I put new tires on the car. This also did slightly help, but still the car was all over the road.

3) Rack and pinion: This did it!!!!!!! I can not believe it. Car feels completely different and is actually fun to drive now. I was about to sell this car, this was my last straw. The car drives like a dream now, really I do not know how I made it 3 years driving the car like it was. I am just so thankful that finally a dealership was willing to go drive the car with me and to finally replace parts that could possible fix the issue, even though there was visually nothing wrong.

The mechanic never said what was wrong with the old rack and pinion, whether he knew or not, I don't really care. They fixed the steering problem and the car drives beautifully.

So for anyone experiencing any of the symptoms I described, take the car in and DEMAND that they replace those to parts. You will be glad you did. It has been a long road with this car and the steering. I hope this will help someone out in the future so they do not have to go through what I did.
 

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hmmm how exactly do i know if i'm having a steering problem?
I keep reading it but I can't really tell if i have a extremely minor drifting issue or if NJ roads suck
 

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I have the stuck steering on my '13 ex happens only when it is cold.... I had a tech test drive my optima while I rode along.... and it did it to him.... they did something, But it did not work
Subscribed to this thread for reference back if I need it.

Thanks spyder79 for posting the info
 

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My sticky steering came back again, since its starting to cool down. To the OP, did they do all that work under warranty? I'm at 89k, so doubt they would. When I complained to the dealer about my issue, they gave me some update and charged me for the hour of labor to investigate the problem. Said they could change the rack and pinion but it would be out of my pocket. Perhaps I should try another dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My sticky steering came back again, since its starting to cool down. To the OP, did they do all that work under warranty? I'm at 89k, so doubt they would. When I complained to the dealer about my issue, they gave me some update and charged me for the hour of labor to investigate the problem. Said they could change the rack and pinion but it would be out of my pocket. Perhaps I should try another dealer.
It sounds like the update they gave you was a ECM steering update, which would not fix your problem. Your sticking wheel is caused by the steering column, which is the first thing they changed on my car, however this did not fix the drifting problem. This problem was only fixed after they changed the rack and pinion. So if your car steering is only sticking, than I would just see about the steering column, if you are experiencing drifting issues, then it is the rack and pinion. I am not sure if they would cover it, we have a 60,000 mile bumper to bumper, but only 100,000 for power train, so I am not sure if that would be covered under this. All you can do is try. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Spoke with another local dealer on the phone and before I even told him what my mileage was, he said he's never changed the steering column or rack and pinion on a vehicle under warranty. He asked me if I had any warning lights (I don't) and said it was likely normal because the car is equipped with electronic steering. This is not true, as the symptoms just appeared within my last year of ownership AND it gets worse when it's cold. When I told him my mileage he said it's not covered, but they could take a look at it, but they would charge me a $75 diagnostic fee.

So, it looks like I'm out of luck unless a recall presents itself. With nearly 90k on my odometer, I'm at the point where I feel less and less comfortable regarding the long term reliability of my vehicle. I'll probably just continue to rack up the miles and deal with the annoyances that are accumulating until a serious problem presents itself....then bye bye Kia.
 

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I too have the sticky steering problem. My dealership knows that the steering column is at fault; however they need to witness the issue in order to do the repair under warranty... but the issue is intermittent so it is virtually impossible for them to confirm the problem and charge the repair to Kia Canada. I am left with two options: 1) pay for the fix.. approx. 3500 $cdn, or 2) trade-in my car. This is very frustrating. I wish there was a recall. Security is very important to me, especially when my 3 year old son is with me in the car.
The next dealership to get my business will likely be Honda.
 

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This thread is very old, but I just purchased a used 2013, and have the drifting issue, if replacing the rack and pinion truly fixes the issue, I don't have a problem doing, I just would like to know if anyone else did that to fix the issue.
 

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They fixed it at no charge for me, given the recall...while they were replacing my engine.
I spoke to the dealership, taking it in Wednesday, they will replace the steering coupler for free under warranty, I mentioned the sway, they said there is no recall on the rack and pinion.
 

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The replaced coupler did not fix the random drift for me. I can see how worn or mis-adjusted R&P could do this. Anyone know if the current R&P can be adjusted somehow?
 
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