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Mine went from what they called SX "sport" to SX standard. I just made a 400 mile trip to Atlanta and back this weekend and the difference in drive was night and day. No twitching on the hwy, no pull to left... can now drive it with one hand. Amazing the difference it made.
 

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^Mine was set to standard and it was ridiculous, you couldn't drive straight if your life depended on it. They switched it to sport which is stiffer then standard and it made it a little better but still sucks overall on the highway


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Discussion Starter #144 (Edited)
I had the dealer check mine, it was set to "EX light" on the SX, they changed it to "sx standard", i didn't realize there was a sport setting, maybe I'll have them change it when I get back. Does someone know exactly what settings there are?

Anyway, the feel of the steering changed only at speed on the highway and it tightened the loose on center feel (couple of degrees to the left and right the wheel had no resistance what so ever). Actual steering input twitchiness didn't change.
 

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... it tightened the loose on center feel (couple of degrees to the left and right the wheel had no resistance what so ever)...
Did the EX light setting give much feedback at speed so you could feel when the car started to wander? The problem with my SX is that the steering is so heavy at speed that it takes too much effort to cruise down the interstates. At the same time, the feedback is too weak to drive by feel so that constant visual attention attention is required.

My favorite cruisers (BMW 330i, Chrysler 300C, Pontiac G8 GT, Honda Odyssey) all provided good tactile feedback and small corrections could be made with one finger. I drive 900-1200 mile trips a couple of time per year, so I highly value easy cruising and comfortable seats.
 

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Discussion Starter #146
Did the EX light setting give much feedback at speed so you could feel when the car started to wander? The problem with my SX is that the steering is so heavy at speed that it takes too much effort to cruise down the interstates. At the same time, the feedback is too weak to drive by feel so that constant visual attention attention is required.

My favorite cruisers (BMW 330i, Chrysler 300C, Pontiac G8 GT, Honda Odyssey) all provided good tactile feedback and small corrections could be made with one finger. I drive 900-1200 mile trips a couple of time per year, so I highly value easy cruising and comfortable seats.
feedback didn't change
 

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Not satisfied with the way 2 dealerships here have addressed my concerns regarding the steering, so yesterday I sent a letter to Kia. I want a record of what's going on and don't want to waste my time dickering on the phone, at least not until there's an established record of my concerns. Letter states:

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Dear Sirs:

Reference my 2013 Kia Optima SXL, VIN XXXXXXXXXXX, purchased on August 2, 2012. To date I have 3066 miles on the car, and there were 53 miles on the car when I purchased it.

I have a concern regarding the steering on my vehicle, in that there is excessive “play”. When steering in either direction, the steering wheel requires several degrees of movement before steering action takes effect. This is evident all the time but is especially pronounced at high speeds, such as when traveling on interstate highways. It is extremely disconcerting, considering the need for immediate feedback especially in construction zones or other areas where vehicles are traveling at high speeds or are in close quarters.

Today (September 11, 2012) I told Reggie Lyde, a Service Representative at Legend Kia in San Antonio, Texas, that I wanted to know the specific steering profile programmed in my car. After a technician inspected my car, Mr. Lyde said the vehicle is operating within specifications and has the factory steering profile programmed in my car. He would not specify which profile, and he said changing it to another one would void my warranty.

Immediately afterward, I drove my car to World Car Kia in New Braunfels, Texas. I told Justin Harm, a Service Representative there, that there is excessive play in the steering, that I would like to know which steering profile is programmed in my car, and that perhaps a profile change via re-flash would help correct the problem. A short time later, Mr. Harm informed me a service technician found nothing wrong with the car, that the play is normal and is a result of the “adaptive steering” Kia is using in their newer vehicles, which is designed to help keep the car moving in a straight line. He would not tell me the specific steering profile in my car other than it is “what was programmed at the factory.”

I am requesting two things:

1. I would like to know specifics regarding the programmed steering profile in my car. Which profile is currently being used?

2. If the steering profile is anything other than “SX Standard”, I would like my steering profile program updated/flashed to “SX Standard”.

If there is another known remedy that has been proven effective at correcting excessive play in the steering of Kia vehicles, I will gladly accept implementation of that remedy. However, that is not a substitute for the two actions I have requested. I would like to know what profile is currently in use and if it is not specific to my vehicle, I would like it updated. It is a safety issue I feel must be remedied as soon as possible.

My address is:
XXXXXXXX Drive
La Vernia, TX 78121

My cell phone number is:
(XXX) XXX-XXXX.

Finally, I greatly prefer World Car Kia and respectfully request that Kia allow any authorized actions to be accomplished there.

Thank you for your time. I appreciate your help in this matter and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
 

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Read below for update (or read through 13 pages)

I just picked up a '12 Optima SX last night. I've test driven a couple of times, but obviously when the car is yours, you drive it a little different then on a test drive.

Anyway, I was driving on the highway home yesterday, and realized that it seems there's no "straight" wheel position so to speak. On a straight road at 70-80mph the car may go a little to the left, or to the right and the SLIGHTEST steering wheel adjustment in the other direction over-compensates and the vehicle goes a bit the other way. You end up having to constantly shift the wheel back and forth a bit to maintain a semblance of going straight.

Has anyone experienced this? Is there a fix, or is it something I should go talk to the dealer service manager about? Sadly, I don't expect particularly great service customer care from a KIA dealership at this point.

On a better note, like the car otherwise, and it's time to get some less ugly badges, springs, maybe rims and tint ;)

Update [for first time readers in particular]

1) Check Tire Pressure, make sure it's even (~35psi). I don't think that does anything (one of my tires was 40psi, lowering didn't fix)

2) Both Hankook and Nexen tires exibit this problem. Some report that different tires fix this issue.
3) You could take the car to the dealer for an alignment, but that will most likely prove useless as they don't compare to actual KIA specs and don't do much (personal experience). Alternatively, find a better dealer.
4) The car will feel better after some miles, 1k, 3k, 5k whatever. The tires wear in, you get used to it, etc.
5) The steering has different power assist settings, that can be electronically controlled by the mechanic. Something to the extent of LX, EX Light, EX, SX Light, SX. You can request to change to a "ligher" (more assisted) setting, or have yours checked to make sure that it's set correctly. 1 Reported that theirs was set to EX on an SX Optima.
6) Not everyone has, or feels like they have this issue.

Update on my particular car
1) I have Hankoon tires.
2) Going to the dealer was a waste:
The "Alignment" check showed green, so they said it was good (even thought it wasn't to spec)
Asking to "Reset" steering alignement wasn't done. They checked for steering errors and there were none (duh, no check engine light)
They didn't check for the Assist setting
3) I submitted an inquiry to KIA to provide more info and suggest a course of action, and submitted the dealer paperwork. That inquiry was ignored, and no longer listed on the website (Customer Affairs)
4) After 1k, I'm more used to it. Also, I can finagle the car into going straight by adjusting back and forth for a while. Generally, I think my car kind of goes to the right. I don't think the steering wheel is particularly center either.
I bought mine brand new and had the same problem. Even paid to get an alignment done many years ago. Dealership told me theres nothing wrong. Alignment came out all good too... ㅠ.ㅜ
 

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Hunnie82, this is a 7+ year old Thread but an Adv Search for Key Word - Steering - netted, so far, (just read a lot as able)

Steering problems from the start! AND

Service Bulletin Number : TSB-034Date of Bulletin : OCT 01, 2011
NHTSA Item Number : 10042592
Component : SUSPENSION:FRONT:MACPHERSON STRUT
Summary :

KIA: ON SOME VEHICLES THAT MAY BE SENSITIVE TO ROAD CONDITIONS AND EXHIBIT DRIFTING FROM RIGHT TO LEFT, INFORMATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR OF CONDITION. *PE
 

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Hunnie82, this is a 7+ year old Thread but an Adv Search for Key Word - Steering - netted, so far, (just read a lot as able)

Steering problems from the start! AND

Service Bulletin Number : TSB-034Date of Bulletin : OCT 01, 2011
NHTSA Item Number : 10042592
Component : SUSPENSION:FRONT:MACPHERSON STRUT
Summary :

KIA: ON SOME VEHICLES THAT MAY BE SENSITIVE TO ROAD CONDITIONS AND EXHIBIT DRIFTING FROM RIGHT TO LEFT, INFORMATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR OF CONDITION. *PE
Thank you^^
 
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