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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
**2011-2014(YF) Sonata Steering Issue - Serious Question**

First of all, my apologies for starting another thread about the EPS(electric power steering) issues affecting a percentage of YF-class Hyundai Sonatas, and some Elantras of the the same model period. I felt it myself: A ghostly nudge of the steering to one side or another, forcing me to over-correct in the opposite direction, resulting in vehicular wander. This was experienced mainly at highway speeds(50+mph/80+kmh).

I initially asked what I am about to ask again within an existing thread pertaining to this steering issue, but it got no traction within that thread, so I will ask it here, in its own thread:


For owners of Hyundai Sonatas, model years 2011-14, only if you experienced the above steering issues:

What was the trim level(GLS, SE, SE2.0T, Limited, Limited2.0T, Hybrid, etc) of your/the Sonata you experienced it in, even if you have had it remedied?

I will submit first: 2013, Limited.
 

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My steering quirks were solved.... 3-prong attack:

Remove nexen/hankook/kumho or cheap discount aftermarket tires and use a quality premium tire. This is where Pirelli, Bridgestone, Michelin... come into play. I might consider some Generals, Goodyears, Continentals.... too. Don't forget that each tire brand/type has its own PSI sweet spot. I tend to like the higher/touchier PSI in my tires.

Find a shop that understands how to do a proper 4-wheel alignment, preferable out-of-spec.... some automakers want too much toe in and negative camber.... for the typical poor consumer driver skill settings. Either run it to the least end of the spec, or straight out of spec. Alignment with common driving weight is preferred. For example, 99% is with single person commute.. so align with an equivalent body weight on the front seat. Nothing more confusing to an alignment tech is when they are putting on the wheel sensors while you are moving 150lbs of iron barbell weights from the trunk and plopping it on the front seat. And, make sure the alignment machine is in serviced/working condition.

And, set the overboosted steering programming to the sportiest setting. Some fancier optioned Sonatas allow it to be done by the driver. My entry level 2.4GDI (GLS) Sonata required a trip to the dealer for permanent 'heavier' steering. Break out the bowflex/soloflex since many limpwristed drivers want the overboosted settings. I am glad I learned to drive without power steering.

Electric steering from various brand always seem to need a driver that pays attention and is more smooth with the steering wheel. Sorry, but I find that most people do not have surgical driving skills. Its a little too expensive to send the entire population to a real driving school.... maybe we should rethink the licensing requirements... way too many fools with no skill or brains driving out there. Learn on a high speed go-cart!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
My steering quirks were solved.... 3-prong attack:

Remove nexen/hankook/kumho or cheap discount aftermarket tires and use a quality premium tire. This is where Pirelli, Bridgestone, Michelin... come into play. I might consider some Generals, Goodyears, Continentals.... too. Don't forget that each tire brand/type has its own PSI sweet spot. I tend to like the higher/touchier PSI in my tires.

Find a shop that understands how to do a proper 4-wheel alignment, preferable out-of-spec.... some automakers want too much toe in and negative camber.... for the typical poor consumer driver skill settings. Either run it to the least end of the spec, or straight out of spec. Alignment with common driving weight is preferred. For example, 99% is with single person commute.. so align with an equivalent body weight on the front seat. Nothing more confusing to an alignment tech is when they are putting on the wheel sensors while you are moving 150lbs of iron barbell weights from the trunk and plopping it on the front seat. And, make sure the alignment machine is in serviced/working condition.

And, set the overboosted steering programming to the sportiest setting. Some fancier optioned Sonatas allow it to be done by the driver. My entry level 2.4GDI (GLS) Sonata required a trip to the dealer for permanent 'heavier' steering. Break out the bowflex/soloflex since many limpwristed drivers want the overboosted settings. I am glad I learned to drive without power steering.

Electric steering from various brand always seem to need a driver that pays attention and is more smooth with the steering wheel. Sorry, but I find that most people do not have surgical driving skills. Its a little too expensive to send the entire population to a real driving school.... maybe we should rethink the licensing requirements... way too many fools with no skill or brains driving out there. Learn on a high speed go-cart!
"And, set the overboosted steering
programming to the sportiest setting.
Some fancier optioned Sonatas allow
it to be done by the driver. My entry
level 2.4GDI (GLS) Sonata required
a trip to the dealer for permanent
'heavier' steering
"

You alluded to something right there that I have been hemming and hawing about for several years now regarding EPS(Electric Power Steering - which includes electric motor driven steering in some vehicles)...

TURN IT THE F- DOWN!!

Turn down what, you ask?

The EPS boost, that's what. Seriously, my theory postulates that the number one error auto manufacturers have made with EPS is to design in TOO MUCH BOOST. Caps lock is just to emphasis TOO MUCH of something.

Conventional steering(hydraulic) with either RB(recirculating ball) or R&P(rack n pinion) possesses up to 1,000 percent more latency, or 'slop' than its electric successor. For some drivers, that imparts the 'heft' that they expect in a car's steering wheel. EPS, by comparison, has fewer moving parts between the steering wheel and the steering knuckles. It's far more direct.

It might take up to 3/4" turn of the steering wheel to start to feel a car with conventional steering turn. Just 1/8" of a turn in an EPS car, and you're in the next lane on the highway, or in someone's front yard. Imagine if EPS had been installed on TITANIC.....

To sum up: Manufacturers need to realize just how direct driver input has become with MDPS/EPS, compared to what it was with conventional/hydraulic, and moderate the amount of boost accordingly. I'm in favor of variable-assist on all passenger vehicles and even light trucks. At speeds of up to 10mph/16kmh, provide ample boost for parking lot maneuvers, but above that, design a curve by which such boost decreases, to a minimum, by the time the vehicle is doing 40, 60, 70mph etc. By reducing the amount of assist, you'll also reduce the load on the car's electrical system.

Also, spec the suspension alignment sensibly, for adequate road feel and steering return-from-turns(the automatic centering of the wheel after a turn).


Now, to the letter of my original post: would anyone else out there who had the Sonata steering problems care to submit the trim level of such Sonata? Explanation to follow.
 

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Go to the dealership and have them change the steering setting to Sport. I did this on my 2013 SE and it's great. The 2014s have a button on the steering wheel where you can select it as you please.


There was a YUGE thread about this a few years back if you're willing to dig for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Go to the dealership and have them change the steering setting to Sport. I did this on my 2013 SE and it's great. The 2014s have a button on the steering wheel where you can select it as you please.


There was a YUGE thread about this a few years back if you're willing to dig for it.
I know all about that. I asking for people who experienced the wandering to submit the trim levels on their YF Sonata, particularly up to 2013, before the option was placed on the steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
My theory is that owners of certain trim levels of 2011-13 Sonata experienced the tugging and wandering at high speeds more than owners of certain other trims. More details to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hoo - kay!

So in this thread we have drivers/former drivers in some cases, of the following YF(2011-14) Sonata trims:

GLS - 1
SE - 1
Turbo - 1
GDI - 1
Limited - 1

Due to limited number of replies so far, we have an even spread of YF Sonata trim levels.

This neither proves nor disproves my theory: That the wandering/sticking/tugging of the steering wheel affects mostly Sonata trim levels with wider & lower wheel/tire combinations: Limited, SE, GDI, and anything turbo. Those vehicles have 55- or lower profile series tires, which are more subject to the phenomenon of 'tramlining' - where the tires follow road imperfections and don't remain as centered from them as narrower wheel/tire combos. GLS has 65-series tires, which tend to want to go straight more than do the aforementioned lower profile tires.

Again: This is not impugning the tires. The EPS on these YFs did have an issue with providing steering input not called for by the driver. I just suspected that narrower, higher profile tires were less subject to it. That is my theory.
 

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Hoo - kay!

So in this thread we have drivers/former drivers in some cases, of the following YF(2011-14) Sonata trims:

GLS - 1
SE - 1
Turbo - 1
GDI - 1
Limited - 1

Due to limited number of replies so far, we have an even spread of YF Sonata trim levels.

This neither proves nor disproves my theory: That the wandering/sticking/tugging of the steering wheel affects mostly Sonata trim levels with wider & lower wheel/tire combinations: Limited, SE, GDI, and anything turbo. Those vehicles have 55- or lower profile series tires, which are more subject to the phenomenon of 'tramlining' - where the tires follow road imperfections and don't remain as centered from them as narrower wheel/tire combos. GLS has 65-series tires, which tend to want to go straight more than do the aforementioned lower profile tires.

Again: This is not impugning the tires. The EPS on these YFs did have an issue with providing steering input not called for by the driver. I just suspected that narrower, higher profile tires were less subject to it. That is my theory.
I'm the one GLS with 205/65/16. I do follow you logic as my narrower tire would essentially provide less feedback to the EPS thus requiring fewer driver corrections. Recently, I purchased new tires as well as an alignment and must say a big improvement regarding the issue (wandering). While purchasing the tires I explained the wandering issue and they suggested going to a wider tire, which I didn't do. Although, at the time I was not certain as to why I didn't accept their recommendation, however your explanation/theory seems pretty sound to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm the one GLS with 205/65/16. I do follow you logic as my narrower tire would essentially provide less feedback to the EPS thus requiring fewer driver corrections. Recently, I purchased new tires as well as an alignment and must say a big improvement regarding the issue (wandering). While purchasing the tires I explained the wandering issue and they suggested going to a wider tire, which I didn't do. Although, at the time I was not certain as to why I didn't accept their recommendation, however your explanation/theory seems pretty sound to me.
Suggesting wider tires to cure wandering or straight-line stability issues is a common misconception. Until a few years ago I believed the same thing. Nope, quite the opposite. Unless you race, or drive your car sideways, you want narrower tires for correction-free high speed travel. If one prefers wider tires for their cornering advantages, and wants straight line stability, then find a way to increase the caster angle, or, a way to reduce the amount of power assist.
 
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