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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone. My first post on this site. I bought a new 2006 Murano SL last Friday and so far it's great. I've had six Explorers over the past few years, and have liked them a lot (I guess!). But time to move on to a new vehicle. Did lots of research and found the Murano to fit the bill the best for me.

I just returned from a 500-mile trip, and the vehicle seems to have a vague on-center feel. It seems to wander off course, needing constant, if minor, steering corrections. Maybe this is typical of the drive system - remember, I've only had Ford Explorers since 1999, so I'm pretty used to their characteristics. I'm pretty fussy (I figure anyone on this forum is probably fussy!), and it's not a huge issue. But I wonder if anyone has any thoughts. I notice that if I turn the wheel one way or the other at 40-50 mph, it doesn't seem to have that caster effect - it keeps turning without straightening out when I take my hands off the wheel. I mean, it straightens a little, but is that to be expected?

Thanks for any feedback.

gibby26
 

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I've had my 06 for a couple months now and had no problem like you describe and I am HUGELY picky. Drives so smooth I actually call it a "Purrano" which gets me lots of corny jokes ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
LOL:

Thanks for the reply. The Murano rides smoothly (well, I get some vibration from time to time), but this is more of a problem of not tracking straight. Next time you drive, see if it tends to wander off course - either direction. Make a little correction, and it's too much. then you have to correct back. Take your hands off the wheel? Tracks pretty well. But make a little correction,.... It just doesn't seem to have a good on-center feel. I have to say it's in a totally different league from the Explorer from a sophistication standpoint. But the Explorer tracked like a train.

Let me know what you think.

gibby26
 

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I'll try it, but it seems to ride just as smooth and straight as can be. Then again I had driven a van for years, but I do pay close attention to how my vehicle is driving and am attuned to anything that feels or sounds different or "off". I drive I-40, one of the bumpiest roads around and have no steering issues.
 

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gibby26-

Have your dealer check the alignment, paying close attention to the caster specs. Positive caster improves straight line tracking.

-njjoe
 

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Discussion Starter #6
njjoe:

Thanks for the reply. My first thought was an alignment issue, but it's relatively subtle. But sure like to get it corrected before, 1) it drives me crazy and, 2) it eats the tires.

Thanks again.

gibby26
 

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gibby26 said:
njjoe:

Thanks for the reply. My first thought was an alignment issue, but it's relatively subtle. But sure like to get it corrected before, 1) it drives me crazy and, 2) it eats the tires.

Thanks again.

gibby26
Remember: you get free alignment for the first 12,000 miles (or one year)
 

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gibby26

I am picky like you and I believe Murano does not track very well, or rather is not trying to keep stright line very well. If you drive on a perfectly flat surface it is OK but if the road is slightly leaning Murano will follow. It is my experience. And I did have alignment done. In contrast FX is almost forcing you to go stright. I guess different characteristics of the cars.

My feeling is that Murano handles very well but is kind of "loose" on the road and you have to pay attention the the steering wheel.
 

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Front wheel drive

Your MO is front wheel drive, the Explorers are rear wheel. They drive differently. They could be the difference that you're noticing. Front wheel drive is more sensitive. You'll notice if you gun it and turn it's a LOT more sensitive. You won't be able to do any Dukes of Hazzard moves either unless your in reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again for the replies. Before the six Explorers I had front-wheel-drive cars for twenty years. And since my wife's Jeep Liberty is also rear-drive, maybe it will just take some getting-used-to again. Before I bought the MO I drove a Ford 500 sedan. I was torn between the two (glad I chose the MO now), but it also wandered around a bit. Even more than the MO. I still want to talk to the dealer. Nice to know about the 12,000-mile alignment!

gibby26
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I talked to the dealer. He told me to go ahead on our trip next week (about a 3000-mile trip) and if the problem persists to bring it in. He said the alignment would only correct a pull one way or the other, but he confirmed the 12,000-mile alignment coverage. He also discussed the fuel and the CVT. He said he has several customers who have tried regular vs. premium, and they got enough better mileage with the premium to more than offset the extra cost. I know there are mixed reviews on that in this forum (I've been using regular 87 - my main goal is better mileage - I've had my Mustang GTs and my Grand Prix GTPs - my power-craving days are behind me). He told me to expect some difference with this trans/engine/front-drive combo compared to the rear-drives I'm used to. So we'll see.

gibby26
 

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Welcome to the forum.
You will find that Nissan's dealer network is one of the weakest in the US, if not the weakest.

" He said the alignment would only correct a pull one way or the other"

He's full of it.
IF the alignment is different from one side to another, it might pull one way or the other.

However, if the Caster is set evenly, but wrong, the car will wander all over the road. (Too much negative caster will do this).

Nissan dealers have to know less about Nissans, and cars in general, than any other dealer network out there.

This is basic alignment 101 stuff.

Homer
 
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