Nissan Murano Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Now have 8500 miles on my 2006 SL AWD, and it still doesn't have a good on-center feel. Today went to the dealer who drove it with me - he said he really didn't notice the wandering off-center until I pointed out that after going around a turn you shouldn't have to turn the wheel back the other direction to go straight again - the caster effect should make the vehicle want to go straight. It should require more effort to make the vehicle turn than to make it keep going straight. He then understood, but said he would talk to their techs and call me. My guess is they will do another alignment. First alignment was done about six weeks ago, and the caster was within the specs, about in the middle of the range. But I'd like them to set the caster to max effect, which I think they will do. Is that max negative or max positive? I also drove a new one and it felt much more on-center to me. Not much fun to drive the MO when it doesn't want to track straight!

gibby26
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The caster can't be adjusted? Seems odd. Here's another thought - I understand the steering boost is "speed-sensitive" - common feature on many vehicles. But the Murano's in ENGINE-speed sensitive, as I understand. Wouldn't that mean that at low RPM - such at speeds around 30-40 mph - there's lots of boost. Wouldn't you want progressively-less boost as the vehicle speed increases? Maybe that's part of the problem - too much low-RPM boost means vague steering feel at medium speeds. All I know is the Chrysler minivan we rented in Florida last month had WAY more steering feel than my Murano. Could there be something wrong with the steering rack / pump / etc.?

Thanks -

gibby26
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I'm interested in how your issue becomes resolved. I also feel the strange off center feeling. It was out of alignment when I drove it off the lot and was aligned and felt great, but now that I have driven a few hundred miles, I feel that it is difficult to keep the vehicle straight and I'm constantly manuvering the steering wheel? My Mother has a 04 Murano that has tighter steering then my 06.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
DREA217:

Glad someone else notices what I'm talking about. I guess I'm sort of getting used to it, but it sure makes driving the Murano not much fun. I love to drive, and I drive a lot in my work. Just never had a car that was so "un-fun" to drive - suspension's not real tight (I know - I could have gotten the SE but then I'd have a hard ride), steering's not too precise, steering ratio is slow, seats are not comfortable for any distance, and I've had a hell of a time finding a comfortable driving position - even with all the adjustable pedals, seat, etc. The whole thing is just awkward. But I do love the no-key ignition, info screen, backup camera, stereo, and especially the gas mileage for a vehicle in this class.

gibby26
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
gibby26,

I totally agree with the positives of the car, I choose the Murano over a Lexus RX350 and a Honda Pilot (I know, a strange mix of choices). I know I made the right decision and that I will get used to the steering, I must have the black cloud of alignment problems following me, my Acura TSX had a horrible pull to the left that they could never resolve and before that a Jetta that went in for new tires and came out with a pull to the right..and they could never fix that either. I have actually kept my cool about this and have done some road tests...I want to have all my ducks in a row when I go to the dealership with the steering. Read my thread about the leaking sunroof...dealt with that today, spent 3 hours at the dealership just to be sent home in a loaner because it was taking way longer than anticipated...will go back next month for steering..I need a break. When I do find something out, I'll let you know what and what not was resolved. Take it easy and don't let it drive you nuts!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Well, ok where to start...

First off, I am not convinced that the MO has speed sensitive steering. It does have speed sensitive audio volume control :D. There is nothing in the SM that makes me believe the MO has it. It's an oil pump with a vane rotor and a reservoir and a flow control valve, pretty standard stuff. More over, speed sensitive steering pumps apply more power steering at lower speeds than higher speeds, and well I just don't feel that. But maybe it does and I just don't feel it. Maybe it's rpm dependent and with 1800/2000 rpms at 70 that's not too far off idle anyways. In which case if thats the way it works then it should be called rpm sensitive steering not speed.

Early models had a problem with hard steering at low speeds, I think Dennis Fink had the first damage due to this issue. But I have not heard of this problem since then. I haven't confirmed it but I believe there was a change to the pump for added power. Interestingly I never had this issue on my 03. So it may have been a mid year change or just a bad batch of pumps.

So yes, it could be the steering pumps are now too powerful where before they were underpowered. But I don't feel that it's that much different at lower speeds than my 03. Whats different to me is at highway speeds. I guess I should add that it doesn't seem to wander as much at 2600 as it did at 5. My bet is that means it tires in my case.

What was common was the steering rack bolts are not tightened properly, there is a TSB on that but I thought they had that fixed in these later models. But that can cause what both of you are feeling as well. Usually though you hear a clunck or bang when you rotate the steering wheel from pin to pin. Oh note here, the SM says do not hold the steering wheel at either pin for more than a few seconds. It says the pressure goes high and the fluid heats up quickly.

I too feel my 06 wanders more than my 03, but at highway speeds not low speeds. I have been thinking about this. It also isn't as stiff. Just little things I have been wondering over, not major. The stiffness would be shocks/springs not relevant here, just differences I noticed. Pretty tough for me to tell though because there was a 5 month hiatus inbetween where I drove the Z and its really stiff and really tight.

More likely though, this wandering issue is probably caused by alignment or tires. At my 3000 mile oil change there are 2 things I have on my list currently for them to check. One is the alignment because of the wandering. The second is a cyclic noise from the front that is either a tire problem or a CV joint problem. In my case, it will probably end up being one bad tire, as I have my eye on one that has way too much weights on it. It could be causing both issues. I guess we'll see.

In addition to the loose steering rack bolts issue, another common problem on any year model is damaged suspension components due to the carriers that trucked the cars to the dealer. This is a notorious and persistant issue that comes up occasionaly but seems to always come up if you know what I mean.

In your cases I am betting that it is alignment. Have them check all four wheels. But a close second place is tires. I have had tires that make a night and day difference in the tracking and centering/handling.

It could also be a steering pump/belt issue or rack issue. In any event, continue hounding your dealers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Wow, Enforcer - thanks for all the info. I did have an alignment done, and it's supposedly now within specs. But it didn't make much difference. I did notice a big change - for the worse - at my first tire rotation. But that seemed to get somewhat better as the rear tires got "run in" in the front. Trouble with the tires is that the only kind of tire that will fit the Murano are the Goodyear OE ones on there now. Far as I can find out, nobody else makes a tire in this size.

This Friday they are keeping the car for the day to try & find out what's up. I'll suggest the rack bolts and the possible suspension damage. At least they seem to be willing to help. And, again, it's nice to know I'm not the only fussy driver out there who would like to have a decent-handling vehicle for my $36,000 (I'd only like for it to handle as well as my trusty 2004 Explorer - shouldn't be too much to ask for a vastly more sophisticated vehicle).

gibby26
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,512 Posts
Enforcer-

The MO does have speed-sensitive steering. The steering boost is based on engine speed, not vehicle speed. The sales brochure for the MO lists: Engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.

The MO's speed-sensitive power steering is basically the bare-bones basic version of power steering. The Marketing boys try to make it sound sporty by tying the word "engine" to the front of the description.

-njjoe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,077 Posts
Yea engine speed, at low RPM the power steering is weak and at higher RPM its "normal". :2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
So essentially, the power steering is not "speed sensitive" as we usually know it to be (vehicle-speed-sensitive, with more boost at slower speeds and much less, or no boost, at higher speeds). It's just a basic boost to the steering - same boost all the time. Just so we all undersand what we have.

Thanks for the input.

gibby26
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Enforcer-

What make/model of tires would make tracking/steering better? The dealership did an alignment and is now driving straight but still feels loose? I'm thinking of taking it to a specialty auto shop to make sure there are no other issues at hand and try the tire route, I did go to tirerack .com- and looked at the recommendations for the MO but I have no clue when it comes to tires. Thanks for your help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,512 Posts
gibby26 said:
So essentially, the power steering is not "speed sensitive" as we usually know it to be (vehicle-speed-sensitive, with more boost at slower speeds and much less, or no boost, at higher speeds). It's just a basic boost to the steering - same boost all the time. Just so we all undersand what we have.
gibby26
gibby26-

No, the MO does not have the same boost all the time. The boost is "engine speed-sensitive" which I take to mean the amount of boost is related to engine speed. Less boost at idle, more boost as RPMs increase. Basically it is the opposite of what you'd want.

-njjoe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,257 Posts
No need beating it to death.
It is just "normal" power steering.
That is it pumps more at higher RPMs and has a valve to prevent it from going too high.
It may be a larger pump on the later models (05 & 06?)as there was a design problem with the 03s where the power steering would (will) go away when you whip the wheel back and forth at slow speeds (low RPMS) such as when parallel parking. Grrrr.

As joe pointed out, normal power steering is the opposite of what you would want (on this car and a herd of others) and that is why speed sensitive PS is the hot item these days. Cars that really have a high tech content have speed sensitive steering standard.

As to the sales brochure, that is called marketing.
Some people call it deception.

Homer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
hfelknor said:
No need beating it to death.
It is just "normal" power steering.
That is it pumps more at higher RPMs and has a valve to prevent it from going too high.
It may be a larger pump on the later models (05 & 06?)as there was a design problem with the 03s where the power steering would (will) go away when you whip the wheel back and forth at slow speeds (low RPMS) such as when parallel parking. Grrrr.

As joe pointed out, normal power steering is the opposite of what you would want (on this car and a herd of others) and that is why speed sensitive PS is the hot item these days. Cars that really have a high tech content have speed sensitive steering standard.

As to the sales brochure, that is called marketing.
Some people call it deception.

Homer
Got it one :D.

Ok as far as tires for the MO if you have VDC, well the best expert I know on that is Eric.... Eric?

I know on my other vehicles I have really liked Michelin. When I put the Pilot Sports on the Z man it was like on rails compared to the potenzas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Speaking of tires: the Murano uses 235-65 x 18 tires. Does anyone know of an all-season tire available in this size other than the stock Goodyears?

gibby26
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,512 Posts
gibby26-

Check the Tires & Wheels category. There are a ton of opinions on that one.

-njjoe
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,368 Posts
gibby26 said:
Speaking of tires: the Murano uses 235-65 x 18 tires. Does anyone know of an all-season tire available in this size other than the stock Goodyears?

gibby26
Yeah check the Tires section for long long threads on the topic.

If you do not want to read 300 posts, here's my take on the topic.

Stock Goodyear Eagle LS's - decent in dry, less so in wet, scary and dangerous in snow

I switched from the Goodyears to Yokohama Geolandar HT-S G052 in size 265/60/18. That is very close to stock size (perhaps 1% greater circumference). So far Yokos outperform the Goodyears in every category, I recommend them. Tirerack has a very affordable price for them too. Others here have had good experiences with the Michelin Crossterrain in 235/65/18 (Stock size), but I opted away from that tire because the speed rating is lower than the Goodyears. It might be a moot point, but I generally think speed rating is a rough reflection of the tire's handling capabilities under stress (speed rating is directly tied to temperature rating).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,368 Posts
As for the "speed sensitive power steering" on the Murano, the Murano has engine speed sensitive power steering. This means more boost at lower speeds (for easier parallel parking) and less boost at higher speeds (for tighter control). Nissan has featured this setup on their high end vehicles for quite a few years now. My 97 Maxima also has it, and its obvious the steering tightens up at highway speeds (when the engine is turning faster).

The MO actually has surprisingly stiff steering at low speeds, and I like it. Its not Audi stiff, but its not a featherlight Buick either. I think I would not like the "safer" boosted steering of the 05-06 Muranos because it would lack feel at lower speeds. But then maybe I just prefer stiffer steering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Tracking Issue Update

The dealer kept my car for 24 hours the other day, givng me a brand-new Maxima as a loaner. They rechecked the alignment and balanced all the tires. I have to say that, so far, the tracking seems better. Maybe I'm getting used to it. But I noticed the Maxima tracked noticeably better (and the front seats were infinitely more comfortable). Mentioned the tracking to the tech who said, "Well, the Maxima is front wheel dirve while the Murano is all wheel drive. That will make a difference in the steering feel." I told him I understood the MO is front-wheel unless there's slippage (no drive at all to the rears unless the fronts slip). "Hmmm. I'll have to check that out and get back with you," he said. Haven't heard. I also observed that the trans in the Maxima was pretty jerky. Great for drag racing - the thing had skoot! But around town I missed the smooth CVT, including the way it slows the MO during deceleration.
Still mystified that the dealer doesn't know how the AWD works. I seem to get a different answer every time. But overall I'm happier than before. The dealer is really trying to make me happy - new loaded Maxima SE (it even had a heated steering wheel!) for a free loaner, washed and armor-all'd my MO, etc. so I give them credit for their efforts. And, so far, it seems to track better than before.

gibby26
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top