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Honda Fit Suspension/Steering Questions

PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
This is the place to discuss any steering issues you may have with the Fit.


Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles



  • fitchgrrlfitchgrrl Posts: 21
    Anyone find that this car slides on uneven road surfaces?
    I have a fit sport AT and have experienced this a couple of times on uneven road surfaces. The car almost feels like it lifts and slides to one side. Had it happen at higher speeds and lower speeds. On smoother roads though, it behaves beautifully!
  • That's never happened to me... sounds dangerous!! What do you mean by uneven? Gravel? Potholes? The only thing I notice as far as driving control is that when there's a seam in the road that's parallel with the direction of traffic sometimes the car wants to track with the seam but it's not difficult to avoid. Are your tires overinflated?
  • fitchgrrlfitchgrrl Posts: 21
    By uneven roads, i have had it happen where there are many seams or the actual pavement is uneven (grooves, potholes roads). I have noticed that the car wants to track with the seam as well but it is okay to steer it out of it.
    Going to check my tire inflation today!
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Posts: 364
    That's very normal. In situations where you have grooved pavement running parallel to the direction of travel, the grooves act almost as if they were a tread pattern, and will pull the car along the path of the grooves. The lighter the car, and the stickier the tires, the more the car will be affected by it.

    On gravel roads, you'll have what's called the "washboard effect", where a wavy or multiple mini-speedbump situation is caused by the repeated oscillation of a vehicle's suspension over the inherently uneaven surface. Each time your wheel gets pushed back down by the suspension, it compacts the gravel (or pushes it away) just a little more. Once the pattern gets started, it's reinforced by each passing vehicle.

    Now, if your car's suspension or rate of travel does not match that of the pattern already established on the road, then the "down" action of your tire may hit on the top of the next bump (instead of in the rut), and result in a general loss of stability. It's not the fault of the vehicle. Instinctively, you'll find yourself adjusting your speed to where your tires will bounce at the "right pattern", when compared to the washboard, and you'll feel more in control. Now that your tires are bouncing at the right pattern, you're reinforcing the pattern's existence with your own vehicle.

    Having over-inflated tires makes them more "bouncy", which will aggrevate the affect. Having suspension problems (bad shocks, tie-rod issues, etc.), can not only make your ride more troublesome, but can be downright dangerous, because the multiple sequential impacts can be just the straw that breaks that camel's back.

    Motorcyclists have an especially hard time with this, as they don't have the two extra wheels to help keep them under control.
  • fitchgrrlfitchgrrl Posts: 21
    I adjusted the pressure in my tires (two of them were sitting at 36 psi) so we will see if this helps my problem! So far so good!
  • Yesterday my wife said she stated the car went to pull out of her space and she was unable to turn the wheel. She backed the car up and turned off the car. She restarted the car and it was fine? Anyone else have any similar occurrence?
  • jwj3jwj3 Posts: 3
    Yes I have had the exact same problem. I have had about 4-6 instances when the problem happened when the car is first started in the morning. Restarting clears the power steering light that comes and stays on the instrument panel. One time the PS locked up while driving on the freeway. IT can be steered, but with much difficulty. So far, the dealer has has the car one full day with a loaner that I had to call Honda Customer care to authorize first. About a month after my visit to the dealer, it happened again. The dealer now wants me to leave the car with them for 3 days in the hopes that the problem will occur again, as they state that they can not do anything until the car stops working again. They state that their are no TSB's and they know of no one else having the problem. Have you had any results with your problem?
  • fitfan33fitfan33 Posts: 4
    Hello jwj3
    I have yet to bring it to honda. All of my instances have happened during the winter and have not had any since the weather has gotten warmer. Have your problems occured only during the winter as well?
  • jwj3jwj3 Posts: 3
    Well, sort of, as I live in the rather moderate Pacific Northwest. The common link is that most of my failures were in the morning when first starting the car. The dealer had the car for a 24 hour period once, but 1 month after they had examined the car finding nothing, I had another occurrence. Honda Customer service now wants me to have the dealer keep the car for 3 days to try and duplicate the incident (with a 3 day loaner car being provided). So far, they claim it is me against Honda as they state "No one else has had the same problem." I am just in a quandary because of service issues with the dealer I took it to. I would recommend that you call Honda at 800-999-1009 and report the problem. I have been dealing with Case Manager Ron, and if you would like his extension number I can post it. So far, I have had about 7 failures in the last 2 months. One was while I was driving on the freeway. I do not care what they say that the car can still be driven, but not for one with a damaged thumb, and not when you are not expecting it to happen. Honda's official position at this time is get it to a dealer and duplicate the failure. The problem is that it is a really random event. The common thread may be the cold weather issue. Thanks for answering, and let me know if you need any other information.
  • jwj3jwj3 Posts: 3
    Per my case manager, you should report the problem directly to your local dealer's service department. Mine goes in next week for a 3 day evaluation with a loaner provided. Thanks to your response to me that I read to Honda, I think that we may be on the way to finding out what's wrong. Think of what would happen if the PS went out on you while driving on icy or wet streets at speed :sick:
  • Had a 2007 Fit Sport for about 3 weeks. Love the car.

    Recently, when standing behind the car I noticed a slight "lean" to the left. On further inspection I measured the clearance between the top of the wheel and wheel well. On the right hand side the clearance runs about 2.25 inches but on the left rear it's only 1.75 inches i.e. a half inch less than the right. That's quite a difference in a narrow car like the Fit producing the visible lean. The front left is also around 2.25 inches so the problem seems to be only on the rear left suspension.

    Took it the Honda dealer where they measure from the road surface to the bottom of the wheel well. Initially they claimed the difference was 1/16 of an inch but when I insisted they recheck it , it was indeed around half an inch. The foreman called Honda directly. Honda claims that in most of their cars they deliberately put different suspension components on the left and right side to compensate for things like fuel tank position etc. However on the Fit they don't and thus the lean. The dealer measured two other Fits that happened to be in the shop and found differences of between a 1/4 and 3/8 inch but my 1/2 inch was definitely the greatest.
    Bottom line was that Honda told the dealer that "that's the way it is!".

    So - two questions. One - anyone else got this problem? Two - anyone know what (if anything) can be done to remedy it. Bottom line - it just looks a bit weird with that noticeable lean. It's like a crooked picture hanging on the wall. It's both noticeable and annoying.
  • I have had my Honda Fit since October 2006 and love it! However, in the last two months (since the weather has been colder), I have had the same steering problem that is mentioned here. I took it into the Honda dealer for service and they told me they had never heard of this. I forwarded him this website to read this blog. Has anyone resolved this? One of you mentioned a Case Manager (Ron) at Honda. Can you post his extension number? Thanks!
  • mbeembee Posts: 2
    I've been told that the power assist is disabling. I've noticed that it usually disables soon after the car has been started, usually occurring in the parking lot. The first time, I was backing up and could not turn the car at all. Unfortunately, I've had it disable when driving; but have been fortunate enough that no cars where near me or got caught at a light. Also, I noticed that the honda alarm system/auto start seemed to trigger it a few times. A temporary quick fix is turning the car off and then back on. There is a bulletin out about it now.

    Just as a note, the part is on national backorder...I've been waiting over two weeks since they diagnose the problem for the repair. :(
  • took mine to the dealer also, :confuse: :confuse: they said that all honda fit's have trouble handling
    at speeds over 70 mph . that may be so. but all fits come with the same tires
    soft composite dunlops when their worn out ill try something else and see .
    i believe the problem to be 50% car 25% tires and 25% road conditions

    thats all folks
  • Help! I just talked to Honda customer service 800-999-1009 and they established a case number for me. They cannot locate a bulletin about this "power assist disabling" problem. Do you have a bulletin number? Do you know what part was ordered to fix this?
    Thanks so much!
  • fitman548fitman548 Posts: 172
    "took mine to the dealer also, they said that all honda fit's have trouble handling
    at speeds over 70 mph "

    I drive like 60 miles a week at 80 mph, I've never had any handling issues whatsoever. No change to the regular handling. I don't have any idea what that dealer is talking about.
  • bayoujaybayoujay Posts: 20
    I've had the power steering warning light come on twice in the past week. The first time was when I had just started the car in the morning. I didn't think much of it because my son had been turning the wheel while the car was off and I thought it was because of that. But the second time was this morning as I was driving to work. It could have been very dangerous, I think, because the steering does get VERY heavy. Both times the problem disappeared when I turned off the car and restarted, but I'm very concerned. If this is a common problem, Honda should issue a recall. Can I get a witness??
  • jml8jml8 Posts: 2
    We're very close to buying a fit sport. Would you still buy one if you wanted to do a lot of highway driving/road trips? And given the power steering issues you're describing?
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