Honda Fit Suspension/Steering Questions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
This is the place to discuss any steering issues you may have with the Fit.
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Comments

  • fitchgrrlfitchgrrl Member 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!
  • mattschechtermattschechter Member Posts: 58
    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 Member Posts: 21
    By uneven roads, i have had it happen where there are many seams or the actual pavement is uneven (grooves, potholes etc...country 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 Member 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 Member 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!
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
  • fitfan33fitfan33 Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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:
  • sblonsteinsblonstein Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • lovemyfitlovemyfit Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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. :(
  • mosstechmosstech Member Posts: 1
    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
  • lovemyfitlovemyfit Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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.
  • stanleyfine12stanleyfine12 Member Posts: 1
    TO FIX THE DISSABLED POWER STEERING PROBLEM IT REQUIRES THE REPLACEMENT OF THE POWER STEERING CONTROL UNIT,
  • bayoujaybayoujay Member Posts: 24
    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 Member 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?
  • bayoujaybayoujay Member Posts: 24
    I would. I've done three long-distance trips in our Fit (Illinois-Louisiana 2x, Illinois-Georgia) and it's been a great Interstate runner...getting around 43 mpg when keeping the speed around 65 and when headwinds aren't strong. The power steering thing has just happened recently, and I haven't had a chance to get it looked at yet. But given the choices of cars out there, the Fit's flexibility, styling, economy, and overall reliability make it very desirable. You might want to check out the Versa as well, though.
  • jml8jml8 Member Posts: 2
    Excellent news re: long distance driving--that's one of the big reasons we're looking at it. Thanks.
  • witoswitos Member Posts: 1
    in my fit i found the problem with loosing steering control. it was connector in fuse box(first green from the buttom). i had to bend the pins a little bit to make it tight and now its almost a month without any steering problems. if u wanna to try if it will help just open fuse box ,start the car, and try to move the wires coming out from connector up dwn or right or left and check the steering light on cluster(my was blinking every time i move it) Hope it will help and sorry for my english

    image
  • bbrennfobbrennfo Member Posts: 2
    We have a 2007 Fit Sport, purchased summer '06. We routinely take it on long trips, and load it to the gills with luggage, dogs and a kid inside, bicycles on the back with a hitch rack, and a large rooftop box. Yes, I know it's over the load limit. The brakes will probably need to be replaced sooner than usual, and the gas mileage suffers when it's loaded like that, but I'm ok with those consequences. It really is nice to have one car be as versatile as it is, getting 30+mpg around town, and serving all of our camping/holiday traveling needs as well.

    So, has anyone else replaced the stock shocks/struts with something a little stiffer? Seems like that would help the unloaded cornering, and help the car stay level and stable when loaded, too. Any suggestions as to what to look for, or how to shop for replacements? Trusted places to shop? Experiences with upgrades?

    image

    Thanks,

    Brian
  • fitfan63fitfan63 Member Posts: 1
    Just want to share my 2007 fit power steering story, similar to other messages posted power steering is lost, but happens when the car has sat idling for awhile. one instance, stopped on the side of road to take a phone call for about 15 minutes with the car running. When I went to pull away there was no power steering. Shut the car off and restarted with no problem. This has recently happened during a long traffic light as well, haven't had a chance to take it in. My biggest worry is, will the steering wheel lock if I turn it too far while driving during a power steering failure? Be curious about anyones experience with this or thoughts. thanks
  • bbrennfobbrennfo Member Posts: 2
    Please remember to check the discussion list for appropriate discussions before creating new ones to help us avoid duplications.

    I've moved your post to the Honda Fit Suspension/Steering Problems discussion and you may continue there.


    Looks like my question was dumped into the pile in the Steering and Suspension Problems thread.

    Is this normal procedure? What a fantastically terrible way to run a forum.

    Goodbye, Edmunds.com. Thanks for nothing.

    Brian
  • frustrated19frustrated19 Member Posts: 1
    I bought my Honda Fit 6/2006. On 9/16/08 the power steering after driving about50 yards. I turned the car off and the power steering then worked well. The 2nd time the power steering failed was about 9/30 just as I was leaving to go to work. I backed the car out of the driveway about 30 feet, then shifted into forward and the power steering stopped. Again I turned off the ignition. When I turned it back on the power steering was working. In both instances the power steering icon lit up on the dashboard. In both cases the weather temp was higher than 60 degrees.

    I took it to my Honda dealer for several hours and he said he couldn't find anything wrong with the power steering. The service manager is suggesting that I bring it in the night before and leave it for the day. He states that he will charge me $35 per day for the rental car. Because it is an intermittent problem, the probablity that it will malfunction during that period is slim.

    I did call the corporate headquarters of Honda and gave them the above details. The receptionist said she would record the information She could not tell me what would be done with the info and she said that no one at the corp could give me that info.

    Please give me suggestions! Thanks.

    Ag
  • 204meca204meca Member Posts: 370
    I have also wondered about the suspension for the base fit & the sport model. From my reading the Sport handles better at the cost of a signicantly stiffer ride. Also the sport exterior trim adds weight & drag & you pay $1,500 for those options on the sport. That said cruise control, a rear sway bar & larger alloy wheels are nice things to have.

    My solution would be to get a rear sway bar from Honda & spend an hour mounting it while also mounting a tow kit, get a nice set of 16" alloys & tires Tire Rack ($820), and an aftermarket cruise control for about $300. Voila -- no rice boy look, better fuel ecomony & handling, & avoid the harsher ride the come from the Sports stiffer springs & shocks. All for less than $1,500.
  • waxrashwaxrash Member Posts: 6
    Exact problem described. So far it has happened twice.
    Both times were after a long (15 min) idle (waiting to put kids on bus).
    Turn ignition off then on clears it.

    So far it has not happened while traveling down the road at speed.

    I tried the "wire wiggle" mentioned earlier, it did not blink or come on.
  • bluefit13bluefit13 Member Posts: 1
    I recently experienced the same problem with my Fit and the power steering. I was at a stop sign and when I accelerated from the stop, the power steering failed and a light (the circle with the exclamation point) came on. After parking and turning off the car, I turned it back on and found that the power steering had returned. I took my Fit into the local Honda dealer for an inspection, and was warned that an intermittent problem like this can be difficult to pinpoint, so they may not be able to fix it. However, after inspecting the vehicle, they were able to determine that there was a problem with the control module for the EPS system... something probably akin to a short in a chip (my speculation here). They were able to easily order a new part and the fix was quick and simple. My car is still under warranty, so I don't know what the cost would be if I'd had to pay. I hope this is helpful to all those who are experiencing similar problems, and good luck with getting them fixed! :)
  • lovemyfitlovemyfit Member Posts: 4
    Could you please get the specific part numbers, etc. for this fix and post it here? I have taken it into my dealer, but they cannot duplicate the problem and can't find a way to fix it. I also called corporate Honda and they said they've never heard of this problem and don't know how to tell the dealer how to fix it. Could you call corporate Honda and give them the details too? This would help many of us out here that can't get it fixed! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I've had my fit for 2 years and the problem continues to occur off and on.
  • tecontecon Member Posts: 1
    This morning when I started my car to go to work the power steering did not work. It was a cold morning - 40 degrees (cold by Florida standards). I googled the problem and found this forum. Per forum information, I tried restarting the car a few times, which did not solve the problem. I called Honda at 800-999-1009, described my problem and the common problem in this forum. Honda stated that they had no technical service notes and issued a case # N012008-102900045, stating that only the dealer could diagnose the problem and if the dealer could not find a problem there is no problem. Since my car has almost 77K miles I'm out of warranty. I called to check tow prices to get it to the dealer >$100. I went back out and restarted the car. This time the power steering worked and the indicate light turned off.

    I drove it to Brandon Honda who diagnosed that the electronic power steering control module was defective due to the latched computer code of 32-09. The EPS control module is $734.80 (P/N 39980SLNA01). Adding labor and taxes for a grand total of $971.00.

    When the power steering goes out I would not consider the car "drivable". It is this factor that makes this problem unsafe. A failing EPS control module during driving has a high possibility of resulting in an accident.

    I am getting my "failed but working" EPS control module back from the dealer. If anyone has electrical diagrams to connect this module - please post. I would like to put the module in the temperature chamber at work and cycle it through the automotive temperature range of -40C to 125C. I suspect that this a temperature related power on reset and/or initialization problem that impacts all 2007 Honda Fits.
  • waxrashwaxrash Member Posts: 6
    As I mentioned earlier, the power steering has stopped twice on me. Both times while idling. After evaluation by my honda dealer they replaced the EPS unit.
    Part Number 39980-SLN-A21. Honda covered the part, I was told it was over $700.
    I covered the labor, as my car was just over warranty period by a few miles.
    Labor was $131.86.

    So far all is well, but it will take some time to regain my confidence that it's really fixed.

    I was pleased with how the dealer handled it. Although they claim Honda has no knowledge of an issue. I printed this entire blog and took it in with me.
    That really helped.
  • vincetcavincetca Member Posts: 1
    Hi, did you ever get an answer to the steering not working at start up. We have this happen primarily when temperatures are below freezing and / or near freezing and damp. We've been to a dealer twice and they claim no TSBs and no previous complaints. Sometimes it takes several minutes for this to clear up. Sometime you just turn off the car and start again and the power steering works.

    We're very frustrated about this and not sure what to do next.
  • lovemyfitlovemyfit Member Posts: 4
    It took me a long time to get this worked out, but finally it is fixed! I went round and round with the dealer and they also refused to fix it. Finally after talking with the Honda Corporate people numerous times (and opening a case number), I threatened to report this problem to the National Highway Safety Institute (you can find this online). I was very frightened that a dangerous accident might occur when the power steering went out. Honda Corporate agreed to pay for a loaner car for me indefinitely while I left my Fit at the dealer. The dealer would try to duplicate the problem. No matter what blogs or info I showed them, the insisted that they had to duplicate the problem. I was fine with that as long as I had a car to drive. Lucky me, they started my Fit first thing in the morning on the first day...and the power steering went out! They were able to hook it up to the computer and get a full read on the problem - which was of course, what I had been telling them, that a new Electronic Powering Steering System (EPS) had to put in. They had to order the part which took a couple of weeks (and I kept the loaner the whole time at no charge). This all happened in January and I've never had a problem since. I'm back to loving my Fit again! Good luck!
  • jefffitjefffit Member Posts: 3
    Bought a '09 Sport a couple of months ago, after having a CRV for 8 years. THAT has been an adjustment. But loving the Fit more each day. Great fun in corners, however, my back is not crazy about the suspension. Seens you feel every little crack in the road through your butt or back. Does anyone know of a way to soften the ride a little? Adjustment? Replacement shocks/springs?
    Thanks for any ideas.
  • whitehawkwhitehawk Member Posts: 6
    Talk to a tire dealer who is really knows tires. Not just a kid at Walmart. I went the other way (soft OEMs to H rated performance) and it was a great success!
  • jefffitjefffit Member Posts: 3
    Thanks whitehawk. What tire brand, and type, did you buy, and what difference did you notice? What year is your fit?
    Thanks again.
  • johnnyayqjohnnyayq Member Posts: 1
    Hi... I feel exactly the same about my '08 FIT, I absolutely LOVE it, but the suspension is terrible, you are correct and feel EVERY bump/crack/hole in the road, I'm in the process of moving from FL to OH, and the roads up north (especially in Ohio) are terrible, the ride is SO bad I don't enjoy driving... any help with the TIRE comments/solutions would be greatly appreciated. THANKS so much!
  • ottertracksottertracks Member Posts: 10
    Had an intermittent steering failure on the '07. Took the dealer copies from here. There is now a Honda bulletin on the problem, 09-043.
    Dealer replaced the unit even though they couldn't replicate the problem.
    Ken
  • fitgotfixedfitgotfixed Member Posts: 1
    So my wife had the same problem as everyone else. We have a 07 Fit that is out of warranty. She was idling at a stop light and the steering locked up. She had to go straight instead of turning and could have gotten in an accident. So we called our Honda Dealership and they told us to bring it in to have a $50 diagnostic exam. We insisted that we not pay for it since it is a safety issue. We argued with the service manager, but he eventually agreed to do a complementary diagnostic check. He was very rude at first and even made my wife cry. So, that Monday, I took the car in and they ran a diagnostic check. I spoke with the service manager in person and I told him about the bulletin (#09-043), and our complaint to the Highway Safety Commission. He didn't have to duplicate the problem, probably because of the bulletin, and told me that two codes came up having to do with the Electronic Power Steering. He then told me that he would get on the phone with Honda Corporate and "go to bat for me." After about a half hour of waiting, he brought me into his office and said that Honda would take care of the part and half of the labor. He said that as a courtesy, he would take care of the rest of the labor. So, absolutely no charge to me! It took two days for the part to arrive and they gave me a loner car until we got our Fit back. It took some time and some courage, but you can get this part fixed if you stick to your guns about it being a safety issue. :)
  • wjbalikowjbaliko Member Posts: 10
    Hs anyone gotten the Quick shifter option with their
    manual transmission?

    I'm familiar with a short shifter on a BMW.
    If the Fit has a truly short shifter it will improve
    the shifting dramatically.

    Anyone have any comments?
    Thanks guys
  • willy65000willy65000 Member Posts: 1
    I'm going through this same situation now with my 07 fit and the way it looks Honda isn't willing to do anything. I've owned six Honda's and can't figure out why on my latest one that's a little over three years old they don't want to take care of someone who has a safety related problem such as this.
  • stevebg4stevebg4 Member Posts: 2
    Hello Fitgotfixed or any one lese,

    My wifes 2007 Honda Fit sport has the exact same issue with the power steering suddenly becomes stiff and turns on the EPS indicator while turning. We have brought this car to the deale 3 times, btut they could not fix the problem or come up with some other TSB articles r. The last time we left the car on and towed it to the dealer to see the proff becasue it very hard to duplicate. They want us to pay over $300 for goodwill repair cost. I have talked to Honda Corp and been given a case# and case mgr will be in touch soon. Any othter suggestions or comments anyone have to help me?
  • kkesskkess Member Posts: 3
    I am having the same Power Steering issues I've seen with my Honda Fit. Many have talked about the bulletin 09-043 but I can't seem to find that TSB anywhere online? Does any one have the link to the TSB so I can bring this to the dealer?

    I'm hoping to prevent some of the battle of having them fix this issue that should in my opinion be covered..

    Thanks so much,
    Kevin
  • raikouraikou Member Posts: 1
    Hi there, I heard your question and wanted to help. If you look at your Fit's clearance between the wheel and the fender, you'll notice there isn't much "travel" as in you wheels dont have much space to move up. FYI, dont get new shocks, the newer a shock is the stiffer, which means more butt pain in your case. Use stock or soft shocks. You might be able to raise your ride height a bit too with some tuning and that would give you a little more comfort. However, by raising it even 1cm you'll want to get Mugen Sway Bars for the front and back. This HARD sway bar will decrease the car's natural rolling tendency especially when it's raised.
    I hope this will be helpful to you and reply if you have more questions about it.^^
  • almichalmich Member Posts: 11
    I am thinking about getting the Honda Fit after frustrations with the EPS on my 2010 Corolla. At high speeds, my Corolla wanders slightly from side the side and it really bothers me.

    I was wondering if anybody experience this wandering issue with the Honda Fit.
  • stephen987stephen987 Member Posts: 1,994
    The steering in my '09 Fit Sport is quite direct and precise. It feels a little artificial, but it works quite well. The only "wandering" I encounter is when I'm driving in a crosswind, and it's not the steering that is at fault for that one--it's the combination of light weight and large sail area.
  • accordguy0325accordguy0325 Member Posts: 169
    I just leased a 2010 Fit Sport automatic and I haven't noticed much in the way of wandering... The steering seems reasonably accurate although steering feel leaves a little to be desired imo, of course, I was driving an Accord V6 prior to this with hydraulic steering so I may be biased ;)
  • almichalmich Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for the reply. With my 2010 Corolla S, it feels like I am driving in a crosswind whenever I am over 60 MPH. It is driving me a little nuts and I really do not enjoy driving my car at all. I wish I had my 1996 Honda Accord back.
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