2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

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Old 24 Jan 2005, 07:54 am   #1 (permalink)
Ron
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Default 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

One of the annoying traits of our 2003 Camry is a bit of wandering on the
road. Changing tires and a couple of alignments still does not help. What
it seems to be is the power steering assist is set too high. Makes steering
much too light, therefore a minor road imperfection would kick the tracking
out of line. This requires more correction on the driver's part to keep a
straight line. Also the PS overassist makes turns a bit tricky, often
causing a side to side swaying that mimics body lean, but is actually
steering corrections during the turn. Making the Camry feel "floaty" like
the old Buicks.

I recently drove a rental 2005 Subaru Outback and it has rock solid
straightline tracking and tight turns. Loved the solid handling of this
large car, though the Camry is better in other respects.

Is there any way to adjust the assist on the power steering?


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Old 24 Jan 2005, 08:14 am   #2 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

Bad, worn ,overinflated, or broken belts in tires will do that, I just
replaced fronts with 30000m on them I broke the belts. What a difference
it rides like new. I had thought I had major problems. Are tire
original? Michelin Harmony are good.

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Old 24 Jan 2005, 12:42 pm   #3 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?


"Ron" <rlee@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:10v9vgolsgjs059@corp.supernews.com...
> One of the annoying traits of our 2003 Camry is a bit of wandering on the
> road. Changing tires and a couple of alignments still does not help.

What
> it seems to be is the power steering assist is set too high. Makes

steering
> much too light, therefore a minor road imperfection would kick the

tracking
> out of line. This requires more correction on the driver's part to keep a
> straight line. Also the PS overassist makes turns a bit tricky, often
> causing a side to side swaying that mimics body lean, but is actually
> steering corrections during the turn. Making the Camry feel "floaty" like
> the old Buicks.
>
> I recently drove a rental 2005 Subaru Outback and it has rock solid
> straightline tracking and tight turns. Loved the solid handling of this
> large car, though the Camry is better in other respects.
>
> Is there any way to adjust the assist on the power steering?



I notice you have had the alignment checked and the tyres changed. Are the
tyre pressures too high?

When I first drove my Camry I thought the steering was too direct, with the
slightest movement of the steering causing a direction change, but prior, I
was driving a 25 yo Ford V8 tank.

Tracking changes which demand constant corrections doesnt sound right
though. All cars will to *some* extent change direction on undulations, but
it shouldn't be so much that it catches your attention.

Castor which is a measure of the steering axis inclination (front wheels)
makes for good tracking, but is not adjustable in modern macpherson-strut
frontends.

Worn or out of adjustment rear suspennsion can make a car have tracking
problems. Did they also do the rear wheel alignment?

The only advice I have is to drive another '03 Camry and see if it also is
this way. There maybe something in the PS which is making it
over-assist,..but I haven't come across this complaint which turned out to
be a fault. Anyone else who has?

Jason


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Old 24 Jan 2005, 03:04 pm   #4 (permalink)
Philip
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

Ron wrote:
> One of the annoying traits of our 2003 Camry is a bit of wandering on
> the road. Changing tires and a couple of alignments still does not
> help.


Tske the car back and request that the front toe be set to ZERO. This is not
the OEM spec which is toe-in. Also, have the rear toe set to ZERO or no
more that 1/16th" toe-in.
--

~Philip.












What it seems to be is the power steering assist is set too
> high. Makes steering much too light, therefore a minor road
> imperfection would kick the tracking out of line. This requires more
> correction on the driver's part to keep a straight line. Also the PS
> overassist makes turns a bit tricky, often causing a side to side
> swaying that mimics body lean, but is actually steering corrections
> during the turn. Making the Camry feel "floaty" like the old Buicks.
>
> I recently drove a rental 2005 Subaru Outback and it has rock solid
> straightline tracking and tight turns. Loved the solid handling of
> this large car, though the Camry is better in other respects.
>
> Is there any way to adjust the assist on the power steering?



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Old 24 Jan 2005, 05:26 pm   #5 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

It is still under warranty , complain to Toyota and demand it be fixed.
But honestly still look into tires such as good set of Michelin
Harmonys or the equivilant you need. belts broke on my tires unnoticably
from the inside ar 20000m Either, - demand a Toy Rep-. and repair.

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Old 24 Jan 2005, 06:27 pm   #6 (permalink)
Ron
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

Problem is that the dealer insists that this is normal. I have replaced the
tires with Michelin Hydroedge (great tires, btw). Alignment is on
(independent alignment shop). Tire pressures on the money. Steering is
just too light with no road feel.

Like I said, the Outback I drove was outstanding in this regard. If Toyota
could design Subaru's excellent handling, quick steering and good road feel
into the Camry, it would be a definite winner. The Camry wandering is a
common problem with the 2002+ redesign.


"m Ransley" <ransley@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:25930-41F5842D-140@storefull-3135.bay.webtv.net...
> It is still under warranty , complain to Toyota and demand it be fixed.
> But honestly still look into tires such as good set of Michelin
> Harmonys or the equivilant you need. belts broke on my tires unnoticably
> from the inside ar 20000m Either, - demand a Toy Rep-. and repair.
>



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Old 24 Jan 2005, 06:35 pm   #7 (permalink)
Philip
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

m Ransley wrote:
> It is still under warranty , complain to Toyota and demand it be
> fixed. But honestly still look into tires such as good set of
> Michelin Harmonys or the equivilant you need. belts broke on my tires
> unnoticably from the inside ar 20000m Either, - demand a Toy Rep-.
> and repair.


When it is shown that the alignment specs are by the book and that no
defects in worksmanship exist in the rest of the chassis, Toyota (and all
other brands) will not make a project out of making your happy without PAY.
--

~Philip.



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Old 24 Jan 2005, 06:35 pm   #8 (permalink)
Philip
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

I"ve driven a 2003 Camry and a 2004. Neither car could I use my index
finger in the steering wheel to make turns in a parking lot. Matter of
fact, the effort required was about the same as my 2003 Corolla. Is your
car similar? Now wandering within the lane at highway speeds is a
different complaint. A solution to this kind of complaint I have aleady
posted to this thread.
--

~Philip.


Ron wrote:
> Problem is that the dealer insists that this is normal. I have
> replaced the tires with Michelin Hydroedge (great tires, btw). Alignment
> is on (independent alignment shop). Tire pressures on the
> money. Steering is just too light with no road feel.
>
> Like I said, the Outback I drove was outstanding in this regard. If
> Toyota could design Subaru's excellent handling, quick steering and
> good road feel into the Camry, it would be a definite winner. The
> Camry wandering is a common problem with the 2002+ redesign.



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Old 24 Jan 2005, 06:53 pm   #9 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

Rent or get a loaner of same model year and compare. As I said even Toy
was to dumb to figure tires were the real problem,my problem was 4 yr
old Bridgstone that got hard and slippery, real slippery. Also broken
belts often can not be seen, only felt in tires.

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Old 25 Jan 2005, 09:19 pm   #10 (permalink)
Art
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Default Re: 2003 Camry - steering too light, any way to adjust?

I had a 95 Subaru legacy wagon. Fantastic handling and ride. Too bad the
interior was junk. Also the ac was inadequate. But great body and
suspension.


"Ron" <rlee@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:10v9vgolsgjs059@corp.supernews.com...
> One of the annoying traits of our 2003 Camry is a bit of wandering on the
> road. Changing tires and a couple of alignments still does not help.
> What it seems to be is the power steering assist is set too high. Makes
> steering much too light, therefore a minor road imperfection would kick
> the tracking out of line. This requires more correction on the driver's
> part to keep a straight line. Also the PS overassist makes turns a bit
> tricky, often causing a side to side swaying that mimics body lean, but is
> actually steering corrections during the turn. Making the Camry feel
> "floaty" like the old Buicks.
>
> I recently drove a rental 2005 Subaru Outback and it has rock solid
> straightline tracking and tight turns. Loved the solid handling of this
> large car, though the Camry is better in other respects.
>
> Is there any way to adjust the assist on the power steering?
>



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