jukes
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:13 am
Delivery Date: 14 Sep 2018
Leaf Number: 307873

2015 steering return to zero behavior

Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:33 am

I just bought a CPO 2015 SL with 14k miles about a week ago, and am slightly confused about the power steering, particularly with its return-to-zero and small adjustment behavior at speeds fo 20-40mph.

  1. I find that small adjustments to the wheel positioning (1-2 degrees) are basically entirely ignored by the steering system. They induce no changes to the direction of travel and do not result in any return-to-zero feedback of the steering column. Basically there's like 3-5 degree play in the wheel around zero that does nothing.
  2. If I am actually turning (1/2 to 1+ revolutions of the wheel) and let go the speed at which the system returns to zero is quite slow. This is to the point that I need to manually return the wheel to zero in normal city driving when going around turns or I will continue to turn for 1/2-1 second (e.g., for a right turn I would wind up driving up over the curb, for a left turn I'd wind up in oncoming traffic).
  3. If I have enough space to allow the wheel to return to zero naturally, it stops prior to the wheel alignment fully returning to straight driving. Essentially I will continue to drift in the direction that the turn took place in... slightly left after a left turn and slightly right after a right turn.
  4. I have to rotate the wheel quite a lot more for the same radius turns than I expect from previous experience.

I'm trying to understand if these are normal for the Leaf at these city speeds, or if they're unusual. I've been driving for 35 years and have owned two honda civics, a mazda protege, and most recently a 2009 VW Jetta TDI.

The car was aligned as part of the CPO process and I have that alignment information. The wheels are the SL alloy wheels, and it has some sort of Michelin low rolling resistance tires on it that seem like they're in perfect condition.

Are there electronic parameters that the dealership can adjust to provide a more standard driving experience? I assume I'll get used to all of these quirks if they're just the way the car is supposed to feel. I'd like to have an idea of what I'm talking about before I go back to the dealer to have them sort it out.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 1870
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:16 pm

Check tire pressure. The car will be more responsive and more stable with at least 40 psi instead of the 36 psi Nissan-recommended pressure. Return to center feel also depends upon tires and alignment. What are the alignment parameters vs. specifications for your car? If everything is correct, steering wheel should return to center like any other car. There is a calibration procedure for the steering wheel center position that should be done after an alignment.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9790
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:58 pm

Tires can do this alone. Our Prius PHEV now has Toyo Celsius all-season Winter-biased tires all around, and the one thing I don't like about them is they don't especially want to self-return to straight. This doesn't bother my housemate who owns the car, and I don't drive it a lot, so it isn't a big issue.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9790
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:00 am

Tires can do this alone. Our Prius PHEV now has Toyo Celsius all-season Winter-biased tires all around, and the one thing I don't like about them is they don't especially want to self-return to straight. This doesn't bother my housemate who owns the car, and I don't drive it a lot, so it isn't a big issue.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Lothsahn
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:35 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jan 2018
Leaf Number: 007797

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:50 am

jukes wrote:I'm trying to understand if these are normal for the Leaf at these city speeds.

I notice NOTHING like this on my 2011 Leaf. Steering is responsive and it's a dream to drive. Tire pressure is 38psi all around
2011 Silver SV, purchased 2018, lives in Missouri (previously in CA)
LeafSpy Pro + BAFX Products OBDII dongle
7 bars and really feeling the range squeeze

jukes
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:13 am
Delivery Date: 14 Sep 2018
Leaf Number: 307873

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:14 pm

Just went out and checked. Dealer set the pressure to 44psi uniformly, which seems really high. I took them all down to 40psi and I'll see how that feels later today when I take the car out again.

I don't see any way to attach an image of the alignment report on the forum. I didn't look at these carefully, but the Rear Cambers seem to be out of their specification. I'll probably contact the dealer and complain about these being unadjusted during the alignment... maybe that will help too.

Thanks for the advice.

* Primary Angles
** Front Left
Caster 4'48 (spec 4'05 to 5'35)
Camber -0'36 (spec -1'10 to 0'20)
Toe 0.3mm (spec 0.0mm to 1.1mm)

** Front Right
Caster 5'00 (spec 4'05 to 5'35)
Camber -0'12 (spec -1'10 to 0'20)
Toe 0.3mm (spec 0.0mm to 1.1mm)

** Rear Left
Camber -1'18 (spec 0'59 to 1'59)
Toe 1.2mm (spec -0.5mm to 2.4mm)

** Rear Right
Camber -1'06 (spec 0'59 to 1'59)
Toe 1.6mm (spec -0.5mm to 2.4mm)

** Thrust Angle -0.01

* Secondary Angles
** SAI
Left 11'58 (spec 11'10 to 11'40)
Right 11'50 (spec 11'10 to 11'40)

** Included Angle
Left 11'22
Right 11'38

** Toe Out On Turns
Unreported

** Max Turn Inside
Unreported

** Toe Curve Change
Unreported

** Setback
Left 1mm
Right -3mm

** Track Width Diff
13mm

** Wheel Base Diff
4mm

** Front Ride Height
Unreported

**Rear Ride Height
Unreported

** Frame Angle
Unreported

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9790
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:15 pm

What tires are on the car?
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

jukes
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:13 am
Delivery Date: 14 Sep 2018
Leaf Number: 307873

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:21 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:What tires are on the car?


Michelin Energy Saver A/S
P215/50 R17 90V

Edit: added 90V

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9790
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:03 pm

Those are common Leaf tires, so the issue is with your specific car.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 1870
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: 2015 steering return to zero behavior

Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:48 pm

I ran the OEM Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires at 44 psi and did not have the problem. You will probably find that lower pressure makes it worse. I found that 44 psi was best for tire wear and handling with those Michelins, but they were mediocre tires, at best. Nothing in your alignment numbers look unreasonable, but I will look up the specifications the next time I have the service manual open on my computer.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

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