275lb driver notices right turn handling difference


#1

I notice that when I drive my 275lb self (with no passengers) and I turn right, the handling of my 2007 Nissan Murano (21K miles) is not as responsive as when I turn left. Obvious physics probably. My question is - How can I make the handling ‘more even’? stiffer shocks/struts? counterweight on passenger side? pick up hitch-hikers? carpool everywhere? Any ideas?


#2

A counter balance would work to even things out. My concern with that is the potential projected missile loose in car in case of an accident. I would picture strapping a sack of pea gravel in the passenger seat, with the seatbelt. Seems like a hassle though if you need to make room for a passenger.

The better suggestion I would give is an alignment. Most new cars have a lot more adjustments than they used to, and most alignment shops don’t perform an alignment properly. What is the load condition of your car going down the road. 1 person? 2 persons? 3 persons and a trunk full of fishing gear? That’s how it should be aligned. Preloaded with the weight it most often carrys. If you ride in it by yourself and relatively empty, take to the alignment shop with half a tank of gas, and have the alignment performed with you sitting in the vehicle or sand bags equaling your weight. This can change the handling of a car dramatically. Why do alignment shops do the service empty? Who cares if your car is in alignment while sitting in the parking lot??

You also get what you pay for. A $70 alignment special from Merchants Tire isn’t going to get you much. A real alignment should cost $150 to $200 on average.


#3

You might want to test drive another 2007 Murano and see if spending money on an alignment is feasible.


#4

Maybe a stiffer sway bar. There are plenty of accessories in magazines at the book stores. Maybe a call or a web visit from numbers in those magazines. Leanyrider Magazine could be a good title. I’m sure you aren’t the only 275er on the road.


#5

Have you checked your tire pressure?

Along this line, larger wheels with lower profile tires may help stabilize it without being cost prohibitive. www.carbibles.com has a good primer on wheels and tires that could help you select a combination that would help without affecting your speedometer and odometer.