Bad handling over 65mph


#1

Recently my 02 sonata handles terrible after I get above 65-70mph. It feels like I’m always behind a semi and the wind moves your car around, lots of swaying side to side. The alignment is good and the tires are good. Any ideas on what could cause that?


#2

There’s not enough info given to make much of a guess.
How many miles on the car?
Has the vehicle been on the alignment rack recently?
Any odd tread wear patterns?

Wandering, or darting, can be caused by improper alignment, tire pressure, bad struts, worn front suspension parts, loose front wheel bearings, loose rear wheel bearings, worn rear suspension parts, etc.

If the vehicle has been on the rack recently, then a good tech should inspect tire pressure first thing and inspect the suspension parts. Even one worn part in the suspension makes an alignment an exercise in futility.


#3

It has almost 70,000 miles now. Tires are about 1 year old now and had an alignment at the same time.


#4

Normally you should not have a ball joint, trailing arm bushing, worn wheel bearings, etc. at the 70k miles mark.

If I had to suspect any problem with a part at 70k miles I would guess at a worn tie rod end, inner tie rod, or weak front struts.
Has the tire pressure been checked lately? You would be surprised at how quickly that little chore can get away from a car owner.


#5

I would look at the anti sway bar links. These can snap and still look ok when inspected. I snapped on and the vehicle got pretty lively. the link looked normal the first time I inspected it. Apply a little force to it to be sure.


#6

Can be dangerous! Lots of things can be bad, as in the posts above. Most of them can put you in a place you don’t want to be!

Like going down the highway sideways or upside down.


#7

Alot can happen in 1 year. The tires need a close inspection, there could be a tread separation cauing the problem.


#8

off hand i would say that either the tires are NOT good, or the alignment IS bad.

a year is a long time, and a lot of potholes to whack into.

on a really simple note, maybe one (or more) wheel weights fell off?!


#9

This was my first thought as well. It’s surprising how compromised the suspension is without the anti-sway bar connected on a lot of cars. Body roll is greatly increased and wind buffeting could make handling tough. Simple to check.


#10

I think OK4450 has hit the nail on the head, tire pressure. If two cross corner tires, i.e. LF,RR or RF, LR have higher pressure than the other two, then the handling can get very difficult.


#11

If the car is difficult to keep in a straight line, and doesn’t pull to one side or the other, I would suspect incorrect alingment first. The car seems too new to have worn out suspension parts. Have the toe in checked.