I have 2011 Honda Fit with about 63000 miles. Recently, I noticed that I could feel every bumps and vibration when I am driving, at high and at low speed. On a smooth surface road, I don’t feel anything, but on a bumpy road, I feel like I am on a bumper car. I have not taken my car to the dealership, but is it a big problem?
Did you just buy this car used, or have you had it a sizable portion of those 63k mi? I’m asking because going from a larger car to a compact (especially “mid-size domestic—>compact Asian”) results in handling that’s different from what you may be used to. More “connected” feeling, which can be experienced as a positive or a negative.
OTOH, If you’ve own the car since new, or nearly new, then something obviously changed to cause this. I’d look first at the strut assembly.
It sounds like the suspension, but the age and mileage seem low for suspension. How fast do you go over speed bumps or other big road bumps? If you go too fast (say 25 mph), the suspension will wear out faster.
I hate to be Captain Obvious, but…Has the OP checked the tire pressure lately?
If the car was serviced just before this problem started, it is very possible that the tires were overinflated by a service tech.
If it turns out that the tires are set at an appropriate pressure (as per the label on the driver’s door jamb, NOT the pressure listed in the tire sidewall), then the struts are the probable culprit.
+1 @VDCdriver. That what I was going to say.
Sounds like you may have a locked up strut. Try pushing down on each corner of the car and see if one corner feels significantly stiffer than the others.
But try VDCdrivers suggestion first.
If this is the “Sport” model, a punishing ride comes as standard equipment. We had a poster last year who bought one of those and did not like the ride.
Docnick is correct about the rough ride of the Fit Sport model, but the way that the OP’s post is written, it appears that this problem suddenly appeared.
Perhaps the OP can clarify whether the car was recently acquired, or if he/she has owned it for a considerable period of time.
When my Ford truck develops this symptom, especially the “bumper car” description, it has always been the shocks. Replacing those fixed the problem straight away.
I concur w/the above advice tho as the first thing to do, check the tire pressure, and do a quick “push on the bumper” test at all four corners. If you don’t know what is the proper response to a “push” test, find someone with a new car who will let you do it on that car. If your car does something much different, you know you have a suspension problem and probably need new shocks (“struts” is the term on your car).
My grandson had a car with a worn out left side strut, it wasn’t bad until the temp dropped below freezing, then the water that had seeped into the strut froze solid and when you hit a bump it would throw that side of the car in the air.
Did @Dezmondz just replace the tires? Are they over inflated as @VDCdriver suggests? Or are the tires just harder riding than the tires that were just replaced? You can check sites like Tirerack.com, look up the tire you just bought and look at the ratings. They are a 1-10 scale and cover rain traction, life, noise as well as ride comfort. Check and compare.
These cars ride a bit hard to begin with, some styles of tires will just make this a whole lot worse.
Thank you all for your comments.
To answer few of your questions:
- I bought this vehicle new at 2011. This bumpy experience was not noticeable at all in the beginning.
- The tire pressure issue. I have not check the tire pressure yet. Normally when there is low tire pressure issue, I receive notification. Since there is no notification, I assumed that there is no low pressure issue. The tire was not recently replaced nor serviced. However, I did put some air using bicycle tire pump. I checked the proper tire pressure on the sticker at the side of the driver side before I pump in air.
- Lock up strut issue. I don’t know how to check this. I tried pushing each corners to see if I can determine whether one or more corners are stiffer than other, however, I cannot distinguish the difference. Worse part is that I used to feel bumpy on front right side, however, now I feel bumpy all around. All four tires now feel bumpy.
Update: When vehicle is started in the morning, after resting in the garage over night, the bumpiness is not present. I only notice the stiffness or bumpiness in the afternoon when I am coming back home from work.
Question: How do I check for strut assembly? Do I take my car to the dealership? body shop?
How worn are the tires? Worn tires ride rougher. Worn struts/shocks also can cause a rough ride.
The way that the OP writes, it is fairly difficult to figure out exactly what he is telling us, but it appears that he only checked the pressure in one tire.
If this rough ride is really problematic…Why has he not done the easiest thing of all, namely checking the pressure in all of the tires?
Relying on the TPMS to warn him of low pressure is not going to work if–in fact–the tires have too much pressure in them.
The OP needs to check the tire pressure in all the tires and not just with the gauge on the bike pump he’s using. They are about as accurate as kicking a tire.
Second, try the above mentioned test of putting your weight on each corner to see if one corner feels stiff.
If you live in the northern states it might be as someone mentioned…that water has entered the strut. It thaws overnight…giving you a smooth ride in the morning, but by the time you are finished work the water has frozen and gives the stiff ride.
Stop at a station and use their gauge to check…or buy a good air gauge for yourself.
Check the pressure in all four tires and then check the struts.
Put both hands on a corner of the car…put your weight on to the fender and bounce the car. Then go to the other three corners and do the same.
Do this in the Am before going to work and again after work when it’s been sitting in the cold.
Then compare the results.
Then come back with your results.
Here is my guess: Your Honda sits in a garage at your house where the temperature doesn’t dip below freezing. You don’t notice the harshness in the suspension on your way to work. However, your car sits out while you are at work. The problem started recently because the weather is colder and the fluid in the struts is less viscous after the car has sat out in the cold which makes the struts stiffer. This explains why your problem started recently with the onset of cold weather and why you don’t experience this in the morning.
I may not be right, but I used the reasoning of Gus Wilson, the proprietor of the Model Garage where each issue of Popular Science had a automotive mystery.