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HELP Need a smoother ride

The name’s real illustrative of my problem. The Queen of the Road Trip’s developed BPPV, which makes me car sick. Currently driving a 2004 Honda CR-V and the ride’s a jiggly as a four-year-old who’s gotten into the candy jar. Got a two-part question:

1. Can I fix the problem with new struts/shocks? The dealership says, “No.” NTB says I need them. The CR-V is paid for and I love the car, but the ride on Knoxville’s hilly roads is just nasty.

2. I’m considering a new car, budget is under 35K. Was wanting something with good mileage, great ride, that’ll fit in my tight garage (less than 195 inches in length). And I’d like to have something that’s FUN.

Any suggestions for either Question 1 or 2? Thanks!

  1. NTB is full of it. Hondas are designed to ride slightly rougher than “cushy” vehicles. That’s why they handle better.

  2. First off, I’d say test drive it for a long time, because I don’t think a softer ride is going to help alleviate your BPPV symptoms.

If you are driving on four-year-old tires, you may just need new tires. Talk to the nice guys at

Sounds like you need a used Boxster. Don’t get the S, just a regular run of the mill everyday Boxster.

Yup, NTB sounds like a bunch of hooey to me, too.

Definitely going to do more test-driving before I buy. Contemplating renting a car of the make-model I am interested in for a weekend. Working with the docs, too, of course, but the car is posing a problem.

Tires are new as of summer as well as alignment. Used the dealer for that, too. I wish I had gone to TireRack.

Hey, a Boxster might work. Even if the ride isn’t smooth, I already have the top down so I’m getting fresh air. And God that car looks like FUN! LOL! But, under 35K???

If you’ve had the car since '04 and it did not used to ride this way, you may want to get an evaluation of the chassis from a good independent chassis shop (not NTB). “Jiggly” can mean a lot of things, and it could need chassis work.

If the ride is the same as it’s always been, or maybe just a wee bit more compliant, then new shock aren’t the answer.

You should be able to get something much smoother for $35K. Get a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide, see what looks interesting, and test drive the ones you like. You may need to look for a balance between firm and smooth. “Floaty boat” rides might be as bad for your condition as firm-jiggly rides.

Sincere best.

A cushy ride isn’t normally associated with fun to drive, and ride quality is subjective as well. I switched from a '99 Civic coupe to a '10 CX-7 and found the ride to be quite smooth, though it generally gets mixed reviews on that because it has such sporty handling.

NTB…Stay away…They are a sleaze outfit. Use to be owned by Sears (think they still are).

Their mechanics work on commission. About 50% of their salary is based on how much they can sell you…even stuff that’s NOT needed.

Went there for an alignment back in 92 (had a coupon). They told me I needed new ball joints…I said “Show me”…they couldn’t…When I got home I inspected them myself…they were fine…6 years and 200k miles later I was still riding on the original ball joints…and they were still fine. They just wanted to sell me parts and labor I didn’t need. That was the last time I was there…never went back.

nationwide there are 797 used Boxters for $35,000 or less right now.

Some with very low miles - - as in, sub 10,000.

Check the tire air pressure, if it’s about 35, try going to 30.

You’re car may not have ABS. If it doesn’t, you may be in “luck”. I’ve had good success softening up the ride in cars by up-sizing tires with higher profile and/or width.

Let’s assume you have 205/70/15. If you go with 215/65/15 as the option, you keep the overall diameter (within reason) and may end up with a more harsh ride. Instead. I’ve heard (true or not ?) trying as high as 225/70/15 on CRVs for your problem. You might try only one size up to 215/70/15 to check fit first to be safe. This increases both the foot print and the diameter (70% of 225 is greater than 70% of 215), essentially putting MORE air between you and the road.

It is not a manual recommended thing to do, but I have safely up sized a gazillion vehicles (Sidekick to 235/75/15, a huge jump) without modifications but with care taken to check fitment. I’ve done it on EVERY car and truck I’ve owned that did not have abs and have always been rewarded with a better ride. You need to find a tire shop willing to check the fit for you. Even with abs, I would do it one size up.

If it’s no fitment problem but they refuse to mount tires on car themselves, I’ve either put car on blocks at home or used my spare rims to have them rim mounted and put them on at home myself. They still get the sale ! I would not hesitate to check this option on your crv. The down side is…YOU MUST include the spare in your switch for your awd car and pray it fits underneath/
IT DOES and HAS WORKED very well for me ! I use to check clearances sometimes w/o ever doing a test fit and have never had a problem. Be sure and do a dynamic fit by turning wheel and bouncing car for example. Some cars like yours should have room to spare.

Have you talked to your doctor about this?

He may have treated other patients with BPPV and be aware of whether buying a new car will work. He may also refer you to someon with better knowledge of the subject. Also, are you involved it treatment to reduce or eliminate vertigo?

You can also check on the internet if you have not done so already. Look for unimpeachable sources like the Mayo Clinic, the National Insitutes of Health (NIH), or any well-known teaching hospital. Even if you don’t get the answers you want in your net search, you can develop questions to ask an expert.

I’ll speak from personal experience here:

If the Boxster doesn’t work for you (I own a '98), you could consider a Chrysler Crossfire.
They come in Coupe and Convertible versions, and are easily found in the $10k to $20k range.
There is also a supercharged version called the SRT-6, but I wouldn’t bother with that one, unless you love going really fast, really quick.

Crossfires have a softer ride than the Boxster, by a good margin.


Second thought. If you’ve got $35K to spend, indulge yourself in a Hybrid Hylander which retails for $38. Your trade-in will bring cost well below that and you’re looking at a little better mileage car with a great ride. Go for it !

Crossfire is a previous generation SLK frame, so older SLKs would be OK, too.