Honda Fit Suspension rocking front to back

Last week I bought a new 2009 Honda Fit Sport, mt, and noticed that the car experience severe front to back rocking while driving over freeway expansion joints. IN fact, it was so bad that my head banged repeatedly - like a jackhammer - on the headrest. Since then, I’ve experienced this problem when I drive over 35 mph on sections of freeways and city streets and anywhere where there are a series of parallel seams in the pavement. Has anyone else experienced this and if so, do you know of how to fix it?

Visit your dealer and inquire as you under warranty.

It may be normal. I think while little tiny cars the ride suffers severely. No way around physics no matter what magic car engineers try.

The Fit has a very short wheelbase (the distance from the front wheels to the rear wheels), and this does tend to produce exactly the ride sensation that you described. That is one of the reasons why luxury vehicles tend to have a longer wheelbase–to provide a ride that is not subject to this “pitching motion” over rough pavement. (The other reason for the long wheelbase on luxury cars is to provide more interior room.)

Also, you selected the Sport model, which has a stiffer suspension than the “regular” model. Did you test drive a Sport model prior to purchase?

That being said, I would suggest that you check your tire pressure, as it is possible that it is currently set too high. Yes, dealers do perform a pre-delivery check of the car, but it is always possible for an employee to overlook something like tire pressure. As evidence of this, many years ago, I thought that the ride of my new Chevy was too rough. A check of the tire pressure revealed an even 55 psi on all tires! When I reduced the tire pressure to the recommended level, the ride became quite acceptable.

If you do not have a tire pressure gauge, buy one! Check the tires before you have driven more than a mile or so, and compare the pressures to the label on the driver’s door jamb. If, as I suspect, they are overinflated, reduce the pressure to the recommended levels, or perhaps just a couple of psi over the recommended levels.

Have them loan you a different car with the same options, see it it repeats. It shouldn’t do this, many small cars ride just fine.

My Subaru WRX wagon is a small car and parking next to a new Honda fit the other day I dwarfed it.

Yes, it’s small, but no smaller than my old GTI, never had that problem. I’ve also not read that any reviewers had that problem with the new Fit Sport…could be a problem with that individual car, so OP needs to check it out.

I wonder what car they came from? 99% likely something bigger as cars that size are a rarity these days. FIT reminds of Europe when I see one.

It could also be that the OP lives in New Jersey or some place like it. The roads and bridges are terrible there.

I live in NJ, and the condition of the roads varies considerably from one county to another. Luckily–Not in my county!

Regarding PDI’s and things forgotten, BMW shipped their cars with plastic spacers around the shaft of the shocks (I guess so the car could be tied down with no suspension movement,both Europe and USA produced) these spacers would sometimes be left in,the ride was terrible.

I own an '08 Fit M/T and I have never experienced anything like this on any road. You should also inquire on

Is yours the Sport model?

I took a look on, saw a number of comments regarding ‘squirrly’ handling (too sensitive to steering inputs and wind, that kind of thing), but I didn’t see any about front-to-rear pitching. Off to the dealer!

Thanks everyone for your feedback! I did drive w/the local Honda service director - we drove in both my car and one fresh off the carrier (the latter still wrapped in plastic): we noticed the problem in both my car (300 miles on it) and the fresh one (8 miles, also a Sport, mt). THe problem was a bit worse in my car than in the fresh one, and the mechanic suggested the psi may be too high (of course he did not check it, which is what I’m going to do first thing tomorrow morning).
Interestingly, my sister bought the '08 base model this past August and has not experienced this problem at all. The problem I experienced was mentioned in a review of a 2007 Fit ( although it did not specify transmission or trim):

I did inquire about spacers, & HOnda doesn’t use them on the Fit. I will check out the site - thanks!

Anyway, long story short, looks like Honda is unwilling to apply the lemon law b/c the same problem was duplicated in another Fit Sport, mt. I really hope this can be resolved by letting some air out oft he tires, b/c I agree: no car, no matter how small, shouldn’t perform like this!

East coast is under a arctic blast. Why going down the road do I only notice Honda’s with there windows fogged up??? Is it the car or the person driving???

You never answered my question regarding whether you test-drove a Sport model prior to purchase! And, you didn’t check the tire pressure prior to visiting the dealership. Checking the tire pressure prior to visiting the dealership had the potential to rectify the problem with less bother for both you and for the people at the dealership.

But, since the Sport model has a stiffer suspension than the “regular” model, it is entirely possible that the “front to back pitching” is characteristic of that model’s ride quality. Since the brand-new Sport model off of the car carrier rode the same way, that tends to buttress my theory.

And, no–that isn’t something that would fall under the terms of The Lemon Law in any state with which I am familiar. Instead, this falls under the category of “due diligence”. If you ordered a Sport model without test-driving one, then you did not properly research the model that you wanted to buy, since ride quality is something that varies from one brand/model to another, as does a person’s subjective opinion of ride quality. The short wheelbase, coupled with a stiffer suspension can produce a ride quality exactly like what you have described, and you may just have to live with the situation.

Think about it–If dissatisfaction with a car’s ride quality qualified you for Lemon Law coverage, then any number of things that a buyer failed to verify prior to purchase or that a buyer simply decided that he didn’t like would also qualify for coverage, and as a result, a HUGE percentage of car buyers would be clamoring for relief under the terms of that statute. “Oh–these seats aren’t as comfortable as I like.” “Hmmm…This color is darker than it looked in the brochure.” “Road noise is higher in this car than in my previous car”…and so on…and so on. If complaints like this qualified for Lemon Law coverage, the ailing auto industry would be defunct in short order.

The Lemon Law statutes are intended to cover genuine defects in an individual car–not something that is characteristic of every car of that model, and I strongly suspect that what you are experiencing is characteristic of all Fit Sport models. Perhaps you did not previously have a car with this short a wheelbase. Perhaps the ride quality is exacerbated by tire pressure that is too high. Perhaps the struts are stiffer than normal, due to the very low temperatures. Perhaps you are more sensitive to this type of ride than the magazine test drivers who reported on the Fit. The list goes on and on, but I doubt that this is something that will qualify you for Lemon Law coverage.

And, a quote from the link that you provided–“One tester noted pronounced front-to-back rocking motions over certain highway expansion joints”–clearly supports my theory that you simply bought a car whose ride quality you do not like. However, dissatisfaction with a vehicle’s inherent ride quality does not constitute a vehicle defect. Next time, be sure that you do an extended test drive in the exact same model that you intend to purchase.

Whoever you are (a Honda rep?), I surely do not appreciate your condescending lecture; OF COURSE I test drove the 2009 Sport models before purchasing!!! In fact I test drove THREE 2009 Honda Fits - each w/Sport trim (and with manual transmission) - at THREE separate dealerships before purchase and this problem NEVER occurred. I did not drive these models in red; perhaps you think I should have done that before purchasing, since that’s the color I ultimately bought.

By the way, I am not a mechanic, and it did not occur to me, nor the dealers I called after purchase, nor the mechanics to check tire pressure. (Why would I have any reason to think that the dealer from whom I bought the car would not have made sure the tires were at the proper level!) It was only after three post-purchase visits to the dealer service dept. that the service director made the suggestion that a lower psi could alleviate - though not remove - the problem. And again, he did not check the psi for me. Honda and the dealer service director have basically told me that the profound front-to-back rocking is a characteristic of the car; they did not say lowering tire pressure would solve the problem.

I find it shocking that Honda would find the front-to-back rocking over seams in the road (and the jackhammering of one’s head on the headrest that accompanies it) acceptable.

No, I am not employed by Honda, or by any other vehicle manufacturer.

However, based on available evidence provided by you (driving the brand-new off the carrier Fit + the link to the magazine review of the Fit Sport), it does appear that this is characteristic of that model. If that is truly the case, then it is not a vehicle defect, and Lemon Laws would not apply.

I suspect that your test drives were done on different roads than the ones that you have been driving on recently. That is just a theory, of course.

How did you learn to write so well? practice,schooling? your posts flow very well and make clear understandable points. (One of my current classes is Writing ,yes it is Writing 101,it is not the bottom level though.)

You don’t have to be a mechanic to check your tire pressure. You also don’t need to be a mechanic to relate tire pressure with ride quality.

Nowhere in VDCdriver’s post do I detect a condescending tone. It simply appears to be a verbose (look who’s talking!) explanation of why your problem doesn’t qualify under most lemon laws. Perhaps you are so frustrated with this problem you injected your frustration into a response that was only meant to be helpful?

I agree with his assessment that the problem you are having is probably a combination of bad roads and the stiff sport suspension of your model.

…Oh, and before you ask, I don’t work for Honda either…and I am not related to VDCdriver.