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My 2007 Honda Fit feels like a death trap

Got a 2007 Honda Fit a month ago. I live in Los Angeles, so I don’t need to worry about bad weather. I’m originally from New York, so I know what driving in bad weather is like.

Well, you’d think it was snowing in LA. This car drives as if I’m driving on a sheet of ice sometimes, particularly on (1) bumpy roads and (2) speeds of 50+. Sometimes the car feels like it’s hydroplaning – and that’s on smooth, dry roads. A few days after buying the car, I almost crashed just switching lanes on the Golden State Freeway.

The car came with Hankook tires. I’ve heard some complaints about Hankooks “sliding”, but consensus seems to be that Hankooks are good tires.

Any ideas on what could be causing this? Wish I had my old beloved Scion xA again (that car was the bomb!)

PS Getting rid of the Honda and getting a different car is financially not an option for me right now…

It isn’t the tires. Hankook tires are fine. I use them.

There are a number of possibilities, including but not limited to alignment, worn out struts/shocks, worn suspension bushings and/or components, and an accident in the car’s history that caused the unibody to be out of wampus. I’m afraid you’re going to have to bring it to a reputable chassis shop for a thorough look-see. By the way, how many miles are on this buggy?

Here’s hoping it’s just an alignment and perhaps struts/shocks.

There were no accidents according to CarFax. Has 118K on it.

Ok, I’ll have the alignment checked. Glad to hear you think it’s not the tires…

Thanks for your comment!! :smiley:

Carfax is perhaps the biggest scam going. They pretend they have comprehensive histories on cars and in truth there is absolutely no such bank of data on automobiles. There is absolutely no federal, state, or local source of data for them to draw from, and of the hundreds of thousands of repair shops and body shops across the nation, very, very few send them data, and even that data is horribly incomplete. Carfax reports are notoriously inaccurate.

That does not mean that I’m suggesting your car has been in an accident. The overwhelming majority of handling problems are due to alignment, tired struts/shocks, and normal wear on the suspension components. I’d bet lunch that that’ll be true of your car as well. I only listed the accident item because it is one possibility, and I was trying to “check all the boxes”.

Lots of gripes and complaints about Hankook tires here :arrow_down:

Mechaniker: That’s where I read all the other reviews. Seems like the steps should be (1) check alignment, and if that doesn’t work (2) spring for new tires.

The same mountainbike: Wow, didn’t know that!! What a rip, then…

To me, it is absolutely sad that people are so easily hoodwinked by Carfax’s advertising.
While Carfax is better than nothing, the amount of information omitted (or just plain inaccurate) on those reports is so massive as to frequently conceal important info about a vehicle’s past–such as lax maintenance and collision damage.

There is really no substitute for having your own mechanic put a car up on a lift for a full mechanical and chassis inspection prior to purchase. Many a car that was classified as “accident-free” by Carfax has been found by mechanics to be badly damaged–and badly repaired–following the accident about which Carfax was mute.

I will give the OP one additional possibility to check before driving over to the alignment shop, however.
I strongly suggest checking the pressure in those tires when they are “cold” (prior to driving). Compare the pressure with the pressure listed on the label affixed to the driver’s door jamb, and release some pressure if they are overinflated. Do NOT inflate the tires to the pressure listed on the sidewall of the tires!

I suggest an inflation check because grossly overinflated tires could produce the exact problems that the OP is reporting.

I am giving this a bump, in the hope that the OP sees my suggestion about checking for over-inflated tires.

  1. tire pressure
  2. Inspect front and rear suspension go damage
  3. alignment (4 wheels)
  4. shocks/struts

“To me, it is absolutely sad that people are so easily hoodwinked by Carfax’s advertising”

Whenever I see a slick ad on TV I get very skeptical of that product.
The ads do just the opposite (for me) what they intended.
Aamco, Jiffy Lube, Bose… all that glitters ain’t gold.

I had this problem once. my truck would be all over the road at the slightest bump. I can t remember what the part was but it was in the front end suspension somewhere and cheap to fix.

stabilizer, bushings maybe? IDK for sure, but it was scary

I had a VW Rabbit years ago that started to behave like that, and replacing the front struts was what fixed it. I wouldn’t describe it a “like driving on ice” , not that dramatic, but the bad struts definitely produced a squirrelly sensation.

CarFax is not all bad or all good. If a car is always taken to a new car dealer for service, there is a good chance that the report is comprehensive. I bought a 2 year old car a couple of years ago and the CarFax had several entries. All were just regular maintenance visits. That is probably not the norm, but it does happen. When you read a CarFax, you have to pay attention to time gaps in entries.

IMHO several entries of regular maintenance visits in no way represents a history of a car. The place where the owner took the car for regular maintenance might have been a CarFax partner but the place that replaced the engine and the place that put a whole new front end on after an accident might not have been. You simply have no way of knowing.

I’m glad you got a good car. But IMHO Carfax had absolutely zero to do with that. Their data is highly unreliable and even in the best cases incomplete.

No telling what has happened to the car that isn’t accident related but a front end alignment check should be a good start. They are supposed to look at tie rod ends and ball joints as well as loose or missing parts or components. Wheel bearing looseness is another important one as well as condition of struts which may be the originals or worn out replacements.