I bought a Nissan Altima less than two months and am having major regrets. The steering is very difficult. My hands sometimes cramp up, I’m constantly shifting my hands around the wheel to distribute the fatigue. My wife thinks it’s unusually difficult to steer also. The dealership says that it’s handling the way it’s supposed to be. Any advice?
You didn’t tell us if this is a new car, or a used one!
If it is a new car, then I suggest that you test drive Altimas at different dealerships in order to find out if the steering has the same feel as yours. (Don’t reveal why you are at the dealership. Just act like you are interested in buying a car!)
If the steering feels different on other Altima samples, then I would suggest that you “kick things up a notch” by filing a complaint with Nissan on the corporate level. Frequently, the corporate folks will do much more to keep a customer happy than a dealership will. Contact info can be found in your Owner’s Manual.
If the other Altimas steer the same way as yours, then probably the only solution is to trade the car in on another model whose steering meets your needs. Just be sure to test drive another model extensively before buying it.
If this is a used car, it is possible that there is a problem with front-end components, such as ball joints or tie rod ends, and this would be a safety issue, as well as a comfort issue. It is also possible that the power steering system is simply low on fluid.
Is this a new Altima or a used one?
What is the model year?
This is a new 2013 Altima.
Did you drive your car . . . not a similiar Altima . . . but your car . . . before you bought it?
Was the steering the same from day one?
Can I assume the steering is difficult at slow speeds (parking lot), but okay at higher speeds?
I suspect your car has speed sensitive power steering . . . more assist at parking lot speeds
Ask your dealer to make sure that this feature is working correctly
I agree with @VDCdriver . . . drive other 2013 Altimas for a comparison