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True Story...Tires

My fiancee has been leasing cars for over 10 years now. Last time she leased a brand new Nissan and she noticed the steering wheel fought her a little when she turned/veered right. This was most noticeable when on the highway. After several times bringing it in for service(to no avail) then finally rotated the the tires and that made it better but the when the tires needed rotating it came back.

She just got a new lease(Nissan) and I swear to you( I drove it myself) the same thing. The steering wheel is “tight” when turning right and pushes back to the left( mostly on the highway). When turning left it is nice a “smooth” with no resistance but not when turning right. I told her to bring it in again and I suspect rotating the tires will help. But it seems like there is more to this??? Thanks for any input.

Are you saying this condition is being noticed on mulitiple and different models or is it always the same model Nissan but different years? I would feel better about the question if the concern is following the same model through the years (feeling better in a sense that it will be easier to explain).

What about the type of tire? always the same tire type (as in manufacture,model). I know they are all round, black with a hole in the middle.

What is staying the same in this equation?

Nissan Murano first now a maxima.

Please let us know what the dealer does about this, and if their actions help.

It’s the first time I’ve heard of such a phenomenon, regardless of make.

Could you feel the left-right difference in her Murano?

She and you may be feeling the effects of “torque steer”. It’s tough to tell without actually trying the car.

I also have never heard of this on ANY vehicle…If it is torque steer then you would feel this while under power or acceleration. IF it is not this…the ONLY other item that can cause this is the front differential gears. If the spider gears or anything in the front diff wont let one wheel accelerate and one to decel…you will get that feeling…for sure…

Nothing I have mentioned is cheap to fix however. while I havent heard of this it is conceivable with a faulty diff…

I just did a quick search on the net and I do see people complaining about NIssan Murano front diff issues…uh oh…

Has anyone checked the alignment? It seems like that would be worth doing. I’d probably also have a road-force balance done.

Does this happen on all roads? I’m wondering if this car is more sensitive than the average car to how much the road is crowned. Perhaps the alignment is set for crowned roads and this is happening only on uncrowned roads. Can you try passing a car on a two-lane highway and see how it behaves in that lane (which of course is crowned in the wrong direction)?

Murano is built on a modified version of the Maxima platform, so they might share front end components.

If rotation fixed the issue with the Murano, then you might consider just rotating the tires on her Maxima, just to see if that helps.

Or, a more expensive solution would be to replace the tires with something entirely different. The tires that most cars come with from the factory typically aren’t the best tires.


Step #1 Take it to the dealer. It is free and the worse they can do is say there is no problem. If they say that then address the problem. Don’t try to fix a problem of the dealer not being responsive until they have been asked to respond.

Step #2 if the dealer helps, post a reply so we know. If not reply here so we can offer information on the next step.

Don’t skip the steps.

What is a road force balance and who would be able to do that? Thanks

Is your fiance leasing her Nissans from the same dealer each time? I’m wondering if the leasing agency is cutting costs by replacing OE tires with cheaper tires.

You might also make sure that the tire pressures are checked regularly.

The scary thing is that the car takes some driving on the highway to really notice it and a few family members have noticed it. I know the dealer is not going to thoroughly check it. They are just gonna say " I don’t feel anything wrong" wish there was a computerized text that could prove it. Thanks

Did they try rotating the front tires from side to side to side just to make sure that tire bias is not behind this? (At least to some extent anyway)

It’s very difficult to say without knowing what the alignment specs are but let me pose this as a theory anyway.

Maybe this is related to a something in the alignment specs being out of whack and it’s a factory screwup.
The ease with which a car will turn one way or the other generally depends on the caster angle. If there has been a batch of vehicles leaving the factory with caster that is vastly different on one side as compared to the other then a steering problem like this could exist. A slight difference is preferable but slight means just that.

Does the car do this while turning and backing off of the accelerator? (Just trying to weed out the very real possibility of torque steer mentioned by mountainbike)
What I would want to see is the alignment printout specs before getting too deep into this.

I am not sure about the backing of the accelerator part, I will check. Whatever it is it is not right for sure. Sometimes it takes some strength to hold the wheel when turning/curving right(on a highways), it like wants to snap back the other way. We have tested this on different road crowns etc.

Now if they rotate the tires and it goes away this really has not solved the problem, correct? It will just come back when tires are due to be rotated. Thank very much OK and everyone for the input. I guarantee this is not going to be easy with the dealer because like I said it takes some driving(about 5 minutes) over 40 mph to really notice it and also like I said 3 other people noticed it. I am NOT making this up…:slight_smile:


Ok, brought the car to the Nissan dealer today and they said they felt it and it was a wheel alignment and they did it. Well that did not fix the problem and fiancee still feels it as well. I am bringing it back tomorrow again to drive it with the tech. I know this is going to be a hassle and drawn out process. Is there any test and/or machine I can suggest they do/use? I also noticed a little “test” that I am going to do when he is in the car and maybe this might better describe it. When on the highway and curving left when I turn the wheel and let go for a sec the car goes with the turn pretty much. When curving right and I turn the wheel and let go it pushes back left and the car does not go with the right turn and shoots back to the left. Again, there is a lot of resistance when turning the wheel right going fast…it pushes back the other way. Ugh!!! THank for any input I can suggest to the tech s you guys/gals seem to really know your stuff.

If the car were well used there would be a plethora of things that could cause a problem like this. Just to clarify a few things here.

Tire pressure is correct?

The dealer claims to have done an alignment. Did you receive a printout with the specs and/or paper copy of the repair order stating an alignment was performed; even under warranty? No paper trail can sometimes mean a placebo has been administered.

The car is new. Does this mean 2010 or 2011 new? ALLDATA shows the 2010s are subject to a Recall already for a cracked strut insulator.
Just because a 2011 is not under a Recall does not mean they can’t suffer the same problem as a 2010 year model.

This didn’t start out sounding like a tire problem and more and more, it’s sounding like a power steering problem.

Ok, thanks VERY much. i received a printout stating that the wheel alignment was off and they did a wheel alignment and the problem is fixed. It is a 2011 and it now has 250 miles, I bought it with 5 miles on it. I will mention to the tech about the 2010 recall. Is that for a Nissan Maxima? THanks. THe pressure is correct.

THanks I will mention that as a possibility.

I’m sorry. I just noticed your question today.

This is a special type of balancer that puts force against the tire similar to the weight of the car itself. This can find issues that won’t be found by a regular balancer. If you ask a tire shop if they have a road force balancer, they should know what you mean. You can also try using this locator: