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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 17 Impreza Premium 5-door with 16 inch Continentals and have some concerns when I reach 70 - 75 mph. I have thought the car's handling was great, at least around town and up to 60 mph or so. Stable, low effort, no pulling to the side. 1200 miles on the odometer and not too too many potholes hit yet.

I've now noticed a bit of what I'll call "hunting" when I reach 70 or 75 mph. May have been there from the beginning as I live in metro Pittsburgh area where 75 mph is not feasible until you get 30 miles out of town and have a stretch of newer road without those potholes. On a straight or in an easy sweeping turn I'll need some continuous corrections in the steering to center in the lane.

Not terrible, but noticeable. No pulling to the side. No vibrations or odd shakes. Thought it might be the Conti snow tires on the 5mm smaller offset 16 inch TireRack wheels, but I don't think so. The situation seems to be consistent even now that I have the stock wheel and all weather tires back on the car again. Tire pressure have been played with and are now about 2 psi higher than the door plaque. No difference seen. No odd tire wear on either set of tires noticed by me.

Of course I have bent rims and separated tire belts and ruined alignments in the past around this part of the country. Hit a hole in a 67 Mustang once that put the steering wheel about 45 degrees off center to stay on the road! Roads here after the winter season can look like a war zone. Then they cold patch em and later dig em up. Then the freeze-thaw returns and we start over again. Roads wear out and get valleys worn in them. Maybe I've been spoiled by my cars since the 80s being Mazdas and Ford products that had a "Volvo platform" underneath their skins.

I'm at the dealer in 3 days for the ECU recall and mentioned the "problem" to the service manager and asked for a check-out under the car. His first comment was to point at the new "electric power steering" systems as something to get accustomed to. Yes, this car is my first so equipped.

Anyone else noticed this? How about the other trims with 17 and 18 inch tires? If you can post withing 3 days I can mention it to the dealer on my visit.
 

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Keep me posted on how you like the electric steering system since I never had one, hoping this simulates enough of a natural experience that the traditional systems did. It was a bit of a turn off on the Impreza since I seen these as being more raw than the rivals, but this time around its a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Keep me posted on how you like the electric steering system since I never had one, hoping this simulates enough of a natural experience
I don't find the Impreza objectionable at this point, but don't like whats happening at high speeds - hence this post. I'm hoping the service manager is wrong about the electric power steering being the cause.

The electric power assist is likely here to stay. The "on/off on demand" nature of these systems can increase fuel mileage over the "pump pump pump all the time" traditional hydraulic method. They are still learning how to get some road-feel or feed-back into the electric systems however.

My daughter's 2013 or 14 Audi Q5 is so equipped and the system is so poorly done that a salesman's line about being "drive by wire" (as in a F16 ???) was believed by my MS science educated son-in-law; like there is no physical connection from the steering wheel to the front wheels! Not true, but with absolutely no feel as in Playstation it seemed plausible to them! Audi vehicles are not inexpensive and you would think the Germans would figure it out.

As to "natural", manual steering in the old days was no fun either - to keep the effort down you would have a woefully slow steering often with a huge steering wheel. The VW bug had quick steering and was light in the front - no front air bags then or front engine either, just a spare tire, your knees and your face - in the event of a imminent crash, dive for the back seat. Later, after learning to drive in a BUG, my first corner at the end of the neighborhood block in a 54 Chevy had me go across both lanes and up over the curb while madly turning the wheel hand over hand. Must have been like 10 turns lock to lock.
 

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Have a 17 Impreza Premium 5-door with 16 inch Continentals and have some concerns when I reach 70 - 75 mph. I have thought the car's handling was great, at least around town and up to 60 mph or so. Stable, low effort, no pulling to the side. 1200 miles on the odometer and not too too many potholes hit yet.

I've now noticed a bit of what I'll call "hunting" when I reach 70 or 75 mph. May have been there from the beginning as I live in metro Pittsburgh area where 75 mph is not feasible until you get 30 miles out of town and have a stretch of newer road without those potholes. On a straight or in an easy sweeping turn I'll need some continuous corrections in the steering to center in the lane.

Not terrible, but noticeable. No pulling to the side. No vibrations or odd shakes. Thought it might be the Conti snow tires on the 5mm smaller offset 16 inch TireRack wheels, but I don't think so. The situation seems to be consistent even now that I have the stock wheel and all weather tires back on the car again. Tire pressure have been played with and are now about 2 psi higher than the door plaque. No difference seen. No odd tire wear on either set of tires noticed by me.

Of course I have bent rims and separated tire belts and ruined alignments in the past around this part of the country. Hit a hole in a 67 Mustang once that put the steering wheel about 45 degrees off center to stay on the road! Roads here after the winter season can look like a war zone. Then they cold patch em and later dig em up. Then the freeze-thaw returns and we start over again. Roads wear out and get valleys worn in them. Maybe I've been spoiled by my cars since the 80s being Mazdas and Ford products that had a "Volvo platform" underneath their skins.

I'm at the dealer in 3 days for the ECU recall and mentioned the "problem" to the service manager and asked for a check-out under the car. His first comment was to point at the new "electric power steering" systems as something to get accustomed to. Yes, this car is my first so equipped.

Anyone else noticed this? How about the other trims with 17 and 18 inch tires? If you can post withing 3 days I can mention it to the dealer on my visit.
Sorry to hear your having this issue. I have not experienced this & I have gotten close to the 100mph zone & this baby is rock solid at that speed. Maybe an alignment might help? Having to continuously correct the steering to stay center sounds like something is off. Possibly a control arm might be slightly bent? I'm not an expert in mechanical stuff but know basics.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have a 17 Impreza Premium 5-door with 16 inch Continentals and have some concerns when I reach 70 - 75 mph... I've now noticed a bit of what I'll call "hunting" when I reach 70 or 75 mph. ...
Anyone else noticed this? How about the other trims with 17 and 18 inch tires? If you can post withing 3 days I can mention it to the dealer on my visit.
Well, the dealer checked out the alignment and found it within spec. Technician could not notice any problems in his quick test. They did some adjustments to make the alignment dead on just to make me feel better - and did it without me asking which is impressive.

My quick road check showed no real change. I'll try a longer run soon. So what could it be? My imagination? Crummy roads? Been spoiled by more expensive cars? How about tires? I would not think two different tires, both Continental, would show similar issues. Have the Premium trim with 205/55 16 Continental Procontact TX. Only one response to the post, but I'm not sure of the tire used by the writer.
 

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When I first drove my Premium on the freeway I felt it needed too much steering correction. Maybe I'm used to it now or it loosened up. I just got back from a 1,000 mile road trip and that never crossed my mind, nice and easy the whole way doing 70-80.

However, I do keep the Lane Keep Assist off. I find it nudges me around too much. I often keep to one side or the other of the lane a bit to see traffic ahead or give more space to passing traffic.
 

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I don't find the Impreza objectionable at this point, but don't like whats happening at high speeds - hence this post. I'm hoping the service manager is wrong about the electric power steering being the cause.

The electric power assist is likely here to stay. The "on/off on demand" nature of these systems can increase fuel mileage over the "pump pump pump all the time" traditional hydraulic method. They are still learning how to get some road-feel or feed-back into the electric systems however.

My daughter's 2013 or 14 Audi Q5 is so equipped and the system is so poorly done that a salesman's line about being "drive by wire" (as in a F16 ???) was believed by my MS science educated son-in-law; like there is no physical connection from the steering wheel to the front wheels! Not true, but with absolutely no feel as in Playstation it seemed plausible to them! Audi vehicles are not inexpensive and you would think the Germans would figure it out.

As to "natural", manual steering in the old days was no fun either - to keep the effort down you would have a woefully slow steering often with a huge steering wheel. The VW bug had quick steering and was light in the front - no front air bags then or front engine either, just a spare tire, your knees and your face - in the event of a imminent crash, dive for the back seat. Later, after learning to drive in a BUG, my first corner at the end of the neighborhood block in a 54 Chevy had me go across both lanes and up over the curb while madly turning the wheel hand over hand. Must have been like 10 turns lock to lock.
I am afraid I have to agree with the salesman. The steering assist in these cars is the same as used in the BRZ/FRS for 5 years now and it is the best at simulating road feel that I have ever driven. The Imp steering has been dialed in to a 13:1 ratio which gives it more snap and precision than the standard 16:1 ration used in the older generations (and most other sedans for that matter). It also means that it amplifies your inputs a bit more than you may be used to. It took me a bit to get used to the quick response on my FRS but since I was used to it the Imp felt natural right away. The steering response was one of the deciding factors when we bought this car "for" my wife"
If you have ruled out tire and alignment issues then it may be that you do indeed just need to get used to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Saga continues - tire pressure ???

The Saga continues

Oddly, I've noticed today a similar thread of discussion on the NASIOC Impreza Forum with older cars than 2017. Yokohama tires were mentioned there as likely suspects. New Michelin tires seemed to help some people. Someone in this 4 page set of discussions mentioned tire pressure. No values given, just increase em.

I had tried a 2 psi increase earlier and didn't see much of a change. Spec on the door says 33/32. Had set it back to spec just before my service visit on 4/7. Checked my cold pressure last night 4/10 (cold and after the dealer visit) and had my gauge read 35.5 front and rear. Hummm! I checked with multiple gauges.

OK. Nice warm calm night. Cranked the tire pressures up to 37 F 36 R. Ride seemed maybe a bit harsh on local streets but not crazy and it's just an experiment after all. TPMS light stayed off.

Car tracked much better! Don't tell on me, but I took it up to 95 mph (very briefly) on the PA turnpike. Had enough fun passing a semi that I missed my exit and had to drive 15 miles to the next exit to turn around. May have to repeat this experiment a few times!

Any one else playing with tire pressures particularly on the 205/55 x 16 Premium trim Contentials? Apart from the harshness and likely tire wear I may up the pressure permanently or maybe just for long interstate hwy trips. In this area I usually seem to wear out the edges of tires before the center because of all our hills and curves. What's too much of an increase?

I had always set psi to spec or maybe 2 psi over in winter months with low temperature swings. I do remember Ford and Firestone having a problem with tire overheat failures - linked in part to low tire pressure specs to try and have them ride better. Do manufacturers go to a low pressure spec for ride softness?
 

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Temperature might be another one since some tires do better in certain weather conditions that others. So that's one area you want to look at if you haven't already.
 

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The Saga continues

Oddly, I've noticed today a similar thread of discussion on the NASIOC Impreza Forum with older cars than 2017. Yokohama tires were mentioned there as likely suspects. New Michelin tires seemed to help some people. Someone in this 4 page set of discussions mentioned tire pressure. No values given, just increase em.

I had tried a 2 psi increase earlier and didn't see much of a change. Spec on the door says 33/32. Had set it back to spec just before my service visit on 4/7. Checked my cold pressure last night 4/10 (cold and after the dealer visit) and had my gauge read 35.5 front and rear. Hummm! I checked with multiple gauges.

OK. Nice warm calm night. Cranked the tire pressures up to 37 F 36 R. Ride seemed maybe a bit harsh on local streets but not crazy and it's just an experiment after all. TPMS light stayed off.

Car tracked much better! Don't tell on me, but I took it up to 95 mph (very briefly) on the PA turnpike. Had enough fun passing a semi that I missed my exit and had to drive 15 miles to the next exit to turn around. May have to repeat this experiment a few times!

Any one else playing with tire pressures particularly on the 205/55 x 16 Premium trim Contentials? Apart from the harshness and likely tire wear I may up the pressure permanently or maybe just for long interstate hwy trips. In this area I usually seem to wear out the edges of tires before the center because of all our hills and curves. What's too much of an increase?

I had always set psi to spec or maybe 2 psi over in winter months with low temperature swings. I do remember Ford and Firestone having a problem with tire overheat failures - linked in part to low tire pressure specs to try and have them ride better. Do manufacturers go to a low pressure spec for ride softness?

Never exceed the max printed on the tire. Anything up to that is fair game.
 

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I don't think anybody has mentioned tire pressure in this. When I got the car new it was @ about 42psi for 17" Limited which are Firestone FT140s. I thought, wow, that's kind of high but seemed to drive OK. I took a few pounds out to start. Car seemed kind of "drifty" on the highway, like some others have said. It got warmer so thought I was pushing it
a bit.

Go back to dealer and I mention this, they run it in back and then on way home it's measuring 30-31. No more drift, seemed sluggish a bit - definitely low. Now I reset in the middle at 36-37 and will see how that does. Should not touch tire pressure when hot for sure.

Mechanic tells sales guy "these cars do better on MPGs when pressures are closer to 40+" -
may be so, but I think there is a happy medium in there.

Stick on side says 33/32 and I always go about 10-15% higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
OK. Just wrapped up a 1500 mile trip over a number of days and weather conditions and I think I have a hunch on this.

One - Continental 205/55 16" OEM tires. I think the sidewalls are great for tooling around town - nice soft ride - but they are a bit too mushy/flexible/rubbery for my handling preferences. Tip off was a near zero wind day. Car seemed to track on the straights fine but was a bit wandering/imprecise when the smooth sweeping curves came and speeds were over 70. That may explain the tire pressure influence if I increase it to significantly over the 33/32 on the door label.

Two - Maybe, sensitivity to side winds for a 2017 Impreza Premium trim. Noticed some wandering at slower speeds on the straight and flat when hearing the wind gusting and it was hitting me at right angles from my straight-ahead. I must say this car is quiet.

My older cars were heavier, wider and/or had lower profile tires. Anyone notice or not notice this on the lower profile tires of higher trim cars? Next time out I may upgrade to 18" wheels but that should be a long time out. Wish I had waited and not bought the 16" Continental snow tires also!
 

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For me, with the same OEM Continental 16" tires, I did notice crosswinds blowing the car but it seems to have been more about me relearn how to compensate. In an aircraft, they would called it pilot induced oscillations. Now that I'm used to the quick steering response and am no longer over correcting, all is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sedan or hatch?

For me, with the same OEM Continental 16" tires, I did notice crosswinds blowing the car but it seems to have been more about me relearn how to compensate. In an aircraft, they would called it pilot induced oscillations. Now that I'm used to the quick steering response and am no longer over correcting, all is good.
Thanks for responding. You may be right, but... I think I see the base sedan for ya. Correct? I was thinking my 5-door hatch might be a bit "fatter" than the sedan in the rear profile (like many of us older folks) and maybe had a bit of weather helm. The sailing term is meant to describe a trimmed sailboat that wants to turn hard into the wind and not have a more near neutral balance, because of the extra height and flat sides toward the rear. I'm still hoping for a desirable manufacturer brand change or a lower profile tire impact from some of the Impreza "hot-rodders" here. Radials get better as they wear down a bit too.

I hear you about the quick steering - my 2012 Miata is specified at 15.0 to 1 and it can be borderline twitchy on bumpy curves, but I feel no wandering as noticeable as this Impreza when in smooth fast curves or in crosswinds. Mazda is of course lighter, MUCH lower and has 45 series tires. It has the older hydraulic power assist and the steering is quite a bit heaver and stronger feeling on center. Very different cars.

I do like the nice cushy ride of the Impreza around town. The ride also impressed my son when I let him try the car on one of our "roads to Bagdad" around SW Pennsylvania. His daily drive is a mid-size SUV. Might be the trade-off for the handling when encountering side forces.

I'm also not exactly sure how you compare steering ratios between cars with other dimension differences. Is that 16 to 1 ratio the degrees of steering wheel turn to front tire degree turn on it's vertical suspension axis? Might be valid to compare em.

My older family cars were Mazdas and Fords with "European" platforms they lifted from the German and Swedish manufacturing they owned a chunk of. They used to appropriate some stuff from little Mazda too - now that I think of it.
 

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Had my 5 door out today on the hwy 70-75 feel like the car is catching a grove in the pavement wandering side to side. Almost feels like a flat tire or a dampener is bad or tire circumference is off. Was coming back from the race track so comparing apples to oranges here and was very pronounced.

Going to mess with tire pressure I see I have a 35 LR 38 RR pressure with those Firestone tires.


Overall the more I drive this the less impressed I am. 1000 miles. May be trading it in early

:)
 

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I have the base model 5 door manual. My drive home was 70 miles on the interstate, with a return trip to the dealer to get it undercoated a week or so later. Since then I have put a couple long trips on the clock. Only time I've noticed anything weird was a section of I35 on my way to duluth MN were there was rain groves in the highway. Was all over the place. My tires were about 8 psi over inflated( since has been corrected).
Also at highway speeds the electric assist should almost if not always be shut off, nobody needs to turn sharp at seventy like you would at 20 or 30mph.
 

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After seeing this thread this morning I took my base model 5 door up to 95 this evening on the way home from work. Didn't notice any issues tracking in a straight line between 65 and 95 and the car handled perfectly getting around a bit of slower moving traffic. I am coming from a 2003 ford focus with a bent rim and an alignment that was completely out of whack though so I don't really know if I'm just not used to having a car that handles better.
 

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Anyone notice or not notice this on the lower profile tires of higher trim cars? Next time out I may upgrade to 18" wheels but that should be a long time out. Wish I had waited and not bought the 16" Continental snow tires also![/QUOTE]

I have a 4 door Sport with the 5 speed rolling on the 18 inch wheels and Yokohama OEM tires. The car feels pretty planted up over 80mph. Into a head wind the car feels like its floating a little, however ever it doesn't seem to wander at all. Previously i had a 2014 Ford focus with 16 in wheels and continentals and i absolutely hated them. They had poor traction and felt like they were wandering all over the place. I ran 16 snow tires in the winter and they didn't wander nearly as bad as the continentals.
 
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