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Old 03-12-2005, 01:41 AM   #1
burnout
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Default Re-Program Electric Assist?

Is there a way for the dealer to change how much assist is given at highway speeds? The steering wheel is very loose, and if gently touched can throw the car to one side. It feels like there is a lot of assist on the highway; too much.
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Old 03-12-2005, 07:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

I don't know about the re-programming, but I don't feel the same thing on the highway. The wheel is less sensitive than my wife's Taurus.

Although, I don't like power steering at all. I've never driven one that seems to give any feeling between steering wheel and road. I wish there was a power steering delete option. But it probably wouldn't sell enough to be worth screwing with for Saturn.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistomax
I wish there was a power steering delete option.
I totally agree, or a way for the user to adjust the amount of assist. Many new vehicles are light enough and could get away with no power steering. Another $$ maker for the automakers, along with automatic transmissions that they shove down our throats.
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

I think a reprogramming would be cool. The latest reviews of the Cobalt I've been reading have been praising GM for getting rid of the 'artificial feel' of the electric system. I would love to have those enhancement programmed in.. I think the steering feels like an arcade game.
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

I hate the sensitivity of my Vue's steering at highway speeds. I much preferred my 94 SL2 which stayed put and didn't have the Vue's tendency to twitch at the slightest movement of the wheel.

My wife hates driving it because of the steering,and she used to own a Highlander.

Best steering I ever had was on an Accord, it was variable assist, so you were fully power assist at just get started speeds and by the time you hit 30, it was undetectable.
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Old 03-12-2005, 10:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

I don't know how much of the lousy road feel is due to the steering or the Duelers..I went up to 35 psi and they ride like rocks, which is why I think they originally put them at 30
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

I think we might have to take a survey and investigate how people feel about their electric steering. I like mine; it works the way it's supposed to- lots of assist at low speeds, less on the highway. but others experience the opposite.
before it came out, I was selling saturns, and the sales buzz was that it was adjustable. but that was ignorant salespeople talking out of their behinds. being electric, it should be adjustable, but if saturn doesn't have a service bulliten on it, you can't do anything. has anyone tried to get saturn to do anything about it?
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:35 PM   #8
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Dizzy Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

The RL Vue has a different steering program, correct? I thought I read here that they could swap that one into a normal Vue...
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

The boost is variable. In fact, when you're on the freeway, there's no assist at all. The reason it's so touchy is that it has to be. The electric motor that drives it isn't very big, so the steering is designed such that the little motor can still move the wheels when you're stopped. You can actually see it under the dash. It's a cylinder about the size of a can of Coke. That means at freeway speeds, even without the motor, you can move the wheels very easily. I think most people who hate the EPS on the freeway are actually over-steering, because they are used to a steering setup with more resistance. It felt weird to me too when I first started driving my Vue, but now that I'm used to it, I have no problems.
As far as reprogramming the steering, check out what senior development engineer Alan Storck had to say before the Ion was released:
"There are five different calibrations for the steering," says Storck, "which correspond to the wheel and tire combinations offered on the sedan and coupe." There are, he admits, three more calibrations available. Storck declined to identify what changes to the Ion's specs would trigger their use.

http://www.autofieldguide.com/column...1102oncar.html
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Old 03-12-2005, 04:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LB_BlueVue
The boost is variable. In fact, when you're on the freeway, there's no assist at all. The reason it's so touchy is that it has to be. The electric motor that drives it isn't very big, so the steering is designed such that the little motor can still move the wheels when you're stopped. You can actually see it under the dash. It's a cylinder about the size of a can of Coke.
The electric motor is still providing assist at highway speeds. The steering would be VERY heavy if it wasn't and the way the force on the wheel increases would be much different, too. It would be a lot more linear, which really isn't that good of a feel.

As for making the assist level user adjustable, would that REALLY be a good idea? Do you really want the guy next to you to be able to give his car a lot, or very little boost without knowing what he's doing? It's one of those "ok for me, but not for the next guy" things imho. Best left to the people who get paid to do those calibrations, imho.
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

My Toyota pickup didn't have power steering, or even power assist. With the oversized tires I had on it, it was *really* hard to turn at slow speeds. Parallel parking was a biatch! On the highway, however, it didn't require very much force at all to adjust lane placement or even change lanes. I admit, it took more than the Vue takes, but the Vue is also infinitely easier to steer at slow speeds, even though it does have 245mm wide tires vs. the 225mm tires I had on the truck. The truck is all mechanical, and even when the front tires were off the ground, there was resistance in the system. In fact, the resistance on the highway was about the same as when the wheels weren't on the ground at all.

Given this, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that the Vue's electric steering provides zero assist at highway speeds. Perhaps this is a question that needs to be emailed to CAC to be answered by an engineer who knows for sure. While we're at it, we can ask them about recalibrating the assist curve.
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Old 03-13-2005, 11:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

I just sent an Email to CAC asking about this. I cited the senior engineer from my previous post, as well as an Autobytel.com article that claimed that the 2004 Vue's steering can be calibrated to your personal preference. I assume that the Autobytel review was written by an idiot (after all, they are auto press), but I bet they got the idea from some over-enthusiastic Saturn PR guy. However, the quote about specific tire/wheel configurations makes some sense.
What I also asked about was whether or not Saturn would be making those configurations available to people who changed tire types. I, for example, have the 235/65-16's but will probably get 215/70-16's when they wear out. Now, both those sizes are stock, so there should be two different recalibrations for them. I asked if Saturn shouldn't be obligated to offer to reprogram my Vue, as I would consider it a safety issue.
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Old 03-14-2005, 07:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LB_BlueVue
The boost is variable. In fact, when you're on the freeway, there's no assist at all.
Like others have said, I would be very interested to find out if this is indeed true. Up till now, I have never owned a car with power steering as my personal car, most recently a Chevy S-10.

Even though the S-10 was not good handling, you could always feel when things were getting a bit greasy on the snow or ice. I can't detect this as well with the Vue, although that may be more of a tire issue. Maybe that other fellow will get a straight answer.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:09 AM   #14
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Here's what I got back from Saturn:
============================

We appreciate the time you have taken to write to Saturn.

There are different calibrations for the vehicles. However, these
calibrations are used during production. The calibrations are not available
to adjust on the vehicles after production.

If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail
us again or call us at 1-800-553-6000, prompt 3.

Sincerely,


Leslie S
Saturn Customer Assistance Center
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

As a somewhat random side-note to this conversation, I was up under my dash tonight (don't ask what I was doing), and I looked at the electric steering motor that is right there under the dash. There is a rather long cylindrical motor about the size of a can of soda (about 20% bigger, actually), and a box that says it's the electric steering motor and controller or whatever. There is a sticker on this box that says (little diamond triangle logo) Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Japan. How about that? I have pics to prove it. :P
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:39 AM   #16
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante
As a somewhat random side-note to this conversation, I was up under my dash tonight (don't ask what I was doing), and I looked at the electric steering motor that is right there under the dash. There is a rather long cylindrical motor about the size of a can of soda (about 20% bigger, actually), and a box that says it's the electric steering motor and controller or whatever. There is a sticker on this box that says (little diamond triangle logo) Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Japan. How about that? I have pics to prove it. :P
I have a '03 AWD V6 and took a look at mine. It read KOYO Seiko Co. LTD.
I wonder how many companies produced the electric steering components for the VUE?
My VUE doesn't seem to suffer from the "numb" or "odd" feeling steering that many of the Magazine reveiwers seem to harp on.
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Koyo is the supplier for the EPS. I suspect that mistubishi probably makes the controller, just like the engine controller for the Honda engine is made by motorola (I think).

On a side note, there definitely is power assist at freeway speeds. I took the motor out and drove around for a little while. Talk about an appreciation for what that motor is doing in a parking lot! There is a definite difference at higher speeds.
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Mine also says KOYO and Seiko, but at the bottom of the bar code on the controller, it also says Mitsubishi. I believe we all have the same unit.

It would be interesting to simply unplug the power to the controller and motor and drive without electric assist, to see if highway steering is different. Personally, I don't mind the highway steering, even if it is a bit touchy. If you need to pull a quick J-hook, it's there to help ya out! LOL
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante
It would be interesting to simply unplug the power to the controller and motor and drive without electric assist, to see if highway steering is different.
Look one post above yours
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: Re-Program Electric Assist?

The electric steering IS variable. Speed sensitive = Less assist at highway speeds and more at parking lot speeds. It would be even more twitchy if it were not. If you have driven a non power assist vehicle they suck in the parking lot but are easy to drive as speed gets faster. The VUE has very little assist at highway speed. The reprogram on the newer VUEs lessened the amount of assist across the board. I countered this feel by running the tire pressures 2 pounds higher in the rear than in the front. This got rid of the soggy feel in the rear suspension and helped make the VUE more stable. Plus a lot of the problem was me over correcting.

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