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Old 11-24-2006, 08:58 AM   #1
terrencetheman
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1999 SL1
Default Bad handling at high speeds

Well Like lots of others I traveled in my SL1 this Thanksgiving. And I live in North Carolina So I was on 95. And anyone who has drove on there knows that it's pretty high pace. Well it seems that everytime I run my saturn above 65 the wheel gets really loose almost like your gonna lose control of it. And on 95 where the average speed is like 80 that's just no good.

A little history:

1.The car did have some front end damage but was fixed. A dent in the radiator though.

2. 1999 SL1. 130K mile Automatic tranny with a "wing" on the back.

3. Stock tires that seem to be too small for the car width wise.

4. Tires may need to be aligned with the wheel cause the wheel is slightly turned when going straight.

So anyody else have this problem? And what can I do to correct this? Or have I already answered my own question? LOL

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Old 11-24-2006, 09:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

That's pretty much expected. At higher speeds you're getting extra steering assist, plus any shift in wind is going to be exaggerated in a light car. There's also no doubt that the "wing" is throwing off the stock airstream. And if it's not properly aligned (i.e. perfectly straight) it will throw off the stability.

Of course, you could just drive the speed limit (regardless of the other idiots on the road) and your problems would be solved.

...
Toyota: Moving Forward... off a cliff at a high rate of speed.

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Old 11-24-2006, 09:27 AM   #3
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1999 SL1
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-1
That's pretty much expected. At higher speeds you're getting extra steering assist, plus any shift in wind is going to be exaggerated in a light car. There's also no doubt that the "wing" is throwing off the stock airstream. And if it's not properly aligned (i.e. perfectly straight) it will throw off the stability.

Of course, you could just drive the speed limit (regardless of the other idiots on the road) and your problems would be solved.
Yeah it has been windy this week thats probably the case. But speed limit on
I95 is 75MPH. I think, LOL
the handling just went through my mind when I saw this Corvette zoom past me in and out of traffic. Im thinking about lowering my car, putting some wider tires on and maybe a good sway bar.

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Old 11-24-2006, 10:55 AM   #4
tjd83
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1999 SC2
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

I've noticed similar issues in my '99 SC2. It's pretty much bone stock, although I've gone with larger (205-55/15) tires. One thing I've found is that it's VERY sensitive to tire pressure at high speeds. I try to keep it around 35 psi, which helps.

I agree that that wing is probably part of the problem. Most winds I've seen are designed to (at least in theory) put more downforce on the rear wheels. That's lifting the front tires. Coupled with aerodynamic lift at speed, and your front end will get light.

My suggestion? Check your tire pressure, get an alignment, lose the wing, lower the car. Or slow down!

edit: I don't think the sway bar will do much for straight line handling on the highway, though it will make the twisties more fun! As for wider tires, I'm very happy with the Goodyear Eagle GT - I'll likepy buy more when these wear out.

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Old 11-24-2006, 01:11 PM   #5
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

Start with an alignment (off-center wheel) and wheel balance (shake at speed). Also make sure the tires are properly inflated, but not way overinflated. If symptoms persist, you may have a worn steering/suspension part (tie rod end, CA ball joint, etc.). Don't mess with the highly engineered suspension geometry by lowering the car.

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Old 11-24-2006, 03:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue
Start with an alignment (off-center wheel) and wheel balance (shake at speed).
Best advise given here on this so far.

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Old 11-24-2006, 04:54 PM   #7
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

On the thruway the wind shifts my car around a lot. I normally drive with one hand but not on the highway, my car gets scary around 65. It seems to handle and get best gas mileage around 65.

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Old 11-24-2006, 05:39 PM   #8
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1999 SL1
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by BonziBuddy
On the thruway the wind shifts my car around a lot. I normally drive with one hand but not on the highway, my car gets scary around 65. It seems to handle and get best gas mileage around 65.
Me too I'm always driving with one hand but on the highway I need both to keep the car steady.

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Old 11-24-2006, 06:51 PM   #9
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1997 SC2
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrencetheman
Me too I'm always driving with one hand but on the highway I need both to keep the car steady.

If the front end is setup properly and you have the correct tires, it should not be a big issue. Its not in my daughters SC2 wearing 185x65 Goodyear Allegra tires. When front end get out of alignement especaily the toe in it can get pretty twitchy at times.

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Old 11-24-2006, 07:36 PM   #10
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1999 SL2
1999 SW1
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

I'd first check for loose ball joints/tie rod ends. That can exagerate handling issues. No point in doing an alignment if the joints are loose.

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Old 11-24-2006, 08:46 PM   #11
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

My thoughts:

1) Tires are not round.
2) Tire pressure too high.
3) Bad Alignment
4) Struts past due for replacement.
5) Linkage worn.
6) No Strut Tower Brace!
7) Driving using only the bottom of your wrist on top of the wheel – like you’re a high school boy cruisin’ for chicks. (“Datz right! We bad! We bad!”)

My Cold tire pressure per the door sticker. – And I still get a little more wear on the center treads.

I noticed my struts needed replacement when the car handled well on cool days, but seemed to “float” on warm days (strut oil heating up).

Saturns have potential:
With my Koni strut cartridges, I can change lanes (at 65 mph) so fast that I chirp all 4 tires. – One chirp in the lane I’m in, another chirp when I straighten out in the lane I’m going to.

At speed, my car only gets scary to other drivers. I can easily zoom up to 90 mph in short bursts and the handling only seems to improve.

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Old 11-24-2006, 09:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

Yeah... driving with one hand on the wheel is bad, m'kay. Do that in my Saturn and you'll be in the next lane or off the side of the road the first time you encounter a bump or uneven surface.

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Old 11-24-2006, 09:34 PM   #13
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

Hm i had the same problem with my 95 i dont any more because i got rid of it but this is why mine had that problem is because my steelies were bent pretty bad causeing a out of balance wheel. So you get just get them balanced and that should help your problem!

Cheers!
Matt

P.S. Im getting a 03 Sonoma!!

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Old 11-24-2006, 10:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Bad handling at high speeds

The wing? Seriously? You think that would cause it?

Part of it is the fact of the SL1 not having a rear sway bar. But I would get an alignment for starters, and move on from there.

Apparently my SC2 is abnormal. Because I drive one handed 90% of the time, and that doesn't seem to mesh with the pool of results on here.

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