The Truth About Cars » acceleration http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:00:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » acceleration http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: Taking Control of Torque Steer? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-taking-control-torque-steer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-taking-control-torque-steer/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:35:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=997450   M.D.K. writes: Good Afternoon.  This will be my third query to this column, the first being an ill advised plan to put my wife in an old Mercedes hatched in an Afghan Bunker, the Second being for our Afghan Trailblazer that wouldn’t run.  The Benz never materialized (thankfully) and the Trailblazer was made to […]

The post Piston Slap: Taking Control of Torque Steer? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

big_thumb_45a2698e12f92aa1b49a014e96ffa06b

A-Cord-ing to Dr. Olds… (photo courtesy: www.wallpaperup.com)

M.D.K. writes:

Good Afternoon.  This will be my third query to this column, the first being an ill advised plan to put my wife in an old Mercedes hatched in an Afghan Bunker, the Second being for our Afghan Trailblazer that wouldn’t run.  The Benz never materialized (thankfully) and the Trailblazer was made to run reasonably well with a fuel filter and removal of the clogged catalytic converter (The EPA man wasn’t coming to Bagram).  Sadly about a week after we got the Trailblazer running they collected it in an effort to go to an all diesel fleet.  It was replaced with a TaTa pickup.

This actually pertains to a vehicle in my own fleet, my wife appliance grade 2007 Hyundai Tucson. 

It is a 2WD 2.0 4 cylinder automatic that has begrudgingly earned my respect for the fact that it has gone about its 94,000+ miles with the timing belt and seized tie rods courtesy of upstate NY winters being its only dealer trips.  Tires, Oil, Gas, and brake pads are it otherwise.

My issue now is that it exhibits torque steer like crazy.  Doesn’t seem to be an alignment issue as I just had it done (hence the new tie rods) and it is straight so long as your foot stays off the gas.  But press the gas, even at highway speed and it tries to turn right.

My research seems to point to the lower control arm bushings as the culprit.  I have no suspension clunks or anything though.  The motor mounts also look good and the tires are of the correct size.  The struts were done a year as well.  I know FWD vehicles will exhibit some torque steer but I have had this vehicle since new and this is abnormal.

My plan would be replacement lower control arms since there is some rust on them anyway but I want to make sure I’m not missing something else here.  The car is paid for and has no other issues so I’d like to figure this out.  We generally take it on our long trips so the constant tug on the steering is annoying.   Just want to make sure I am not missing anything.

Sajeev answers:

Thank you for writing again, I do love my repeat customers!

Since you replaced the tie rods, the torque steer’s source is either a control arm bushing or a ball joint. Or maybe both?  No matter, if one side is bad then the other is ready to fail.  Whatever failed, replace it in pairs.

Wow, that ended pretty abruptly.

(crickets)

Bonus!  A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

Always remember that suspension parts go bad with time, but modern cars have it worse for a few reasons. Take the increasingly horrible condition of roads in this country. And oversized wheels with rubber band thin sidewalls: offering no cushioning effect on our (increasingly horrible) roads.

And maybe it’s my family’s two Mercedes products that ate lower control arms with less than 30k on the clock, or my friends with control arm consuming BMW and VAG products from the last decade, or the numerous related Piston Slaps (here, here, for starters)…but suspensions don’t last like they did 20-ish years ago. 

And while suspension lube service intervals must remain in the bad old days of wide whitewalls and “separate but equal” segregation, one must never forget: 

Click here to view the embedded video.

What’s that?  You say video game Panther Love shall never prove my point? 

Well excuuuuuuuse me!

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

 

 

The post Piston Slap: Taking Control of Torque Steer? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-taking-control-torque-steer/feed/ 35
Toyota: Unintended Acceleration or Sticky Floor Mats? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/toyota-unintended-acceleration-or-sticky-floor-mats/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/toyota-unintended-acceleration-or-sticky-floor-mats/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2009 14:49:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=308461 A year ago, TTAC published a story about out-of-control Toyota Tacomas. Since then, reports continue to surface of “unintended acceleration” events in Lexus ES and IS and Toyota Camry and Camry Solara vehicles. Toyota insists that all-weather floor mats are causing the problem; the accelerator becomes stuck under the rubber. Autocoverup.com alleges, well, you know. […]

The post Toyota: Unintended Acceleration or Sticky Floor Mats? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
A year ago, TTAC published a story about out-of-control Toyota Tacomas. Since then, reports continue to surface of “unintended acceleration” events in Lexus ES and IS and Toyota Camry and Camry Solara vehicles. Toyota insists that all-weather floor mats are causing the problem; the accelerator becomes stuck under the rubber. Autocoverup.com alleges, well, you know. “This is a known problem with over 432 complaints,” the site’s author insists. According to NHTSA’s Defect Investigation’s database, reports of unintended acceleration in Lexus ES models first surfaced around 2004 and continued until late 2008. One report (ODI-NHTSA Complaint Number 10252860) describes the problem:

On November 5, 2008, I was driving on a freeway in my 2008 Lexus ES350 with the cruise control on. I gave the car a little extra gas to pass another car and the car just took off. I tried to disengage the accelerator by trying to turn off the cruise control switch as well as tapping on the brake pedal, but it would not disengage. I tried to turn off the engine by pushing the keyless ignition button, but it would not turn off. I checked the floor to make sure that there wasn’t anything on the accelerator, and there wasn’t. I then put the car in neutral, but when I did this, the engine sounded as if it were going to explode, so I put it back in gear. By this time, I was going well over 100 mph. My only choice was to stand on the brakes. Within seconds, the car was in a cloud of smoke coming from the 4 wheels/brakes. The car began to slow as thankfully the brakes were stronger than the engine which was going at its maximum rpm’s. The car went over a mile before finally coming to a stop. I was then able to put the car in park and stop the engine. After a few moments, when I had calmed down a bit, I started the engine again and it immediately start racing at maximum rpm’s again, so I shut it off . . .

Another report notes that an out of control vehicle traveled eight miles at more than 100 mph before striking two vehicles and becoming disabled. A person in one of the struck vehicles was killed in the collision.

It seems unlikely that a simple piece of rubber could cause so much terror, personal injuries, and, in one case, death. Why has Toyota not recalled the mats that are optional items sold by their dealers? (That’s right. These are OEM mats, not aftermarket items.)

Autocoverup.com hosts a recorded conversation between an affected owner and a technician. The technician experienced the same acceleration problem when picking up the vehicle and driving it to the service center. His later explanation sounds scripted.

Toyota argues that if there was a problem, the computer that manages the vehicle’s speed would detect a difference between the accelerator and throttle positions and cause the engine to reduce power. In their investigations, they claim that no such errors were detected by the computer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is satisfied with Toyota’s explanation, although, worringly, they cite a lack of resources to investigate the matter any further.

Toyota’s solution to the sticky floormat: a few clips to attach it to the carpet and an orange sticker to stick on the back warning of the problem. But what about the cruise controls that refuse to disengage?

The post Toyota: Unintended Acceleration or Sticky Floor Mats? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/toyota-unintended-acceleration-or-sticky-floor-mats/feed/ 63