Steering 'float' - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Steering 'float'

2018 Niro PHEV, a couple of months old.

I'm seeing an unsettling steering issue that's a bit hard to describe. After going over certain road undulations, the steering 'floats' for a second or so in the direction of the undulation, like a rudderless boat, and the car wanders slightly off course. Its like the steering has momentarily lost connection with the tires. After this brief interval a tweak of the wheel back in the original direction fixes the issue. It doesn't happen again until the road conditions are just right, but it is not uncommon.

This has taken awhile to get used to, and at this point is doesn't cause us to panic, but it seems very strange. I thought it might have something to do with the low rolling resistance tires, as I've never had any experience with these prior to this car.

Anyone experienced anything similar?

Thanks, Jim
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 10:44 PM
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Turn off lane keep assist (if equipped), and see if it still happens.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, LKAS was indeed the problem. I'll turn it off unless I'm returning from wine tasting :-).
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 01:22 AM
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I haven't experienced the "float" behavior, but I'm still getting used to LKAS. Did you have it on the moderate or high setting? I tried it on high for a day or two and decided that I couldn't live with it. On moderate it's about 80% unnoticed, 10% helpful, and 10% obnoxious. An example of obnoxious came up recently when there was a fork in the road and it wanted to veer right when I wanted to stay left, and I had to fight it slightly. There was a second example recently when we were in high speed highway driving and there was a large truck in the next lane that it wanted to cozy up next to more than I wanted to do, so the car did kind of a minor swervy thing because I was fighting back and that was just barely sufficient to wake up my wife who was dozing in the passenger's seat. She proceeded to express doubts about whether I was sufficiently alert to be driving or not (I was fully alert). This was a long highway drive (eight hours) and at other times, the LKAS was mildly helpful, except that I couldn't really take advantage of it fully because if I didn't nudge the steering once every minute or so, it would complain that I needed to have my hands on the wheel (I had my hands on the wheel the whole time, but if I wasn't nudging occasionally, it inferred that I was hands off).

I'm still trying to figure out if the small bit of good that it adds outweighs the small bit of bad that it also adds. At this point, I'd be calling Uber or Lyft if I felt that I needed this kind of assistance on the way home from wine tasting.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 09:58 AM
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Sounds like valid feedback. I’d send that to Kia. LKAS is relatively new and I’m sure can use fine tuning in various scenarios.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 11:42 AM
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Personally, I really like the way the Niro steering feels with LKAS off and the way it stays where I point it. With it on, it makes more steering corrections than I would so typically I'm resisting it's actions so it doesn't alarm. It cannot be trusted, and it routinely swerves towards exits and then turns off, or it turn off just as a curve gets sharper. However, I turn it off very seldom, typically on winding secondary roads where it serves zero purpose and takes the fun out of driving fast. On normal highways, despite the leftward bias, it does help reduce the attention it takes, and thus I arrive more rested despite the annoyance of unneeded corrections. I'm also of the opinion that if it saves my life just once, however unlikely that might be, it is worth it.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 01:13 PM
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Lane Keeping and Adaptive Cruise are ok with me

We have almost 10,000 miles on our 2018 Niro HEV Touring and I've used the lane keeping and adaptive cruise control quite a lot on several longer trips. Overall I'm quite satisfied with those systems and more so as I understand how they work and when they have "issues". The steering itself is completely tight and there is absolutely no play or float and as others have already noted - its the lane keeping system. The lane keeping only works when it can see well painted lines on both sides of the lane and will turn off as soon as a line disappears. The icon goes from white to green when its active.

Overall, I think its doing a good job of keeping the car centered and maybe its me wanting to ride more to the right than center that makes it feel left biased. I've come to find that as long as I am attentive and also steer, it can do most of the work and can make a long trip easier. It will keep the car going in the right direction if I take my eyes off the road for a few seconds to change the music or something. Not that I would rely on it for any more than a couple seconds.

The Adaptive cruise is also a regularly used feature. I at times adjust the set speed to navigate traffic but it does make a long trip on a busy highway easier. I like to have the digital MPH showing so I can quickly see if we are at the set speed or not. I don't like that when the car in front slows to exit, we slow too much before it lets go of that car (which is already out of the lane) and resumes speed. It is a bit slow to respond when I change a lane to pass someone but I'm not on a Nascar Track.

This so far has been a great car with no significant issues.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 06:28 PM
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You can change the adaptive cruise control to standard. I do it every time I use CC (it doesn't stay sticky to standard) as I dislike parroting the car in front (costs mpg) and really hate its behavior with cars turning.

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