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Discussion Starter #1
My 2018 Versa S wanders badly on the highway while trying to go straight. I made an apointment to have the alignment checked next week per service bulletin NTB17-040a (11/2017). Has anyone had the alignment set to the revised specs, and did it make a difference?
 

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My 16 Note does not have this problem but my wife's 16 Camry does. Toyota has tried several times to fix it but nothing has helped. I don't have any good advice for you but agree it's a real pain. I've wondered if it is the steering gearbox having to much play. Alignment did not help her car.
 

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Alignment does not help cars with loose front end parts and often even makes them worse. Unfortunately, the shops of today are not the ones of yesterday, who would refuse to do aligns if loose parts were found. Nowadays many shops align anyway, they do the work incompetently. It's all about the money, you don't turn down alignment jobs, but that is just what a conscientious alignment guy is supposed to do. The bosses won't stand for that behavior today.
 

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I used to work as an automotive service advisor and went to a week long MOOG class on suspension. I never came across a vehicle that wandered as bad as the Versa unless it had worn suspension parts or the alignment was out of spec. We're talking about a car with under 7000 miles here. My 25 year old Toyota pickup with 300,000 miles has never been aligned or had any suspension parts replaced, and it drives perfectly on the highway.

I've had several people tell me the problem is a result of the Versa's narrow track but my 25 year old Suzuki Swift is narrower yet it doesn't wander at all.

Some have suggested the tire pressure is wrong, and indeed the dealership delivered the car with 45 psi in all tires. It's one of the first things I checked and set pressure to 33 psi all around which is the manufacturers recommended pressure. No change.

I would like to know the difference in the original alignment specs vs. the revised specs in the service bulletin and why they were revised.
 

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I used to work as an automotive service advisor and went to a week long MOOG class on suspension. I never came across a vehicle that wandered as bad as the Versa unless it had worn suspension parts or the alignment was out of spec. We're talking about a car with under 7000 miles here. My 25 year old Toyota pickup with 300,000 miles has never been aligned or had any suspension parts replaced, and it drives perfectly on the highway.

I've had several people tell me the problem is a result of the Versa's narrow track but my 25 year old Suzuki Swift is narrower yet it doesn't wander at all.

Some have suggested the tire pressure is wrong, and indeed the dealership delivered the car with 45 psi in all tires. It's one of the first things I checked and set pressure to 33 psi all around which is the manufacturers recommended pressure. No change.

I would like to know the difference in the original alignment specs vs. the revised specs in the service bulletin and why they were revised.
Neither my 2009, or 2012 versa sedans have any problem holding the road at 70-75 mph with stock tires as long as there isn't a strong cross wind . If your car is indeed unstable at speed, I would be sure to have the dealer check and correct the problem, and if they can't I would contact Nissan corporate offices to complain and see what their solution is. Good luck!!!!
 

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My '11 does no wandering either and at 90K miles, only in strong crosswinds and occasional stripped concrete will make it move around a bit and acceptable. I too at 70-75 mph all day long.

This........

'I never came across a vehicle that wandered as bad as the Versa unless it had worn suspension parts or the alignment was out of spec.'

I feel Versas fit right in there too, they have 4 wheels like everything else.
 

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I just looked at the TSB and I still have problems with the revised OEM settings. The TSB still allows for some toe OUT in the rear and THAT is what causes the wander. Ridiculous. No wonder people have trouble.

When you have toe out in the rear the two tires are constantly fighting each other to each try to go in the direction they both are individually set to go in. You ALWAYS look for at least zero toe in the rear and preferably some toe in, the two tires then aim their tracks at each other to cancel any wander out. Of course, the harder they interfere with each other the faster the tires will wear but you need a certain amount of that to set the rear in place in a 'neutral' condition, then of course its' track must lay down exactly on the same line as the front, making them both reinforce the solidity of the cars' staying in one spot on the road.

Not rocket science there but the electronic racks seem to have made it so. The techs then throw around this and that degrees of error and often tell the customers that say 1/10 of a degree is the 'problem', when the error can go WAY past that to still have the car drive fine as long as any error is on the favorable side. And how I can align my cars not using any machine at all and they drive perfectly at any speed. As long as any error is within 1/16" and on the favorable side the cars will drive fine all day long.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alignment specs on my Swift were a slight toe in on the rear and a slight toe out on the front. Drove great and tires wore evenly and lasted forever. I use a laser level and marks on the garage wall and door to align it myself after replacing suspension parts.
 

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Yes, often you are a bit better off with zero up front, the important thing to remember is that toe-in is what sets the tires against each other to then cancel out and run straight, any extra past stabilizing the car's tracking then results in increasing tire wear. The front on a FWD car always pulls into more toe under power as the CV axles move toward each other and whatever you got then toes in a bit more. But if you are minor enough on toe-out on the front then it ends up at zero or very slight toe-in under power and perfect. The rear you want slight toe-in as it again sets the rear to track to fall in with the front, the rear then is like the rear of a semi truck, it follows in line with the front. I can't swallow Nissan allowing some toe out on the rear, that is simply incompetent. With wear and looseness any toe-out in back turns into even more under power as the looseness tries to let parts fall back to warp the setting.

Hey, they do what they are gonna do, nobody says even the corporations have to be smart about things.

It would be great if you could just put everything at zero, but the cars move parts around under power, the rubber bushings give in all sorts of ways, a car sitting is not the same thing as one moving at all. You often end up averaging settings to get what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yesterday the dealer checked the alignment and only found the camber on the left front wheel to be 1 degree out of spec. They gave me a print out of the before and after specs on all wheels which I'll post later. Rear was within specs and does have a slight toe in. I'll take a drive soon and see if there is any improvement but I doubt there will be a noticeable difference. Good quick service from the dealer.
 

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Yesterday the dealer checked the alignment and only found the camber on the left front wheel to be 1 degree out of spec. They gave me a print out of the before and after specs on all wheels which I'll post later. Rear was within specs and does have a slight toe in. I'll take a drive soon and see if there is any improvement but I doubt there will be a noticeable difference. Good quick service from the dealer.
The 2009 Versa I have doesn't have an adjustment for camber.

I've had a a "wonder" in my steering for quite a while. I've replaced everything in my suspension as well as the inner and outer tie rods. It's well aligned not but still has some play in the steering wheel. I'm thinking it might be the electric steering assist.

When I free the steering with the engine off and turn left to right the shaft from the assist to the rack and pinion looks to be working well. However, when I let the wheel go from left to right it does quite a bit of "shimmying" from left to right before it stops. While doing this, I watched the shaft as well and it didn't "shimmy" at all. Leading me to the think that the issue is with electric assist in the steering column.
 

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More likely rack gear to worm wear, the assist does not take up play at all. That is a rack issue.

The at rest 'zero' straight ahead position wears after hitting bumps and potholes to increase clearance right at that one very close point where the gears mesh to stay the most. I've 'rebuilt' a rack before by simply yanking the worm to re-index it in a different position to get rid of much of that wear and the looseness largely goes away, but rack construction details make that pretty much impossible to do on most racks. It was an easy no buck fix on that particular one though and I drove it after for many years.

One way to tell would be to disconnect the wiring harness from the electric assist to have no power steering for a bit and then check for the looseness then, if still there it's the rack.
 
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