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Loose handling

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  • Loose handling

    I am after a bit of advice. Had my 11 plate Sri for 3 months now and loving it apart from a small niggle. When driving at motorway speeds or even around 50 the car feels very light and a bit unstable. It doesn't pull in any direction or anything just doesn't inspire any confidence or feel as tight as a car with with 18k on the clock should. The car hasn't been in any accidents although the steering wheel has been off centre since I bought it.

    Is the wooly handling a normal insignia trait or should I be concerned? Longer term I want to upgrade to bilstein 12 kit but that's a bit away.

  • #2
    Barring any mechanical problems, the most likely causes are tyres, tyre pressures and wheel alignment.

    Wheel Alignment

    The car might not have been in any accidents, but it might have been kerbed heavily, or have gone into a large pothole. Either of these events could knock the tracking out, and also result in the steering being off-centre.

    The car might not pull to one side or the other, but could have a general vagueness at speed, and might tend to over or understeer in tight turns.

    A good indication of a prolonged issue with the tracking would be uneven tyre wear. Excess toe-in will tend to wear the outer edges of the tread, whereas excess toe-out will wear the inner edges.


    At 18k, if the car is still on its original tyres, they are probably pretty well worn, if not due for replacement. Again this can lead to a slightly less confident feel.

    It is also worth checking that the car has a matched set of tyres all round, or at least matched pairs on each axle. If a tyre has been replaced due to a puncture, and a different brand or pattern has been used, it can result in some odd handling.

    I had a car with ContiSportContact 3's on 3 wheels, and a Maxxis of similar spec on the right rear. The tread pattern of this tyre was totally different, and it was of a reinforced construction. In left turns, as the weight of the car was thrown to the right , and especially on wet roads, the back of the car would tend to step out unpredictably.

    Tyre Pressures

    Tyre pressures can make a big difference to the feel of a car.

    If you prefer to run the recommended ECO pressures, then you can expect the ride to feel a little harsh and noisy, the steering to be light but with a bit less feedback, and the car to feel a bit skittish at higher speeds.

    If you run the recommended COMFORT pressures, the ride will be softer and quieter, the steering will be heavier but it will feel a bit more secure and planted at higher speeds. There may be a bit more body roll in turns.

    There is a lot of debate on the forum about the correct tyre pressures to run. Most people arrive at a compromise somewhere between the two extremes, that suits their personal preference. It is important not to exceed the upper or lower limits given for your model, and the pressures should be checked regularly. Weekly is best, but certainly once a fortnight. And always before commencing a long journey, especially if going on motorways.
    Elite ST 2.0i Auto. Power Red With All The Toys


    • #3
      Cheers guys I am going to book it in. Tyres are all good 2 have 6mm and 2 are only a month old and I always keep pressures as they should be. Just had the other halves Corsa out to refuel and it is very tight definately get it checked. Never sure with a different car if it's a characteristic of them or a problem starting.

      Cheers again