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NX 300h Luxury 2018 Steering Bias


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On June 1st I traded my 2017 RC 300h in for a late 2018 NX 300h Luxury because my wife and I need an SUV now. Both lovely cars.

However, it soon became clear that this 14K miles car has a constant steer to the left instead of driving perfectly straight and the supplying Lexus dealer was asked to resolve the problem. It has had Four-Wheel Alignment and the first session produced a print-out with several requirements for an adjustment, which was administered in the workshop.

Afterwards, it was improved but still steers gently to the left. Road camber is not the cause. Further requests for corrective attention have generated three more alignments but it continues to be stuck at a constant gentle steer to the left when on the motorway and now the dealership is saying they can doing nothing more.

I am not satisfied with this position.

Does anyone have experience of left steering bias problem on their NX and can they point me in the direction of knowing an outcome to the problem?

It seems clear that the first user of this vehicle had little regard for bumping up and down nearside kerbs, judging by the NSF wheel injuries that have now been repaired.

Can anyone help please?

 

 

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20 minutes ago, TV10RAD said:

On June 1st I traded my 2017 RC 300h in for a late 2018 NX 300h Luxury because my wife and I need an SUV now. Both lovely cars.

However, it soon became clear that this 14K miles car has a constant steer to the left instead of driving perfectly straight and the supplying Lexus dealer was asked to resolve the problem. It has had Four-Wheel Alignment and the first session produced a print-out with several requirements for an adjustment, which was administered in the workshop.

Afterwards, it was improved but still steers gently to the left. Road camber is not the cause. Further requests for corrective attention have generated three more alignments but it continues to be stuck at a constant gentle steer to the left when on the motorway and now the dealership is saying they can doing nothing more.

I am not satisfied with this position.

Does anyone have experience of left steering bias problem on their NX and can they point me in the direction of knowing an outcome to the problem?

It seems clear that the first user of this vehicle had little regard for bumping up and down nearside kerbs, judging by the NSF wheel injuries that have now been repaired.

Can anyone help please?

 

 

Sorry to hear this story. I had a similar problem with seems hard to a different make many years ago and it drove me crackers. It is a fault that seems hard to solve in your case. It is a pity but I am not sure you are able to reject the car after a couple of months. Others with more legal knowledge will, I am sure, comment.

Your other option is to hope the dealer will give you a good deal on another NX. I would pursue a repair as far as you can go. Good luck, I do feel for you.

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The incorrect wheel geometry that you had could have worn the tyres in an uneven way and therefore are now contributing to the slight pull. Might be worth rotating the tyres front to back (or swap the fronts over if your tyres aren't directional (unlikely)).

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Yeah agreed, could be tyres. In this case, go to a place that has a Hunter 4-wheel alignment device. These are the best devices. Look up alignmycar.com. Also replace the tyres if problem still there after an alignment. Check all tyre pressures too and set them all to 2.2bar.

if you are close, Wheels in Motion in Chesham are brilliant. Pop in, tell them the problem and they’ll work with you to find a solution I’m sure. I’ve used them once and they were brilliant and there are many car forum users that swear by this place.

Hope you get a solution.

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Our 2016 FSport NX does exactly the same, slight bias to the left and alignment has been triple checked. However, I've driven 5 NX now and they all have exactly the same problem/characteristic. My IS300h on the other hand is bang on dead center!! I think it happens because the car is heavier over the front axle being front wheel drive and if there is even a slight camber in the road, the front axle will tend to bias towards it. Drive on the other side of the road and you'll find the exact same (but opposite) will occur.

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On 8/3/2021 at 9:06 AM, paulrnx said:

if you are close, Wheels in Motion in Chesham are brilliant. Pop in, tell them the problem and they’ll work with you to find a solution I’m sure. I’ve used them once and they were brilliant and there are many car forum users that swear by this place.

Agreed. Tony Bones/WIM solved the IS200 inner tyre wear issue by altering the standard geometry settings; settings which Lexus and dealers then adopted.

Someone who knows what they are doing can reduce the tendency to follow the road camber.

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42 minutes ago, ColinBarber said:

Agreed. Tony Bones/WIM solved the IS200 inner tyre wear issue by altering the standard geometry settings; settings which Lexus and dealers then adopted.

Someone who knows what they are doing can reduce the tendency to follow the road camber.

Are you suggesting that the steering setup from the factory may be at fault Colin?

I have had cars (not Lexus) that steered to the left, it drove me crackers.

I wonder how many NX owners are experiencing this?

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9 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

Are you suggesting that the steering setup from the factory may be at fault Colin?

It wouldn't be the first time. If many people have this issue then I'd say there is the possibility that the default setup doesn't suit our roads (crown top), RHD, specific wheel size/offset on one of the grades etc.

But equally it could just be a few unlucky people who have had incorrect geometry which has worn the tyres and therefore even when geometry is corrected it doesn't fully resolve the issue without replacing the tyres.

 

As with most things wheel geometry is a compromise, and the geometry out of the factory is normally one that gives safe predictable understeer, doesn't tramline too much and gives somewhat even tyre wear. If one is more important to you than another, or you want different handling characteristics then an expert will be able to dial that it - but it may mean that is goes outside the manufacturer's tolerances though.

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Something else re wheel alignment. The person doing the wheel alignment will first set the steering wheel to the straight ahead and lock it in place normally using a spring loaded locking device between the steering wheel and driver’s seat. Make sure your wiper stalk is in the off position and not in the auto position. If the latter the right hand wiper stalk is lowered and I’ve seen the persons doing my wheel alignments swear that the wheel was straight because it lined up with the two stalks. It was obvious to me that it wasn’t and I had to switch the wiper stalk back to off to prove it. Worth bearing in mind. This is enough to offset the steering to the right if the alignment is done with the steering aligned with a wiper stalk in the auto position.

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12 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

 

I wonder how many NX owners are experiencing this?

Can't say that I have this problem. Tyre wear even and still adequate tread depth after 26000 miles. 

 

 

 

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Another thing re wheel alignment concerning wear which is worth noting.

Let’s say that front wheel alignment is out on my car. It’s only slight because I can’t feel it on the road but I notice after a few months that the tread on the outer part of the driver’s side front tyre is wearing more than the middle and inner part of the same tyre. I measure the tread depth and find that the tread depth measures 4mm on the inner part of the tread, 4mm on the middle but only 2.5mm on the outer part of the tread. Wheel alignment required then.

I take it to have a wheel alignment done and they confirm the alignment is out and make an adjustment. All should be well and from this point forward this tyre should wear equally across its tread. Job done then.

I still however have a tyre which has 1.5mm tread less on the outer edge and as this tyre wears equally across its tread, the outer edge will always be 1.5mm less than the middle and inner parts of the tyre. This is because the tyre wears equally across its tread. Assuming you ran the tyre down to 2mm measured at the middle of the tyre, you would be left with the same 2mm on the inner edge but only 0.5mm on the outer edge and it would look badly worn on this part of the tyre.

it’s important to understand  that fixing the wheel alignment stops any abnormal wear getting worse but it cannot reverse previous abnormal wear caused prior to fixing the wheel alignment.

Thought I’d mention this. Lexus service people don’t always seem to understand this concept which always makes me wary of having mine done at the dealership. I used Wheels in Motion last time and they were absolutely superb. To the point where I was allowed to get in the car and set my steering wheel to what I considered to be the straight ahead position before they aligned all four wheels.

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My wear was uneven and I had the alignment done. Car tracked straight and wear was even again from that point. I still had to change the tyres after they had worn down a bit more. Since fitting new tyres, wear is even across all 4 tyres.

Wheel alignment should be checked on at least an annual basis to avoid uneven wear. If ever a steering wheel becomes misaligned in the straight ahead position and/or you notice uneven wear, get an alignment done as soon as possible after you first notice it.

Heavily cambered roads may give a slightly offset steering wheel. This is nothing to worry about as long as the steering wheel returns to the straight ahead position on a relatively flat road when driving straight.

When I had the Yokohamas on mine, even after doing the wheel alignment there was still a slightly offset to the right steering wheel at straight ahead which got noticeably worse on heavily cambered roads. I had the alignment checked again and all was well. When I then had all four tyres replaced with New Goodyear tyres this completely disappeared. It may well have been that once the Yokohamas had worn in a specific way they didn’t track down the road properly. Just a theory of mine though.

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1 hour ago, Ken R said:

 

Can't say that I have this problem. Tyre wear even and still adequate tread depth after 26000 miles. 

 

 

Do you notice any "pull" by the steering to one side?

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3 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

Do you notice any "pull" by the steering to one side?

No. Nothing apparent. 

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On 8/11/2021 at 12:01 PM, Ken R said:

 

Can't say that I have this problem. Tyre wear even and still adequate tread depth after 26000 miles. 

 

 

 

^^ Exactly this for my NX too. No "pulling" to one side either.

2018 NX with 26,000 miles also.

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On a heavily cambered road if you take your hands off the wheel then any car will steer down the slope. You can’t escape physics. This means there’ll always be a degree of holding the steering wheel to avoid this which may to some give the impression people are talking about here. Best to get a level piece of road, maybe in a flat car park somewhere and drive straight hands off to ensure the car tracks true. To be honest though, don’t try to self-diagnose this. Get your tracking checked via a reputable specialist, ideally with a Hunter setup because these are recognised to be one of the best machines. Hunter specialists can be found via alignmycar.com. Get it adjusted if necessary. If it still does it after and your tyres are well worn then replace the tyres. If it still does it then it’s probably your imagination.

You is not aimed at anyone in particular. I’m just trying to provide information.

Oh and also check tyre pressures. Don’t be tempted to run your tyres with lower or higher pressures than recommended in the inside driver’s door pillar. Set them at the recommended up to 160 km/h setting which for 18” wheel vehicles is 2.2bar. If you can only measure psi then it is 32psi. Measure pressures when tyres are cold and definitely not after having just driven the car. Heat increases pressure so you’ll get a higher reading if measuring when tyres are warm/hot which effectively leads to an under-inflation.

Don’t worry about this sort of stuff though. Test on a flat car park, check pressures, check alignment and as a last resort change the tyres. Worth noting that defective suspension bushes may also cause funny symptoms because this would allow the wheels to slightly move around with no steering input.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks to all contributors.

The car does still have a gentle but definite veer to the left and I have had road testing with my Lexus dealer service manager a few days ago. He reckons the car is reasonable and further four-wheel alignment (After 3 tests in a month) is unlikely to provide further improvement.

I don't think I am obsessed with this and after some additional discussion with my regular tyre supplier today he said that another NX300h AWD customer about a year ago had much the same situation, which was fixed by fitting a new set of tyres using the larger optional size of 235/55 18. The tyres fitted were Kumho HP91 and immediately the car was transformed and all previous irritations completely evaporated.

These issues are never an exact science and there is nothing set out by Lexus as being a silver bullet. The car is lovely to own and drive but I think I am heading towards fresh tyres. If not Kumho it will probably be Continental Super Contact 5 in 235/55

I'll let you know in due course

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