Megane2 steering weirdness
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Default Megane2 steering weirdness

    Thought the whole purchase etc went too smoothly...

    Am getting reports of some weird behaviour that cant be put down to her adjusting to the artificial feel of electric steering. Although coming from the 306/Xsara platform, most cars feels worse in their steering/chassis feel!

    When I got it at 14,000km from new, the OE Pilot Primacys drove perfectly and the car was a joy to drive - tracked perfectly, had decent feel (for electric steering...) and felt planted and secure.

    But they were 6 years old and had age cracks, so i swapped them for some Conti PremiumContact 2s.

    Which now pull to the right - even after an alignment and swapping the tyres side to side to eliminate a dud tyre. Steering is now inconsistent in feel, and randomly jerks one way or the other. When its not just pulling to the right...

    wtf? Is this some weird combination of tyre and car, or coincidence with a steering fault presenting at the same time as tyres?

    Or maybe just an age thing - its 6 years old and only did 14,000km in that time. Its done 2500km in the last couple of weeks so might be a bit shocked!

    Has a warranty, so if they all say its ok I'll have to try another type of tyre. Still cant get my head around how tyre brand will make the car react like this though...

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    any thoughts/clues?

  2. #2
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    Hi Haakon,

    Err,

    Did the tyre people give it an "alignment"?

    Wouldn't put it past them to feed the wrong figures into the wheel "aligner"

    Were the old tyres worn evenly?

    Cheers, Steve

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    I didn't get stefan to align upon fitment as it tracked so perfectly before and I was in a hurry...

    Alignment done in hobart by the place that does all teh work for the "Renault service agent" - ie the place I need to use for the warranty.

    So dunno if they got it right. They'll get another go at it on Friday.

    But it drove straight and well on the OE tyres, and didnt on the Contis. This I find odd on its own...

    I'll get Kirsty to send me a printout out of the aligenment results - what should they be putting in?
    Last edited by Haakon; 21st July 2012 at 07:42 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    I didn't get stefan to align upon fitment as it tracked so perfectly before and I was in a hurry...

    Alignment done in hobart by the place that does all teh work for the "Renault service agent" - ie the place I need to use for the warranty.

    So dunno if they got it right. They'll get another go at it on Friday.

    But it drove straight and well on the OE tyres, and didnt on the Contis. This I find odd on its own...

    I'll get Kirsty to send me a printout out of the aligenment results - what should they be putting in?
    hmm!
    i find this bewildering and as the person who recommended the pc2 to you, i feel a bit guilty too.
    you seem to be doing everything right (lateral swap and re-alignment) and i can't see how tyres would do this.
    usual story for pulling to one side is camber thrust which can be caused by tyres unevenly worn across the tread in ways different from side to side but first, these are new tyres and second, you did a lateral swap without effect.
    the inconsistencies suggest to me a coincidental suspension or steering linkage fault of some sort and that's where i'd be looking
    cheers! peter

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Nah, you're right Peter - made my own decision there and I still stand by it.

    Some very unexpected and odd results... Hobart is a pain for cars that follow cambers - not many level roads! I am hoping its just a freak combination of car and tyre characteristics that dont get along.

  6. #6
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    They get knocked out of alignment quite easily, I have had to have a few alignments and a couple of rim repairs done. They are not a good car to hit potholes in, tell her to slow down a bit and watch for potholes.

    There was a report on AF years ago of a steering issue, the steering was found to have not been lubricated when the car was assembled.
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    It changed with the tyres though. Could be coincidence, but I doubt it.

    I laterally swapped the front wheels to no effect, I'll get them to do the rears. The alignment wasn't really out, so something is being weird...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    It changed with the tyres though. Could be coincidence, but I doubt it.

    I laterally swapped the front wheels to no effect, I'll get them to do the rears. The alignment wasn't really out, so something is being weird...
    They aren't a directional tyre are they?
    JohnW

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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    No, but asymmetrical. Correctly installed.

    They're a good tyre from a trusted seller/fitter. It will be unusual if its a manufacturing fault in one tyre (such as its carcass being a bit conical which I believe can sometimes happen).

    The ride quality of the PC2 is not what I had hoped though (I did err towards performance to give some feel back to the electric steering). If I do try other tyres, might go for ComfortContact5 or Michelin MXV8 maybe.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    swap front to rear and see what happens
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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Not sure if this a problem... Some odd readings I'll be interested to see if they can reproduce on Friday. Its still throwing me because it drove fine on its OE tyres.

    I'm also told one needs to be careful that the steering position sensor is in the straight ahead position when aligning. One would just assume this means the wheel needs to be straight. but...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Megane2 steering weirdness-photo.jpg  

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    Not sure if this a problem... Some odd readings I'll be interested to see if they can reproduce on Friday. Its still throwing me because it drove fine on its OE tyres.

    I'm also told one needs to be careful that the steering position sensor is in the straight ahead position when aligning. One would just assume this means the wheel needs to be straight. but...
    what was in the boot ?
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Nah, that's positive rear camber when it should be negative.

    im not convinced they got that right - one look at the car tells you it has negative rear camber...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Megane2 steering weirdness-img_5462.jpg  

  14. #14
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    Nah, that's positive rear camber when it should be negative.

    im not convinced they got that right - one look at the car tells you it has negative rear camber...
    look at the toe figures

    the only way they can be so far out is either it's bent, worn or there is something in the boot or backseat on one side that is weighing the car down
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    No, but asymmetrical. Correctly installed.

    They're a good tyre from a trusted seller/fitter. It will be unusual if its a manufacturing fault in one tyre (such as its carcass being a bit conical which I believe can sometimes happen).

    The ride quality of the PC2 is not what I had hoped though (I did err towards performance to give some feel back to the electric steering). If I do try other tyres, might go for ComfortContact5 or Michelin MXV8 maybe.
    well, a conical tyre would certainly give camber thrust but Continental are generally considered second only to Michelin in tyre uniformity. Also, you have done a lateral swap.

    The CC5 would be a dramatic shift to lower dynamic prowess. I generally like Contis but the CC series is to be avoided I think. The MXV8 is better but oldish. Jo Proffi speaks highly of the Bridgestone Adrenalin 002.

    Meanwhile, I remain suspicious of the alignment.

    Peter

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Yeah, the toe figures are a worry - especially as Renault had a lot of hassle with poor tolerances in their rear beams and warranty replacements for excessive rear tyre wear - more of an issue on 17-18 inch rims and wide tyres. Which makes me hope I don't have one of those cars that wasn't apparent on the OE Michelins...

    Bit if the camber wasn't read correctly, maybe the toe wasn't either. Fingers crossed they get it right next time!.

    I know the car can drive well - it did up until the point the Contis went on... Its all very weird.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    It was done at TyreRight in Nth Hobart - went there as they're the place used by the Renault service agent.

    What's your thought as a local Peter? Send elsewhere for french friendly service?

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    And handling prowess is not something she is looking for as such - not tracking road camber and ride comfort are certainly appreciated and decent stopping.

    That electric steering kinda negates the value of a good handling tyre anyway!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    And handling prowess is not something she is looking for as such - not tracking road camber and ride comfort are certainly appreciated and decent stopping.

    That electric steering kinda negates the value of a good handling tyre anyway!
    I'm following this with interest, happily not with a similar issue myself.

    My view on the steering (electric, that is) is that the handling is to do with the car changing direction and stopping properly. How the steering system conveys that performance to the driver is a slightly different matter.

    Anyway, I'm with Peter. But I don't understand why the tyre change did this. I wonder if they messed with alignment and aren't telling you. Or maybe an apprentice messed with it and hasn't told his boss. Who knows?

    Best of luck. And thanks for sharing this one.
    JohnW

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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    The thanks will be from me if anyone in the brains trust has a bright idea!

    Should also add the place I bought the tyres from is a very trusted source - in fact I was in workshop watching and yacking as he and a sidekick fitted the tyres. Nothing untoward was done there.

    Hopefully its just a freak occurrence to punish me for thinking the whole car purchase and take it to tassie thing had gone smoothly
    Last edited by Haakon; 23rd July 2012 at 09:45 PM.

  21. #21
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    To Haaken:
    1. yes electric steering is generally awful (although Renault-Sport seems to finally be getting it right). Generally Conti are the wet braking kings but the CC range is not well regarded in even this respect. I suggest waiting for the PremiumContact 5 to hit Oz as it's wet braking optimised & has won every test it has been in in Europe.
    2. My main contact is Bob Jane in Launceston. By no means are they Renault specialists but I know the owner fairly well & you will at least get honest independent advice. I am currently in conversation with Steve re some tyres for the Djet (PC2s would you believe; at least I put my money where my mouth is) & I'll ask him tomorrow about Meganes. If you want him to look at it, then I can expedite that so email me ([email protected])
    3. To reiterate, it is not just the tyres that are new, the alignment settings are too.

    To John:
    OK, 3 lateral things that are to be analytically separated are road-holding, handling & steering feel. Longitudinally, we have traction & braking.
    Roadholding is a matter of grip and interacts with handling in that front/rear roadholding differences are a factor in understeer/oversteer issues.
    Handling is a matter of the behaviour of the vehicle in yaw, in particular, the balance of the vehicle in various situations. Apart from the above, it interacts with steering feel in that one thing in controlling a vehicle in yaw is knowing what the vehicle is on the verge of doing so that one can make pre-emptive inputs. It interacts with braking & acceleration in that when either braking or acceleration is occurring under yaw, the handling balance of the vehicle changes & with steering in monitoring & counteracting those changes.
    In short, steering feel is intimately involved in the handling prowess of a vehicle.

    cheers! Peter

  22. #22
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    Default Megane 2 steering

    Hi Haakon (and others)

    My 2L Laguna 2 Expression had a similar annoying habit of pulling towards the centre of the road. ie to the right. This would have been fine in Europe, as a moments lapse in concentration would take you to the safety (relative) of the verge rather than into oncoming traffic, as it does here in Australia.

    I had the alignment checked twice with the changes from Conti's to Michelins and then to Yokohamas. The alignment was fine, but still pulling to the centre of the road. I suspected that it was "set-up" for driving on the European side.

    BUT>>>when I bought 2 almost new Fulda Great Exelero tyres ( off a Laguna that French Connection had wrecked) my problem was solved. It steered neutrally and no longer required constant correction. WHY?

    These are directional tyres. I have since bought 2 new directional Primewell PZ 900 from Donnellans for $129 each, and these are equally as good as the Fuldas. They told me that Primewell are a cheaper brand of Bridgestone. I find both these brands very good. My wheels require 205-55ZR 16.

    By the way, a few years ago a huge pothole destroyed a front right Conti tyre. There was no damage to the alloy wheel, or the suspension.

    I hope this helps you, Haakon.

    John

  23. #23
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    From the manual. Data for a Meg Phase1 sedan.
    PM me the first 9 digits of your VIN for more specific info.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Megane2 steering weirdness-meg-pull-r-l.jpg  
    spiz

  24. #24
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    Assuming nothing is wrong with the car itself, it's probably something to do with "lateral force tyre pull".


    These links should explain all:

    Hunter GSP9700 (brief overview and the Australian distributor for Hunter equipment)

    GSP9700 StraightTrak LFM (technical paper slideshow)

    Diagnosing Tire Pull - Tire Rack

    Hunter GSP9700 homepage


    I've never seen the Hunter GSP9700 in action, so one will have to contact the Australian distributor for locations.

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiz View Post
    From the manual. Data for a Meg Phase1 sedan.
    PM me the first 9 digits of your VIN for more specific info.
    I have Dialogys, didnt think to look in there yet! Cheers- reckon I'll be making sure the Renault agent and their aligner refer to this!

    Have also found I think that there are shims available for correcting rear toe by installing them under the rear stub axles - just have to confirm if mine are removable stub axles, if not then thats not an option.

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