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Discussion Starter #1
hi there
the wife has just bought a 03 type r, ep3, pre facelift, 70 k on the clock, fsh(honda)
we had quite a few problems with it witch the garage have fixed
but the steering is still stiff and does not self center you have to consantly make ajustments as you are driving in a straight line
we took in to the local honda garage (bought it from a BMW garage)
they say this is a common problem on hondas but hers is on the bad side
now a new rack might solve the problem or might not they say
has any on out there in civic land had the same problem and how was it cured (if it can be)
many thanks
jon aka scrog
 

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Discussion Starter #5
has been checked over they say ok but still dont feel right to me
read on
does any one else have a problem with the steering not self centering
had loads of advise on what to do but
i have heared this is a common thing on honda,s
so does your steering self center
ie if you turn a corner (slow speed eg 20mph) and let go of the steering
wheel does it
A) stay turning
B) return slighty (bout half way) but still not centering
C) self center and drive stright

have done the official honda EPS return to center check
witch is to drive stright at 10mph for 2 seconds turn wheel through 90degs h old for 2 seconds then release hands from steering wheel after 2 seconds record how far the wheel returened

do this left and right at 10 mph and again at 20 mph

result's were not good

but what does you ctr do ?????????
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well with the new rack it,s sweet to drive feel much more stable round town not having to correct it all the time
still sicks but only slightly
 

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Hi scrog
My newly aquired 2005 Civic appears to have the same problem that yours did. Was the new steering rack replaced at the dealers expense?
 

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I had a similar problem with may dad,s 2004 Civic 1.6 SE. After only 9000 miles the steering would not self centre and the driving experience was terrible. Even on a straight road you had to continuosly correct the direction of the car with lumpy adjustments. The garage said it needed a new steering rack at a cost of £999.94+vat.

The service manager contacted Honda and In view of the low mileage, Honda agreed to reduce the cost of the rack to 35%, ie £349.98+vat (as a gesture of goodwill), but not labour costs. I telephoned Honda UK customer services but they made it quite clear that this was their best offer. After exchange of a number of letters, Honda agreed to cover the full cost of the rack but not labour. By this time we had had the work done and the cost of the rack was reimbursed by the garage.

I understand that the steering rack is electric, ie no hydraulics just an electric motor, position sensors and a computer. Honda would not admit that there is an inherrant problem but Honda and garage staff have let it slip out that they are aware of other instances of this fault.

The same car now has problems with the exterior lights. If anyone thinks they can help, I will describe the fault.
 

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Christ sounds like my MB6, crappy streeing and problems with exterior lights. Have to bash them to get them to come on, probs a loose conx but to cold to fix
 

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My 2003 Civic S has now also got the stiff steering problem, and it's done less than 50k miles. This is clearly a common fault. I'm not sure it's even worth £1000 for a new rack. I wouldn't trust a Honda again.
 

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Stiff steering? Mine feels firm but nice, very responsive in the sense I point it in a direction and it responds and self centres.
How stiff are we talking here? Does it feel like you aint got power steering anymore?
 

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The sysmptoms of my stiff steering are exactly as the first person in this discussion experienced. It won't centre on its own, you have to constantly make small corrections on a straight road, and you can't make corretions smoothly because of what feels like a sticky rack.
 

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The steering on these 7th gen Civics is not good - mine has only done 26k and needs constant corrections on the motorway, it has so much slop in it (but fine from an MOT point of view).

Minesacivic, I take it your EPS light goes out after a few seconds of turning on the ignition ?

Pete
 

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I had this problem on my 05 1.6 Civic Executive. Honda said there was no problem ( even though the car was Honda Approved Used and within the 1 year warranty ), and I don't have £1500 for a new rack. It was really terrible to drive, especially on the motorway, with constant small corrections to the steering required to keep a straight line.

What I found out is that on my car this was related to the torque sensor at the base of the steering column, which is part of the EPS.

I did a test to find that the sensor was not completely free. Maybe you have the same problem, so try this simple test. When the car is parked with the engine off, so no EPS, turn the wheel to the left say about a quarter turn ( this needs firm pressure to do this turn ). Now release the wheel, and it will return to a sort of central position. What I found was that it actually had not returned fully. Apply a gentle turning force to the right. If you can feel a slight click at the base of the steering column, this suggests the torque sensor is sticking. Try the opposite, turning the wheel to the right, let it return and then see if you get a click when the wheel is gently turned to the left.

I didn't have money for a new rack, so put a small amount of WD-40 and 4 drops of gear oil onto the sensor. This is behind what looks like a rubber seal at the base of the steering column ( near the floor ). Problem went away. I did the test again and there was no click. On the road, the car now drives like I would expect.

Vauxhall Corsa/Meriva that use EPS suffer from a similar problem as they use the same slant coupling mechanism for a torque sensor ( though they also use potentiometers rather than the more reliable inductive setup in the Honda ).

Hope this helps.
 

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Very interesting post goldeneye02.

What I have noticed is with the engine not running, there is a small amount of 'play' before the wheels turn when the steering wheel is turned, and then a click (felt through the steering wheel) as the wheel turns. Is this clicking indicative of a sticking sensor possibly .....

Tomorrow I will dig around further. Did you lift the rubber seal and drip the oil in ?

I bet it was the best feeling once you knew you had fixed it :D

Thanks
Pete
 

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Could be the same problem with the torque sensor, though hard to tell without seeing it.

I used a small flat point screwdriver to carefully lift the edge of the seal away from the steering input shaft so I could get the extension spout on a can of WD-40 behind it. I put a short squirt of WD-40 in and then tested it again. It needed two short squirts to fix the problem. I then added about 4 drops of gear oil using a needle oiler, to give longer term lubrication.

Certainly was a great feeling to get it fixed. If this had not worked, the car was going to be sold as I found it such a poor driving experience. Shame that Honda didn't resolve the issue, as I now think the car is great to drive and that Honda service in the UK sucks!

Good luck with you steering.
 
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