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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. The day I took delivery of my S60 which was late last year, the steering has been very heavy at low speeds, making getting into tight parking spots a real chore. I mentioned this to the dealer a couple of days after purchasing the car and his response was - 'they are all like that.'

I didn't think this was a good enough explanation, so I sent it back to the shop, where they said that one of the components in the power steering was faulty, and went about changing it. I noticed a minor difference, probably only 5%, and decided that it must be okay and went about getting used to the overly heavy feel.

This was until I spent a day driving my brother's new Golf GTI, and the S60 felt unreasonably heavy at the helm. Being what felt like at least twice as heavy at low speeds, but it is worth mentioning the steering does lighten up a bit as speed increases, but it is still far heavier than anything I have driven recently. Btw, my car does not have the speed sensitive power steering.

So my question is, is this heavy steering normal in an AWD S60? I realise the AWD system is meant to make it feel slightly heavier, but we have a XC70 in the family also, and that is far lighter.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Re: Overly heavy steering in S60 AWD (volvoAWD)

Hi VolvoAWD,
Does your S60 have "speed-sensitive steering" function? Is this "overly heavy steering" only happened at low speed drive? How does it feel when you drive your S60 on the highway?
Do you know which components was failed that your dealer changed?
As my research, it could be caused by a failed angle gear which will drastically changes the handling characteristics of your car. But most of the angle gear failures with AWD Volvos have been reported with R models.
Hopefully it is helpful for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Overly heavy steering in S60 AWD (D.C.)

Quote, originally posted by D.C. »
Hi VolvoAWD,
Does your S60 have "speed-sensitive steering" function? Is this "overly heavy steering" only happened at low speed drive? How does it feel when you drive your S60 on the highway?

My S60 does not have the speed sensitive steering. Heaviness is felt at all times, but is more evident at low speeds, where it is very heavy. My girlfriend can barely steer the car in very tight spaces, and even though I still manage, it is tiring for myself after a while, and I'm a very fit, 6'1 80kg person. From memory I can say it was definitely the power steering pump that was replaced.
 

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just out of curiousity, what are your tire pressures?
 

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Re: (phuz)

Quote, originally posted by phuz »
just out of curiousity, what are your tire pressures?
Really!
05s and 06s have SLIGHTLY heavier steering but certainly not hard by any means.
It shouldn;t be "harder" at lower speeds.
Check your tire pressures, they should be about 31 to 33 or so.
If everything's OK you probably have a bad steering rack or a bad PS pump
 

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Re: (volvoAWD)

Not sure why you run with 35psi pressure for your S60. As my check from 2005 S60 US model owner manual, the following is the detail description for the tire inflation pressure:
Tire inflation pressure tables
Tire pressures recommended by Volvo for your vehicle. Refer to the tire inflation placard for information specific to the tires installed on your vehicle at the factory.

Cold tire pressure for vehicle loads up to 890lbs (400kg) a

S60 195/65R15 or 205/55R16 or 215/55R16 or 235/45R17 or 235/45R17 SSRFT b: Front 38psi/260kPa Rear 38psi/260kPa

a. These weights include the weight of all occupants of the car plus cargo.
b. Self supporting run flat tires. See page 119 for more information.

Optional tire pressure. These inflation pressures may only be used when the vehicle is not fully loaded.

Optional Cold tire pressure that may only be used for vehicle loads up to 495lbs (225kg)

S60 195/65R15 or 205/55R16 or 215/55R16 or 235/45R17: Front 32psi/220kPa Rear 32psi/220kPa

As the recommendation, it seems you should keep 38psi pressure for your S60's front and rear tires. I could be wrong about it and hopefully this information is helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: (D.C.)

38 psi seems high for the recommended pressure for tires. I believe JRL is correct in saying that the pressure should be around 31-33. I used to inflate the tires to 38, as I enjoyed the greater steering response and better cornering it offered, but the ride became overly harsh, especially on coarse Australian bitumen. Anyways, I have booked the car in for a service Monday of next week, so hopefully they will find something then. I'll insist on taking one of the other AWD S60's on the lot for a drive just to compare too.
 

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Re: (volvoAWD)

31-32 TOPS
I NEVER ran 38 on my S60 even when loaded.
I took a fully loaded up trip to FL and ran 33-34 for 2K miles, no problems
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: (JRL)

Quote, originally posted by JRL »
31-32 TOPS
I NEVER ran 38 on my S60 even when loaded.
I took a fully loaded up trip to FL and ran 33-34 for 2K miles, no problems

In that case I'll bring the tire pressure down to 31ish. I remember speaking to a racing car driver at a Mercedes Benz driving day, and he recommended 38psi for optimum handling. I'm assuming overinflation can cause unnecessary stress on the suspension components?
 

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if 38psi is volvo's recommendation, Jim, why are you stating 32psi, tops?
 

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Re: (phuz)

Quote, originally posted by phuz »
if 38psi is volvo's recommendation, Jim, why are you stating 32psi, tops?

37-38 psi will give you much better gas mileage as well... http://********************/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: (phuz)

Quote, originally posted by phuz »
if 38psi is volvo's recommendation, Jim, why are you stating 32psi, tops?
NO it's not.
That's for a loaded car. If he wants OPTIMUM handling, sure, but he'll rattle his teeth apart. These are NOT R's and are NOT good riding with 38 lbs
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: (JRL)

Well I lowered the tires to 32psi, and ride quality is better, but it didn't really bother me in the first place. Steering is heavier though, which is to be expected I guess. Hopefully they will find something on Monday, or maybe i'm being too picky!
 

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Re: (JRL)

Quote, originally posted by JRL »
NO it's not.
That's for a loaded car. If he wants OPTIMUM handling, sure, but he'll rattle his teeth apart. These are NOT R's and are NOT good riding with 38 lbs

JRL is right, I've played around with my tire pressure quite a bit over the past year. The dealer puts them at 37 or 38 psi usually (I have 235 width 17 inch tires/rims). Yeah, there's less sidewall flex so handling is "sharper" at those psi, but at 32-34psi where I usually run, you get a bigger contact patch, thus better grip, especially in a straight line. I probably have about 280-290HP with my mods, and at 38psi, 1st gear is just tire hopping madness and 2nd gear is all squeals. At 32psi, I can get a good launch through 1st and 2nd holds like a rock. Obviously 32psi rides a ton smoother as well. The only downside is some sidewall wear and tear at the lower psi, but nothing too severe, just rotate your tires every oil change and you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: (Warpedcow)

Well I took the car in today, and they believe it's a faulty power steering rack. Looks like I'll have to wait a bit until they can actually fix it though. Hopefully it wont take too long. Even though this is covered under warranty, it does annoy me slightly that this car was sold to me brand new with the faulty rack, even though I did mention the tight steering before even purchasing it, only to be told 'all' AWD S60's felt like mine.
 
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