Is the steering really that bad? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 09-01-2013, 04:14 PM
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Is the steering really that bad?

So what's the deal with all the steering complaints in the 2010-2013 Corollas?. My mom was all set to buy the 2013 Corolla until I discovered tons of steering complaints with no fix from Toyota. Some people say that it's completely normal with electric steering and all cars will come to this. Some people say that the computer that controls the steering needs a software update or the tire pressure needs adjusting. Someone is going around saying it's the rear axle toe adjustment (I have no idea what that is).

Lots of people have been commenting that the steering in their Corolla is so bad that they turn the steering wheel one way, but the vehicle goes the other way. Some people say it's a struggle to keep the car in their own lane out on the highway. Some have even reported a loss of control that resulted in an accident.

If the steering is as bad as people say, I can't recommend the Corolla to my mom. It wouldn't be safe for her to drive in my opinion. What are the thoughts on this steering problem? Have you experienced it? Is it that big of a deal? Is it normal?
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#2 Old 09-01-2013, 04:46 PM
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I don't notice any problems with my Corolla 2009 which has electric power steering. I say it's more sensitive than the normal hydraulic power steering.
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#3 Old 09-01-2013, 05:33 PM
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i recommend my mom a 2011 corolla S, its got 35k miles on it now, no problems yet, i noticed the steering wheel turns with ease, really little resistance, i find myself driving it with two fingers, i think its something people will have to get used to.
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#4 Old 09-01-2013, 09:50 PM
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I have a '13 Corolla S and there are no problems with the steering. I have not noticed what you are describing. I just made a 5-hour each way trip from New Jersey to Massachusetts and back travelling 65 and up to 75 mph and had no steering or mechanical problems whatsoever, The Corolla was very easy to control on the interstates, keeping it in the lane or making lane changes. I appreciate that the steering requires very little effort when I need to turn to get into a parking spot.
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#5 Old 09-01-2013, 11:13 PM
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Bad Steering you refer to comes from the need to constantly correcting the steering wheel when driving on highways. Over 60 mphs or so those donnut fat stock tires on my 2013 Corolla L 15" steel wheels have no sense of direction and it starts to wonder around. This was very "tiring" on my shoulders, for the lack of better word and causing a lot of safety concerns!

I replaced the tires/wheels with 16" 205 wide low profile Yoko AVIS and some light wheels I had around. Problem solved for me. No more wondering and much more secured ride. My shoulders feel whole lot better. I think it even improved my seat comfort from not having to adjust my body when it wondered around.

Corollas are built on light frame and could also use some metal braces for better handing. Next up for me is front strut bar, rear sway bar and lowering springs for better center of gravity and improved feel and handling.

I was pleasantly surprised when it returned 36 mpg on the second tank thou, on mixed driving! But, it seriously need updated tires/wheels combo. I don't want to drive under 60 mph just to keep my steering straight. There should have been some recall on this serious issue long time ago!!!

It also probably needs better alignment.

Funny thing is my third gen Prius w/ stock 15" wheels/tires never had this issue. It sped along 80+ mph w/o any issue. It was one of the most secured feeling car on highway...

You get what you pay for from Toyota, I guess.

I'd recommend a base Prius for your mom. Much better built car with kick ass gas mileage and a safer car!

Last edited by Tacomac; 09-01-2013 at 11:28 PM.
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#6 Old 09-02-2013, 02:53 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm trying to get a good idea of what EXACTLY the steering is like on these cars. My mom's current 15 y/o car must have some alignment issue because it does require some small amount of effort to steer it straight at speeds over 55 mph. So I'm wondering if these Corollas are comparable to that? Or would they be more comparable to an old '50s car that has no power steering? Or am I just way off base here?

I'm starting to get the impression that maybe these steering issues wouldn't be that noticeable to someone who is used to driving a car that has no power steering at all. But then again, with all the complaints about these cars having a mind of their own, I don't really know what to think.

I'd really like to test drive one of these cars, but I'm a little nervous to. I'd hate to have an accident.

I'll check into the Prius but I don't think my mom wants a hybrid, plus it looks like it's a bit out of her price range.
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#7 Old 09-02-2013, 07:17 AM
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I have a 2013 S with the stock 17" Alloys. Bought it at the end of February. I love the steering on the car, and after driving it now for 6 months, the steering on my other cars seem stiff.

I will agree with the issues of the feeling of wanting to wander on the highway, especially when passing a semi or in high cross wind. It bothered me somewhat at first, but I've gotten used to it. I have also read, as others stated here, that new tires, rear sway, TRD Srpings, and front strut brace helps a lot with this.

As for issues of "so bad that they turn the steering wheel one way, but the vehicle goes the other way", I call BS. If these cars did that, there would be MAJOR recalls on the vehicle. A phrase like that sounds like someone either making up tales because they are 'afraid' of the technology, or they just plain 'don't like' the technology.

I think most would agree, these cars are safe. I would recommend one to my mom and not feel bad one bit.
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#8 Old 09-02-2013, 09:29 AM
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My last car had no power steering. When I got the toyota I hated electric power steering. I still do. Going from no ps to this is a HUGE difference. There is no problem with it that you should be worried about though. Other cars have electric steering as well.
The thing I hate is that it is like steering one of these:

No feedback, no resistance, super light. I personally hate it.
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#9 Old 09-02-2013, 09:45 AM
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the issue IMO is that the steering is SUPER LIGHT.
there isnt much if any resistance. you have no good feedback. im not a fan of it, but no issues as you mentioned

2003 Corolla
2011 Corolla S
1990 V8 monster miata
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#10 Old 09-02-2013, 07:48 PM
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Do not worry. The steering is extremely light. Toyota has made this car very easy to drive. It is engineered very well. You do not have to put alot of effort into the steering and must drive it with one hand holding lightly on the steering wheel. 93K miles of troublefree driving. Enjoy.
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#11 Old 09-03-2013, 09:17 AM
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remember, for some people, that isnt a plus.

2003 Corolla
2011 Corolla S
1990 V8 monster miata
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#12 Old 09-03-2013, 02:07 PM
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this was the biggest complaint i found when researching my 2010 before buying. after test driving 3 different ones i came to the conclusion that the electronic steering was not a concern for me. yes, it feels lights, but i haven't experienced the highway wandering like some have mentioned

2010 Toyota Corolla - Base Edition; 5-speed manual
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#13 Old 09-14-2013, 01:40 PM
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The only time I have had problems with the steering on my 2010 is during high cross winds. Crosswinds seem to push the vehicle very easily. Other than that, no problems.
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#14 Old 09-14-2013, 06:03 PM
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I would suspect tires at the root cause of drifting in high winds, This would have little to do with the steering mechanics.

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#15 Old 09-15-2013, 12:56 AM
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It deff does wander a lot on freeways but I blame the EPS for that. I doubt the 45 series tires sre flexing under light side to side wind
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