2008 Solara SLE Convertible Handling - normal? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 5th & 6th Gen (2002-2006 & 2007-2011)/2nd Gen Solara (2004-2008) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 2002-2006 & 2007-2011, as well as Solara Discussion for years 2004-2008. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #1 of 7 Old 05-15-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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2008 Solara SLE Convertible Handling - normal?

Being that I've not driven another Solara other than my wife's, I noticed from the day we got it, it felt a bit "vague" or "floaty" going down the road. Not the tight, taunt response I was used to from Honda and Toyota. Hitting small bumps makes the steering wheel jump or vibrate a bit rather than a taunt "thump" from what I'm used to..... not sure if that description helps or not....I don't drive it enough to know if its gotten any worse and my wife's never wrecked it or hit any curbs, the rims are pristine.

My question: Is this vague and floaty feeling normal and due to it being a convertible or should I be looking at a faulty steering stabilizer? I've had it to the dealer, the original place it was purchased, without them finding anything.
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-16-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TableRocked View Post
Being that I've not driven another Solara other than my wife's, I noticed from the day we got it, it felt a bit "vague" or "floaty" going down the road. Not the tight, taunt response I was used to from Honda and Toyota. Hitting small bumps makes the steering wheel jump or vibrate a bit rather than a taunt "thump" from what I'm used to..... not sure if that description helps or not....I don't drive it enough to know if its gotten any worse and my wife's never wrecked it or hit any curbs, the rims are pristine.

My question: Is this vague and floaty feeling normal and due to it being a convertible or should I be looking at a faulty steering stabilizer? I've had it to the dealer, the original place it was purchased, without them finding anything.
A floaty feeling usually indicates the shocks/struts are worn down. All my struts are worn down (oem still on and car has 194,000 miles) and driving on windy days is like I just obtained my permit lol. I know its not safe to keep driving like that but walking down the roads of Georgia is more dangerous than any vehicle that you can be in. Some people just have the need for speed no matter what the conditions are
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Last edited by Mastered; 05-20-2019 at 04:21 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-20-2019, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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thank you, I will have the dealer check those again..... having only 40k original miles, maybe sitting so much caused these issues?
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-20-2019, 10:26 AM
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Honda's (at least older ones) generally handle better than Toyota's. The only exception is my dad's 02ish Accord Coupe V6 that had heavy steering that he always said the dealership said was normal until the steering got sticky when turning and able to return to center without assistance...
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-20-2019, 01:12 PM
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40k miles, did the wife buy it new? If so then you have the typical convertible syndrome, expecting it to be a sedan. It's called torsional rigidity and convertibles have less than fixed roof cars, by nature. Manufacturers try to get it by making the rocker panels deeper and wider, but that intrudes into the passenger compartment.

Original owner 40 k miles, it hasn't changed much unless she banged something and didn't tell you. Nah probably normal
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-24-2019, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TableRocked View Post
Being that I've not driven another Solara other than my wife's, I noticed from the day we got it, it felt a bit "vague" or "floaty" going down the road. Not the tight, taunt response I was used to from Honda and Toyota.
My question: Is this vague and floaty feeling normal and due to it being a convertible or should I be looking at a faulty steering stabilizer?
I remember at the time these convertibles were new, one of the car magazines called them "the boneless chicken breast of automobiles". Having an extreme amount of flex from new, will not provide a tight, taunt handling response.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-24-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
40k miles, did the wife buy it new? Yes

If so then you have the typical convertible syndrome, expecting it to be a sedan. It's called torsional rigidity and convertibles have less than fixed roof cars, by nature. Manufacturers try to get it by making the rocker panels deeper and wider, but that intrudes into the passenger compartment.

I figured it was this, but didn't want to assume. As I don't drive it as much as she does, its really noticeable to me, and if there was a fix, a steering stabilizer, something to calm the jittery steering at each bump and vague steering overall, I want to check and see if we might have gotten a lemon.

Original owner 40 k miles, it hasn't changed much unless she banged something and didn't tell you. Nah probably normal
I've looked at the rims, struts, suspension looking for any curb testing she might have done, but her feedback and my visual inspections seem to show nothing but casual driving on sunny days has been the life of this vehicle. When I took it in to have the rims balanced, the guys said they balanced almost perfectly at 40k miles. I took it in for an alignment and was told it checked out fine and didn't need alignment or adjustments. So, I guess, its the proper behavior for this vehicle. As it doesn't bother my wife, I guess it shouldn't bother me.
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