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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sup Everyone

Congrats to me for getting an '01 IS300 last week. I haven't had much time to fully enjoy my ride yet or to discover any goodies or secrets the last two previous owners left for me but what I did notice is the non-linear steering response.

Is it just me or the car? The steering feels vague or non-responsive.. my brain isn't really getting the input it would like from the steering wheel when I take corners or turns. It almost feels like an electric steering system.. but then again, I've never experienced an electrical-assist steering system.. but I would imagine that's how it would feel. I've tried searching around the forum for this particular topic but no one really covered it. I'm hoping to get some response on this, whats your 2 cents?

Oh yea, and the MPG meter is retarded.. Toyota should have replaced it with a oil pressure meter instead.
The seats feel stiff and uncomfortable.
Stock head unit sucks.
No 1st gear in E-shift mode... this is more retarded than all 3 above combined.

Kudos,
Jay
 

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It still starts in 1st gear, the computer just doesn't let you select it. I've never seen anyone really complain about steering feel or linearity.
 

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Like longnights said,

The e-shift starts in first, but you have to listen to your car to shift out it (AKA no burnouts for you). I just got back from a trip from the northern end of Cali to Oceanside and back... e-shift was awesome through the redwoods on 101 :).
 

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To quote tjfavor97 in his original post:

OEM performance shortcomings:

Factory rubber bushings deteriorate over time, and degrade your IS' driving stability and performance - and even your safety. Daizen Sport Tuning steering rack, OEM sway bar and control arm bushing kits restore your suspension's solid, sure footed handling. Some of the more significant problems are as follows:

* 2001-2005 IS300 - Susceptible to an "invisible" failure of the front lower control arm bushing (#2 lower control arm), most commonly indicated by excessive tire wear and wandering at highway speeds

* 2001-2005 IS300 - "Softening" of the drivers side steering rack bushings, resulting in sloppy steering, and unstable centering at higher speeds.


My experience has led me to believe that the bushings soften and allow for excessive play. You almost feel like you are floating at highways speeds because of the slag in the steering. I replace lower ball joints, #1 & 2 LCA bushings, and struts. I still have the float feel but not as bad. They all need replacing after a while to get that new feel in steering back. I am a fan of responsive steering. A lot of us experience this and need a fix. That's why Engineers are now working at a better alternative. Read around and you will see peoples complaints.

I don't know if you were experiencing these types of issues however I thought it would be worth noting, being new to the IS and all.

How many miles do you have on the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's really hard to explain well through text, even if I throw in all the technical terms/big words (which I don't know). Behind the wheel, I understand whats going on with the steering input and how I wish it could be. Either way, I'll try to explain it in more detail this time. I will also visually inspect every suspension component on my car again as well as putting a load on it to test all the bushings/joints/rods.. etc.

As for my steering issue, imagine if you will I'm going straight at around 50mph. My steering wheel is centered/leveled and I rotate it 3/4's of the way or in mathematical terms.. 120 degrees or so into a turn, I'm sensing my tires are doing their job.. good contact patch and good grip.. but I'm not feeling any feedback from the steering wheel itself. Whats lacking is the resistance feel, the bit where the steering wheel is suppose to fight back against the direction of the turn.

This is troublesome and frankly very annoying if the car oversteers or understeers because I don't feel any of the warning signs. If it becomes unstable, it does it instantly without justice. I guess this is what IS300Enthusiast103 is referring to.. it does feel like I'm handling a floating steering wheel.

Kudos,
Jay
 

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What type of car are you coming from?

I find the 'feel' of my 300 to be acceptable. It gives nowhere near the feedback that my non-power steering Miata did, but is loads more responsive than the wife's Imprezza. It's about on par with most sports sedans of it's vintage - not the best, not the worst.

If your used to a car that provided loads of feedback, this could be some of your issue. If your last car was a Buick LeSabre, then go check your bushings....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I second this. Did you come from FWD cars?
No, I come from FR layouts so I'm pretty familiar with it as far as that goes. It's my IS300 that really got me this time. I'd have yet to get a chance to check my front suspension assembly, but I'm sure something is outta' wack. The steering is loose but it responds.. but without feedback inputted to the driver, which is me... and that's the situation I'm dealt with right now.

Kudos,
Jay
 

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As far as the steering feeling vague or non-responsive, I can say that the IS300 steering feels lighter than my previous BMW 325i. I would consider these cars very similar. The BMW gave me a better feel of the road, but the IS handles just as good or better than my 3 series.
 

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Agree on alignment and front LCA bushings. Made my steering feel stiffer and more responsive.
When I got my alignment, they said my steering rack bushing was going bad, but they also said it may never need replacing. It just affects how centered the steering wheel is.

I haven't touched the steering rack and it's been fine.
 

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Also my brother is a Subaru fanatic but I still prefer the IS feel over those.
BUT I hate the heavy weight of this car. And the dam electronics ecm and trac ecu.
 

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Agree on alignment and front LCA bushings. Made my steering feel stiffer and more responsive.
When I got my alignment, they said my steering rack bushing was going bad, but they also said it may never need replacing. It just affects how centered the steering wheel is.

I haven't touched the steering rack and it's been fine.


I did my #2 lca and rack bushings with figs poly.


Easy to do and well worth it, be a man and tackle those rack bushings. I've noticed that the steering wheel re-centers much better after quick steering movements. Worth the 75$ and hour or so of time to switch.
 

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Lol "be a man", shut up with that lol.
My steering wheel stays perfectly straight. When it goes bad, I'll tackle it, as u say.
 

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This car suffers from Toyota steering, it doesnt have near the feedback and response of many other cars, but it isnt bad either.

Most likely you are just feeling the effects of almost 15 year old suspension and steering bushings combined with what was widely published as a characteristic of the IS.
 
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