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Old 04-02-2012, 08:33 AM   #1
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Question Driving tips for the bob and weave?

I'm new to Jeep ownership although I've driven Jeeps a few times over the years. I've also owned numerous old cars with truly terrible steering characteristics (old VW bugs and buses) so when I got the Jeep I didn't have an issue adapting to the "imprecise" on-pavement steering.

My wife has driven it just one time (the day we bought it) for about 20 miles and she felt very uncomfortable with the vague steering and said she felt like it was going to lurch into oncoming traffic or off the road. Now she seems afraid to drive it again. I encouraged her to not fight the steering and just let it wander a bit. Apparently what seems natural to me is not natural to her.

Do any of you have any useful and non-derogatory advice I can offer her to get her back behind the wheel?

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Old 04-02-2012, 08:36 AM   #2
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I actually feel much better about the steering in mine after my weekend drive in the mountains, flinging it around mountain curves. Everything felt controlled even at 5-10mph above whatever the curve signs said. I see you're in NC, maybe have her run the Gap in it?

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Old 04-02-2012, 08:40 AM   #3
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Is this a new Jeep or a used one with a lift already installed?
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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Is this a new Jeep or a used one with a lift already installed?
New JKU, stock wheels and tires.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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Yeah, the Wrangler has very poor steering feel, even bone stock. I've owned a bunch of trucks and cars over the years and no doubt about it, the Jeep has the worst steering feedback.

Something I've noticed on both the Jeep and other vehicles too, is you unconsciously acclimate to the characteristics after a while. I bet if your wife drove the Wrangler everyday for a week she wouldn't even notice the steering.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
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Guess I can't help you unfortunately. When I bought my jk it handled like a tall go cart. After my lift and control arms it drives better in regards to potholes not steering for me. I sometimes feel that its easier to keep inline if I hold the wheel at the bottom and rest my hand on my knee. Since it is not exactly a plush ride when I'd hit bumps, I would steer it to the side accidentally.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
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Tell her to let go of the death grip on the steering wheel. She says it is imprecise, but I would say just the opposite. It is that precise that if you have the death grip and try to correct every movement you feel, you will feel as though you have no control and are doing nothing but saving yourself from a sure catastrophe. I never understood why anyone had such an issue until I watched my wife drive the new jeep... then I figured it out. Basically, unless I am in horrendous head or cross winds, I am almost 2 finger driving. She had both hands deathlocked on the steering wheel and tried to correct every movement. She was used to the sloppy stearing on the land cruiser. She loosened her grip, let the vehicle correct itself back to straight line, and we are all happy again.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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Agree with the above poster. Less is more!
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:11 AM   #9
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I agree with 3TimeOwner. On my first Jeep I used to death grip the wheel because I was worried about all the road feedback I got. After driving it for a few months I started to learn that the best way is to keep a loose grip on the wheel. It works much better and the ride becomes more enjoyable.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:12 AM   #10
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:17 AM   #11
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I found that holding the wheel on the side or bottom is way better than my norm or driving with one had on the top of the wheel. You must lax your steering and let the wheel just go it will stay on the road if you try and force it with a death grip it wants to go all over the place. Def something to get use to if you have never owned a jeep.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3TimeOwner View Post
Tell her to let go of the death grip on the steering wheel. She says it is imprecise, but I would say just the opposite. It is that precise that if you have the death grip and try to correct every movement you feel, you will feel as though you have no control and are doing nothing but saving yourself from a sure catastrophe. I never understood why anyone had such an issue until I watched my wife drive the new jeep... then I figured it out. Basically, unless I am in horrendous head or cross winds, I am almost 2 finger driving. She had both hands deathlocked on the steering wheel and tried to correct every movement. She was used to the sloppy stearing on the land cruiser. She loosened her grip, let the vehicle correct itself back to straight line, and we are all happy again.
I, also, agree with this.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:24 AM   #13
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You just have poor shocks--

Either get some Rubi takeoffs/Bilstein's/RS9000 shocks-

Mine is very modified and handles/corners/recovers like a big sports car---well not quite, but close-

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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Yup.... Shocks and -

After the lift adding adj. LCA's, increased caster made my steering a lot better.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:34 AM   #15
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I test drove a 2012 2dr S last week and had a tough time keeping it the lane. It was not a good thing. Test drove another (the one I ended up buying) and it was the opposite. One thing I don't like about the steering is that it does not snap back to center like my other cars.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:40 AM   #16
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Well, none of my cars have ever "SNAPPED" back to center, they "SEEK" center, because of PROPER caster in the front axle/steering--


Quote:
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I test drove a 2012 2dr S last week and had a tough time keeping it the lane. It was not a good thing. Test drove another (the one I ended up buying) and it was the opposite. One thing I don't like about the steering is that it does not snap back to center like my other cars.
Chrysler has jeep under a WIDE +/-caster spec for production and some is good and some ain't-

You shouldn't have to immediately correct a NEW STOCK jeeps caster--either live withit or get new LCAs as Kj suggests !

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:41 AM   #17
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Maybe bring it to the dealer to have them recheck the alignment? Guess the biggest adjustment I made was just getting used to the feel of a solid front axle as this was my first.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticshaun View Post
I found that holding the wheel on the side or bottom is way better than my norm or driving with one had on the top of the wheel. You must lax your steering and let the wheel just go it will stay on the road if you try and force it with a death grip it wants to go all over the place. Def something to get use to if you have never owned a jeep.

X2!!!

Ever since I started resting elbow on door, and driving from side of steering wheel, my steering has improved tremendously. I also normally drive with hand at 12 O clock, which does not work well with my Wrangler.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgoose
Maybe bring it to the dealer to have them recheck the alignment? Guess the biggest adjustment I made was just getting used to the feel of a solid front axle as this was my first.
+1 lol
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticshaun View Post
I found that holding the wheel on the side or bottom is way better than my norm or driving with one had on the top of the wheel. You must lax your steering and let the wheel just go it will stay on the road if you try and force it with a death grip it wants to go all over the place. Def something to get use to if you have never owned a jeep.

Good advice for any car. Hand resting on top of the wheel is a horrible way of driving for many reasons, but first and foremost is that any bump causes the weight of your arm/body to fall on the wheel, which will turn one direction or the other. For lake of a better metaphor, it is like to trying to stand an egg on end - unstable.

For the OP - others have said it. Death grip. There is no need to correct every little movement. Good luck. IME, some people can get this, others will never will (they tend to be "jumpy" drivers to begin with). I think its more of a personality thing.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgoose
Maybe bring it to the dealer to have them recheck the alignment? Guess the biggest adjustment I made was just getting used to the feel of a solid front axle as this was my first.
X2, This is the first Jeep Ive ever owned, it took me a few days to get used to the handling. Been about a month so it feels natural now.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #22
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you did check the tire pressure right? if all is right with the steering, bring her to some back roads with little traffic. imho, she is used to rack and pinion steering and needs to get used to a solid front axle feel. she will adjust.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:46 AM   #23
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you did check the tire pressure right? if all is right with the steering, bring her to some back roads with little traffic. imho, she is used to rack and pinion steering and needs to get used to a solid front axle feel. she will adjust.
She is used to the "laser like steering" of her 2005 Jetta TDI. She commented yesterday how much she enjoyed driving her Jetta. I think that was a dig at the handling of the Jeep
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:12 AM   #24
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After owning a Rubi for a year I haven't noticed any of those characteristics. Immediately I almost drove over the curb back into the dealer lot because of the quick steering ratio. It's good in tight spots, but on the road especially at highway speeds, it can put you all over the road. Just a small move of the steering wheel gives a not so small turn of the Jeep.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #25
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hmm, I actually love the way the steering is in my jeep. so easy to turn the wheel and makes U-turns a piece of cake. I'd agree with most and say she is probably not allowing the jeep to just ride and trying to hold the wheel too rough in fear that it will lose control randomly...let her drive it on a weekend trip somewhere.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:52 AM   #26
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I just joined but was researching lifts for our new 12 unlimited Rubicon and saw this thread. Here in Arizona our freeway speed limit is 75mph, I was driving with the cruise set at 77 and had the wind blowing stupid hard, it lightly pushed me off the white line and corrected back. I wouldn't say its easy to drive like any of my trucks or sports cars I have had, but it isn't awful either.

Like many have said, let her know not to hold so hard onto the wheel. It does have a different feel to it when driving, but it is not bad it is just different.

When we were going up into the Hualapai Mountains two weeks ago, I had a guy on the freeway not see some retread in front of him and when he saw it he acted as though it was an IED. He swerved, slammed on his brakes, almost rolled his car. I just put the brakes on and the jeep stopped very well, my wife began into what the heck is wrong with that moron. If I had swerved like that, yeah I would have rolled, but you can run over so many things with a car that people think you can't. And an oil pan replaced is way cheaper than a roll over.

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