Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.
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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited. in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Although the ATS is my wife's new drive, I do get to drive it few times a week. And, it ...
  1. #1
    flycaster's Avatar
    flycaster is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    Although the ATS is my wife's new drive, I do get to drive it few times a week. And, it will take a while to get used to how to drive the car. As you may recall from other posts, I've been driving a BMW 325i (2002) and a BMW Z4 (2005) for the last 11 years. I'm really getting to like the ATS, but I'm having one driving experience that it either due to the car's electronic steering, or due to me. Mostly,when going highway speeds (65-80 mph), and occasionally with doing regular traffic speed (35-50 mph), I note that the car will drift. The drift is probably due to my taking a little attention off the drive. However, I honestly and objectively must say, and this is why I'd like BMW drivers to chime in, while driving the BMWs I just don't recall drifting under similar conditions. The steering on these BMWs tracked straight arrow, even if I fell asleep (LOL).

    As just about all ATS reviews question the lack of taught steering, I'm thinking that this is the main reason for drifting...especially when one like myself, is habituated to tight steering which can compensate for a slight loss of driving concentration. Also, let me make this perfectly clear, in no way am I knocking the ATS as I truly feel it is the BMW 328's main competition; I just want to see what others (particularly BMW3 - E46 - drivers who have driven these cars prior to the E90 and F1) have to say about this issue. That is, are they noticing the same steering difference as I am?

    For Cadillac: Is there any way to tighten the present steering?

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    hood101010 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    My last 2 cars were an IS350 and an IS-F and compared to those my first reaction was exactly the same as yours. I had to do a lot of work keeping the car straight. Im waiting to lower the car as my Lexus' both were. I believe that will help. It feels to me its a combination of soft suspension and steering. My friend has an M37 and he feels the ATS is much tighter than his car. Its all frame of reference. I do wish the steering and ride were tighter though.

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    gfxbt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I've never owned an e90 bimmer, so I can't really compare, but I would like heavier steering. Also, I wouldn't mind if the clutch were stiffer. And going with previous sentiment, I do love my ATS, just little things that I would change if it were up to me.
    73JPS and 73JPS like this.

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    render1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    I've noticed the drifting too. Not sure if it's a side effect of the electric assist or an alignment problem. I'll center the car and not (as far as i can tell) move the wheel. without making constant corrections, the car will drift to one side. make a very minor correction and it drifts to the other side. Almost seems like there's not enough caster set. I am considering having the dealer check the alignment and see if there is anything they can do.

  6. #5
    SLA
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    You would have to reprogram the eps. Email some of the tuners to see if they've come across how the steering is controlled yet. Lessening the assist of the electric motor would theoretically increase steering effort.

  7. #6
    YoshiFD3S's Avatar
    YoshiFD3S is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    It's definitely not just you guys. My 2011 Sonata also has electronic steering and from day 1 I noticed that it drifts at highway speeds. After lowering it and putting on different wheels I did notice a huge improvement, but it's still noticeable.

    Right away I can feel the same kind of "numbness" with the ATS, though I have to say I'm pleased with how tight the steering wheel itself becomes at higher speeds. It's tight and responsive, but just going straight...yeah, not so much. :P

    I'm starting to think the electronic power-steering concept and applications across the board need some work. This is one of those times where I would prefer "older" hydraulic p/s systems over all this newer fancy all-electronic stuff.

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    flycaster's Avatar
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    Quote Originally Posted by render1 View Post
    I've noticed the drifting too. Not sure if it's a side effect of the electric assist or an alignment problem. I'll center the car and not (as far as i can tell) move the wheel. without making constant corrections, the car will drift to one side. make a very minor correction and it drifts to the other side. Almost seems like there's not enough caster set. I am considering having the dealer check the alignment and see if there is anything they can do.
    You know, I haven't paid much attention to the drift's direction. I was so impressed with the car moving off a straight track when not paying enough attention to the road. I think it is the play in the steering that I am not used after coming off 11 years of BMW tracking straight arrow. Less playing the steering certainly would be a big benefit.

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    bravnik is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    I like the drifting as I get a nice butt massage all the time

  10. #9
    jph
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    my ats tracks straight.

    check your tire pressures, and have your dealership check the alignment.


    J.
    thebigjimsho and thebigjimsho like this.

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    Sorry for a late response. My script that automatically answers "It's you" to any "Is it me or ...?" posts isn't working in this forum.

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    adiaz2331 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    I'll have to double check, I had an Optima before this, which had very well noted drifting issues due to camber settings, so I'm very sensitive to this issue. I have not noticed any drifting to this point, or maybe it's just ever so slight on my car that it's not really noticeable.

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    Golddogs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    I am taking my ATS in next week to have the alignment checked. I have to keep the wheel at 11 to keep the car straight. When the wheel is centered, it drift noticeably to the right. This, combined with the loose drivers seat and clicking HVAC issue will also be looked at. Ah the joys of a first year model.

  14. #13
    flycaster's Avatar
    flycaster is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Daddy View Post
    Sorry for a late response. My script that automatically answers "It's you" to any "Is it me or ...?" posts isn't working in this forum.
    Glad to see that your "automatic script" is now properly working.
    I still don't think it is the alignment as I never feel any pulling at any time. It's just a slight drift that appears to coincide with a little loss of road attention. However, as tomorrow I am going to the dealer to have my seat module reprogrammed (wasn't reprogrammed after the CUE update to fix the lack of having two automatic seat settings), I'll have them check out the drifting (alignment or an explanation).

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    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    Quote Originally Posted by flycaster View Post
    Glad to see that your "automatic script" is now properly working.
    I still don't think it is the alignment as I never feel any pulling at any time. It's just a slight drift that appears to coincide with a little loss of road attention. However, as tomorrow I am going to the dealer to have my seat module reprogrammed (wasn't reprogrammed after the CUE update to fix the lack of having two automatic seat settings), I'll have them check out the drifting (alignment or an explanation).
    Alignment issues isn't just for a car's tendency to pull one way or the other. You may have toe in or out too much. Or maybe too much/too little camber. Or maybe it's just a quirk of electric steering.

  16. #15
    flycaster's Avatar
    flycaster is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebigjimsho View Post
    Alignment issues isn't just for a car's tendency to pull one way or the other. You may have toe in or out too much. Or maybe too much/too little camber. Or maybe it's just a quirk of electric steering.
    Thanks for the added info. Personally, I think the problem is me. I'm just very much used to tight steering (even though my 2005 Z4 has electric steering, it's a lot tighter than the ATS'.) And although I know everyone really likes the ATS's steering, it is going to take me a while to get used it. I think we can close this issue.

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