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Old 28-12-2018   #1
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Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

My wife's 2016 500 1.2 Lounge has a notchy, slightly clicky feel at the steering wheel when turning the wheel very slowly especially noticeable when stationary. I can only describe it as like the sort of detented feel you get when you adjust some rotary knobs. It's been like it from new and hasn't really bothered her but the warranty runs out in a few months and if something needs doing obviously we'd like to get it to the dealer while it's still covered. Just wondered if anyone else's 500 does this at all? I wondered if it might be a characteristic of the electric power steering?
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Old 28-12-2018   #2
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Re: Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

If it's under warranty get it to a garage and get it looked at.
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Old 28-12-2018   #3
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Quote Originally Posted by dereham View Post
My wife's 2016 500 1.2 Lounge has a notchy, slightly clicky feel at the steering wheel when turning the wheel very slowly especially noticeable when stationary. I can only describe it as like the sort of detented feel you get when you adjust some rotary knobs. It's been like it from new and hasn't really bothered her but the warranty runs out in a few months and if something needs doing obviously we'd like to get it to the dealer while it's still covered. Just wondered if anyone else's 500 does this at all? I wondered if it might be a characteristic of the electric power steering?
Hi.
Agreed .. back to dealer.

You can get the same effect from notchy strut bearings.. not generally an issue from new though..

Do let us know what they find.
Charlie
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Old 29-12-2018   #4
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Re: Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

Second that suspension could cause the issue.
Best to raise the car to eliminate steering column and pump.
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Old 29-12-2018   #5
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Quote Originally Posted by wardpaa View Post
Second that suspension could cause the issue.
Best to raise the car to eliminate steering column and pump.
What pump?
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Old 29-12-2018   #6
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Re: Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

Thanks for the replies, it's due a service in January so I'll get Fiat to check it and let you know. Strut bearings did come to mind at first as our old Panda felt a little bit like that but only after 10 years!
Cheers
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Old 30-12-2018   #7
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Re: Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
What pump?
Power steering pump that provides pressure to the steering rack...
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Old 30-12-2018   #8
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Re: Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

Quote Originally Posted by wardpaa View Post
Power steering pump that provides pressure to the steering rack...
Power steering is electric.

The control system of the electric power steering can sometimes create a notchy feel. This is not a characteristic, but a fault, and should be rectified under the warranty, so don't be fobbed off.

At the bottom of the steering column is a universal joint. These can wear and become 'notchy'.

Neither of these should have been there from new.
Try something simple. Does it have extra floor mats? Do they interfere with the steering column?
Get your head under the dash to see the pedals and the bottom of the column. Check for anything that might be interfering with the steering movement.
(For all my years in the trade, floor mats have been responsible for many issues, including poor performance, restricting accelerator movement, clutches that don't release fully, brakes that are weak or don't apply fully, steering stiffness of poor movement, and even restricting seat adjustment.)
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Last edited by portland_bill; 30-12-2018 at 12:13.
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Old 30-12-2018   #9
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Re: Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

Definitely nothing interfering with the steering column. You don't feel anything when you turn the wheel quickly, only when you turn it very slowly with the engine running. If the dealer does say this is normal I'll ask them to show me this on a couple of other 500s.
Cheers
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Old 30-12-2018   #10
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Re: Notchy feel to steering wheel 500 1.2 Lounge

Quote Originally Posted by dereham View Post
I wondered if it might be a characteristic of the electric power steering?
I think it is; I've observed something similar; it's much more noticeable if you are moving slowly with the power steering disengaged (either pull the appropriate fuse, or coast in neutral with the igntion off). Be very careful if you try this, and under no cirumstances remove the ignition key or the steering will lock solid. The steering will be surprisingly heavy, but will otherwise work normally.

There are some powerful magnets in the steering servomotor, which may contribte to that slightly notchy feel. If it's more than very minor, you may have a different issue, such as an overtight bearing somewhere.

Your plan to see if the same issue is present on a different, but similar, car is sound.
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Old 30-12-2018   #11
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Quote Originally Posted by wardpaa View Post
Power steering pump that provides pressure to the steering rack...
I believe the car in question is a UK 500 model.
So no hydraulic assistance.
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