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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I took a trip this week from Los Angeles to Santa Rosa CA. The trip involved a long drive on the I5 highway... Which is a very long straight highway. I have experienced the center dead spot in my power steering. Some Volt drivers have described it as a "sticky" spot. Some Volt drivers have described it as a "burr" in the steering rack.

I noticed that this defect makes it somewhat frustrating to make the car drive straight ahead. The steering seems to want to point slightly left or right of center. You feel a slight "cog" in the exact center that prevents the steering from going straight ahead. This is a very small amount of movement. (Like 1/10th of an inch.) But this forces the driver to keep correcting the steering left & right to keep the car centered in the lane. It's frustrating and leads to driver fatigue. I believe my Volt has been doing this for a while... But driving on regular surface streets on my daily driving does not require driving straight ahead for long periods of time. It's very subtile.

While several drivers have described this issue as a mechanical defect in the steering rack... I noticed a few characteristics that lead me to the conclusion that this is an electronic servo issue in the power steering system. I believe this issue is caused by the position encoder getting noisy... Or perhaps the servo developing slack in the gearing of the servo motor. If you point the car straight a head and take your hands off the wheel you can actually see the steering motor jidder the wheel left & right slightly. (like about 1/8th of an inch.) It's like the steering assist motor is hunting for center and overshooting. It looks like a ghost is driving the car.

Time to call my dealer and schedule an appointment to have it looked at.

Does anyone happen to know the service bulletin number for this steering issue?
 

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Don't know about the bulletin number, but let us know when it gets resolved.

My 2011 Volt had some "play" in the steering wheel where if you pulled the wheel towards yourself it would make a "pop" sound. Took it to the dealer and they had me check the steering wheel on a new Volt. No pop when pulling the wheel.

Got it back two days latter (had a new GMC Terrain as a loaner). They replaced the steering column. Problem fixed.
 
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Does anyone happen to know the service bulletin number for this steering issue?
Fulgerite,

The Bulletin Addressing the Steering is PI0886. Have you spoken with your Advisor regarding the concern?

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
 

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I've noticed the same type of behavior on my Volt. It's subtle - and somewhat aggravating when driving down the freeway. You keep the steering wheel perfectly straight - but the car first veers ever so slightly left; you correct; and then the car veers slightly right. Repeat; repeat; repeat.....
I had a VW Rabbit many years ago- and that car stayed dead on straight... No deviation from straight whatsoever. I thought maybe my Volt's alignment needs tweaking or something.....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've noticed the same type of behavior on my Volt. It's subtle - and somewhat aggravating when driving down the freeway. You keep the steering wheel perfectly straight - but the car first veers ever so slightly left; you correct; and then the car veers slightly right. Repeat; repeat; repeat.....
I had a VW Rabbit many years ago- and that car stayed dead on straight... No deviation from straight whatsoever. I thought maybe my Volt's alignment needs tweaking or something.....
It's not the alignment... It's the electric power steering assist motor overshooting. It pushes a bit one way and then pushes the other way...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I took my car into my dealer today. First of all... I learned that PI0886 has NOTHING to do with this issue. PI0886 deals with a squeaky rubber boot on the steering wheel. (Ian from Chevy Customer Service was wrong.) According to my service manager there is NO service notes on the faulty steering rack.

Since this issue is only happening for me on long straight roads where I am driving above 65mph... We were not able to reproduce the issue. (We just don't have flat straight freeways like that around here...) I give up. I will just live with it.
 

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I took my car into my dealer today. First of all... I learned that PI0886 has NOTHING to do with this issue. PI0886 deals with a squeaky rubber boot on the steering wheel. (Ian from Chevy Customer Service was wrong.) According to my service manager there is NO service notes on the faulty steering rack.

Since this issue is only happening for me on long straight roads where I am driving above 65mph... We were not able to reproduce the issue. (We just don't have flat straight freeways like that around here...) I give up. I will just live with it.
DO NOT JUST LIVE WITH IT!!!

I don't have the paperwork in front of me... I'll look for it after posting! I had ours repaired in January for the same issue. Don't forget to shout to them to also order the "One-time use" bolts that are needed to complete the job. It added an extra day to my repair to have them flown in.

EDIT: See post #17. I've since received a series of phone calls and e-mail messages from the service manager asking how he could change my feelings about their service. I'm feeling better now but I'm not completely happy with the other issue I had which involved the sound quality of phone calls using Bluetooth to the listener on the other end.

I'm still looking for the paperwork...
 
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I took my car into my dealer today. First of all... I learned that PI0886 has NOTHING to do with this issue. PI0886 deals with a squeaky rubber boot on the steering wheel. (Ian from Chevy Customer Service was wrong.) According to my service manager there is NO service notes on the faulty steering rack.

Since this issue is only happening for me on long straight roads where I am driving above 65mph... We were not able to reproduce the issue. (We just don't have flat straight freeways like that around here...) I give up. I will just live with it.
Fulerite,

"PI0886: Electric Power Steering System Squeak Noise/Whining or Sticking when Turning Steering Wheel"

This is the Bulletin explanation. The Sticking when Turning Steering Wheel is why I shared the Bulletin with you. The Service Department should call TAC. I can have your Advisor speak to the Service Department for you to ensure this gets properly looked at. You should not have to "live with it"

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Fulerite,

"PI0886: Electric Power Steering System Squeak Noise/Whining or Sticking when Turning Steering Wheel"

This is the Bulletin explanation. The Sticking when Turning Steering Wheel is why I shared the Bulletin with you. The Service Department should call TAC. I can have your Advisor speak to the Service Department for you to ensure this gets properly looked at. You should not have to "live with it"

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
I know how this would end up. Their technician will get in the car. He will not be able to feel the issue because there are no level straight freeways around here within 50 miles. He will say he is unable to verify the complaint. And I will have just been stick driving a smelly old rental car from Enterprise and paying for the gas for three days while the problem remains un-fixed.

Until the sticking gets to the point it's happening all the time at all speeds... I just don't believe the service managers at Valencia Chevrolet are going to be able to help.
 
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I know how this would end up. Their technician will get in the car. He will not be able to feel the issue because there are no level straight freeways around here within 50 miles. He will say he is unable to verify the complaint. And I will have just been stick driving a smelly old rental car from Enterprise and paying for the gas for three days while the problem remains un-fixed.

Until the sticking gets to the point it's happening all the time at all speeds... I just don't believe the service managers at Valencia Chevrolet are going to be able to help.
Fulgerite,

We need the opportunity to address the concern for you. Also your Advisor can assist in getting a resolution. Let us know when you decide to have it serviced.

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
 

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I know how this would end up. Their technician will get in the car. He will not be able to feel the issue because there are no level straight freeways around here within 50 miles. He will say he is unable to verify the complaint. And I will have just been stick driving a smelly old rental car from Enterprise and paying for the gas for three days while the problem remains un-fixed.
Fulgerite,

Give your Volt Advisor a shot at assisting you with getting this resolved. Ian and others converged on the dealer that did mine to get it done. They, too, could not initially reproduce the problem.
 

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I believe this "Dead spot" in the steering is due to the steering pump being deactivated to save power. There are many vehicles which behave in similar fashion to boost MPG. I just try to line it up straight, and find that it actually helps the car keep from wandering to the right, which most cars tend to do here in AZ as our roads are designed with a concave surface to aid in drainage during our summer monsoon season. I don't think you have a problem, just a minor design annoyance, but that's just my opinion.
 

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I believe this "Dead spot" in the steering is due to the steering pump being deactivated to save power. There are many vehicles which behave in similar fashion to boost MPG. I just try to line it up straight, and find that it actually helps the car keep from wandering to the right, which most cars tend to do here in AZ as our roads are designed with a concave surface to aid in drainage during our summer monsoon season. I don't think you have a problem, just a minor design annoyance, but that's just my opinion.
I beg to differ. Those that have experienced this issue on their Volt, myself included, are not imagining a minor annoyance. It is real and GM has a fix for it!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I believe this "Dead spot" in the steering is due to the steering pump being deactivated to save power. There are many vehicles which behave in similar fashion to boost MPG. I just try to line it up straight, and find that it actually helps the car keep from wandering to the right, which most cars tend to do here in AZ as our roads are designed with a concave surface to aid in drainage during our summer monsoon season. I don't think you have a problem, just a minor design annoyance, but that's just my opinion.
The Volt does not have a steering pump. The Volt does not have hydraulic power steering at all. The Volt's power steering is provided directly by an electric motor attached to the steering rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I beg to differ. Those that have experienced this issue on their Volt, myself included, are not imagining a minor annoyance. It is real and GM has a fix for it!
The only way GM has a "fix" for it is to replace the entire steering rack assembly with a new one. Before GM will do this... You have to demonstrate the problem. My issue is so slight that I cannot reliably demonstrate the issue to the service technician. Therefore the dealer cannot verify there is a problem. Therefore GM will not just proactively replace an expensive power steering rack.

If the problem gets worse.. I will take it in and get the problem solved. Until I can reliably demonstrate the issue... It's not getting fixed. And for me... It is a minor annoyance until I can actually feel it on a regular basis.
 

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My center bump/stick/whatever is back. It's been 5,000 miles since the rack was replaced and a few weeks ago I felt it. I hoped and prayed and begged that it was just my imagination but it is indeed sticking again, now on a daily basis.

Like Fulgerite said it's a major PITA to get this diagnosed and fixed (ten days downtime for the last repair). I'm just going to ignore it until my lease is up and it'll be a gentle daily reminder for me to never buy another GM product ever again.

Ironically this issue is so obnoxious to me that it makes the car all but unusable for long trips. I'll be renting a car for my next distance drive, thereby negating the benefit of buying this stupid extended-range car over a battery electric in the first place.

-Drew
 

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The only way GM has a "fix" for it is to replace the entire steering rack assembly with a new one. Before GM will do this... You have to demonstrate the problem. My issue is so slight that I cannot reliably demonstrate the issue to the service technician. Therefore the dealer cannot verify there is a problem. Therefore GM will not just proactively replace an expensive power steering rack.

If the problem gets worse.. I will take it in and get the problem solved. Until I can reliably demonstrate the issue... It's not getting fixed. And for me... It is a minor annoyance until I can actually feel it on a regular basis.
I beg to differ again. Ours was never reproduced, yet it was replaced when the Service Manager and my Volt Advisor put their heads together. Ask Ian, the Chevy Rep on this forum. We had several offline conversations about it. It took the dealer 9 days to give our vehicle back, mind you! My wife HATED the Impala that was provided for her. IT MADE NOISE AND SHE HAD TO PUT GAS in it.

My Mom's from Michigan so i guess I have a little badger in me from birth!!!!
 

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Mom's from Michigan so i guess I have a little badger in me from birth!!!!
Well, wolverine, really. Badgers are in Wisconsin (I'm originally from the Detroit area myself...). Mine was doing this when I first got it, the dealer didn't seem to take it seriously, nothing was done, but it's not doing it now. If it's a mechanical problem with the rack, I can't see how it would cure itself, but whatever it is, I hope it stays fixed...
 

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Well, wolverine, really. Badgers are in Wisconsin (I'm originally from the Detroit area myself...). Mine was doing this when I first got it, the dealer didn't seem to take it seriously, nothing was done, but it's not doing it now. If it's a mechanical problem with the rack, I can't see how it would cure itself, but whatever it is, I hope it stays fixed...
LOL! HaHa.... Can you tell that I'm not a REAL sports fan??? Ya' got me!! Both sound like ferocius animals.
.
 

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This issue has come up with a bunch of cars including mine. The repair takes a day or two at the most and involves replacing the entire steering rack assembly which is shipped as a complete assembled unit. GM and the Volt advisors have been aware of this for months now. The original fix was a re-writing of the power steering code modifying how it assists but that fix was deemed inadequate and the policy is to change the rack if an owner comes in with your symptoms. It's typically only noticeable at highway speeds where minor corrections are needed to maintain lane position. It will take about 20-30 minutes of small corrections for the issue to become noticeable.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...teering-at-highway-speeds&p=219576#post219576

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?18360-New-steering-rack
 
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