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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do hope that someone out there can help me.

I have just purchased a second hand Nissan X Trail Columbia DCI, from a Nissan agent. It was first registered 09/03/07 and had completed 29k miles.

Having now having the car in my possession for a few weeks I have noticed something unusual. When accelerating rapidly, in any gear, the steering wheel pulls hard to the right causing the vehicle to move towards the crown of the road. To compensate for this I have to turn to the left. Upon returning to cruise speed I then have to compensate once again (this time to the right) to continue in a straight line.

When just cruising and gradually accelerating, the vehicle performs normally.

I have returned to the dealer, who agreed that this was occurring, and they have checked the tracking and all other components associated with the steering and have found nothing wrong. They then had the vehicle a week later for the whole day and yet again nothing could be found.

It was then that the after sales manager informed me that the effect I was experiencing often occurred with X Trails.

I found this comment to be a little strange, as I feel that in certain circumstances the effect could be dangerous.

I am not happy with the outcome so far and wondered if anyone else had experienced the effect and what was the outcome, or ever heard of this being a common thing with X Trials.
 

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What you are probably experiencing is called torque-steer and is common to many front-wheel drive vehicles.

The most common mechanical cause of torque-steer is uneven driveshaft lengths, and the uneven twisting of the shafts under acceleration. With this uneven length, engine power is transferred to the wheel with the shorter driveshaft a fraction of a second before it reaches the opposite wheel (shorter shaft, less time to twist before torque is transferred to the wheel). This first wheel gains traction and pulls the vehicle toward that direction before the other wheel can gain enough traction to compensate. As acceleration is increased, traction and lag in the front wheels are also increased exponentially. Hard acceleration, therefore, leads to high torque-steer.
 

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got to say tho ive never had anything like that with my xtrail am i lucky? if i put the foot down it goes where the steering wheel is pointed to, wouldnt a driveshaft problem be something that would be a problem from day 1? why after a week would that happen? stupid question but what like of condition are the tires? presures all ok? tires rotating the correct way?
hope you get it sorted.
harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Revhead Kev said:
What you are probably experiencing is called torque-steer and is common to many front-wheel drive vehicles.

The most common mechanical cause of torque-steer is uneven driveshaft lengths, and the uneven twisting of the shafts under acceleration. With this uneven length, engine power is transferred to the wheel with the shorter driveshaft a fraction of a second before it reaches the opposite wheel (shorter shaft, less time to twist before torque is transferred to the wheel). This first wheel gains traction and pulls the vehicle toward that direction before the other wheel can gain enough traction to compensate. As acceleration is increased, traction and lag in the front wheels are also increased exponentially. Hard acceleration, therefore, leads to high torque-steer.
Thanks for your very informative response, however is there a remedy for the problem or do I just have to put up with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hglennie said:
got to say tho ive never had anything like that with my xtrail am i lucky? if i put the foot down it goes where the steering wheel is pointed to, wouldnt a driveshaft problem be something that would be a problem from day 1? why after a week would that happen? stupid question but what like of condition are the tires? presures all ok? tires rotating the correct way?
hope you get it sorted.
harry
The problem only showed up after a week due to me driving short journey's with no rapid acceleration. It was later when accelerating more rapidly on motorway that I first experienced it.

Tyres and tyre rotation, all appear to be correct and have been checked by the garage.
 

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Here is an article which explains more and also gives some suggestions regarding what makes torque steer worse as well as what might help to reduce it.
http://www.aa1car.com/library/torque_steer.htm
Of special note is the suggestion of a 4WD wheel alignment. Our Xtrails require this and if only a standard front wheel alignment has been done then the problem could be in the alignment of the rear wheels as the article explains.
 

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This problem was specially known by old front driven cars. They solved it, by making the short shafts thicker and the long one thinner. Balancing so t speak.
I'll not agree with the outcome. See if they (Garage) can find abnormallities in Camber, Caster, etc. This is not a normal compliant! Be sure to, that the tires are the same on each axel and look to the tire pressure too!
 
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