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Thread: Power steering issues (or is it me)

  1. #1

    Question Power steering issues (or is it me)

    I am currently driving a wheelchair accessible Volkswagen Caddy. Once I'm in the car, I transfer to the driver seat.

    I took delivery of the vehicle during April 2014 and have just recently extended the contract for 2 years. Although I was told I could change my mind at any point, now that I am out with the original 5 year contract.

    I have cerebral palsy, 52 years old and I drive with a Lodgesons steering knob.

    Although I believe I can still drive the vehicle safely, for the past few weeks/months I have been feeling that the steering is too heavy for me. It was serviced earlier this week and they could not find a problem with the power steering. I had the 2 front tyres changed today.

    The change of tyres may have improved it slightly, but I still find the steering a bit heavier than I would like. It's only at slow speeds when I have to turn the steering wheel more than maybe 60-80°. I can still turn the steering wheel it is just more effort than I would like.

    I telephoned Sirus automotive, who supplied the vehicle and they advised me to contact Motability who would arrange an assessment and determine how much lighter I need it. This seemed a good move, since I am very conscious that steering which was too light could be as bad if not a bigger problem.

    Based on what Motability told me, on a Volkswagen Caddy, the steering can be lightened by up to 50% by effectively changing the software and this is reversible. Anything beyond that is a mechanical change and cannot be reversed.

    Anyway, they advised me that another team will be in touch with me within the next couple of weeks to arrange an assessment. Within 30 minutes I received a text on my phone simply saying because I live in Scotland I needed to ask for a referral from my GP! No other information. Fortunately, I know where my nearest driving assessment centre is-about 50 miles away.

    They have a standard car which has lightened power steering and I could try that. Not sure how much it would help in determining how much I need lightened. The other issue is that there is a 6 months waiting time for an appointment.

    I was hoping that this would be a relatively simple process-I gather all the required information. Decide on my requirements and then, if necessary, choose between changing the power steering on my current car and going for a new vehicle and hoping I can get a decent contribution from access to work.

    Anyway, apologies for this being so long. My questions……

    Has anyone been in a similar situation?

    Any advice?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    I telephoned Sirus automotive, who supplied the vehicle and they advised me to contact Motability who would arrange an assessment and determine how much lighter I need it.
    So annoying that there are assessment centers for us, when it could be as simple as the steering not being up to the normal standard, but... you cant really test that. The dealer will say there's nothing wrong with the steering, the mechanics don't have a proper way of testing it... The only thing I can think of is to go to a big day event and see if you can test drive other vehicles and compare the steering experience. Last time I went they didn't have any Volkswagens as they cant be bothered with us, I did have the opportunity to drive a Seat, the closest thing they had... So my advice was to not assume it is you 100%, it might be the car itself and you dont need to wait 6 months to check for that...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    When I applied to rejoin the Motability scheme I was asked to visit a new assessment centre in Manchester. The aim was to find out what type of adaptations I would need.

    I was driving one of their test cars - a Ford Focus. I found this steering heavy when making tight turns.

    Turning the steering wheel was made easier by raising the steering wheel an inch or two

    It's odd but the bigger the car the easier it appears to be to drive.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Bristol
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    Getting things like this sorted is an uphill struggle, made worst if your a disabled driver who neither has the energy or will to argue.

    I noticed my new Motability car was pulling slightly to the left and the car has 100,000 miles or 7 year warranty not that should matter because it’s Motability’s car not mine. Looking at the small print in the warranty I noticed that tracking is only covered up to 1,000 miles (understandably) so thought I would leave having it checked until I clocked up 900 miles just to be sure it was not just the tyres needing bedding in or I’m being too sensitive to the road camber.

    Sure enough with 900 miles on the clock took it in and nothing wrong with it but reading on a KIA forum I use it is a known problem but very few cars have the problem and those reporting it get the same response. Most seem to think its something to do with the electric power steering but being a Motability car I don’t think the dealers really care or can be bothered and know as customers of Motability we are stuck between a rock and hard place when it comes to niggly faults in our cars.

    This is the fourth Motability car I’ve had that I drive with a steering ball with remote control and never had this problem before but all I could do is tell the dealer I defer from there opinion.

  5. #5
    Member RaspberryRipple's Avatar
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    Apr 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheels497 View Post
    I am currently driving a wheelchair accessible Volkswagen Caddy. Once I'm in the car, I transfer to the driver seat.

    I took delivery of the vehicle during April 2014 and have just recently extended the contract for 2 years. Although I was told I could change my mind at any point, now that I am out with the original 5 year contract.

    I have cerebral palsy, 52 years old and I drive with a Lodgesons steering knob.

    Although I believe I can still drive the vehicle safely, for the past few weeks/months I have been feeling that the steering is too heavy for me. It was serviced earlier this week and they could not find a problem with the power steering. I had the 2 front tyres changed today.

    The change of tyres may have improved it slightly, but I still find the steering a bit heavier than I would like. It's only at slow speeds when I have to turn the steering wheel more than maybe 60-80°. I can still turn the steering wheel it is just more effort than I would like.

    I telephoned Sirus automotive, who supplied the vehicle and they advised me to contact Motability who would arrange an assessment and determine how much lighter I need it. This seemed a good move, since I am very conscious that steering which was too light could be as bad if not a bigger problem.

    Based on what Motability told me, on a Volkswagen Caddy, the steering can be lightened by up to 50% by effectively changing the software and this is reversible. Anything beyond that is a mechanical change and cannot be reversed.

    Anyway, they advised me that another team will be in touch with me within the next couple of weeks to arrange an assessment. Within 30 minutes I received a text on my phone simply saying because I live in Scotland I needed to ask for a referral from my GP! No other information. Fortunately, I know where my nearest driving assessment centre is-about 50 miles away.

    They have a standard car which has lightened power steering and I could try that. Not sure how much it would help in determining how much I need lightened. The other issue is that there is a 6 months waiting time for an appointment.

    I was hoping that this would be a relatively simple process-I gather all the required information. Decide on my requirements and then, if necessary, choose between changing the power steering on my current car and going for a new vehicle and hoping I can get a decent contribution from access to work.

    Anyway, apologies for this being so long. My questions……

    Has anyone been in a similar situation?

    Any advice?

    Thanks
    Thanks for your post and hope my reply isn’t too late! This is really interesting as I have a (64 plate) Caddy from Sirus only difference is mine is a drive from wheelchair. Having painful shoulders means I had my steering lightened by 50% since I took delivery of the vehicle. It’s my first WAV and the steering isn’t the issue it’s the driving!!! It’s so light that the car feels like it’s shaking even in the slightest wind!
    I’ve had the car for four and a half years and this has fairly knocked my confidence as a driver even though I’ve been driving for 27 years. I find the car is underpowered and with the slightest wind I’m driving 60 mph tops on a good day and 50mph on a very windy day. I must add that I’m not a nervous driver but this way of driving isn’t out of choice but necessity!

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