Torque Steer?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by phev_one, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. phev_one

    phev_one New Member

    Has anyone else noticed torque steer in their Clarity. Under moderate or more acceleration there is a slight pull to the right and under moderate to heavy regenerative braking a slight pull to the left. The left pull during braking is a bit annoying as it requires steering input to stay straight in the lane.
  2. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

  3. Ray B

    Ray B Active Member Subscriber

    I haven't noticed it - my guess is that you need a wheel alignment.
  4. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I have not noticed it.
  5. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    None here.
  6. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Active Member

    Never noticed it. Will try hands off acceleration/deceleration next drive and report back.
  7. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Torque steer is normal for front-wheel drive cars. Most people don't push their Clarity PHEVs hard enough to notice it. The very sophisticated ($$$) front suspension Honda designed for the 306-hp Civic Type R to mostly eliminate torque steer has received rave reviews. Lesser Civics (and other Honda cars) don't get that front suspension.
  8. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    No torque steer on ours. If you have to steer to stay in the lane because of torque steer, take the advice above and get a front end alignment. And check tire pressure.
  9. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    No. And I’m a very aggressive driver on accelerator and brakes both, rarely striving for max fuel economy or electric range. I’m also just a nugget or two shy of being a certified mechanic and am quite in tune to handling characteristics and troubleshooting drivability issues. So I concur this is worthy of a dealer check-out. What you describe does not sound normal, in particular the braking behavior....light torque steer under hard acceleration is indeed somewhat normal within reason (but not on a just doesn't have enough oomph to accelerate hard enough to generate torque steer of substance.)

    But there is no such thing as torque steer under is strictly an acceleration phenomenon. If you're feeling a pull under braking, it is a concern.

    A pull felt while braking indicates either a brake (in the Clarity’s case this includes the conventional brake system AND the regeneration braking), steering, suspension, or tire problem. Always. About all the average joe can do to troubleshoot this at home is to verify equal tire pressures AND diameters on all 4. You can also rotate tires if you feel capable to see if the behavior changes, which will confirm or eliminate tires as the cause. Have you had one tire replaced due to flat or defect? Mismatched tire wear (aka diameter)can cause this. Beyond that you’ll need a mechanic to test drive it and start inspecting components on a lift.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
    UncheckedException and Sandroad like this.
  10. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Active Member

    Unless the engine is directly driving the front wheels, I’m not picturing how torque steer is even possible. If the two “wheel motors” are equally providing the push (or pull, I suppose), where would any adverse torque effects come from? Same with regenerative braking. Or maybe the OP is seeing a fault where one motor is providing more pull than the other, and maybe more regen as well.

    Or I misunderstand torque steer.
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Only one of the Clarity PHEV's two motors, the traction motor, drives the wheels through the differential. The other motor operates as a generator most of the time, except when it's operating as a motor to start the ICE. The other time the starter motor/generator is operating as a motor is when the battery is fully charged and regen braking is taking place. In this instance, after it starts the ICE it starts fighting the ICE to use up regen braking energy that can't go into the battery.

    The torque steer to which I was referring occurs during acceleration (see Wikipedia), and the Clarity's traction motor doesn't have the kind of power normally associated with torque steer in a modern car. Pulling to one side during braking is another matter entirely and likely indicates a problem.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  12. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Active Member

    I stand corrected. I mistakenly thought each front wheel had its own electric motor.

  13. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Allow me to refer you to the poster board I made for an electrified car meet last summer with the help of people on this forum. It shows all the ways the two motors and ICE work together.
  14. hondaonly

    hondaonly New Member

    I have noticed this in my Clarity as well. Alignment and tires can be eliminated since mine drives straight as an arrow under constant speed, but very slight right pull on acceleration and left pull on deceleration. Brakes can also be eliminated as it occurs under regenerative braking, without the brakes being applied. As another poster stated, all front drivers exhibit some amount of torque steer. Since the same electric drive motor creates a "reverse" torque during regenerative braking it seems quite plausible it could create a "torque" steer opposite of that when accelerating. Its quite subtile and best noticed by coasting in a straight line, then hit the regenerative braking paddle 4 times without touching the steering wheel or at least not "counter" steering the wheel.

    I think many posters may also be overlooking the fact that the electric motor has instant 232 lbs of torque, which while not Civic type R territory, is not much less than the old Accord V6 or new 2.0L turbo in torque.
    Sandroad likes this.
  15. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    Torque steer is usually due to the driveshafts being unequal lengths because the power unit is offset to one side. Don't know if that's the case with the Clarity,will have to see if I can get a look.
    LegoZ likes this.
  16. Candice

    Candice Active Member

    I have noticed something similar but I would not describe it in the same way. It feels to me, that when I approach a stop at a corner and my wheels are slightly slanted toward the direction I am going to turn, that they feel "tight" like they want to straighten out. I mostly notice it when I approach the stop at a slow speed, like going through a crowded neighborhood etc.
  17. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    I’m not sure of the situation you’re describing, but I would note that a well designed steering system (like the Clarity) has a natural tendency to center, or straighten out.
  18. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    None that I've every encountered.
  19. Candice

    Candice Active Member

    I agree. I didn't think much of it until I saw this post.
  20. DucRider

    DucRider Active Member

    This may be due in part to the "crown" built into most roads for water drainage. The uphill side might "pull" a little harder under acceleration and "push" a little harder under braking.

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