Honda City IDSI 3G Steering wheel issue

When it comes to today’s world of living, everyone is looking for ways to save money by being economical and finding a cheaper alternatives to everything.

Honda City HDR

Honda City HDR

Well, today I have a very good news for Honda City 3G owners who face the common steering stuck / bite issue with a proven low cost solution.

But before I go on further, some of you may want to know what exactly do I mean by ‘steering wheel stuck’ issue?

Old batches of Honda City (year 2003 especially) have this common problem, especially if you are driving on a near full load or sometimes happens even when the car is stationary.

An example of the stuck (or some called it ‘bite’) is when you are cruising at around 70km/h and above on a straight road, and wanted to do a slight adjustment to make sure that the car drives straight. and found out that the steering is stuck if you try to turn left or right (usually it’s one sided, so it can be either left or right). Still, turning or making slight adjustments is possible but by applying more force to turn the wheel thus causing a sudden jerk or left or right to the car – which is commonly referred to as ‘bite’.

I did not notice this at first and thought it was my way of driving or if I haven’t got used to the Honda City Electronically Powered Steering (EPS) technology, but after a few months along the road – I’m pretty sure something is wrong.

Browsing the internet and searching for solutions in forums had lead me to and Teamcity which had complaints from several Honda City owners with similar issue.

It seems that the issue was caused by the steering rack (not sure if this is related to the EPS), but a few lucky owners who still had their car under warranty said the issue was resolved by changing the steering rack – and I heard or know that this is the only solution known so far.

Changing a steering rack at a Honda authorized Service Center would cost you a whooping RM3k (of course, plus the expensive labour charge from the so called specialists). Although it is expensive, I heard that you will also get a 6 months warranty in case something goes wrong with it (don’t forget to ask for freebies from the SC as this is a major replacement part and cost a bomb if you do it outside of your warranty period – an umbrella at least :P)

There is also a cheaper solution by doing this outside at a local workshop. I have surveyed and found out the cheapest steering rack costs about RM700 but not sure if that includes workmanship nor to know if they are giving any warranty as well.

Months of researchs and yet still I could not find any other cheaper solution to this, until 1 day I thought of loosening the steering to achieve freeplay.

Freeplay  is when you drive on a straight road, and when you turn, the steering will feel less sensitive and you will have around a couple of mm before it actually turn your wheels. And I was thinking, if I could get freeplay, I should be able to eliminate the jerk caused by the stuck. And it could be a very low cost solution indeed.

So I went to my local favourite workshop and asked them if they could adjust the steering to enable a bit of freeplay. Unfortunately the guys there said because Honda City uses EPS, they do not have the knowledge nor the capability to adjust – and adviced me to visit Honda authorized SC to get it done (honestly I hate going there for several reasons, but let’s just skip that part for now).

As I really need to get it repaired, I had no choice but to surrender myself to Honda authorized SC and suffer a wait time of 5 hours to get a 5 minute job done 😦

As the guy at the counter doesn’t know much about technical stuffs, I requested to meet and speak with their technician / machanic personally, and was told that freeplay is actually possible but to achieve that, I needed to sacrifice something else…

So to solve an issue would lead to another issue – but is it a minor issue or a major one?

The technician said that he need to lighten the steering to allow freeplay and by doing that will cause like a ‘dead absorber – or suspension’ sound when you ran through holes on the street.

We tested different approach, initially I told him to tighten the steering so it feels heavier – did that but the outcome was uncomfortable and wasn’t like I was expecting. Lastly I told him to lighten the steering, but just a bit so that the rattling sound is somewhat reduced.

After a few weeks of testing on various roads and highways, I come to conclude that the adjustment actually solves the steering stuck issue even if I was driving with near full loads. The drawback to this was whenever I bump into holes, there will be a ‘ktak ktak’ sound from the steering rack or when I speed more than 120km/h will cause similar issue.

Anyway – this promotes to a safer driving (I won’t be driving past the speed limit no more!) and the fact that I only spend RM30 for the adjustment is worth the bucks.

There’s actually a small screw near the steering rack that the technician adjusted to control the sensitivity of the electronic powered steering (EPS), although I must say this does not interfere directly with the EPS system, but this method allows you to lighten or make the steering heavier. For those DIY people, have a look and maybe you can actually save RM30 and get it done for free if you have the tools and dare to take the risk! Although the technician said everytime he want to adjust, he need to lift the car up… but I think he just doesn’t want his shirt to get dirty 🙂

So that’s it, a RM30 bucks solution which is the cheapest solution posted first to the world. And I must say, the Honda is a great car to drive.



8 Responses to “Honda City IDSI 3G Steering wheel issue”

  1. Honda City IDSI 3G Steering wheel issue | Quality Solutions Says:

    […] Honda City IDSI 3G Steering rotate issue […]

  2. salam Says:

    saya pun ada masalah mcmtu..kat workshop mn bro adjust screw tu? bunyi ‘ktak ktak’ tu kuat tak?

  3. jeffreyee Says:

    Wonderful solution to the steering problem. I’m having the drifting problem which shd be the same as you. Will try by loosening the steering and let u now whether it worked or not.


  4. anwar Says:

    thanks and very good article. but i just want to ask, is it dangerous if i just adjust that screw to solve the problem (without changing the steering rack).


    hi dear i have honda city gxi 2004 and after 6 years now i have face this problem on ruff road its sounds like katak katak from front after that i chenge front suspention from hallmark honda.
    after some kilomiters i face same problem
    and authorised honda man try to repaier, stearing rack but he sayes thear is no other option we need to change stearing rack it will be cost arround 45,000/- please help me………..for save my money

  6. neato4u Says:

    well you may try loosening the screw and see how it goes. For me, it lasted for several months before the steering ‘stuck’ issue reappears (unfortunately it is not a perm solution) – so i visited a honda centre and got them to tight the screw as normal – i was lucky as they’ve done it free of charge.

    Another thing which you may do is hunt for ‘recond’ steering rack – however try find one that gives you warranty.

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    […]Honda City IDSI 3G Steering wheel issue « Neato4u's Blog[…]…

  8. Jeffrey.B. Says:

    Living in Thailand, owner of a Honda City Sport 2004. I have the same issue since a few month. The local Honda representative will not see this behaviour and told me, everything is fine with the steering. This time i didn’t read this blog and could not give any further arguments to the repair shop boss. The described procedure in adjusting a screw is difficult because I could not find any drawings who shows me the correct position of the corresponding screw.
    Most probably I have to replace the steering assembly.

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