ND Steering in GT RF - first impressions

Miata Parts, Intakes, Superchargers, Headers, Exhausts, Shocks, Springs, Sway Bars, Brake Kits, Autocross and track mods.
BillK336
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:31 am

Re: ND Steering in GT RF - first impressions

Post by BillK336 »

"On another forum, some have claimed it was the steering rack and others the battery. Also there is an torque sensor in the steering column that might be at issue. "
Did you try disconnecting the battery?
For that mattery, how old is the battery?
'16 MG Club GWR SSQST (or Race TT), Versatune, RS Springs & Konis, Conti ECS, TRM FF10, MC update with AA & AIO, etc...
'97's SOLD...
avera01
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:20 pm

Re: ND Steering in GT RF - first impressions

Post by avera01 »

Gone through several alignments without any resolution. Tried all the other tweaks with no improvement. I was finally able to get a Mazda tech to drive the car and notice the issue. The "stickiness" as he describes it is like a digital rotor ticking coming on/off. The steering wheel pulsates, its not a linear movement when applying light steering input. This causes the car to follow in the direction of travel especially in curves and resists steering input for any correction. For example most of the time it won't self center on a curve you have to turn the steering wheel to straighten out the car upon exit. An even more dangerous situation is that at highway speeds it causes you to over steer during minor lane corrections because of the added resistance which holds than releases steering assistance. Given that the car quickly responds to steering input, you wind up darting left/right as a result.

So, after spending several hours of electrical diagnosing and talking with the regional service manager, they concluded its the steering rack as all evidence points to that direction. In another forum, replacing the rack appears to have resolved the problem. However, Corporate Mazda denied my claim to at least goodwill part of the repair cost ($2300 for part/labor) citing a prior impact on the right front wheel from a deep pothole. About a year ago, another dealer advised that is was the electric power steering motor and had Mazda goodwill part of the repair, I still paid over $600 for my part. This did not resolve the issue as it appeared 6 months later and I could not drive the car back to that dealer as I moved.

Note: the impact bent the lip of the wheel which was repaired but no under carriage damage was seem by the dealer. That accident occurred back in October of 2017 and the rack may have received minor damage to the torque sensor and or bushings which began to materialize 2 1/2 years later. At least that is what the tech is telling me. The issue began around January 2020; but it was intermittent and had disappeared for over half a year. From there it would come and go less pronounced or gone during the winter months. Only now has it become more pronounced.

The problem it that no one really knows what is the solution since the steering involves mechanical, electrical and software components any of which or in combination could be the cause; its not obvious. Replacing one part after another is an expensive strategy. Several owners of the 2016-2018 model years have noted this issue. Also the current steering rack appears to have had one revision based on the part numbering system: current NA1J32110F supersession(s): NA1J-32-110F; NA1J32110E.
Last edited by avera01 on Fri Jun 17, 2022 1:28 pm, edited 10 times in total.
avera01
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:20 pm

Re: ND Steering in GT RF - first impressions

Post by avera01 »

BillK336 wrote:"On another forum, some have claimed it was the steering rack and others the battery. Also there is an torque sensor in the steering column that might be at issue. "
Did you try disconnecting the battery?
For that mattery, how old is the battery?
The battery is a little over 3 years old, a Gold Duralast. I tested the battery and charging system with my tester and it appears good. The car starts up immediately and during the winter I kept it on a battery tender. But, the other day I took the car to the where I bought the battery since I still have 2 years of prorated warranty and let them check it out. The battery tested fine but their machine displayed a failed charging system; the alternator. I then took the car to the dealer since the stickiness was present in a pronounced way to test the charging system, battery and perform another test drive with the service tech. Their result was the opposite, good charging but replace the battery. Who do you believe?

Note, the battery was replaced in March 2019 and the systems began around January of 2020, the battery; the battery was only 9 months old so I don't think it's the battery or the alternator. Battery cables are clean and secure.
avera01
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:20 pm

Re: ND Steering in GT RF - first impressions

Post by avera01 »

Steering rack replaced and problem solved. Car driving normal again, finally.

Still Mazda views this as undetected damage (at time of impact) due to a pothole that materialized only after driving the car 10k miles and 2 1 1/2 years. The car is a weekend driver and is not driven aggressively. Find it hard to believe that internal damage resulted in either the torque sensor to go bad or some bushing damage in the steering rack creating the added friction. This makes it a hard case for insurance claim and or warranty work. Out of pocket with the electric steering motor nearly $3k.
Post Reply