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Old 09-10-2013, 10:36 PM
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Steering Wheel Fatigue

I am not sure where this particular post would go so I am putting it here.

I just got my 2014 Limited and I noticed that after driving for an extended period of time ( 30-45 min +), my hand would start to get fatigued or even ache. I thought it was just me, but the other day the wife and I went out with some friends and I had had a few beers so we decided to have her drive. Within about 15 minutes, she started complaining that here hands were hurting from the steering wheel.

I have never had this problem before and I think I will get used to it eventually but was wondering if anyone else experienced something similar?

My old 2003 Jeep had a much thinner steering wheel and I am thinking that the thickness of the steering wheel might be the cause.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:42 PM
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Have you tried adjusting the steering wheel and/or your seat position?
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:57 PM
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Re: Steering Wheel Fatigue

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Originally Posted by YjagetaJeep View Post
Have you tried adjusting the steering wheel and/or your seat position?
Actually no, I have not. I put it in the spot most comfortable for me and left it there. I will give that a try but not really sure that is the cause. I still think the thickness of the steering wheel is causing the issue. Since my wife had a similar issue with the seat in a completely different position I do not think that would help much but I will give it a try.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:21 AM
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I was recently reading that newer cars have steering wheels designed for a 9 & 3 o'clock position due to injuries they've been seeing from the airbag. Years ago it was more of a 10 & 2 position that they designed for.....of course my hand is sitting on top of the steering wheel 90% of the time so who cares!
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:59 AM
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Re: Steering Wheel Fatigue

My Buick Enclave had a rather thin wheel, and when I got the Jeep it took a little getting used to the thicker wheel, but I've driven 2-3 hours nonstop, and no issues. I do notice I place my hands in a slightly different location on this wheel. I think I actually like the thicker wheel after getting used to the difference, and finding a comfortable hand location.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:24 AM
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I guess you or your wife are used to holding anything thick...

Somebody had to say it
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwantanotherjeep View Post
i guess you or your wife are used to holding anything thick...

Somebody had to say it
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:18 AM
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Re: Steering Wheel Fatigue

The thicker steering wheel will actually give you less fatigue in the muscles/tendons in your arm/hand because you don't have to flex as much to hold it. That's why people use thicker pens and re-grip their golf clubs with thicker grips.

Also, muscles and tendons prefer not to "twist" when they have to contract so if you see that your wrist is twisting a little (palm down) to hold the wheel that may be an issue.

The best position (as mentioned above) for your hands on the wheel would be around the 4-5 and 7-8 o'clock positions. Less tension in the neck/shoulders/arms/hands as well as potentially avoiding airbag injuries if you hands were at the 10/2 position.

The other issue is that you might be white knuckling to hold on because the GC is so fast!
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:46 AM
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Re: Steering Wheel Fatigue

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Originally Posted by 4jeepdiesel View Post
The other issue is that you might be white knuckling to hold on because the GC is so fast!
This may well be the case.

I haven't encountered any real fatigue, but even with the leather, I find this wheel, though bigger, "slicker" than my old car. I find myself holding it tight and consciously peel my hand off and move to another position. I half expect to see little indentations where my fingers were.

As for the fast comment, in traffic school once, the instructor made a comment that I think rings true. "If you're holding the wheel too tight, you're driving to fast.".

It's a personal gauge of comfort and circumstance. Whether it's 20 MPH in pea soup fog or 120 MPH. I think it's a good heuristic if you watch for it. For me, this greatly manifested once when I was doing race a car simulator. At the end, my hands were, unconsciously, claws. They actually hurt, and I was just sitting in a high tech video game, trying to not hit the wall in an indy car.

I'll also experience it on my motorcycle if the road is particularly nasty sometimes.

So, you may simply not be comfortable with the car yet, the wheel may be too slick, which contributes to it, so you hold it too tight. I'm not quite "one fingering" it like I could in my old truck, toe on the accelerator, finger on the wheel, flying down the highway.

In time, I'm sure this will go away as familiarity takes over.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:45 PM
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Re: Steering Wheel Fatigue

I've made many 10+ hours trips in my GC Limited and never experienced sore or aching hands. Can't say the same about my butt.
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