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Why is my steering wheel off center?


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#1 1Frothy

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 02:39

I noticed that it seemed to have been getting worse and worse, now if I'm on a straight and level road and driving straight; the steering wheel is off center. :/ I've had my wheels balanced and an alignment done by a reputable company.

Should I worry about this? It's a car from 2004, so its not very old.


#2 gdodson

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 02:50

My mother's car does the same thing. I'm assuming that yours is FWD. If your steering wheel is to the left while driving, turn it hard to the left and get on the gas hard (starting from a stop). See if that corrects (or over-corrects) the problem. The problem is most likely related to torque-steer, but I don't know why it stays off-center.

#3 Whiffle

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 03:06

Its off center because whoever aligned it didn't bother to center it, or you have some loose/worn parts up there that are causing it to get worse. I'd take it in and have it checked out.

#4 OP 1Frothy

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 03:16

My mother's car does the same thing. I'm assuming that yours is FWD. If your steering wheel is to the left while driving, turn it hard to the left and get on the gas hard (starting from a stop). See if that corrects (or over-corrects) the problem. The problem is most likely related to torque-steer, but I don't know why it stays off-center.


That sounds like fun, I'm going to try it! I hope nothing breaks.

Its off center because whoever aligned it didn't bother to center it, or you have some loose/worn parts up there that are causing it to get worse. I'd take it in and have it checked out.


I'm going to do that too, but first I just got to try gdodson's suggestion. :/

#5 crazzy88ss

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 04:48

torque steer is not the problem. Did you hit anything? My dad recently unaligned the steering wheel on his 04 325 when he accidentally hit a curb.

#6 goodcase

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 07:09

It could be other things then alignment that causes the steering wheel to be off center. The right ball joint on my moms car was worn which was causing the steering wheel to be off center by quite a bit; after replacing the ball joint the problem was fixed

#7 OrangesOfCourse

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 12:07

I would say that this is an alignment issue. I had the same problem and a good alignment cured the issue. If you are driving on a flat, straight road and your car starts to veer to the right/left within 7-8 seconds then you need an alignment. I say this because your car is so new and I'm guessing that you didn't get in any major accidents.

#8 spacey

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 19:32

where do you get it serviced? can you take it to the dealership?

i had some wheel alignment issues after installing my winter tires. took it back the dealership and they fixed it in like 20 mins.

also make sure the air pressure is consistent among all your tires.

#9 strekship

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 22:45

If your tires are worn irregularly on one side of the car, that can cause your steering problem.

#10 OP 1Frothy

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 23:38

I had new tires fitted not long ago. So I don't think it's a worn tire problem.
It's just annoying having to take the car back in for a service since I'm always so busy, still, if it doesn't get fixed it could get even worse perhaps. :/

Thanks for everyones suggestions. (Y)

#11 vetJohn S.

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 23:47

I'd definitely have it looked at, you may have something more serious than just an off-center steering wheel.

#12 Glowstick

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 23:58

My mother's car does the same thing. I'm assuming that yours is FWD. If your steering wheel is to the left while driving, turn it hard to the left and get on the gas hard (starting from a stop). See if that corrects (or over-corrects) the problem. The problem is most likely related to torque-steer, but I don't know why it stays off-center.

That's a great idea. I'm sure the drive shafts are going to like this. Do you also open your breakfast eggs with a hammer?

#13 Joel

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 04:44

Check your tire pressure also, when the tires are cold (and often if the outside temp goes up and down a lot; even a few degrees can cause your PSI to drop or rise). The correct pressure for your tires should be on the sticker in the driver's side doorframe.

#14 gdodson

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 04:54

That's a great idea. I'm sure the drive shafts are going to like this. Do you also open your breakfast eggs with a hammer?

Well we've taken it to a few different dealers and my dad is an ASE certified mechanic, but nobody can figure what is causing the problem. It goes off center to either side depending on the direction you have the wheel turned when accelerating. I didn't tell the OP to do it repeatedly, so unless his driveshafts are made of wood or he's putting a lot more than stock power down, nothing bad is going to happen to them. I was just wondering if his problem is due to an off-center alignment or if it's similar to my mother's car's problem.

#15 MiG-

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 12:22

I had new tires fitted not long ago. So I don't think it's a worn tire problem.
It's just annoying having to take the car back in for a service since I'm always so busy, still, if it doesn't get fixed it could get even worse perhaps. :/

Thanks for everyones suggestions. (Y)


Bent suspension leg? Like smashing into curbs with your car?



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