Car is driving straight – steering wheel is crooked? As a cause for a disguised Steering wheel mechanical changes to all parts that belong to the steering and axle geometry are usually possible. In addition, defects in the electronics such as the steering angle sensors may have occurred. Unfortunately, troubleshooting is becoming more and more difficult due to the increasing number of vehicles equipped with electronic sensors and control devices, especially when there are no mechanical deformations to be found. Many amateurs then make the big mistake of moving the steering wheel a few teeth to restore the straight-ahead position. Ultimately, however, this changes the axle and steering geometry, which is bad. Modern cars have steering wheel and shaft a mark. If they match, but the steering wheel is still crooked, then the misalignment can be corrected using toe adjustment (Wheel alignment) to fix. Changing the steering wheel is only the right solution in exceptional cases!
Causes of the crooked steering wheel!
In order to find out how the steering wheel misalignment came about, you should first ask yourself whether you have driven through extreme potholes or transverse grooves recently, with the steering wheel being hit hard. Perhaps there was a strong impact against the curb while driving, or did you drive into an enclosure when parking? The risk of vehicle damage when driving over obstacles too quickly should not be underestimated either. However, simple causes can almost always be determined directly with a quick visual inspection.
These include, for example, differently worn tires, the tire pressure, the fitting of different tire sizes with different profile heights when changing tires and also defects in the tires or rims are conceivable. However, if you do not find what you are looking for here, the search will be more difficult. Simply opening the bonnet is then certainly not sufficient to localize the problem. It is important to take your time when troubleshooting and to systematically check all steering related components. Even the smallest change to various components such as tie rods or stabilizers can trigger a steering wheel misalignment. Even a tiny deformation of the control arm can cause this.
What are the most common causes?
We have summarized the main sources of error as follows:
- Different tires.
- Defective shock absorbers.
- Incorrect tire air pressure.
- Broken or fatigued springs.
- Deformed wishbones and/or stabilizers.
- Bent tie rods.
- Defective steering gear.
- Locking sockets of various suspension parts, tie rod end heads, axle mounts, wishbones, etc.
- Errors in the ABS electronics, the stabilization sensors or the steering angle sensors.
- Deformations of the supporting body after a minor rear-end collision.
- Tip: Don't worry, not all disruptive factors appear at once!
Repairing a broken steering wheel
As soon as you have found the defective component, it can be replaced. The vehicle can then be measured and the toe, camber and fore-aft can be precisely adjusted. Optimizing the steering geometry and calibrating the zero/position of the steering wheel requires a visit to a specialist workshop with an wheel alignment stand. However, make sure you pay attention to the wording of the order. Be sure to write down that the steering wheel after the repair should stand up straight. Compromises are out of the question, the order is: straightening the steering wheel.
The following note is essential: For safety reasons, tuningblog recommends all repair, inspection and maintenance work exclusively to be carried out in a specialist workshop! Although our information is summarized to the best of our knowledge and belief, we cannot assume any liability for the content. All information is therefore "without guarantee".
Of course, that wasn't the end of it!
In this tuningblog category there are guides and instructions for common defects/repairs on the vehicle and for installing accessories/tuning parts. Our articles explain in a simple way common defects and the corresponding repairs and they also explain how the first signs of a defect become noticeable. In most cases, we also have initial clues to the repair instructions in our repair instructions approximate costs listed. The goal of ourAuto Repair Guide“ is to create a head start in knowledge for the next visit to the workshop with initial tips. This may save you from tedious troubleshooting and you may even be able to do small things yourself. The same applies, of course, to the installation of accessories/tuning parts. Here, too, we would like to help with the implementation with instructions and tips. There are many other posts on this as well. Below is an excerpt of the last and HERE there are all previous instructions.
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