Steering Wheel Not Centered While Driving Straight – How To Fix?

If you are noticing that your steering wheels are going off track even if you are driving straight on the road that means your steering wheels off center and needs and proper alignment.

You will probably in search of what to do when steering wheel not straight?

​Every car model is different in its way. Steadiness, tire wear, and top speed are the trade-offs for altering toe or/and camber.

For an example, if you set up to ride your car on the long straightaway, you will need to straight camber and toe rather holding it tighter because added tire pull or negative toe-out or toe-in and camber will reduce the top speed of your car.

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There are always three adjustments in your suspension which must be aligned: camber, toe, and caster. If any of this component go imbalance, your car steering wheel off center.

Here, we will go through all the steps which will help to fix this issue.

How to Fix?

  • Step 1​

​First, you should make sure that you have gathered all the proper tools for this task.

Digital Camber gauges, a toe bar or toe plates for measuring toe, bubble gauge for caster alignment, measuring tapes for various measurements.

You need to find out a part of the concrete and that must be flat in order to make the alteration.

  • Step 2

​After gathering all the necessary tools, the first thing you need to measure your vehicle’s camber and toe at both axles and note down the measurements figure on a paper.

You will require these figures when you are done with your task and it will also help to check the improvements of your steering wheel performance.

Check and recheck alignment after making any changes because changing camber can, in turn, change toe, and vice versa.

Another way to check the proper alignment, torque the nuts when your vehicle is on the ground and not on any jack so that bushings will not make a nasty noise.

After that, you may choose the axle that you are going to adjust.​

  • Step 3

​Put a jack under your car and lift it up. Check the geometry of the suspension. It will be a superior idea if you will prepare a simple draw of car’s suspension for the reference.

Today’s contemporary cars have odd off-center and bolts gripping the suspension parts and that connect to the vehicle.

Loosen a nut from one side and twist the top of the eccentric, you will then be able to change bolt axis that will affect the location of the link and thus, altering camber.

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You may also notice the movement of the suspension as you will change the eccentric’s orientation.​

Now refer the measurement figures which you have noted down earlier and check how much eccentric needs to rotate for small yet logical changes.

Sometimes camber adjustments occur from the head of the shock tower. Now, tight the nuts and take off the car from the jack and take it back 4 feet and then pull it back on the equal place again​.

Measure camber, if it is within spec then torque the nut and start again this step from the different side of the car. If it is not, do start this same step over.​

  • Step 4

In this step, we will adjust Toe settings. Lift up your car using a jack and at the rear axle make necessary alterations to the toe-control connections or for the front axle, tie rods.

If your vehicle does have toe-control connections, the correction will be similar to the earlier step of eccentric camber correction.

In order to adjust front axle, toe requires losing the tie-rod nut and then twisting it up tie rod to alter the length.

Make sure, if your car’s toe spec set up for one inch of toe-in then you need only to add up a half of the inch each side.

Then tighten all the fasteners and take off your car from the jack. Now once again roll the vehicle forth and back and note down toe.​

If it is within spec then torque the nut or tie-rod locknut when your vehicle on the floor and then repeat this same step from the different side of the vehicle and if it is not, start the same step over again.​

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  • Step 5

​Come again on the step no. 3 and start the same process with the other axle. If you will need to repeat this step, ensure to check camber and toe again.

  • Step 6

We will align caster. Install a bubble gauge on the center, turn the tire inside for about 20 degrees and point the gauge.

Use the center caster adjustment knob below the gauge, set zero the caster reading and then turn the tire 20 degrees out and the gauge will read the sum of the negative or positive caster.

In all the car models, the 20-degree figure is famous for caster setting and that is why to turn 20 degrees in and out is not that critical.

Remember, the more scale the wheel moves, it will more precise the measurement. Important is the thing that the tire must move in the same figure of degrees in and out.​

  • Step 7

Final, check and recheck all the bolts and nuts which you have to loosen during this entire process and test the alignment on the track twice.

It is very crucial to check the bolts and nuts as it may be dangerous during your drive.​

Conclusion

This is one of the solutions if your car’s steering wheel not straight. After going through all the above steps properly, you may have noticed now your car is back on the track and it will not go off track while driving straight.

All the above steps are DIY and you do not require taking your car to the mechanic.​

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