How to Know If Steering Wheel is Straight

How to Know If Steering Wheel is Straight?

A straight steering wheel is a key indicator of proper vehicle alignment. If you suspect your steering wheel is not straight, it’s important to confirm and make necessary arrangements immediately as an improperly aligned steering wheel can affect the vehicle’s handling and stability.

So, how to know if the steering wheel is straight? Let’s discuss. 

How to Know If Steering Wheel is Straight?

You don’t have to be an expert to figure out if the steering wheel is straight or not. We have listed some practical methods below and it’s recommended to check one to two methods from the list to confirm the straightness of your steering wheel. 

  • Look at the wheels while the car is parked. If they are parallel to the car’s body, it often indicates that the steering wheel is straight.
  • On a flat and straight road, drive at a moderate speed. The steering wheel should be in a centered position if it’s straight, and the car should not drift to either side.
  • The emblem or logo on your steering wheel should be horizontally level when you are driving straight.
  • Use any alignment markings on your steering wheel as a guide. Then, check whether these markings align centrally with the dashboard when driving in a straight line.
  • At a stationary position, align the steering wheel to its central position and check if the wheels are pointing straight.

Why is My Steering Wheel Not Straight?

Your steering wheel might not be straight due to several reasons, primarily involving the vehicle’s alignment and suspension components. 

Improper Wheel Alignment

The most frequent cause for misaligned steering wheels that we have observed during our previous checks is improper wheel alignment.

If the wheels are not aligned correctly, it leads to the steering wheel being off-center even when driving straight.

Worn Suspension Components

Over time, suspension parts like tie rods, ball joints, and bushings can wear out, causing misalignment and a crooked steering wheel.

Uneven Tire Pressure

Discrepancies in tire pressure between the left and right tires can cause the vehicle to pull to one side. So, it will make the steering wheel appear off-center.

Impact from Potholes or Curbs

Hitting potholes or curbs hard can jolt the system, leading to steering wheel misalignment.

Previous Repairs or Modifications

Incorrectly performed repairs or modifications to the steering or suspension system can result in a steering wheel that doesn’t sit straight.

Frame or Axle Issues

In severe cases, issues with the car’s frame or axle, often due to accidents, can lead to steering misalignment.

How Do You Straighten a Steering Wheel?

You will have to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic to straighten the steering wheel. In order to fix the misalignment of your vehicle’s steering wheel, they will adjust the wheel alignment of your vehicle.

This process involves adjusting the vehicle’s suspension settings, specifically the toe alignment.

The mechanic usually begins the process by assessing the current alignment using specialized equipment. They then adjust the tie rods, which control the angle of the wheels in relation to the steering.

By fine-tuning these rods, the mechanic ensures that the wheels are pointing straight when the steering wheel is centered. This procedure not only straightens the steering wheel but also ensures proper vehicle handling and even tire wear.

The entire process requires precision and expertise, making it advisable to be done by a professional. The entire process of wheel alignment would take about one hour to complete. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *