Q: Hyundai Elantra Steering Wheel Alignment

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While replacing the plastic steering coupler bushing in my daughter's 2011 Hyundai Elantra the steering wheel turned bout 15 degrees to the right relative to the upper column. The steering wheel was locked in the straight ahead position when I took it apart. What it the best way to correct this and can does driving it with the steeering wheel out of alignment until I can get this fixed cause any safety issues?

My car has 70000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

An off center steering wheel can be a distraction to some drivers especially if the driver is used to the position of the steering wheel "matching" your forward position when driving on a straight away. Technically, the main issue though is the air bag clock spring. If the off center position also means the air bag clock spring was not aligned on column re-assembly, you can damage the clock spring and a consequence could be that the air bag may not function as intended. If you disassembled the column, did you mark the position of the clock spring as required in the Factory Service Manual? If not, the clock spring has to be inspected and the column reassembled. With regard to the steering wheel, although some "centering adjustment" can be achieved at the tie rod ends, if in your circumstance the wheel was already centered prior to the work, normally you will simply have to go back, disassemble the column, and put the wheel back in the original position. To have your situation resolved, I recommend you schedule an inspection and the responding certified mechanic will be in a position to determine exactly what is required and perform the necessary service right on the spot. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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