Q: Impossible to drive one handed. Steering wheel does not return to 0 degrees.

asked by on January 20, 2018

I just had my driver side lower control arm changed, an alignment, and I changed out a damaged tire for a used one. Now driving is really tight. Turning to the left feels pretty normal, but turning to the right is extremely tight. My driver side strut was a little bent, but I'm leaning more towards an issue with my steering rack or steering column since my wheel does not return to center. If I turn right the wheel will stay wherever it is unless I manually turn it back. Checked my power steering fluid it was almost empty, so I added ATF to it to see if that would help. Needless to say it didn't change a thing. Any thoughts?

My car has 168027 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If there are known faulty or damaged parts in the front suspension, those parts must be replaced in order to diagnose a hard steering (and/or failure of steering wheel to return) issue. In particular, the correct position of the front struts will, in part, determine the caster angle and caster is a key determinant of steering wheel return, directional stability and so forth. A possibility for you is to request strut replacement and once that repair is completed, and the rest of the suspension is checked out for additional faults as well, the very same mechanic can then immediately evaluate the steering system and let you know of the cause of the issue you are writing in about, if the issue even remains at that point. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic because we want you to make the most of your repair dollars and help you to get the best possible results.

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