My car drives straight when I let go of the wheel, but my...

Q: My car drives straight when I let go of the wheel, but my steering wheel is slightly crooked

asked by on June 12, 2017

My steering wheel is crooked. The alignment doesnt appear to be off, as the car drives straight when I let go of the wheel, but having a crooked steering wheel is driving me nuts

My car has 131000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the vehicle alignment (camber, caster and toe settings) is in fact correct (within manufacturer specification), the steering wheel can be centered by adjusting the tie rod ends on each side of the vehicle. If the steering wheel is off center to the right, the left tie rod end should be increased in length and the right side tie rod end reduced in length by the EXACT same amount. If the steering wheel is off center to the left, then you increase the length of the right side tie rod end and shorten the tie rod on the left side, again by the EXACT same amount on each side. So, whatever increment you shorten one side by, you lengthen the other side by the exact same amount, until the wheel is centered. Tie rod end length is adjusted easily. An alignment machine is required to perform this adjustment. 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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