Q: Steering wheel does not center

asked by on June 12, 2016

Recently my 1996 Pathfinder has been having issues with the steering wheel. When I am driving and need to make a turn, I turn the steering wheel and the vehicle responds normally into the turn. However, when I bring the steering wheel back to the normal position after executing the turn, the steering wheel is not centered even when the tires are. The wheel is still in the direction of the last turn. Eventually the steering wheel centers itself out after driving for a few minutes. The steering is responsive and the car turns in initially, its only when coming out of the turn that the wheel does not line up. Also, the steering pump does not make any noise when I am at full lock in one direction or another, I am not sure if this is part of the issue. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The problem to me sounds like you have worn out bushings that hold the power steering rack and pinion assembly. This is why your steering wheel gets off center in the direction of the turn. Have the steering inspected and the bushings replaced if they are bad. You should have no problems then.

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