Why The Car’s Steering Wheel Off Center When Driving Straight?

The steering wheel is a part of the car which primarily controls the direction of the vehicle. Steering wheel and its system help to convert the rotational movement to the turning movement of the vehicle’s front wheel. The modern steering wheel has some accessories function such as audio control, cruise control, and volume control.

Over the year the position and angle of the steering wheel are adjusted because there is a difference in comfort, adjustability, and sizes. If the steering wheel off center when driving straight, it becomes a huge issue while driving.

Why Car Steering Wheel Off Center When Driving Straight?

This is a pretty common compliment usually we hear. During alignment, the technician adjusts the front tie rod at any degree you required to remove any pull from the steering wheel. While doing so it permanently locks your car sideways. the whole system needs to be properly aligned for your car to turn and respond exactly the way you want it when you moving your steering wheel.

The car steering wheel off center when driving straight becomes very dangerous because it changes the car’s low and high speed controlling characteristics and it will kill your fuel economy by exposing the broad side of your car to the wind. The position of the steering wheel depends upon the trust angle of a vehicle. The misalignment of the steering wheel can affect the axle between crystalline and steer lines which results in the crooked wheel.

How To Tell You Need A Wheel Alignment Or Not?

There are easy visual symptoms to say you need a wheel alignment or not and if you experience any of the symptoms, you should get out of your car for checking.

1. Uneven Tire Wear

Take a look at the tire and the pattern of the tread. If you notice a certain part of the tire gets damage, it is a sign of changing the wheel alignment. When everything is properly working but your car is hitting the road evenly and equally from the left of the car and right of the car, it supposes to have a problem in alignment.

2. Vehicle Pulling

When you driving straight on the road and your car feels like it is pulling by itself either on right or left, it has a serious issue with the wheel alignment. If you feel that your car is pulling in one direction so much that for balancing you need to turn, it is the first sign to be noticeable and you have a problem with alignment.

3. Lose Handling

If it feels loose when you drive the car and turn in one direction and it feels like not responding, almost like the wheel is not connected to anything, surely it is the sign to change the alignment of the wheel.

4. Steering Wheel Won’t Return To Center

Apart from a misaligned position, if you are finding that when you turn the wheel to go round the corner and the wheel does not write to its center position once you straighten your car, it is the sign of changing the alignment.

How To Center Align A Steering Wheel?

Before fixing the Steering wheel you have to know the three-part of the steering wheel.

1. Caster

The angle refers to the forward or backward tilting of the top of the steering axle. The backward tilting is considered as positive and forward tilting as negative. The important role is to regulate the steering directional control.

2. Camber

This angle refers to the bending of the wheels from an upright position. The outward angle is considered as positive and when the angle inward is considered as negative. The important role is to control the directional operation and tire wear.

3. Toe

The angle refers to the front or rear wheel when turned in or out. When the wheel turned in is considered as positive and when the wheel turned out considered as negative. The important function is to help the vehicle to achieve directional stability.

It is easy to fix the problem of the steering wheel if you understand the parts and alignment of the wheel properly. Now follow the below any of the technique

1. Alignment Issue

First, remove the steering wheel. This is a very simple procedure but if you do it by yourself, you should have some knowledge of the technician also you have a correct and handy tool with you.

Just take the steering wheel out and keep it in that position. Secondly, you can also correct the alignment without removing the wheel but it will take on time and cost. Take the car for a test drive to verify if there is any obvious alignment issue.

2. Take To The Mechanics

When the tilting is too much you have to take it to mechanics as they have the machine to correct the alignment. The machine just takes care of four wheels and a trust angle. Even it takes care caster, camber, and toe angle of the steering wheel.

As you all of hearing that prevention is better than cure when it comes to wheel alignment tires will last longer, vehicle handling and comfort will be optimized and fuel consumption and energy will be reduced. It is recommended that your car wheel alignment would be checked once a year.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair?

Though it is an easy procedure you can fix it by own at zero cost. If you take the car to mechanics to fix the problem the cost varies between 40$ to 90$ for one wheel. To fix the problem with four wheels you have to spent about 250$.


The steering wheel seems simple on the surface. but there are lots more to them than meets the eye.

You should always ensure that your steering wheel is straight and level at all the time as it is key to know the whole steering system has no problem. If any of time steering wheel off center when driving, either go straight to mechanics to fix it or fix by own if you have some knowledge of technical by following the steps in this article.

Regular maintenance of your car should require at least every once a year.

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