Are Steering Wheels Not Straight? (Common Causes)

You expect your steering wheel to be straight and perfectly aligned as you travel down the road. There are some circumstances where the steering wheel can become off-center. Why is your steering wheel not straight when driving?

Your vehicle will need a wheel alignment if it isn't straight. This can be caused by hitting a curb, or an accident. It's simple to repair. The steering wheel will be again able to pivot in your hands when it has been aligned. 

How do you know what a wheel alignment is and when does it become necessary? This vital service is examined and any other signs you may be experiencing are identified. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. What exactly is wheel alignment?
  2. There are many reasons your car may need a wheel alignment
    1. 1. Grab Curb, or Bump
    2. 2. Wearn Parts
    3. 3. Adjusted Height
    4. 4. Technician Failure
  3. You may also need additional signs to align your wheels
    1. 1. Uneven Tire Wear
    2. 2. Car pulling on one Side
    3. 3. Awkward Handling
  4. How Much to Repair Steering Wheel That’s Not Straight?

What exactly is wheel alignment?

When the car is sold new from the dealership, the wheels are aligned to the manufacturer’s specifications. Aligned wheels allow the car to steer properly and keep control of its surroundings with minimal effort. 

The wheels can become misaligned over time from bumps. As the wheels fall out of alignment, the wear to your vehicle’s steering and suspension system becomes greater. This can also cause a decrease in tire life. 

Everything is returned to their factory specifications with the wheel alignment service. Regular alignment service makes sure that wheels move in the correct direction, increasing life expectancy and quality of ride. 

RELATED: Five Signs That Your Wheels Are Not Aligned Correctly

There are many reasons your car may need a wheel alignment

1. Grab Curb, or Bump

Driving On Curb

Driving can have a lot of impact, which could cause your wheels to misalign. If you have hit a pothole, curb or another object while driving, it’s time to have the wheels aligned.

If the vehicle was involved in an accident recently, it is important to check the alignment of the wheels after all other repairs have been completed. It is possible that the suspension system was also damaged. 

2. Wearn Parts

Car Suspension

Your car’s suspension is made up of many parts that will fail over time. You might feel a change in handling or alignment as the components wear down. 

You can tell if the vehicle pulls to one side or the steering wheel moves out of center that there are parts failing and your alignment may be incorrect. You should also have your suspension checked and all worn parts replaced as part of the regular alignment.

3. Adjusted Height

Lifted Pick Up Truck

You may notice that the wheels are not straightened if your vehicle has been raised recently. A lift kit will change your alignment. 

It is intended to be used at the specified height. These parts will need to be changed if the vehicle is raised or lowered. This can cause misalignment. 

4. Technician Failure

Wheel Alignment

You might have a technical error if the alignment has been completed and the steering is not still straight. The majority of repair shops offer both alignment and straightening the wheel.

This step is often forgotten by technicians who can become too distracted. Take the wheel back to the shop, if the steering is off center. 

You may also need additional signs to align your wheels

1. Uneven Tire Wear

The tire tread can reveal a lot about your vehicle's alignment. If certain areas of the tire appear to be more worn than others, it’s likely the vehicle needs a wheel alignment. Normal driving conditions will see the tires wearing evenly as they come in contact with the road at equal pressures. 

Uneven wear can be caused by poor wheel alignment or incorrect tire pressures. Toe adjustments may be off if there is feathering or scalloping. 

2. Car pulling on one Side

When the car is aligned, it’s easy to drive the vehicle in a straight line, even if you take your hands off of the wheel. If the vehicle feels like it’s pulling to either side, you might want to have the wheels aligned. 

It is important to be cautious when choosing a road for your wheel alignment. There are roads that can pull vehicles to one side and the other. If you notice a pattern in your vehicle's pulling, it is worth calling a technician. 

Related: Car Pulling on One Side Common causes

3. Awkward Handling

If the alignment is not correct, it can lead to a loose handling. If you are pulling the steering wheel to one side or the other without a response, it’s time to have the vehicle checked.

When the car doesn’t respond, it can lead to a lot of anxiety. This fear is valid since you won’t be able to respond quickly enough in an emergency situation. 

How Much to Repair Steering Wheel That’s Not Straight?

The average price for a front-wheel alignment will be between $50 and $150. On average, it will cost between $150 to $250 for a front-wheel alignment. For a safe driving experience, however, it is possible to have your tires replaced if they are worn out. 

RELATED: Average Wheel Alignment Cost (Front, Rear & 4-Wheel)

It is a bad idea to drive your vehicle with wheels that are not aligned. You could endanger your safety and drive with the wheels out of alignment. 

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