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Steering wheel positioned off-center following wheel alignment

Steering Wheel Not Straight After Wheel Alignment - Why?

Did you recently align your car’s wheels, only to find that your steering wheel is a bit crooked while driving? If this rings a bell, you’re not the only one.

Even though wheel alignment is meant to make sure your drive is smooth and straight, there are times when your steering wheel might not be perfectly straight.

Possible Causes Of A Crooked Steering Wheel

Improper Alignment

If the technician fails to adjust the wheels precisely, the result can be a skewed steering wheel. This misalignment can be frustrating, making it necessary to grip the wheel at an angle to keep the vehicle on course.

Power Steering Fluid Issues

When the fluid level is low or if it’s contaminated, the steering wheel might feel loose or resistant to turning.

Steering Gear And Pump Problems

If the steering gear and power steering pump malfunction or sustain damage, the steering wheel could become misaligned.

Tyre Imbalances And Wear

When your tyres are unbalanced or have uneven wear patterns, they can generate vibrations or pull the car to one side. This can make it challenging to maintain a straight steering position while driving.

Is It A Problem?

In most cases, a slightly misaligned steering wheel after a wheel alignment isn’t a major cause for concern. However, it can be annoying to have to continuously adjust your grip on the wheel.

Additionally, an off-centre steering wheel can lead to uneven tyre wear, potentially affecting the longevity of your tyres.

If the misalignment is minimal, it might be tolerable. However, if your steering wheel is significantly off-centre, vibrating, or causing the car to pull to one side, return the vehicle to the mechanic that performed the alignment and ask them to redo it.

Resolving The Issue

Correcting Alignment

When improper alignment is to blame, it’s essential to have your wheels realigned by a qualified technician. A precise alignment ensures that the wheels are adjusted to the manufacturer’s specifications, effectively rectifying the misalignment issue.

Addressing Power Steering Fluid

If power steering fluid is the culprit, addressing the fluid level and quality is necessary. Refilling or replacing the fluid can restore proper steering function and alleviate the off-centre steering wheel problem.

Repairing Steering Components

When issues with the steering gear or power steering pump are identified, prompt repairs or replacements are crucial. These components are pivotal in maintaining steering accuracy, and rectifying any malfunctions can restore the alignment of your steering wheel.

Balancing and Replacing Tyres

In cases of tyre imbalance or wear, balancing or replacing the tyres is essential. Balanced and well-maintained tyres will contribute to a smooth and centred driving experience, reducing the chances of an off-centre steering wheel.


If you've recently had a wheel alignment and your steering wheel is not straight, there’s no need to panic.

While a slightly off-centre steering wheel might not be a major concern, significant misalignment can lead to discomfort and tyre wear.

If you’re experiencing severe issues, it’s advisable to consult a mechanic for a proper diagnosis and resolution.

Louis from Tyre Geek


I'm Louis, an engineer passionate about helping Australians choose better tyres for their vehicles!