Steering Wheel Not Straight After Alignment? Causes & What To Do

Your ability to effectively control your steering while driving significantly ensures your safety on the road. Driving with a non-straight steering wheel is a risk you don’t want to be taking.

A wheel alignment is supposed to help ensure that you’re in complete control of your vehicle while driving. But what happens when you finish an alignment and discover that your steering wheel is not straight?

In this post, we’ll be explaining some of the reasons why your steering wheel is not straight after alignment and what you need to do to fix it.

steering wheel not straight after alignment

What Happens During a Car Alignment?

In simple terms, car alignment is the adjustment of three critical elements: camber, caster, and toe. Camber refers to how much a wheel leans inward or outward from vertical; it’s important for grip and handling.

The caster describes how far forward or backward a wheel points when viewed from above (the higher caster number represents a more forward position).

Toe refers to how parallel the tires are with one another—a high toe angle means that your wheels are leaning outwards whereas a negative toe angle means they’re leaning inwards.

The importance of having your wheels aligned correctly can’t be overlooked if you want smooth driving, good steering response, and safe braking capabilities while reducing tire wear at the same time!

Possible Reasons Why Your Steering Wheel is Not Straight After Alignment

1. The Wheel is Deformed

If the steering wheel is not straight after alignment, check to see if the wheel is deformed. If there are any cracks, bends, or dents in the steering wheel, you need to replace it immediately with a new one. If any of the parts of your steering wheel is missing or broken then replace that part with a new one.

Check for loose bolts or nuts as well as worn-out parts on your car’s steering system and replace them if found damaged/loose/worn out.

2. Damages in The Steering Assembly

Check for any other damages in the steering assembly. If you notice that there are some parts of your steering assembly damaged or worn out, it will affect your vehicle’s ability to drive straight. This can result in an inaccurate alignment and may even cause accidents.

3. Bent Steering Shaft or Dented Conditions

The steering shaft is the main component that connects the steering wheel to the car, and it should be straight. There are ways to check: Check if there are cracks in the steering shaft.

If they don’t go all the way through, you can just insert a new one. But if they do go all the way through, then you need to replace your entire steering system.

It’s important to note that ignoring this could lead to your car swaying side to side while driving.

4. Suspension Component Problems

Your car may have a broken suspension spring or damaged bushings. To check for this, inspect the front and rear suspensions of your car and look for any signs of damage: bent or misaligned suspension arms, worn-out bushings, or cracked springs. If these components are damaged in any way, they must be replaced before a proper alignment can be performed.

In addition to checking your car’s suspension components as described above, use an alignment machine to check that all wheels are properly aligned in relation to each other. This will help ensure that you do not have any more problems with your vehicle’s steering after you’ve completed an alignment service.

Read: How Long Does an Alignment Take?

5. Loose Steering Linkage Components

Check for loose steering linkage components. The tie rod ends and ball joints are the most common culprits of a crooked steering wheel, so give them a quick inspection. If they’re loose or worn out, have them serviced or replaced right away.

6. Worn Tires

The tires are the only component of your vehicle that touches the road. As such, they are subject to wear and tear over time. Worn tires can cause an alignment problem that causes your steering wheel not straight after alignment.

Checking for worn tires is simple: just look at them! If there are visible signs of wear and tear, or if the tread depth is below the normal inches, replace them with new ones immediately.

7. Misaligned Parts

If your steering wheel is not aligned correctly, there’s a chance that other parts of your car are also misaligned. This can include the wheels, suspension, or alignment itself.

Other causes of this problem could be:

  • You were not flexible about the alignment.
  • The alignment technician did not align your vehicle properly or used incorrect equipment to do so.
  • There is an issue with your suspension system that was not detected during the alignment process.

If you notice any of these problems, you might need to fix your steering wheel again to correct the problems.

Can an Alignment Make Your Steering Wheel Off Center?

Yes, an alignment can make your steering wheel off-center. This is a common problem, but it’s not a serious issue.
Most vehicles won’t experience this problem unless the alignment is drastically misaligned or you’ve hit something and bent the steering rack.

The reason for this is that most cars are designed to account for slight variations in steering racks when doing alignments from the factory.

Read: Manual Key Won’t Unlock Car Door


It is very important to keep in mind that there are many things that can contribute to a misaligned steering wheel. Some of them include misaligned parts, worn tires, loose steering linkage components, suspension component problems, bent steering shafts, deformed wheels, and damages in the steering assembly.

Out of these problems, the most common ones would be the tires and suspension components. If you feel like something doesn’t seem right after having your vehicle aligned, then it might be time to get your car checked out so that you can diagnose and fix any problems you find.