Steering Wheel Off Center: 4 Actionable Steps

steering wheel off center after alignment

Have you ever noticed that your car’s steering wheel is off center, or that it has a strange tilt to it? It might not seem like much of an issue at first glance, but if left unchecked this can lead to serious complications.

In some cases, the problem stems from worn out tires or improper alignment on the suspension system. This can make driving difficult and cause accidents. The good news is that there are solutions for many of these problems – most are easy DIY fixes!

Read more about common steering wheel issues here…

Center your steering wheel by following these easy steps!

  1. Move into the driver’s seat and turn on your engine.
  2. Place both hands on the top of the steering wheel (not touching any other part of the car). Your thumbs should be touching each other while your fingers are spread out around them.
  3. Turn at least three times in either direction until you feel resistance from one side or another indicating that you’re centered again.
  4. Repeat as necessary to ensure both sides are even before driving away for the day.

Reasons for why is my Steering Wheel off Center

Before going to the remedies, it’s imperative to know the culprits behind the problem. We’re talking about the reasons that had driven your steering wheel off the center. 

As per the hundreds of case studies that we’ve been through are concerned, there can be three possible reasons for a steering wheel off-center:

A Hit on the Pothole

The first possible reason for the problem is when you bump the suspension system right after it had hit a pothole. There will be a sudden jolt that takes place, and that is enough to displace the components of the steering wheel from their ambient positions. 

Front Wheel Alignment

A pretty common consequence of a front-wheel alignment is steering wheel displacement. You might have seen automotive technicians adjust the front tire rods to make sure that the steering wheel is at the right degree of elevation. If it somehow gets out of place, the direct impact will be on the position of the steering wheel. 

Too Much Time Off-Road

What happens when you drive too much off-road? Well, we have to recall the bump in the suspension system over again. Because a few hours of off-road driving can also displace the steering wheel components off its place. 

Apart from these three, there are a number of possible suspects. But we will not lengthen this list up. Rather, we would go for a solution to the problem, which is the prime concern throughout the next sections. 

Here you go- 

How to Solve Steering Wheel Off Center – 4 Steps

Step 1: The Basic Troubleshooting

We will start with a step that is pretty much basic and almost anyone with a little knowledge of how the car engine works will be able to execute it. 

The task is to take the steering wheel out and set it back in the correct position over again. In case you have more command on how the technical things on the car’s steering system work, you can do that even without removing the car’s steering wheel. But that will eventually take more of your time and effort. 

Step 2: Set the Toe of the Car

Toe is referred to as the extent of the angle that the front and rear wheels are turned at. The Tow angle can be either positive or negative. But this mainly depends on whether the wheels are turned in, or turned out. If they are turned in, then the angle will be positive. In case they are turned out, the angle will be negative. 

Now, if you have a problem with the toe angle, you need to set it up by pointing all the wheels straight forward. What we mean is, you need to either toe-in or toe-out the front or rear wheels. 

Based on what alignment and toe angle, you need to proceed with the job. You have to choose one of these two methods- 

  1. Toe-in: This means to turn the front wheels inward. Mechanics also calls it cross-eying. 
  2. Toe-out: Toeing out means to turn either the front wheels or the rear wheels slightly outward.

In the case of both toeing in or toeing out, the angle depends on at what angle they are bent. You need to take professional assistance if you can not measure the degree of toeing.

Step 3: Dial Out the Turn

In case the problem is particularly with the rear wheel, this is the step that you need to follow. Here, we will adjust the rear wheel angle, based on what amount of bending they are required at any given moment. 

The simplest way to do that is to do a four-wheel alignment. But in case you want to do it yourself, you have to get the rear wheels pointed directly towards the straight direction. 

Once it’s done, start the engine, and turn the wheel a couple of times. This will relieve the additional pressure from the steering system of the car. 

Now, shut off the car engine. And lock the steering wheel straight ahead at the 12 o’clock position. Once done, adjust the front tie rods to get the wheel straight over again. 

By the end of the steps, the problem of the steering wheel off-center should be fixed anyway.

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Step 4: Take a Professional’s Help

This is not a step of working the problem out, just like the previous three. You can call it rather safe and friendly advice. 

In case you are not a car mechanic yourself, it’s better to take the problem under the supervision of a professional. He will be able to troubleshoot the issue in a better way than any DIYer, and that’s the bitter truth. 

But before investing your hard-earned bucks after that, make sure that you have tried enough with the three previously explained steps.

Hopefully, this Video Guideline will Help you out for steering wheel off center after alignment!

Three of the 4-step list are all DIY methods of this list. After all of them were executed, there would be no other way rather than to take the problems under the radar of a professional mechanic. Hopefully, you will get out of the situation without prior hardship.


It is a simple solution that can save your life. I have seen many people driving with the steering wheel off center and it terrifies me because they are compromising their safety, as well as other drivers on the road.

The best thing to do if you find yourself in this situation is to pull over immediately and re-center the steering wheel. If you were ever in an accident or experience any sort of emergency while driving, being able to steer straight could be what saves your life!

So don’t compromise – keep your hands where they should be at all times by keeping the steering wheel centered when driving.