What can cause off-center steering wheel?
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  1. #1
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    What can cause off-center steering wheel?

    Ok I have my puppy alm and with new TRE's and well...the wheel is off-center..not that I really think about it. It always has been, what causes this and what is the fix if anything??
    TIA

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  3. #2
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    chances are they did the toe-in portion of your alignment with your steering wheel slightly off center. if so, you probably want to go back and make them fix it right.

    how far off is it?

  4. #3
    $t0rm1n n0rm@n
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete1 View Post
    they did the toe-in portion of your alignment with your steering wheel slightly off center. go back and make them fix it right.
    So it really couldn't be anything else? Because of the paper work they gave me, it even states can be an iusse and should have it checked out??

  5. #4
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    it could be that the steering wheel was installed off-center... so the steering rack isn't centered when the steering wheel is centered. but that's not very likely.

    also, it could be an issue with camber & caster... too much variation in either of these between the right & left front wheels will create a slight amount of drag: causing you to have to point the wheels at an angle in order to go straight.

    another possibility is your weight on the left side of the car is causing enough change in camber to cause the same issue as above. this may account for about a 1/4 or maybe a 1/2 degree of off-center, but if you are off by a degree or two then that's not it.

    finally, you could have frame or suspension damage that has moved your suspension geometry "out of square".

    ...i'm still betting on their being lazy about holding the wheel straight.

    can you post the before and after printout data? was it a four-wheel alignment rack, or just the front?

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete1 View Post
    it could be that the steering wheel was installed off-center... so the steering rack isn't centered when the steering wheel is centered. but that's not very likely.

    also, it could be an issue with camber & caster... too much variation in either of these between the right & left front wheels will create a slight amount of drag: causing you to have to point the wheels at an angle in order to go straight.

    another possibility is your weight on the left side of the car is causing enough change in camber to cause the same issue as above. this may account for about a 1/4 or maybe a 1/2 degree of off-center, but if you are off by a degree or two then that's not it.

    finally, you could have frame or suspension damage that has moved your suspension geometry "out of square".

    ...i'm still betting on their being lazy about holding the wheel straight.

    can you post the before and after printout data? was it a four-wheel alignment rack, or just the front?
    Well the before is shot for I had new TREs but I do have the print out of the alignment and I just had the Front done. But the only thing I can think of is that maybe the motor mounts could have cause this?? But the back was one the ground the whole time and did one at a time and bolted it up to the old holes

  7. #6
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    What the hell is a "puppy alm?"...

  8. #7
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    ^^i don't know either: I just went with the flow...

  9. #8
    $t0rm1n n0rm@n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    What the hell is a "puppy alm?"...
    lol...Got my puppy alignment done...hows that

  10. #9
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    Ah, I get it. You got your "puppy" aligned. LOL!!!

    I agree with Pete, they should be able to center your steering wheel.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    Ah, I get it. You got your "puppy" aligned. LOL!!!

    I agree with Pete, they should be able to center your steering wheel.
    Ok I will go back on the weekend and battle it out with them....thank you.

  12. #11
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    Ask them if you can sit in the seat and hold the wheel straight... that will also take care of any toe changes that are due to the added off-center weight.

  13. #12
    $t0rm1n n0rm@n
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete1 View Post
    Ask them if you can sit in the seat and hold the wheel straight... that will also take care of any toe changes that are due to the added off-center weight.
    LOL...R you saying I fat???? I will have to ask...I really wanted to put anti-sieze on the TRE too but didn't.

  14. #13
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    no, you're not fat... really.

    Seriously, even a 150lb driver adds about 10% more weight to the driver's front wheel. 15 to 20 people weigh as much as the whole car.

  15. #14
    $t0rm1n n0rm@n
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    I will have to tell them that and drive it in for them to redo it....thanks Pete1

  16. #15
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    When Sears did my alignement the first thing they did was block the steering wheel so that it was straight before they start fooling around with the suspension.

  17. #16
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    When I did my TRE's the steering wheel was WAY off, maybe 20 degrees. The alignment place fixed it.

  18. #17
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    I did my TRE's one at a time. The wheel was centered to start with. After installing the first one, I drove the car to check the steering wheel aim. It was off a little so I adjusted the new TRE until it was aimed straight. At that point, I figured I had the new TRE very close. Same process was used for the second TRE.

  19. #18
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    It's a relatively simple fix - you need to remove the airbag though and get a special 12mm 12 point triple square tool to remove the wheel. (at least on the a4). Pop off the airbag (t-25 needed for this), remove the bolt holding the wheel on, lift the wheel off rotate ever so slightly and put everything back. This is assuming that all the suspension bits are in order and the wheels are turned perfectly straight ahead.

  20. #19
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    Have you every removed the steering wheel, I have on mine and that why mine is off center.

  21. #20
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    Overly worn suspension/steering bushings can cause this as well.

  22. #21
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    Well no I haven't ever touched my steering wheel (taking it off that is) and I just had it worked on so its lined up by what they are saying. But the more I do think about it even when I drove it off the lot it was off a bit...every time I did get it alignment it was just a bit off center. So where are these things at (steering bushings) ??

  23. #22
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    My steering wheel is off center as well, has been for the 2.5 years I've owned it.

    Funny thing is, the car tracks straight as an arrow, I dont have to hold the wheel off center to keep it straight the rack stays there normally...my guess is the above as well...someone did an alignment on it and didn't keep the wheel straight...a simple unbolt and self adjustment by me should put the wheel back to where it needs to be.

  24. #23
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    Just lengthen the TREs on one side by the same amount as you shorten the other side (same number of turns). This will keep your total toe the same but straigten the steering wheel out.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ct1.8t4me View Post
    It's a relatively simple fix - you need to remove the airbag though and get a special 12mm 12 point triple square tool to remove the wheel. (at least on the a4). Pop off the airbag (t-25 needed for this), remove the bolt holding the wheel on, lift the wheel off rotate ever so slightly and put everything back. This is assuming that all the suspension bits are in order and the wheels are turned perfectly straight ahead.
    This will center the steering wheel, but not the steering rack... setting toe with an off-center rack can lead to "bump steer" issues. The correct procedure (according to bentley) is to center the wheel & rack, and then adjust the TRE's to set the toe correctly.

    also, repositioning the steering wheel off-center will mess up the ESP system on the 4Motion passats (the ESP uses a steering wheel position sensor, along with the wheel speed sensors). Do the B5 A4 quattros have ESP, too?

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