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Steering wheel is off-center. Dealer says it's a bent rim

5730 Views 19 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Mister Dave
In the days after I had the dealer add washers and tighten the axle bolts (very high torque) I noticed the steering wheel naturally wanted to rest a few degrees turned to the right at any speed. I took it back to the dealer and they say nothing in the axle bolt repair would cause the steering wheel to be out of alignment. They said the wheel alignment was perfect which I had verified by a chain automotive shop. The front rims look fine with some minor curb scratches and peeling paint that is common for those wheels. The runs smooth and the car doesn't seem to pull either direction so its doesn't seem like anything is dragging the car to one side or the other, just he steering heel is misaligned.

They even switched the front wheels and it still behaves the same which is puzzling. I suggested putting the rear tires in front but they said that wouldn't make a difference either. I also suggested pulling wheels from a used Volt on their lot but they don't have any used volts..

I am I off base thinking the axle bolt repair could have caused the misalignment? Did the electronic steering somehow get messed up? I am going to have my Indy look at the front rims without telling him which rim is suspect to see if sees a bent rim.

Any comments, ideas, or similar experiences appreciated.

2012 Volt Black
CU51xx - 73K miles
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It does not take much to change the steering wheel centering. A quarter turn of a tie rod would do it for example.

I have in the past centered my own steering wheel by turning in one tie rod and the other out. 1/4 to 1/2 turn of the tie rod will equate to about a degree on the steering wheel. Use caution as the tie rods will rotate on the ball joint before the nut actually loosens. Use two wrenches and try to mark your starting point using a sharpie so you can keep track of the rotation. It doesn't take much. Be safe as well.

The bent rim thing sounds bogus. You would notice a bent rim right away by simply rotating the wheel and if you have the cast wheels, they really don't bend, they break.
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