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

5726 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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Steering Wheel Misalignment - the vehicle drives straight, but the steering wheel is off either to the left or right. This is usually caused by an improper toe adjustment.

Wheel alignment isn't an easy subject, but a proper alignment starts with locking the steering wheel to center. If the tech did this and properly aligned your wheels you may have a bigger problem.

I would check to see if the car is dog-tracking then.
I still have the old rims and may take them dealer for a blind test to see if they can pick out the two front aka bent rims.
Bent/distorted rims can create a feeling of vibration in the steering wheel, mostly at higher speeds unless it's so severely distorted that you can see it. In that case the steering wheel vibrates at any speed. They won't cause your steering wheel to be off-center.

I don't know if the service advisor is an idiot, or he thinks you are. Either way this is a dead end.
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