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Wonky steering wheel - John Basnett
After going far too fast over a speed bump i noticed that when the steering wheel is in the positon that should mean the car is going in a straight line, the car is actually going to the right. Also the car pulls to the left when i let go of the steering wheel. Is this serious?? How can i get it sorted?? Is it likely to be expensive??

The car is a Fiat Punto Sporting and it is my first car so i am not too sure about these things.

Any advice would be much appreciated

Re: Wonky steering wheel - Dan J
Many of the tyre replacement places have a 4 wheel alignment system (our local ATS does) and they'll be able to sort this for you for about 30 quid or so. It's basically having the tracking done, which ensures the front wheels are at the correct angle which you'll probably need after your speed bump incident anyway, but they also ensure that the steering wheel is in the correct position ie centred when travelling straight.

Ring round a few places beforehand to ask if they can do it and how much it'll be - You may well find one place has an offer on...
Re: Wonky steering wheel - Dave
Dan J wrote:
> Ring round a few places beforehand to ask if they can do it
> and how much it'll be - You may well find one place has an
> offer on...

What sort of price would you expect to pay for tracking?

I just might need mine sorted.
Re: Wonky steering wheel - John S

ATS charged me about £27 for the system Dan J mentions. It aligns the fronts to the rears. As it was the Minor, with a solid axle, I was happy that the rears were OK!

Re: Wonky steering wheel - Keith
Some thoughts after searching the web for advice and having problems with alignment myself.

Aligning the front to the rears will still mean the car could pull. If the front wheels have the correct toe, regardless of the position of the steering wheel (for most cars the steering rack will not exert pressure) then the front wheels will naturally self centre due to the castor of the front wheels.

If the back wheels are out of alignment then the rear wheels will steer the car resulting in the need to keep hold of the wheel to keep the car in a straight line. (remember the front wheels self centre)

I can't see much advantage in a four wheel alignment if the rear is not adjustable, except that it (should) ensure that the steering wheel is level when going in a strainght line on a road with no crossfall or camber. Even so, in this circumstance, as soon as you let go of the wheel the rear steer effect will kick in if the rear is out of alignment.

I can see why many manufacturers nowadays fix the steering wheel onto a hex fitting rather than splines as there is little need or point in adjusting the steering wheel. (only thing I can think of is that if you adjust a lot then on full lock the wheels may not return to centre.)

The only way to ensure a car wont pull is to adjust the rear first so that there is no resultant thrust from the rear wheels. Then adjust the front so that the toe is correct and the steering wheel is aligned.

These are just my ongoing thoughts and I would welcome a more expert opinion. What happens if the rear is not adjustable, can you get shims or something fitted to gain adjustment?
Re: Wonky steering wheel - Brian
Send the bill to the local Council, unless you were going REALLY fast.

Speed humps are not supposed to damage vehicles going over them. I would consider that to include going over at over the posted limit, since part of their function is to act as a warning and they are not always obvious until you are on top of them.

Any Legal Eagles (Pugugly, are you there!) care to comment?
Re: Wonky steering wheel - ladas are slow
the same happened to my mothers car, she was driving over a speed bump last winter, and she slid off it, damaged the wheel, and made the steering wheel wonky.
Re: Wonky steering wheel - ladas are slow
also i forgot to say, we got in touch with the council, but they just said that she should have gone over the bump slower (but she was only doing crawling speed, and we had witnesses)
Re: Wonky steering wheel - Brill
>"I would consider that to include going over at over the posted limit..."

That's sure to bend something, 'quod erat demonstrandum'.

Re: Wonky steering wheel - El Dingo (Martin)
This also happened to Gloria Mundi, in her band's Transit Van. An so passes the glory of the world...
Re: Wonky steering wheel - John Basnett
Cheers for all your help. Is wheel balancing the same as wheel alignment?? If not then what is wheel balancing?

Re: Wonky steering wheel - markymarkn
# techy bit ignore if u want
wheel balancing ensures the centre of gravity of the wheel is in the dead centre by putting small weights around the wheel where necessary. This stops the wheels resonating at any fundamental angular frequencies.

#english bit
If your wheels arent balanced, the steering wheel will shake at certain speeds, usually between 70 and 80mph.

Wheel alignment ensures all of your wheels are pointing in the right direction, are parallel to each other, and have the correct toe in.
Re: Wonky steering wheel - mike harvey
Brian is correct, tracking will not affect pulling to one side. (On arack and pinnion system) That must be caused by a greater torque exerted one one swivel axis than the other. Something is probably bent, or a tyre is faulty or flattter than the other. You cannot easily tell which side is bent either. Full geometry check is the answer.

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