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dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

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dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by mikeymur » Fri May 13, 2016 11:11 am

steering wheel was off by about 10% from previous front-end work several years ago.. Just had alignment performed, steering wheel still off-kilter..

dealer states: The car still needs lower control arms, front struts and strut mounts due to age/weakness. Until those are replaced, my suspension technician cannot make the steering wheel straight due to the wear on those items.

I thought the steering wheel gets adjusted after an alignment by adjusting tie-rods.. There is no perceivable "play" in the steering wheel - it's just off by about 10 degrees.. Are they lying to me?

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Re: dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by precopster » Fri May 13, 2016 12:18 pm

Go to an independant tire place and have it done. Tie rods are the key however most technicians can't get their head around which tie rod to adjust to get the desired effect.

If dealer states control arms are worn get that checked as well as it's a safety item. Perhaps the tire shop can show you the control arms once it's on the hoist.
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Re: dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by oragex » Fri May 13, 2016 5:23 pm

Depends how much the control arms are knackered... can you take a picture? If the bushings are cracked but still in one piece, then as above, I would change the garage. It's not because it's written Volvo above the door that they are 100% honest.

If they say you need new struts so as to have the geometry done, this is utter lie.

I had bushings pretty worn on two cars and never had an issue to center the steering wheel after an alignment (actually it's done during the alignment).

There could be that the tie rod nuts are seized solid and they didn't even touch to the geometry and suggest replacing more parts (which they obviously enjoy doing)

If you go to a different place, stay near the mechanic and watch him untighten the tie rod nut.

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Re: dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by vtl » Fri May 13, 2016 7:03 pm

Once I had a bad TRW outer tie rod on 2002 V70: it was not threaded to the full depth, so I could not get one wheel aligned. In order to have a correct total toe-in on the front axle I'd have to compensate it by over-toe-in the other side, which would result in off-center steering wheel. Decided to cut ~10 mm from inner rod, that helped.
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Re: dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by mrbrian200 » Mon May 16, 2016 1:35 am

CA bushings (the rearward bushes closest to the door) were cracked but intact on my S60 at 80k. At a glance it doesn't look all that critical. At speed the minor toe error creates tension and the control arm starts to move up/down and further out of place, resulting in even more tension, downward spiral sort of thing. If they are confirmed bad there's no way to set the alignment until those are replaced.

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Re: dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by mikeymur » Mon May 16, 2016 8:07 am

they said that the lower ctrl arms were not bad enough yet to be a safety issue, just that they would need to be replaced soon - prior to becoming a safety issue.. That, to me, says that they (LCA) shouldn't prevent the wheel from being straightened.

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Re: dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by jimmy57 » Mon May 16, 2016 2:46 pm

Sometimes the wheel can't be centered due to the tie rod length issue mentioned due to subframe sitting off to one side.
Did they show you a printout of alignment? Does it have more negative on one side? That happens when subframe shift occurs. (it can also be due to other things). The side with less negative will have its TRE drawn all the way in and the other side will have ample adjustment to get toe-in set within specs but the drawn in side runs about of adjustment range needed to center steering wheel.

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Re: dealer stating they cannot straighten steering wheel after alignment

Post by MadeInJapan » Mon May 16, 2016 7:27 pm

You can always take the steering wheel off and recenter it and tighten it down- a real hassle but I've done it on earlier cars- I would think it could be done on this model too.
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