2010 Cobalt Steering Wheel Off Center

13.5k, 2.2 Ecotec, Automatic

The MAF had to be replaced, while the car was at the dealer the power steering motor was replaced (recall). When I got the car back the steering motor (reman) was making a lot of noise and I took it back. This time the motor and the steering column were replaced. After a week I got the car back last night.

This morning I noticed the steering wheel is off center (~1/2 to 3/4") to the right. The car tracks straight with no pull to either side. If this is a cosmetic issue only, I can live with it. If not, I’m open to suggestions.


Ed B.

Personally, I’d want it fixed because it’s a brand new car under warranty and the dealership screwed up. (I would also have insisted on getting a new power steering motor, not a reman. Good grief what is GM up to?)

Whether it is a safety or cosmetic concerns depends on exactly why it is out of true, and determining that requires an inspection of the steering linkages.

At the degree that you describe, it’s cosmetic. If this was carried to an extreme, it’s possible that the steering gear (rack and pinion) would reach the end of its travel so that the steering radius when turning to one side would be greater (or smaller) than when turning to the other side but you are nowhere near that.

If the steering otherwise works well, you can and probably will forget about the steering wheel appearance at that small amount of being off center.

Return To The Dealer And Have It Fixed. They Owe You A Loaner If You Need One.

I’d be afraid that the air bag would not work as designed and most steering wheels are designed with spokes in a certain pattern to put your hands in the proper safe position.
Do the turn signals cancel normally ?

Don’t live with it. Canted askew it’s just not a cosmetic problem and is unacceptable. Your car has less value the way it sits. Most recalls come with a toll-free phone number in case you need it for problems. If the dealer can’t handle this ASAP then use that number.

GM cars owner,

I would not just live with it. Take it back and tell them they need to correct the steering wheel position. This should take less than twenty minutes on the alignment rack to correct the problem.

I was inclined to live with it until I got into the car to drive home and discovered grease and oil stains on the door panel and the Coverking fitted seat cover. I would think after butchering the first repair, they would have been a little more careful on the second attempt.

I will make another appt tomorrow and try and get another loaner. I’ve bought 3 cars from this dealer over the last twenty years, all from the same salesman. The owner found rebates totaling 5.5k for the Cobalt and made me a good deal. It’s a darn shame the dealer has fallen so short in the service dept.

This is only the second time I’ve brought to the dealer for service. The first time was for a leaking headlight assembly and an oil change. The headlight was not aligned when it was returned. No big deal to adjust. A few weeks later, I noticed some cosmetic damage on the bumper/grill from the installation. Finally the oil was overfilled, I couldn’t tell from the dipstick (cable) until the oil darkened. Based on all the good experiences I’ve had in the past I let it slide.

At this point, I’m pretty much out of goodwill and I expect this will be my last GM product after 34 years.

Again, thanks for all the suggestions.

Ed B.

Talk to the service manager, not an adviser. If he isn’t any help, talk to the general manager.

Tell your salesman too.

The OP said 1/2 to 3/4" (Inch) to the right, not 1/2 to 3/4 turn. It’s cosmetic.

The steering wheel should be dead on center. Off-center means the alignment is off, something is bent or worn in the suspension, or during the column replacement they were off a spline or two on the yoke or steering wheel as the case may be.

Since it’s a 2010 with 13k miles odds are that it’s not the first two and more likely related to the latter. Have them correct it.

I stopped the dealer today and talked with the salesman and the owner. The owner set up an appt. for next Wednesday and will check the work himself. I’ll post back with the results, but I’m feeling much better about the situation.

Ed B.

I picked up the Cobalt last night. The shop adjusted the steering column at the intermediate shaft and then the alignment (toe) to center the wheel. It’s not perfect, but much better than it was before.

Ed B.