Steering Wheel turns to far left

I have a 2005 Toyota Avalon. When you turn the wheel it will make about 1 1/2 turns to the right and then locks, but when you turn left it will turn almost 2 1/2 full turns, if you move you will hear what I believe is the tire rubbing, haven’t done it since I first noticed this problem. Any idea what could be causing this?

The alignment and everything seems fine on the car and there is no other issues with the steering. Just that the wheel turns too far to the left.

The last tech that did an alignment to your car royally screwed up. Royally, as in did a Prince Charles to you (gave you big floppy ears and refuse to make you king…)

Assuming the car has the correct wheels and tires on each side and hasn’t been in a serious crash and badly repaired (a problem all in itself), I suspect the following;

A previous alignment tech or 2 have either adjusted the tie rods so far to one side or removed and re-clocked the steering wheel so it is centered when you drive but the steering rack itself is far from centered, or both. The tie rods should be adjusted, and steering wheel installed so the steering wheel turns equally (or very close) each way. Anything else is wrong. Do NOT go to any quickie tire and alignment shop and expect this to be fixed. Go to a specialty suspension shop or a Toyota dealer and tell them what you told us here or they may not look for it. Once you tell them and they check it, they will figure out how to fix it, correctly.

Thanks for the info. Any idea from anyone on a ballpark price on what something like this may cost? I hope to have it looked at tomorrow.

If the fix is what I described, it should be a bit more than a good alignment cost. Maybe $150? If more is screwed up, it could be much more. Hard to tell without a look.

Yes I think Mustangman hit this one on the head. I would venture a guess that the power rack was changed at some point in time which requires the disconnection of the shaft that the steering wheel is attached to…and which controls the movement of the rack. Methinks the installer forgot to “Center” the rack prior to installation… There is a procedure for this of course.

They probably didn’t center the new rack prior to install…and then performed an alignment. All of which would have been possible with no clues as to an issue Except for this… The mechanic certainly should have checked for this…First it should’ve been centered before install…then checked after both the install and the alignment…and then after the alignment. There were plenty of opportunities to catch this goof up actually… So not sure what to say.

The way to correct this is to disconnect the steering wheel to rack connection…center the rack…reattach the steering shaft and perform an alignment. That’s about it.


Honda, I liked your hypothesis about the rack having been replaced as well as the detail about how the screw up might have happened. Mustang hit the nail on the head as to the tie rods being off, but your added theory about the replacement really rounds off the idea.

Thanks everyone for your input. Hopefully going in the morning to get it looked at and see what the deal is.

With a problem like that it would be good to have the entire steering and suspension system closely inspected. Were the U-joint couplings on the steering shaft properly installed and the bolts tightened, etc??? It does sound like a DIYer replaced the rack in a big hurry without a service manual.

Or there’s been some suspension damage due to a pothole or whatever and which was dismissed as not being a problem.
I read this as something that came on suddenly and was not always present.

It’s stated that the “alignment seems fine” but does not specify fine according to who else other than the owner of the car.