My 2005 Sebring convertible just got out of the body shop after an accident and it looks great…but the steering wheel is 11 o’clock not 9 o’clock. It makes for an unsafe reflex of wanting to straighten the wheel. Two places said the alignment is good and they can’t straighten out the steering wheel…HELP!
Did you sign anything yet that the work was done to your satisfaction? Is this situation insurance company related? Centering the wheel should be possible, is anyone giving a reason for the inability to center the wheel? alignment personel know that centering the wheel is part of the job so their indifference is odd to say the least.
The easiest way to fix it would probably be to pull the steering wheel and center it and put it back on. I think that should work without messing up anything with the airbag clock spring or the turn signal releases.
The proper way to fix it would be to dismantle the joint that the body shop put together on the wrong spline and reassemble it correctly. The body shop is responsible and should correct it.
I don’t understand why these alignment shops can’t center the steering wheel. This is easily done by adjusting the front tie rods and should be part of the alignment. It’s their job to center it and no way should the car leave the alignment rack like this.
If the wheel was straight before the accident and out of kilter afterwards then odds are something in the suspension is bent. This should show up in the alignment specs.
Many body shop people are not mechanics and are pretty limited in their knowledge of what constitutes a worn or bent suspension part. They may simply not know if a part is worn/bent or not; especially considering that it’s possible to have a tweaked part with damage that is not visible to the naked eye.
(Control arms are the most commonly damaged item during a collision.)
Likely it just needs to be corrected and should have been done before it was returned to you. The shop owes you the correction.
It is also possible that it is an indication of other problems, some possibly dangerous. I would consider their repair work suspect. Start by calling the shop that did the work. If that does not bring satisfaction, then call your insurance company. That should do it.
After someone does the correction to your satisfaction, I would find a different local frame shop and have them check out the work. You will pay for this one but if they find a problem it will be well worth it and you should get your money back from whoever failed. If that final check turns out OK then your peace of mind should be well worth it.
This is a simple matter of adjusting the tie rods to center the wheel. The old days of popping off the steering wheel are long gone. The wheels are aligned to the shaft and go on one way only. Any competent alignment shop knows they have to adjust the tie rods to make sure the wheel is centered before returning it to the customer. If they really cannot make the adjustment because one of the rods is out of threads, then something is seriously out of alignment.
Your Repair Work Has Not Been Completed.
Is this an insurance paid repair? Get your agent involved right away if you get no satisfaction. I know that with my company, I would have to “sign off” that the car is completely repaired.
OK4450 and TwinTurbo are giving you the information you can use. Possibly a track arm, strut, or another suspension/steering part has fallen victim to this spectacular crash.
Everyone who stated that the repair work has not been conmpleted is correct. Contact your insurance.
Normally I’d agree that it’s either a bent component or a very improperly done alighnment, but since the OP didn’t say what the damage was it’s possible also that the steering wheel needed to be removed and was reinstalled crooked.
Regardless of the root cause, it needs to go back and be corrected properly.