Stiff steering wheel after oil change and tire rotation

After oil change and tire rotation by a local Monro, the steering wheel become not as smooth as before. No shake or vibration. It used to be like: after a turn, you release the steering wheel and it automatically adjust to go straight. But now I have to adjust by myself. I’m a layman for car. Just check the web, it seems I need to check the Power Steering Fluid first. I’m wondering if there is anything to do with Monro’s work, since I got problem right after the maintenance. Thanks for any reply.

The most obvious possibility would be low tire pressure, as that would increase both your steering effort and the way that the car reacts to steering input. If you have not yet checked the tire pressure, you need to do that. For an accurate reading, they should be checked when “cold” (before being driven for more than a mile or so). This requires having your own tire pressure gauge. If you don’t have one, buy one. If it turns out that Monro underinflated your tires, then you have to ask yourself, “What other items might they screw up next time?”.

Another possibility relates to the tire rotation that was performed.
How many miles do you normally drive between tire rotations?

It is possible that the rear tires have wear patterns that have altered your “steering feel” when they were switched to the front. If tires are rotated at approximately the same interval each time (every 5k miles, or every 7.5k miles), and if the car’s alignment is correct, the wear on all 4 tires should be quite even. Uneven tread wear patterns indicate either bad alignment or inconsistent intervals for rotation.

As to the power steering fluid–yes, you should check it. However, unless Monro’s maintenance service normally includes siphoning out a customer’s PS fluid, it is unlikely that they would be to blame for a low PS fluid level. If your PS fluid is low, that means there is a leak in the system that needs to be attended to.

Find a reliable independent mechanic for maintenance and repairs. These chain shops are noted for high prices, less-qualified mechanics, and “over-selling” maintenance. There are much better places for car maintenance and repair than these chain operations.

outside chance.

do you have a adjustable tilt steering wheel? if so, release the lock, and move the steering wheel up and down, then relock it, and then try the steering. maybe the steering wheel has been moved from your usual(what you are used to) position.

also, did you have a front end alignment there? or just a tire rotation?