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Steering wheel off by 5-7 degrees right of center

Discussion in 'General Tundra Discussion' started by sunnysideTRD, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Feb 17, 2020 at 7:12 AM
    #1
    sunnysideTRD

    sunnysideTRD [OP] New Member

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    This has been bugging me for several months now. While driving from Dallas to Houston, I noticed that the steering wheel was off centered. It still could drive down the highway and still be centered in the middle of the road but the steering wheel is not centered. Called the Dealer and said this is due to an alignment issue due to hitting a pot hole. Im confused hear as this is a TRD Pro and dont ever recall ever hitting a pothole that would off center a steering wheel. Asked if they took off the steering wheel when the last recall due to a water tight seal to the TSS and he said no. Anyone have this issue?
     
  2. Feb 17, 2020 at 7:40 AM
    #2
    BigdaddyII

    BigdaddyII New Member

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    2 different 2018 Tundras, 3 alignments done at dealership.......came out all 3 times with steering wheel off center to the left. Brought back to correct it, same shit. Dealing with it until its time for new tires and will have alignment done at different establishment.
     
  3. Feb 17, 2020 at 7:50 AM
    #3
    Pbed85

    Pbed85 New Member

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    Mine was like that brand new the day I got it. They fixed it when I brought it in for an oil change at 5,000 miles. Now it drives better/ straighter and the steering wheel is dead on
     
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  4. Feb 17, 2020 at 8:01 AM
    #4
    zombie

    zombie Master at Something

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    The tie rods are the adjustment, they should be looking at the steering wheel when doing an alignment. So it can very well be aligned, but steering wheel can be off afterwards if they didn't check it. To fix it it is just equal turns on the tie rods. For Example: 2 turns clockwise on the left, 2 turns counter clockwise on the right. You can do this your self. You can even check with a tape measure, front of tire same distance apart as between the rear of the tires.
     
  5. Feb 17, 2020 at 8:03 AM
    #5
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon Hey! Get off my grass!

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    A steering wheel can be knocked off center by hitting a curb too hard, pothole, etc. Or, as in a lot of cases, it was not fixed at the time of a front-end alignment and should have been. Did you have a recent alignment or did it just present itself?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  6. Feb 17, 2020 at 8:05 AM
    #6
    sunnysideTRD

    sunnysideTRD [OP] New Member

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    Thats just it, the truck still drives down the freeway in the middle of the road with my hands off, just the steering wheel is off centered. If an alignment, it would veer off to the left or right but it stays in a straight direction for miles. I havent done any alignment other than standard tire rotation every 5000 miles
     
  7. Feb 17, 2020 at 8:23 AM
    #7
    scpete24

    scpete24 Duuuuuuude

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    There is a bolt above the brake pedal under the dash where you can adjust your steering wheel without affecting alignment. Sounds like you just need to re-clock your steering wheel.
     
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  8. Feb 17, 2020 at 8:26 AM
    #8
    sunnysideTRD

    sunnysideTRD [OP] New Member

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    I'll take a look there and go from there. Hoping its a quick and easy fix. Will this require me to disassemble anything or just go in with a wrench?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  9. Feb 17, 2020 at 8:42 AM
    #9
    JimboSlice413

    JimboSlice413 Super Nice Guy

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    This also bugs me to no end. And like you I've dealt with this after alignments from the dealer. In my experience the dealer is the absolute worst place to get an alignment, especially if you have modified suspension. I'm a stickler for having maintenance and repairs done at the dealer but after repeated frustrations with alignments (and a smoked pair of tires) through the dealer I'll only take it to reputable offroad shops for suspension work now.
     
  10. Feb 17, 2020 at 9:26 AM
    #10
    KeetAz

    KeetAz New Member

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    My brand new 2020 Pro’s wheel veers to the left just a tad. If I’m driving down the road and center my wheel, my truck will go right. Been this way since I bought it
     
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  11. Feb 17, 2020 at 9:27 AM
    #11
    scpete24

    scpete24 Duuuuuuude

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    No disassembly, should be able to get to it no problem.
     
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  12. Feb 18, 2020 at 4:07 AM
    #12
    zombie

    zombie Master at Something

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    Is this something new on a 3rd Gen? Never heard of such a thing in my life. It's either at the tie rods or removing steering wheel and shift it a couple teeth over if it doesn't have a key way. Or at the shaft but why. Tie rods takes 2 seconds, faster than removing steering wheel.
     
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  13. Feb 18, 2020 at 5:24 AM
    #13
    Ob1

    Ob1 New Member

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    Messing with the tie rods will throw your alignment off and end up eating up your tires. All or nearly all Tundras will require a slight correction to the left while driving due to road crown. That's what makes your steering wheel look off center. I had my alignment guy do the alignment with me sitting in the driver's seat and holding the steering wheel centered. No joy, same results on the test drive. It's bothersome and I feel like taking off the wheel and moving it one tooth over to the right just for looks and to satisfy my OCD. Luckily Tundras don't have a master key spline on the column and the steering can be moved to any desired position, but each spline tooth will account for 5 to 10 degrees in my estimation. Who knows, I may eventually get used to it as it is.
     
  14. Feb 18, 2020 at 6:01 AM
    #14
    Vizsla

    Vizsla New Member

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    Nope. 2nd gen is the same.
     
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  15. Feb 18, 2020 at 6:54 AM
    #15
    WNY PAT

    WNY PAT New Member

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    My wife slid in to a curb with my 2017 last winter in a parking lot. The wheel was off a couple degrees after it happened. Had it aligned and it’s been fine since. No damage to the tire or rim at all and she wasn’t going fast, so FWIW it really doesn’t take much to tweak it.
     
  16. Feb 18, 2020 at 7:10 AM
    #16
    sunnysideTRD

    sunnysideTRD [OP] New Member

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    This is interesting info and in part yeah, its my OCD is what's driving me insane as well. I'm going to try the solution from scpete24 and see how that works. BUT, if I do decide to pop off the wheel, I think I might just put a leather wrap on it before I put it back on which goes back to my other complaint when I first got it was a TRD Pro with no leather steering. SMH. Thanks for all the good input and advice.
     
  17. Feb 18, 2020 at 7:12 AM
    #17
    KeetAz

    KeetAz New Member

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    Sounds like we are in the same boat. Annoys the hell out of me, especially on the highway. I always thought a crooked steering wheel meant alignment was wrong. Doesn’t sound like it from the posts in this thread. My truck has done this since day 1.
     
  18. Feb 18, 2020 at 7:14 AM
    #18
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Does anyone have a pic of this wheel adjustment bolt below the steering wheel? I've never heard of it either but sounds like a handy thing to know its location.
     
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  19. Feb 18, 2020 at 7:20 AM
    #19
    15whtrd

    15whtrd Mr. Blonde

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    From what I understand, You don’t change the alignment as long as you turn each tie rod the same amount of distance. So if you’re trying to bring your left wheel to the right, you would adjust the tie rod and then do the same thing on the other side with the same amount of turns.
     
  20. Feb 18, 2020 at 7:24 AM
    #20
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon Hey! Get off my grass!

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    That has always been my understanding as well, Sean. If you turn one side clockwise, you would turn the other side counterclockwise the same number of turns.
     
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  21. Feb 18, 2020 at 7:47 AM
    #21
    KeetAz

    KeetAz New Member

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    Screw it, I scheduled an appointment for Friday morning. Hopefully they fix it without being a pain in the ass
     
  22. Feb 18, 2020 at 8:09 AM
    #22
    sunnysideTRD

    sunnysideTRD [OP] New Member

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    Hope they do it for free. Mine said I needed to do an alignment which I know is not the case. Let us know how it goes.
     
  23. Feb 18, 2020 at 10:32 AM
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    Ob1

    Ob1 New Member

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    They're your tires and your money. Be aware that 1/4 turn equals close to a half degree. The tolerance on these trucks is .04 to .21 which is less than a quarter of a degree side to side, but should stay near the middle of .12, that is not a lot of room to play with. But if you're confident that you can turn that rod end and lock it with an accuracy near 1/16 of a turn to just stay aligned within tolerance (not necessarily centered) go ahead and go for it. Like I said, your tires, your money.
     
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  24. Feb 18, 2020 at 10:42 AM
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    15whtrd

    15whtrd Mr. Blonde

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    Never said I was doing it. I’m just saying it can be done and many do. If the steering wheel was straight at one point and then it wasn’t after in alignment, obviously it was something done during the alignment that didn’t get it right. Most likely the tie rods. Personally, I have a good alignment guy who triple checked my alignment and how straight my steering wheel is. So in my case, I’d just take it to him. My last resort would be clocking the steering wheel if it can be done properly through the alignment.
     
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  25. Feb 18, 2020 at 11:56 AM
    #25
    LittleTRD

    LittleTRD New Member

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    My 2015 had the wheel off a couple degrees the day I picked it up from the dealership. Returned the next day or so, no change. Returned the following week, more demanding and left with a straight wheel. Second tech I spoke with at the dealership was familiar with camburg and aftermarket suspension components. Its been good ever since. I take it off road and to the desert and hit many holes and bumps at speeds over 30-40, everything seems to stay in adjustment and straight. Tire wear looks good on K02's.

    I'm not sure if they adjusted the screw mentioned by the brake pedal or just complete alignment. But both visits I was given an alignment paper showing all the setpoints.
     
  26. Feb 19, 2020 at 4:15 AM
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    zombie

    zombie Master at Something

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    I'd like to see a picture of this miracle bolt under the dash. :monocle: Turning the tie rods equally will not change your alignment. Of course I've done alignments all my life so I know what I'm doing. A crooked steering wheel doesn't mean it's out of alignment. I can align a vehicle and have the steering wheel pointing 6'oclock if I wanted to. I can totally align the vehicle and have the body going crooked down the highway, mostly on trucks. Dogtracking. Taking your vehicle in for an alignment is a good choice and should come out with a straight steering wheel. Get a print out of the results. Now once you know it's aligned, and steering wheel is off, you can either take it back or like me, just turn the tie rods equal turns. Hold the outer one so it dont move. we are talking probably a 1/4 of a turn at a time. Also, we are talking about a truck with some good size tires on it...........stand back and look at it. You can visually see camber and toe. Having it on the alignment rack is the only way to know. It should be a 4 wheel alignment. Camber,caster, toe, SAI. and thrust angle.
     
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  27. Feb 19, 2020 at 6:22 AM
    #27
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    I learned early from an old alignment guru that part of a proper alignment is reset the steering wheel to center allowing for typical road crown. If you're having to hold your truck in the center of the lane with a few degrees of left turn, the technician lacked the experience to do a proper alignment.

    I was also curious about this "magic bolt", and looked up adjusting steering center in a Gen3 SRM. I would be concerned about novices loosening steering shaft clamps (if any) without realizing the consequences. Service manual for Gen3 indicates steering center is adjusted at the tie rod ends.

    Procedure is to tape across the column/wheel joint and mark across the joint. Measure the offset between the marked lines when the truck is going straight [1mm (0.0397") = approximately 1 deg steering angle]. After re-centering the steering wheel, adjustment is made by first marking, measuring, and then by loosening the tie rod end nuts and turning the steering rack ends (RH/LH) the same amount to achieve result, but in opposite directions.

    Snip 8.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  28. Feb 21, 2020 at 11:50 AM
    #28
    KeetAz

    KeetAz New Member

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    Alright UPDATE. Took the truck in. Truck pulled to the right confirmed. Alignment was out. Took them almost 3 hrs to dial it in with two road tests. All is good now. Wheel is centered. Cost: ZERO. They did it under warranty. (900 miles on the ODO)
     
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  29. Feb 21, 2020 at 12:24 PM
    #29
    johnnyskullface

    johnnyskullface New Member

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    Please don’t try to adjust the “magic” bolt under the dash. That bolt is what connects the steering column to the intermediate shaft. Technicians will do anything they can to avoid pulling the steering wheel, and there is rarely a need to do it anyways. We use steering wheel locks to hold the steering wheel straight while performing the alignment, and have the manufacturer specs for alignment. Toyota tries to consider passenger weight and road crown while deciding what the specs are, but those things can be variable. Keep in mind that your steering column cover is likely not level. Take it to the dealer and they will only charge you once to make it right no matter how many times they have to do it as long as you take it right back after you get it. You can even ride with a diagnostic specialist if you aren’t happy. Toe does not affect vehicle pull, but does affect the steering wheel. Caster and camber cause the pull. Your alignment is off likely from hitting bumps or potholes and like other members said it can be adjusted by the tie rods.
     
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  30. Feb 21, 2020 at 2:36 PM
    #30
    TundraBlack

    TundraBlack New Member

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    So my question would be. Where would be the best place to take your truck if you have toyo 33x12.50x18 m/t with spacers. I seen that Firestone have lifetime Alignments. And I bought the truck from toyota with the tires and spacers on.
     

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