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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an '07 Touring that just underwent an alignment at the dealer because of a pull to the right. The pull is gone, but now the steering wheel is off center to the right slightly. If I manually put the wheel centered, the car slowly veers to the left. I was told as long as there's no pull, a slightly off steering wheel is normal. Anyone know if this is true?
 

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Not true. The car should run straight and true when the steering wheel is centered (except for sidewinds and road crown of course). A good alignment shop should be able to get both right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply. That's what I thought as well. It really irritates me when people try and sell stories that aren't true...
 

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I would take it to a good independent alignment shop or frame & body shop. You will get better service than at a dealer. Make sure the tires aren't worn crooked and the shop set alignment to correct for it.Swap tires right to left and see if the tracking changes. A thorough tire inspection and check should be done before any alignment is made. It takes a lot of abuse to cause alignment problems. I haven't had an alignment in well over 20 years and never had a tire wear or pulling problem other than a couple tires that slipped a steel belt. Mechanics screw up alignment more than fix it.
 

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Same thing happened to me.

Car tracks straight (alignment is good). The steering wheel points a bit to the right.

I did this by myself:

- Now if SW is straight, then the both wheels point slightly to the LEFT.

- I mark the existing points of the tierod using white paint (white out).

- Loose the lock nut and bring the LEFT wheel inward a bit (about 1/12th of a full 360-degree turn or about the equivalent of 1 o'clock turn).

- Bring the RIGHT wheel outward with the same amount.

- Lock both tierod lock nuts.

- Test drive.

All is good now.

PS: Many mechanics know how to align the car, but many of them leave the car's SW slightly crooked!
A good mechanic would do the following:
- Align any car to spec.
- Test drive the car on highway and make a note which way the SW is pointing to.
- Re-adjust the SW.
- Test drive again.
 

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Many shops can't align Touring w/ Pax as wheel mounted reflectors won't fit Pax wheels, BTW. Dealers don't employ alignment specialists, just techs with more or less experience than other techs using that machine. Adjusting for SW position is one of the most annoying failures in this regard, I agree it's not usual and not acceptable, plus a hassle to return for correction. Report it and politely tell them the job as partly good but not complete and that you'll be back at their expense and at your convenience.
 

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Same thing happened to me.

Car tracks straight (alignment is good). The steering wheel points a bit to the right.

I did this by myself:

- Now if SW is straight, then the both wheels point slightly to the LEFT.

- I mark the existing points of the tierod using white paint (white out).

- Loose the lock nut and bring the LEFT wheel inward a bit (about 1/12th of a full 360-degree turn or about the equivalent of 1 o'clock turn).

- Bring the RIGHT wheel outward with the same amount.

- Lock both tierod lock nuts.

- Test drive.

All is good now.

PS: Many mechanics know how to align the car, but many of them leave the car's SW slightly crooked!
A good mechanic would do the following:
  • Align any car to spec.
  • Test drive the car on highway and make a note which way the SW is pointing to.
  • Re-adjust the SW.
  • Test drive again.

When the steering wheel was off center on my Toyota truck, I would pull the steering wheel and put it back straight. Can you do this with a Honda Odyssey?
 

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The better way is to adjust the tie rod ends. Loosen one side a number of turns to center the wheel, then tighten the other side the same number of turns to bring the toe-in back in adjustment.
 

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Yeah, adjust the alignment instead.

The two front wheels could be aimed in different angles creating forces that found a balance in the steering wheel.

Not adjusting it will chew up the front tires real fast. Plus, the car just won't feel right as it's probably dog-tracking down the road.
 

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Is there any way that I could remove and reinstall the SW straight? I did this with my toyota truck all the time.
 

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In alignment terminology, it's called steer ahead. Posts 8 & 9 gave good instructions how to do it. If you don't feel comfortable with the procedure, take it to an alignment shop and tell them you want the steer ahead adjusted. Personally I wouldn't mess with the steering wheel.
 

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Is there any way that I could remove and reinstall the SW straight? I did this with my toyota truck all the time.
Not safely at least.

On older Ody's (e.g. Gen 2), the turn signals would cancel at unequal angles of the steering wheel.

On Gen 3+ vans, the steering angle sensor input to the VSA system would be incorrect.

Better to fix the problem at source, rather than to just mask the symptom.
 

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Might be too big. There could be a size limit, however I don't currently know what it is.
 

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If after having your alignment done and now the steering wheel is off center, take it back and have them fix it! Properly done, they center the wheel (and often lock it in place) before doing any adjustments. To fix it they just have to center the wheel and then adjust the toe, similar to what I posted above.
 
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