Steering crooked after tire rotation

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by syllablelight, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. syllablelight

    syllablelight Junior Member

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    I took my 2021 Prime for the 5K no cost maintenance yesterday to get the tires rotated among other things. Today, I noticed that when traveling straight on the freeway, my steering wheel is consistently misaligned to the left slightly. Enough to be annoying, but slight enough to make me wonder if I'm imagining things.

    I'm going to try it again tomorrow on a small local road going much slower to rule out wind.

    Wondering if anyone encountered this before, and what I should do? Do I bring it back to the dealership and request for a wheel alignment?
     
  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    No alignment done? What you are describing, would involve adjusting the tie rods or removing and replacing the steering wheel with the splines in a different position.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  3. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And what you are describing could be just a "normal" steering correction on a road that has more than the normal amount of road crown in the middle. Maybe.
     
  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    There are a couple situations to distinguish: one is a non-centered steering wheel (the car goes straight ahead if you're not touching the wheel, but the wheel isn't quite centered then), and the other is a pull (you have to hold the wheel a little off center, or the car doesn't go straight).

    There are a lot of details that can go into either one. There's a Toyota document ST003-001 that you can probably Google up that goes into the causes and correction of a non-centered wheel, and another one T-SB-0391-08 that goes into all the things that have to be checked for a pull.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I think a call to the place is needed; they’ve “improved” something.
     
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  6. mrchowmein

    mrchowmein Member

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    Go back to the dealer for an alignment. The car is under warranty and at that milage, I think an alignment is complimentary even though in most situations, they can say the need for an alignment is due to wear and tear. If a dealer would not give you a good will alignment, check another dealer. FYI, the Prius doesn't self center the steering wheel as other cars. It has to do with the suspension design to improve mpgs.
     
  7. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    I've never heard of a "complimentary dealer alignment" before. As you mentioned, it's considered wear and isn't covered.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  8. mrchowmein

    mrchowmein Member

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    Ask for it, the car is nearly new. I was told by more than one dealer and an independent shop that a dealers can cover the cost of an alignment if your car is under 12k miles. While not common, your alignment may need adjustment as the components can settle just from use. Can't hurt to ask. I've gotten dealers to cover repairs out of warranty when I hit 38k miles, just ask for it.
     
  9. PT Guy

    PT Guy Senior Member

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    A tire with a shifted belt will cause this. An alignment check will probably show nothing wrong. That tire can be kept on the rear for the rest of its tread life. While it is a minor defect inside the tire, the separate tire warranty from the tire maker probably won't get you a replacement. (Tires are not covered under the car's warranty.)
     
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  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    ^ And the wheels WERE just rotated, front to back. Dealership could as a test put them back as they were, see what happens.
     
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  11. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    Whenever something new occurs immediately after any service, first and foremost suspect what was done as the likely cause. I can't remember what Toyota recommends when rotating tires (keep the same side, or cross), but crossing the tires will reverse the direction of rotation, and can introduce any number of changes to the existing ride/feel. I'd set the tires back to their original positions and see if the steering wheel alignment returns to normal. At least try and put the tires back to their original rotational directions (same side as before).
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Owners manuals say front to back rotation only.
     
  13. PT Guy

    PT Guy Senior Member

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    Fronts go back, and the rears cross to the front. RWD is the opposite. I've done that for years with good results. Tires with asymmetrical tread don't get crossed. 50 or 60 years ago, in the early days of radial ply tires, the recommendation was to keep the tires on the same sides. Times and tires have changed.
    https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=43
     
  14. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    A really LOT of tire models on the market now have "directional" tread, partly for traction but mostly for water shedding
    and should stay on the same side.
    Reversing their rotation can have really BAD consequences.
     
  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I did happen to notice three or four years ago that Toyota had changed their recommendation in the owners' manual, between Gen 1 and Gen 2:

    Gen 1
    [​IMG]

    Gen 2
    [​IMG]

    Gen 3
    [​IMG]

    Gen 4
    [​IMG]

    I still like the way the Gen 3 illustration carefully shows which way is "front", as if it would make any difference in that pattern.
     
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