How to Center the Steering Wheel on Jeeps & Trucks
Is Steering in a Straight Line Becoming a Challenge?
If you’re a Jeep, Ram Truck or Ford Super Duty owner, you may have experienced your steering wheel being off center. You’ll know that you have this problem if the brand emblem on the center of the steering wheel isn’t horizontal when the wheels are straight, which makes keeping the vehicle tracking in a straight line a challenge.
Your steering wheel being off center isn’t the only problem you may observe. Your vehicle’s anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) or brake assist system (BAS) lights may be illuminated. Please note that the steering wheel only needs to be off by 5° to trigger the lights.
How Does the Steering Wheel Get Off Center?
There are two main reasons your steering wheel may become off center:
Lifting Your Vehicle
Adding any amount of lift to your rig can cause the steering wheel to be off center.
After a day of trail riding or rock crawling, you may discover that your Jeep’s steering wheel is off center. Rocks and other obstacles can do a number on your Jeep. Learn how to center your steering wheel so you can easily keep your rig in a straight line.
Steering Wheel Straightening Procedure
Follow these steps to get your steering wheel back to a straight orientation. Before doing this procedure, take a moment to check and make sure that you haven’t damaged a tie rod or other part. If there is a bent or broken part, this simple fix won’t resolve the problem. This could be a temporary fix to get you home, however be sure to fix the cause of the issue once you get home.
- Park your vehicle on a flat surface, making sure the tires are straight.
- Get under the vehicle and locate the drag link. Using a 15mm socket or wrench, loosen the two bolts on the adjuster.
- If possible, have someone sit in the driver’s seat to let you know when it’s centered. This eliminates the need to keep jumping in the driver’s seat and then crawling back under the vehicle.
- Once the adjuster is loose, grab it and rotate it to adjust the orientation of steering wheel. As you turn the adjuster, the steering wheel will move with each adjustment. Rotating the adjuster down will turn the steering wheel to the left while rotating it up will turn it to the right.
- As you make the adjustments, have the person in the driver’s seat monitor the progress and alert you once the steering wheel is centered. Once the wheel is centered, you can stop making adjustments.
- Retighten the bolts on the drag link adjuster to OEM specifications.
- Take the vehicle for a test drive to ensure that it is steering and handling as it should.
- If any warning lights have been set off, you may need to unplug the battery terminals for 10 minutes to clear them out.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.