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  1. #1
    alexlowe is offline Porsche Chatter
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    Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    Hi, I've had my 2009 (2008 model Gen1) 2.7 Cayman for a month now and everything is fine apart from I get the feeling that the wheel is ever so slightly off centre when driving straight, ie I'm steering slightly to the right. The car came from an official Porsche Centre, I've had a four wheel alignment check done myself and I've spoken to the previous owner.

    I am wondering whether it is the large 19" wheels tracking the camber of the UK roads or could it be something as simple as a perception thing as I think it's true to say that the wheel is not in the centre of the driving seat so you don't look at it straight on anyway. When driving straight, the wheel is about 5mm off horizontal.

    I do have a nagging doubt as my car has the aluminium look package which means the steering wheel has painted sections and because they were a bit chipped, the dealer had the wheel taken off and repainted. I would have thought though that the splines on the steering column would be coarse enough such that if the wheel was not replaced correctly, the off centre amount would be greater.

    As the title of the thread says, perhaps I'm just going mad.


  2. #2
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    Re: Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    The steering wheel should be straightened during the alignment process. I'd take it back to the dealer and have them do it again.

  3. #3
    husker boxster is offline Porsche Specialist 500 post club
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    Re: Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    The splines are very fine. It would be very easy to get off one notch. But if the dealer was going to paint the plastic pieces, they don't have to remove the wheel to get them off. They'd only have to remove the airbag and then remove the plastic pieces.

    You might try a different alignment shop.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    This doesn't help the OP, but this is a phenomenon I've noticed on almost every new Porsche. Two new 991s have passed through the Autoweek fleet at work recently and both of them seemed to have steering wheels slightly off center. My local dealer a few months ago was showing me how all of the cars with the "Donohue stripe" (that yellow race car-like stripe at the wheel's 12 o'clock position) are ALL off center by a half degree or two. We looked at every car he had with the stripe and it was extra obvious thanks to the stripe. Even in my own CS, I swear that by looking at the Porsche bade on the wheel when driving straight, the wheel is just ever SOOOO slightly off to the right. I decided to stop worrying about it, as I know the car is aligned properly. It does seem to depend on the road and its camber, and being lucky to drive a different press-fleet test car every day, I've noticed that many, many cars suffer from this same thing. Starting to think it is indeed an illusion.
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    daveknott is offline Porsche Person
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    Re: Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    Alex, I have this exact same issue in my car (987.2 2.9 Boxster). I am having the alignment done + geo checked as I also have to steer slightly to the right to track straight.

    It's not very noticeable at low speeds (30-40 mph), but very noticeable when doing 70 on the motorway.

    Will let you know how I get on.

  6. #6
    alexlowe is offline Porsche Chatter
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    Re: Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    Dave, thanks for the reply. I've had my alignment done and it is fine. To give you an idea of how far my wheel is off, the bottom spoke of the steering wheel is in line with the stitching on the centre of the seat but the seat is of course a little to the left of the steering column which means that I am minutely turning the steering wheel to the right. It's not much but it is annoying.

  7. #7
    MacMorrison's Avatar
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    Re: Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    Drove a new Boxster S yesterday, same exact issue: traveling straight down the highway, the wheel is turned slightly to the right. So that's three brand new Porsche's I've driven in the last couple months (two 991s, one Boxster) and each one has this "issue." Not to mention every single car in the showroom at one of my local dealers.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Steering Wheel slightly off centre - Paranoia maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexlowe View Post
    Hi, I've had my 2009 (2008 model Gen1) 2.7 Cayman for a month now and everything is fine apart from I get the feeling that the wheel is ever so slightly off centre when driving straight, ie I'm steering slightly to the right. The car came from an official Porsche Centre, I've had a four wheel alignment check done myself and I've spoken to the previous owner.

    I am wondering whether it is the large 19" wheels tracking the camber of the UK roads or could it be something as simple as a perception thing as I think it's true to say that the wheel is not in the centre of the driving seat so you don't look at it straight on anyway. When driving straight, the wheel is about 5mm off horizontal.

    I do have a nagging doubt as my car has the aluminium look package which means the steering wheel has painted sections and because they were a bit chipped, the dealer had the wheel taken off and repainted. I would have thought though that the splines on the steering column would be coarse enough such that if the wheel was not replaced correctly, the off centre amount would be greater.

    As the title of the thread says, perhaps I'm just going mad.
    The wheel should not be removed and moved to another spline.

    The steering wheel should be centered when the alignment is done. There is (at least for some models) a device to lock the wheel in position once the tech has it straight. (IIRC there can even be a special wheel level used to ensure the wheel is straight but most techs are quite capable of doing this by 'eye'.)

    However, you might have to specifically ask for this. Some shops, dealers even, may not do this automatically even though I think it is a specific step in the alignment procedure.

    You have to be a bit careful.

    The wheel can be off due to tire pressure differences, improperly mounted tires (directional tires mounted in the wrong direction), unevenly worn tires (if the alignment is off enough and the car driven enough uneven tire wear can result in the car not steering straight even if the alignment is good, but a good tech will note abnormal tire wear that can affect the alignment outcome and advise of this possibility beforehand) or more often simply the topology of the road surface.

    Road crown (and it can be hard to know which way the crown goes too), slight depressions in the road surface from pressure of tires of countless (some heavy) vehicles over time, a road lane marking change that can reposition a lane of a roadway at odds with the topology of the road surface that has developed over time, and road grooving for dealing with water.

    You have to drive the car enough on a variety of roads to ensure the wheel is indeed not straight.

    Yet another subtly is the dash is not quite straight. Sometimes I look at my car's wheel and think the wheel is not straight when it is straight then I realize the dash is a bit canted.

    In short, it is tricky to verify the steering wheel is truly not straight.

    But if you're sure... take it back and insist the wheel be straightened and then take the car out and be sure.

    When I bought a new Cayman S I noticed in short order the wheel was not straight and suspected the alignment was not right. I took the car back to where I bought it and the tech aligned it, made sure the wheel was straight, and then the tech let me road test the car to make sure it met with my approval.

    It did.

    Sincerely,

    Rockster.

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