Similar problem to Steering wheel “center” different from vehicle “straight”, except:
- In my case there's no obvious cause, it just happened one day, so the "take it back to the shop" answer isn't an option for me
- I'm primarily interested in how to identify and diagnose what's going on
For a little while, my steering wheel has been off by about 10 degrees. To drive straight, the steering wheel is positioned almost 10 degrees to the right; if I straighten the car, the wheels point so as to turn slightly left. It's perfectly steady in its (wrong) position and otherwise behaves as normal.
I'm not sure when or how this happened. There's no obvious event - a tire has been changed recently but I don't think the timing matches up. It seemingly just happened one day and has been like that ever since.
How should I go about investigating this?
I've got the Haynes manual for my car (1997 Toyota RAV4, petrol, automatic, FWD, power steering), and it includes steps for re-assembling the steering wheel and steering column, which sound like tasks that would be challenging but do-able for me, but I don't know if that's relevant or what I might be looking for. There are also instructions for re-assembling the steering gear.