I've heard that centering the steering wheel after adjusting the toe is "critical" on cars with electrically-assisted steering. The reason given was, 'because sensors'.

Can anyone confirm/refute this? If it is true, what sort of precision is required?

[edit] What bad thing would result from mis-alignment of the steering wheel? In particular, would the EPS be providing unwanted 'assist' when driving straight, acting to get the steering wheel centered?

1 Answer 1


It's not just cars with electric power steering but anything with a steering wheel position sensor. They should be re-calibrated so that "straight ahead" as reards the physical vehicle is also "straight ahead" as far as the ECU and associated systems sch as traction control are concerned.


The effect would likely be that the traction control system would not behave as expected. Specifically, if you lost traction mid-bend, it may not cut the power or brake the appropriate wheel which could cause a loss of control.

  • Not just when turning, This is more noticeable in NIssan's after an alignment, if you don't recalibrate the steering wheel position traction control will engage even when driving in a straight line
    – Ben
    Nov 24, 2016 at 16:05
  • In my case, the car doesn't have traction control; so then, it's just a matter of appearance, same as without EPS?
    – George
    Nov 24, 2016 at 17:00
  • @George turn indicators are probably canceled by mechanical switches on the steering column, so a gross misalignment of the steering wheel could cause confusion to other drivers. But on a "pre electrically-operated-everything" vehicle the fact that the steering wheel has become misaligned is usually a good indication that something else in the steering system has become misaligned or damaged.
    – alephzero
    Nov 24, 2016 at 21:01

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