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This is a weird thing to me. I have a 2009 Subaru WRX that recently needed a rack and pinion replacement due to leaking fluid. I got it aligned 3 times, because every time when I got my car back, the steering wheel wasn't quite straight. On this third time, I noticed that sometimes, when I pull a harder corner in one direction, then go straight, the steering wheels is properly straight, but if I then turn hardish the other direction, it goes back unstraight. So it switches between being straight and unstraight. What could cause this???

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! It would seem to me there is more at issue than your R&P. I'd suggest there is another part which affects steering angle, like a ball joint or tie rod end, which has play. I'd do a thorough analysis of all the suspension related parts and see if you can come up with something. One clarifying question: when the steering wheel goes sideways, does it pull to the opposite side? Or does it just layover and still drive straight? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 24 '18 at 17:56
  • Traveling on roads with ruts (depressions running parallel with the direction of travel) - especially with wide tires - can sometimes mess with one's perceived alignment. Not sure if that issue might manifest in a way to produce a problem like yours. – mike65535 Sep 24 '18 at 18:11
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One of the bearings at the top of the struts may be worn. This could be causing the coil spring to rotate slightly under hard cornering. This could then cause a slight pulling in one direction, making the steering wheel be slightly out. Turning in the opposite direction may then correct the problem.

  • Great call and would concur. When you corner back the other direction, it would then recenter itself and the problem would subside. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 24 '18 at 20:13
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If the rack work was done recently I would bring it back to the place that replaced the rack. My concern would be the possibility that the connection between the rack input shaft and the steering column may be loose. If this is the case it may get to the point where the steering wheel will no longer turn the tires. This case may not show up during the alignment as the front tires are on a turntable so very little effort is required to make them turn.

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