I Hit a Curb and My Steering Wheel is Crooked [How to Fix Guide]

i hit a curb and my steering wheel is crooked

If you’ve ever noticed your steering wheel looking a bit off after a run-in with a curb, then you’re not just imagining things.

Curbs can, and will, mess up your steering wheel, and the parts most prone to getting busted are either your suspension parts or your wheels misaligning. If you’re experiencing this type of problem right now, then it’s best to have a trusted mechanic check in on your crooked steering wheel problem.

At the same time, this guide will act as your reference on which parts could have caused your steering wheel to go off-center, and how you can fix this type of problem.

Should I Be Worried That My Wheel Is Crooked Because I Hit a Curb?

a driver that's looking a bit worried

Yes, but there’s no reason to panic right now. It’s best to have this problem checked with someone that knows what to do with this, and at the same time, avoid ignoring this since it could lead to much bigger and costlier issues down the road.

Why Is My Steering Wheel Off-Center After Hitting a Curb?

Let’s break down why your steering wheel isn’t playing straight anymore:

1. Possible Bent Control Arm

Your control arm is the unsung hero linking your car’s body to its wheels, keeping things moving smoothly. But if you clip a curb and it gets bent, it could throw off the whole wheel-steering wheel harmony, making them disagree on what direction “forward” really is.

2. Damaged Steering Rack

That steering rack? It’s what makes your wheels turn when you turn the steering wheel. Curb damage can throw it off balance, leaving your steering wheel feeling a little lost.

3. Bent Tie Rod

Tie rods are the go-betweens for your steering rack and wheels. Bend one by smacking a curb, and your car’s alignment—and your steering wheel’s position—might get all out of whack.

4. Misaligned Wheels

Hitting a curb can mess with your car’s alignment, which is all about keeping your wheels straight and true. If they’re not lined up right, your steering wheel’s going to look off-center.

ALSO CHECK: I Hit a Curb and My Wheel is Bent

5. Damaged Suspension Components

Other bits like struts or shock absorbers can also get knocked around by curb impact. These parts are key for a stable ride and keeping your wheels where they should be. Damage here can make your steering wheel act up.

6. Wheel Bearing and Front Rotor Damage

Wheel bearings let your wheels spin smoothly, and rotors are part of the stop show. Knocking these parts during a curb encounter can lead to steering and alignment issues, nudging your steering wheel off-center.

7. Skipped a Tooth on the Steering Rack

A bigger bump might make your steering rack gear skip a beat. This messes with the sync between your steering wheel and wheels, giving your steering wheel that off-center vibe.

8. Frame Damage

And if you really gave that curb what-for, you might’ve jostled the frame itself. That kind of big-time damage can throw everything off, from alignment to where your steering wheel points.

How to Fix a Steering Wheel That’s Been Crooked After Hitting a Curb

a mechanic trying to fix a car's steering system

Now that you understand which possible causes could be the reason your steering wheel is off-center, let’s now go through the possible ways you can fix it:

Step 1: Inspect for Visible Damage

Grab a coffee, and take a good look at your wheel and the bits around it. If your wheel’s bent or your tire’s seen better days, or anything else looks out of whack, you’ve got some clues about what’s going on. This is your detective phase – noticing anything funky can help pinpoint the trouble.

Step 2: Check Wheel Alignment

Next stop, get that alignment checked. It’s like going to the doc for a quick look-see. A pro will tell you if your wheels are still friends or if they’re not talking to each other straight. This check-up will help figure out what got knocked out of place.

Step 3: Inspect Suspension and Steering Components

Now it’s time to get a bit more hands-on. Check out the suspension and steering gear. You’re looking for anything that doesn’t seem right, like parts that are bent, cracked, or just plain broken. Pay extra attention to the side that kissed the curb; it’s likely to be the troublemaker.

Step 4: Replace Damaged Parts

Found some busted parts? Time to swap them out. Whether it’s a simple fix like a new tie rod or something bigger, make sure you use good-quality parts. It’s like replacing a bad apple with a fresh one – you’ll taste the difference.

Step 5: Perform Wheel Alignment

After all that fixing, your car needs another alignment, kind of like setting it back on its feet properly. This makes sure all your wheels are playing nice and your car isn’t doing its own thing.

Step 6: Test Drive and Adjust if Necessary

Alright, time for a test drive. This is where you see if everything feels right. If the steering wheel is still acting like it’s had one too many, or the car’s pulling, you might need to double-check those adjustments.

Step 7: Regular Follow-Up Checks

In the next few days, keep your senses sharp for anything off with your ride. If something doesn’t feel right or the steering wheel starts throwing attitude again, might be worth a second look to make sure everything’s really kosher.


One of the ways you can prevent your steering wheel from going off-center is to completely block off the curb. How? Well, one solution could be the use of curb ramps, specifically, our Smooth Curb – Driveway Curb Ramp.

It’s designed to block and prevent any unnecessary damage that can come from your car making contact with any curb of your choosing. No longer will the thought of a crooked steering wheel due to curb contact worry you.

To add to that, you can also consider reading our full guide on how to avoid curbs. At the same time, check our blog if you want to read similar topics that we’re currently covering.

Best Electric Cars with Low Ground Clearance‘, and ‘What Materials are the Most Durable Curb Ramps Made From?’ are recent topics that we’ve covered that might pique your interest

And there you have it! We hope this guide has helped you with your ‘steering wheel going off-center’ problem, and always remember that taking it step by step and not rushing the process is key.

Safe driving!


Can hitting a curb damage my car’s alignment? 

Yes, absolutely. A little bump with a curb can really throw things off, making your steering wheel look wonky. It happens because the impact can tweak your suspension or shift your wheels out of line.

What’s the cost of fixing a crooked steering wheel caused by hitting a curb?

The cost of repairs can vary greatly depending on the extent of the damage. A basic alignment may not be too expensive, but if there are additional parts that need to be replaced, it could end up costing more. The best thing to do is to have someone evaluate the situation and provide an accurate estimate.

Will my insurance cover the damage if I hit a curb?

This depends on your insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage often covers such damage, but it’s important to check with your insurance provider. Keep in mind there may be a deductible.

READ MORE: Does Insurance Cover Curb Damage?

Is it safe to drive with a crooked steering wheel?

No. Driving with a crooked steering wheel can be unsafe because it indicates underlying issues with your car’s steering or suspension system. It’s best to get it checked and repaired to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive.

Can I realign my car’s wheels myself after hitting a curb?

Preferably, no. Wheel alignment requires specialized equipment and expertise to adjust the angles of the wheels correctly. It’s not recommended to attempt it yourself. A professional alignment service can ensure your car drives straight and reduces tire wear effectively.