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Old 29th January 2012, 00:06   #31
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Default Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

I have had this question for a long time. When I switch off the car, lock the steering, and step out, it is sometimes frustrating to see that the wheels are at an angle to the chassis. What is the best way to ensure (without stepping out of the car) that the wheels are aligned with the chassis when I lock the steering? I've heard that this alignment is especially advisable to avoid unnecessary wear and tear if you're leaving the car parked on an incline.

The current rule of thumb I am following is a bit tacky: before switching the car off, steer to the hilt towards the left and then steer approx. two rotations to the right. However, this requires me to hit 'the dead end' with the steering towards the left and I am not sure if that is good thing for the steering mechanism.

Your advice is most welcome.
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Old 29th January 2012, 21:56   #32
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Default Re: Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

Hi Hi...
Have been scratching my head ever since i was 5 years old and trying to lock my dad's Cressida steering in the dead centre position.
Nowadays i don't care about it but in our old Indica and my WagonR i put the steering in a 45 degree turn,take out the keys and then turn the wheel to centre position. 60% of the time it will lock in the dead centre position.
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Old 29th January 2012, 23:11   #33
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Default Re: Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

While parking if you have taken a turn, move the steering in opposite direction so that its aligned in the center. Over a period of time you will get the judgement
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Old 29th January 2012, 23:23   #34
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Default Re: Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

I don't know, it occurs naturally to me!

In case am not sure, I give a lil' throttle and check the direction of movement, then rotate the wheel till the brand logo is horizontal.

An other way, lower the glass, peep out and align! As simple as that.
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Old 30th January 2012, 00:08   #35
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Default Re: Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

My brother once asked me how I manage to ensure the wheels are perfectly aligned with the chassis when I park; and honestly I didn't have an answer. Coz, I just knew it was when I parked!

I think over time, you tend to get an understanding of where the wheels are headed based on the steering position and general movement of the car.

So, until you get that, probably a good idea to bend over the window and check!
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Old 30th January 2012, 00:17   #36
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Default Re: Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

The best method is "Know your Steering Wheel". Once you understand your steering wheel properly it becomes practice to keep you wheel always straight.

Another thing is, it is no big deal to bang our precious heads for this trivial issue. Once in a while if it not straight leave it as it is. There are other important things to learn.
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Old 30th January 2012, 08:25   #37
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Default Re: Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

Now this never occured to me as a question before. Because when i keep the steering wheel in a position wherein the T of TATA is in the correct upright position the wheels are in most cases in alignment of the chassis.

Now after reading this i would check it again to confirm.
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Old 30th January 2012, 13:00   #38
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Default Re: Best way to keep the wheels straight before steering lock

Have had this question for long & have noticed people doing the adjustment based on Logo. But it could be one extra round towards - right or left.

While, believe me, with my just 3k drive on four wheeler, the sense comes to you automatic - just like few other questions comes to mind - being a passenger, but becomes child-play when you become a driver !

- how you measure the total size of your car in the crowded traffic & manage to overtake a cycle fella !
- Handling blind spots
- indicator / gear shift for low speed
etc. etc.

The questions i had to answer myself before buying the car is really exhaustive, but for many the answer was simple 'start driving' !!!
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Old 30th January 2012, 17:19   #39
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Default Re: Park your cars with wheels aligned straight?

It started with somebody asking a question about how to "lock" the steering exactly in the center. A lot of people here mistook it for how to keep the wheels aligned perfectly straight when parking.

And before I re-iterate the original question, what difference does it make if the steering wheel is locked or not when one turns off the ignition to park the car, say overnight. I mean would really be another obstacle for the car jacker?
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Old 31st January 2012, 21:53   #40
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Default Re: Park your cars with wheels aligned straight?

Hi.
My take on the issue is:
1. Its best to park with tyres straight as it is at this position that the ball joints are at position of least stress. Its simply due to that fact that the tyres are not perfectly upright in a normal suspension setup. (wheel alignment). Though this small load may do no real harm to modern suspension parts.
2. When I need to park on a roadside I always park with tyres turned to their maximum towards the centre of road. The motive behind this is so that the protruding tyre forces people to pass a bit clear of my car and also if someone accidently passes too close they end up hitting the rubber of the tyre and not leaving a loooong scratch on the body ;-)
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