Issue with Baleno’s steering after a visit to a Maruti service centre

The car had no such problem before. It only required routine annual maintenance.

BHPian RR96 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Recently, a person I know had to go through an unpleasant experience. Sharing his story below.

A Baleno (2017 model) was given for annual maintenance service at an authorised service centre in Kollam, Kerala in the first week of November this year. The car, before service, didn’t have any issues and only required routine annual maintenance. But after servicing and wheel alignment, the car lost its automatic recentering function of the steering wheel.

When the issue was brought to the notice of the SA, he casually remarked that it was a common issue with all Balenos. Have noticed in the reviews that the new Maruti cars are a bit reluctant in recentering of the steering wheel after a turn, but it wasn’t the case with this car. The car, for the past 5 years, didn’t have any recentering issues and only after servicing at this service centre, has it started showing this issue.

Later, he showed the car to the nearby FNG and they had a tough time trying to solve the issue. Still, the car isn’t fully back to its original form and could only be brought back if parts are changed which might cost a hefty amount. The mechanic at the FNG felt that the service centre guys had rotated the steering wheel while wheel balancing without switching on the engine.

Sharing a video of the issue. The issue is explained in Malayalam in the video. Notice the steering doesn’t recentre after rotated fully.

Same thing posted by the person on his Facebook account.

We generally give our cars to the authorized service centres as we have trust in them. But the ordeal he has gone through makes one think whether one should go to these centres and give them the higher labour charge plus taxes or should one prefer a known mechanic?

Here’s what BHPian Jaguar had to say about the matter:

Ask him to get the wheel alignment checked. A similar issue happened to me when I got WA done from a new shop with brand-new equipment. The base values setup on the machine for my car model were wrong. After setting the values as per the previous WA report, the issue was resolved.

Here’s what BHPian MotoBlip had to say about the matter:

The same issue occurred with my car, and I demonstrated this specific manoeuvre in front of the tech head at the Maruti service station. Afterwards, they recorded videos, sent them to Maruti, and proceeded with the replacement of my steering assembly, which was already part of the unofficial recall. Initially, they were hesitant to replace it until I showed them the issue. The return action improved to some extent but nowhere close to what it should be like in most cars. IMO, the design geometry is inherently flawed but they seem to have fixed it in the newer models.

Here’s what BHPian Maverick Avi had to say about the matter:

Don’t understand why Maruti doesn’t offer a recall for all these stupid steering assemblies. I have a 2020 Wagon R and this issue is the most frustrating aspect of the otherwise lovely car. It’s been there from day 1 and nobody acknowledges it and hence no solution is provided.

I had a tough time initially adjusting to it but 3 years later have gotten used to it. Your video reminded me of my amusement when I used to experience this early on with the new car. Seriously don’t know how Maruti continues with this part and hasn’t changed the setup on the new Wagon R.

Here’s what BHPian humyum had to say about the matter:

They have tightened the steering damper to arrest the noise coming from the steering assembly due to which the steering is jammed and not returning is what I can think of, could be alignment too as everyone has mentioned.

There are three ways to fix this.

  • If alignment is an issue, get it back to specs and it should be good. A wild guess is, too much of a toe-in but could be wrong. If this does not solve, steps 2 and 3.
  • Open the assembly up, re-grease everything, replace the bush if needed and adjust the damper. This is a time-consuming exercise to get this just right.
  • Loosen the damper and adjust it to have the best compromise between noise and return-ability.

And finally, if nothing works, replace the steering. The newer Marutis I hear come with a separate power steering and rack and pinion assembly, so not that costly and can be replaced as child parts.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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