I am looking for a word that doesn't sound as precise or intentional as 'adjusted', but doesn't have the accusative connotations as 'tampered'.
The mechanic installed new struts on the car, but now the steering is out of alignment. I can't imagine why they would tamper with/adjust the steering.
I think 'adjust' in this sentence is wrong because it implies intentionally making something more exact, eg: 'I adjusted the temperature setting to make the room more comfortable'.
I think 'tamper' implies purposely, and perhaps nefariously, making something worse or dangerous, eg: 'The police found that the ATM had been tampered with'.
Is there a word in between these two?