5 Signs Your Car Needs a Wheel Alignment
You know that regular maintenance is important to keep your car on the road. You have your oil changed regularly and rotate your tires. Have you thought about your vehicle's alignment? Proper wheel alignment is an important factor in your car's performance and safety.
What is Wheel Alignment?
The term "wheel alignment" can be misleading. It actually refers to your vehicle's suspension. Problems with the suspension can throw your car's wheels out of proper alignment. Wheel alignment ensures that your tires are set at the correct angles.
Misalignment is most often caused by wear and tear of the vehicle's suspension, or by hitting something, such as a pothole or a curb. Accidents can also create misalignment.
Why Wheel Alignment is Important
Proper alignment affects all aspects of your car's performance. Misalignment can lead to uneven tire wear and shortening the life of your tires. Misalignment also creates problems with handling, which may create a safety issue. It may also affect your vehicle's fuel efficiency.
Signs Your Car Needs Alignment
Here are five signs that your vehicle is in need of an alignment. If you notice any of these symptoms, have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic.
Tires Unevenly Worn
As you drive, your tires experience normal wear and tear. The wear is usually even across the tires. If your vehicle is not aligned properly, the tires will not wear evenly. If one of your tires displays a much different pattern of wear than the others, have your alignment checked.
Steering Wheel Does Not Return to Center
Your steering wheel should easily return to center after you complete a turn. If the steering wheel does not return to center on its own, it can indicate an alignment problem.
Vehicle Pulls to One Side
If your car is out of alignment, you'll feel it try to turn to the left or right as you drive. With a less serious alignment problem, you may notice your steering wheel is not straight, even if you're driving straight ahead. Have your alignment inspected by a mechanic.
Steering Wheel Vibrations
When your wheels are not aligned correctly, the tires pull against each other. This can cause your car to shake. If you feel your steering wheel vibrate or shake when you drive, check your alignment.
Handling Feels Loose
Poor wheel alignment can cause your steering wheel to feel "loose" and create problems with handling. If the car does not respond properly when you turn the steering wheel, it may be out of alignment.
Does your car need a wheel alignment? If so, have it repaired as soon as possible to make sure you're driving safely.