Owning a vehicle comes with a lot of responsibility. We focus on teaching our children and other new drivers about safe driving habits to keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe. While no doubt these lessons are important, we often fail to teach people how to properly maintain their vehicles. This includes using the best fuel, regularly changing the oil and oil filter, rotating tires, and more. Today, however, we’re going to focus on how to detect the signs you need an alignment done on your car.
Misaligned wheels can quickly wear out your tires, which can become a costly issue. Keep reading for the top five things to look for if you suspect your wheels are out of alignment.
1. The Tires Are Exhibiting Asymmetrical Wear and Tear
Have you looked at your tires lately? If not, next time you go out to your car, walk around the vehicle to inspect it, and examine the tires. Look for any uneven tread wear.
For example, use a coin to measure the remaining tread in the middle of the tire and on both sides. Misaligned tires may have extreme degradation on one side or the other. Do this for all four tires.
2. The Steering Wheel Sits Off-Center
One of the most common signs you need an alignment is when you notice the steering wheel sitting off-center. While you are driving or parked and your tires are facing forward, a misaligned steering wheel likely points to misaligned tires.
This can prove to be annoying and dangerous, especially in the event of emergencies.
3. The Steering Wheel Vibrates While Driving
When your vehicle’s tires are out of alignment, the wheels won’t roll symmetrically. As noted above, this will quickly lead to uneven or rapid wear and tear of the tires. However, this will also cause the steering wheel to vibrate excessively while you’re driving.
4. The Car Pulls to One Side While Driving Straight
One of the most annoying signs you need an alignment is when you have to constantly re-correct your car while driving straight. A vehicle with misaligned wheels will often try to pull to one side or the other. This can be a subtle, gradual pull or an immediate, sharp pull.
5. Excess Play in the Steering Wheel
Finally, when you’re sitting parked with the vehicle on, test the amount of play in the steering wheel. If you are able to turn the steering wheel before your car’s wheels react, that could be one of the signs you need an alignment done. This can also apply if you feel like your wheels aren’t as responsive as they should be as you’re turning the steering wheel.
Are You Seeing the Signs You Need an Alignment?
If you notice any of the signs you need an alignment or have recently been in an accident (big or small), get your alignment checked immediately. This will save you money down the road, as well as potentially save your life.
Contact us today or check out our specials. For example, did you know you can get a free alignment when you replace your tires?