Your vehicle’s alignment is important. Having a properly aligned vehicle will make driving safer and smoother, it will help preserve the life of your tires, and it will increase fuel efficiency. How can you tell when your car is misaligned? There are some clear signs. In this post, we’ll cover signs that your car needs an alignment, along with what can cause a misalignment and how to prevent it.
Signs that You Need an Alignment
Below are 7 ways you can tell that your car may need an alignment:
- Your car is pulling to the left or right—One of the quickest ways to know if your car is misaligned is by noting how it handles. If you can feel your car pulling to either the left or right when it should be going straight, your axle or your wheels may be off. The harder it is to control, the more severe the misalignment. Take it to a professional, like the ones at Restored Auto LLC, as soon as possible to have this corrected.
- Your tire treads are wearing out unevenly or too quickly—When everything is working properly, your tires will wear evenly and at the same pace. If, however, one side of your car is doing more work than the other side, your tires will reflect that. You can use a tread depth meter to determine how your tires are wearing.
- Your tires are squealing when you speed up or turn—Squealing tires may be an indicator that your car requires an alignment. They can also be a sign of worn brake pads, or other issues. No matter the case, your tires shouldn’t be squealing, and if they are, it’s time to call Restored Auto LLC.
- Your steering wheel is crooked—If your steering wheel is crooked when you’re driving straight or if it rests at an angle when stopped, this likely means there is a misalignment. If you’re not sure how to tell whether your steering wheel is straight, check the position of the logo.
- Your steering wheel is “loose”—If your steering is going a little too far one way or the other, it’s an indicator that your alignment is off. Loose steering can be very dangerous. If you notice this happening, get your car serviced ASAP.
- Your steering wheel is vibrating or noisy—Steering wheels are generally pretty quiet and pretty still. If you notice a strange noise or a vibration, it could mean your alignment is off or your tires are off-balance. It may also indicate other issues. Be sure to bring your car to a mechanic for a checkup if this happens.
- Your steering wheel is hesitating when you turn it—Most newer cars have a feature called power steering that makes turns easier. Bad wheel alignment can cause your steering wheel to hesitate. If you have to force your wheel to one side to make your car turn, your car may have an alignment problem. It may also be a sign of power steering failure. Either way, a hesitating wheel means it’s time for a repair.
Causes of Misalignment
It can be helpful to know what causes misalignments in your vehicle so you know what to avoid. Below are some of the most common reasons your car may need an alignment.
- Hitting curbs, potholes, and road hazards
- Deflated tires
- Normal wear and tear over time
- Failing to have your alignment checked regularly
With that list in mind, you can see how to prevent needing lots of re-alignments. Drive more carefully, avoiding curbs and potholes. Keep your tires properly inflated (you can find the PSI information in your car’s owner’s manual) and rotate them regularly. Take your vehicle for regular maintenance every 6 months or every 6,000 miles. By doing these sorts of things, you can help to preserve the life of your vehicle and maintain your car’s alignment.
Call Restored Auto LLC for help!
If you’ve noticed your car is pulling to one side, your steering wheel feels loose, or any of the other issues listed above, give Restored Auto LLC a call. We’ll take a look at your vehicle, re-align it, and make any other necessary repairs. Don’t drive a car that isn’t safe to drive. Call Restored Auto LLC today!