How can I tell if my car is out of alignment?
When your car is out of alignment, you could be wasting gas, wearing out your tires prematurely or possibly increasing your chances of an unplanned emergency.
Here’s the five most common signs that your car is out of alignment:
1- Pulling – If you’re driving on a smooth, straight road an your car is pulling to the right or left, there could be a problem with your alignment.
2- Crooked Wheel – The logo on your steering wheel should be straight when you’re driving straight. If you’ve got to hold your wheel at an angle to maintain the vehicle straight – it’s probably out of alignment.
3- Uneven Tire Tread Wear – Inspect tires closely. If there is baldness or uneven wear on one side or the other – you will require new tires and an alignment as well.
4- Turn Return – After making a turn, does your steering wheel return to the proper ‘center’ position? If the steering wheel feels sluggish or lose, it may be a sign of alignment issues.
5- Lots of Shaking – Typical symptoms include sloppy steering or vibration in the steering wheel on a smooth road.
If you’re experiencing any of the above, don’t hesitate to contact us – we would be pleased to have a qualified technician look at your car’s alignment.
How do I know when I need a wheel alignment for my car?
One of the common ‘quick’ tests to determine if your car needs a wheel alignment is to let go of the wheel while driving along a straight road. If the alignment is correct, there shouldn’t be any ‘pull’. But understand that most roads are built with a ‘crown’ – meaning the road has a slight slope – downwards to the right – so even a car that doesn’t need alignment could veer to the right. So it’s not a definitive test.
What’s worse is that when wheel alignment is checked, most car owners don’t even realize there’s a problem – in a lot of cases they thought everything was just fine.
A very general rule would be that if you have any strange feeling or shaking or feel a tugging in the steering wheel – it’s probably a sign that you should have an alignment done on your car.
Your tires will also tell a story about the wheel alignment of your car. Uneven tire wear is a sure give-a-way that your car needs an alignment.
It’s also a good idea to be sure your alignment is checked and corrected when you replace tires. Why? The bad alignment could be the reason your tires are worn out!
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How do I know If I need wheel Alignment?
When should I have a wheel alignment done on my car?
Have you asked yourself, “How do I know if I need a wheel alignment on my car?”
You may not believe it, but your wheel alignment could be way off and you may never know it just by driving the car. The steering will feel fine – no drifts – no tugging – no pulling or wandering.
The wheel alignment problem may only show up over time. The problem is that when it does show up – it’s usually a lot more costly.
When your car’s wheel alignment is out, it will lead to uneven or premature tire wear. That can get expensive.
Most think that when the wheel alignment on your car is out – it will cause the car to pull – or change lanes on its own. That’s not necessarily true. Your car could be way out of ‘specs’ for the alignment – yet the problem may not show up for some time.
In fact, on average 5 out of 7 vehicles checked for alignment actually do have a problem. What’s rather funny is that typically, fewer than 1 of the 5 that do have a problem were brought in with a customer complaint related to the alignment. The rest of the car owners had no idea there was a problem. The car seemed fine. So you probably will never really know that your vehicle is out of alignment.
But the bigger problem lies in the specifications that most modern cars are manufactured to. In most cases, cars have very narrow margin for error when it comes to wheel alignment. The fact is that 0.20 of a degree or less is often the allowable range of adjustment for an alignment to still be “in spec”. That isn’t a large margin of error.
In fact, most people think that an out of spec alignment will always cause the car to pull or have some other issue but 98 times out of 100 that is not true.
The best policy is to have an alignment done on your car one a year or every 15,000 miles as a precaution against other problems and premature tire wear. If you’re not sure about the alignment on your car or you feel a tugging or pulling in your steering wheel, it’s a good idea to have it checked. Just pick up the phone and give us a call or book your service appointment online now to get the wheel alignment checked on your car.
Don’t guess with wheel alignment – worn tires are costly to replace. If you’re wondering “How do I know if I need wheel alignment?” pick up the phone and give us a call!