Signs Your Car Needs a Wheel Alignment: What to Watch For

Signs Your Car Needs a Wheel Alignment: What to Watch For

The majority of mechanics you come across will recommend regular maintenance for your car. However, individuals who have recently started driving or have always driven new cars may lack knowledge about the mechanical issues that can arise in a vehicle.

Wheel alignment, commonly known as tire alignment, is the process of adjusting the angles of a vehicle’s wheels and steering wheel. Every wheel angle on your car was perfectly matched when it was manufactured. However, these angles shift when you drive over uneven terrain, which causes the tires to become misaligned.

You are not alone if you believe that you have no knowledge about wheel alignment and are not sure when it’s the right time to visit an auto repair shop, then don’t panic though, you are not alone. You will discover everything there is to know about wheel alignment in this article, including the issues that arise when your wheel alignment is off. 

The Steering wheel Is Crooked

Your steering wheel is positioned perfectly in the center, by design. As was previously said, the tires are straight when the car is brand-new due to which the steering wheel is right in the center. 

The first step in checking the steering wheel position is to park the car and observe its alignment when the wheels are straight ahead. The steering wheel should be in the center when the wheels are perfectly straight. On the other hand, alignment problems are indicated if you have to tilt the steering wheel in order to get the tires straight.

The car’s wheels are not facing straight ahead because of alignment problems, and you have to work hard to keep the steering wheel straight when driving.  A tilted steering wheel doesn’t always mean that there is a problem with alignment. Sometimes, a bad tire or bent wheel can also cause your steering wheel to be crooked. 

During wheel alignment, the mechanic adjusts the steering axis to ensure proper wheel alignment. This specific angle is referred to as the caster. For stability and to keep the steering wheel in the center, the caster angle is crucial. To ensure long-term trouble-free driving, consider opting for wheel alignment services, promoting ongoing safe driving.

Vibrations and Shaking of Wheels

Shaking and vibrations in your vehicle during driving can be indicative of wheel alignment issues. These sensations may persist even when driving on a smooth road.

The driving wheel and seats could both feel vibrating. Sometimes the vibrations are also felt by the brake pedal. At higher speeds, vibrations that might go unnoticed at lower speeds can become more pronounced.

Experiencing vibrations while driving not only affects the comfort of your ride but also has implications for the overall handling and safety of the vehicle.

It can be challenging to control such vehicles in poor road conditions or during emergency situations.

Car Doesn’t Drive Straight 

Drive your automobile on a straight, uncurved route to see if you need to adjust your wheels.

After removing your hands, observe if your car tends to pull in either direction. You don’t need to worry about it because your car will always make a slight bend while you are not holding the steering wheel.

But, it’s clear that you require wheel alignment if your automobile starts to drift to one side as soon as you take your hands off the steering wheel.

Avoid performing this test on a busy road and ensure to keep your hands partially on the steering wheel.

Watch out for sudden jerks when releasing your hands from the steering wheel and gripping it firmly again

Steering Wheel Feels Loose

A steering wheel with play, indicating potential incorrect wheel alignment, can be a concerning sign.

Over the course of time, elements within the steering system, such as tie rods and ball joints, may wear down, leading to a greater sense of play in the steering wheel and an increase in perceived slack

Similar to how misaligned wheels can lead to a loose steering wheel, misaligned wheels can cause the steering wheel to feel less precise since rods connect the wheels and steering wheel.

Driving a car with a loose steering wheel poses risks, especially during abrupt braking or acceleration, as it may lead to skidding

To be well-prepared for emergencies, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and search for “wheel alignment services near me” to know where to go when needed.

Uneven Tire Wear

Prolonged driving with misaligned wheels may result in uneven tire wear, noticeable on either the inner or outer side of the tires.It’s due to the issue of camber. The wheel’s angle may be slightly out of or inward, and the tire with greater wear on it is the one that is in constant touch with the road.

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