A common misconception about misalignment is that it refers to the wheels, but it is referring to the suspension. Everyday driving causes the moving parts of your vehicle to wear out and the springs can stretch out or an accident, such as hitting the curb may knock the suspension out of alignment. Unfortunately, incorrect wheel alignment can cause a variety of problems, including issues with steering, so it’s important to have your vehicle inspected as soon as you notice a problem. Here are a few signs to be aware of that will alert you when it’s time to take your car to the shop to be realigned.
Pulling to One Side
Although it’s not recommended that you take your hands off of the steering wheel while driving your car, if you do let go of the steering wheel, your vehicle should drive straight while you’re on a level surface. If the vehicle pulls to one side, it may be due to misalignment. The safest way to check this is by leaving your hands on the steering wheel and noticing how easy it is to drive forward. For instance, if the vehicle pulls or is difficult to keep the vehicle from veering to the left or right, it’s time to take it to the realignment shop.
Abnormal Tire Wear
Your vehicle’s tires should be parallel and even on the ground; if they aren’t, it may be due to the vehicle being misaligned. Wear on the outside edges or the inside edges of one or more tires may indicate a problem with the camber adjustment and feathering of the tires is typically a sign of a problem with the toe adjustment, both of which are results of misalignment. If a tire leans towards the inside edge, it can cause the inside to wear quicker. Suppose there is any type of abnormal wear on the tires. In that case, it’s important to take the vehicle in for inspection as soon as possible to avoid the risk of extensive damage to the tires occurring, which may result in an accident.
Shaking Steering Wheel
If the steering wheel shakes while you are driving, it may indicate the front end being out of alignment. However, in some situations, shaking may be caused by tires that need balanced. Hitting a pothole can cause the tires to shift and get unbalanced and if it only happens when you apply the brakes, it may be a sign that it’s time for new brake pads. The safest way to determine if the brakes, the tires, or vehicle needs an alignment is to contact a professional.
The manufacturer determines the alignment specifications for your vehicle. Everything from the weight to the vehicle’s size is used to calculate the specifications, which are used to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. So, driving your vehicle when it is out of alignment can cause several serious problems, including the risk of an accident. If you are notice something unusual with the steering wheel, you must take your vehicle to the shop to have the alignment inspected as soon as possible.
If you suspect your vehicle is due for an alignment, contact Network Auto Body to schedule an appointment for service as soon as possible.