A car’s alignment is the balance and stability of a vehicle’s suspension, wheels, and other connected systems. Misaligned wheels and tires make it difficult to control your steering and maintain control of the vehicle under harsh conditions. An alignment is performed to improve your vehicle’s traction with the road and reduce the risks of you causing an accident.
If you notice something is wrong with your car’s alignment, here are a few signs that can help you know that it is definitely it;
Uneven Tire Wear
A pair of tires that are unevenly worn affects the car’s suspension. The system is imbalanced when one tire performs well while the other tire skids and drags on the road. On some cars, the wheels are misaligned and need adjusting. A wheel alignment involves balancing the angles of the wheels to make them parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.
Uneven tire wear causes a wide range of problems. The risks of causing an accident increase when damaged tires become more likely to skid, especially on wet or rugged roads. Over time, the problem only worsens as one tire usually breaks down faster than the other. To repair a misalignment, the main solution is to rotate the tires and even out the wear.
Wheel or Tire Noises
Misaligned wheels create unusual noises as the car struggles to work. Uneven tires often skid and squeal loudly when you brake too suddenly or turn too sharply. The loosened wheels may creak or knock against other loose parts. If you notice this occurrence, your alignment might be off.
If your car’s alignment is off, it’s likely to cause difficulty with steering and lead to other problems too. Poorly aligned wheels can increase friction against the road surface, making it harder to turn or direct the vehicle. This can actually damage the tire treads and be hazardous when driving on wet or icy roads. What’s more, alignment issues put unnecessary strain on the steering system, causing wear over time that can result in a costly repair bill.
An out-of-whack suspension will also impact vehicle tracking and stability – your car might pull to one side more than the other when driving in a straight line or feel bumpy over uneven terrain. If you suspect this might be the case with your car, you should get it checked out by an automotive shop right away. Regularly servicing your car can help keep its wheels correctly aligned and prevent any major and potentially dangerous steering problems from arising in future.
Your alignment is off when the car feels loose under the wheel and out of your control. When you try to stop the car, it continues moving. The wheels or tires may feel loose and ready to fall apart. When you try to drive straight, the car moves to the left or right. These issues can cause serious problems while driving and should be taken care of immediately.
A wheel misalignment reveals itself in obvious ways. You may lose control of the steering wheel or pull to the side while trying to drive straight. Other people feel vibrations under the wheel or hear sounds that seem like the wheels are loose. Worst of all, your tires wear down significantly and become extremely dangerous to drive, especially in harsh road conditions. These are signs that your car’s alignment is unstable and needs to be fixed as quickly as possible.
Great tip: How to Pick the Best Tires for Your Car
Author: Lizzie Weakley
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.