While it is possible to knock your tires out of alignment when hitting a curb or running over a pothole, not all alignment issues will be the direct result of a single incident. In many cases, these issues will occur over time as a result of normal wear and tear on your vehicle. Consequently, it is important for you to know how to spot the signs of a bad alignment so that you can get this issue corrected as soon as possible. If you notice any of the three warning signs described below, contact a reputable mechanic to have your vehicle serviced and your alignment checked.
1. Your Steering Wheel Is Vibrating
If you feel a vibration or shaking in your steering wheel while driving, this can be a sign that either your wheels need to be balanced or realigned. If your vehicle is experiencing issues with the wheel alignment, your steering wheel will often shake or vibrate as your tires are pulling in opposite directions while driving rather than moving in sync.
2. Your Vehicle Is Pulling To One Side
The degree to which your vehicle pulls can vary dramatically depending upon how severe your wheel alignment issues are. If your vehicle's tires are severely misaligned, you will likely experience a sharp and noticeable pull. However, in more mild cases, this pulling can be quite a bit more subtle. In fact, you may find that you are making corrections for your vehicle drifting to one side without even realizing it.
To detect more minor issues, pay close attention to your steering wheel when driving straight. If you find that your steering wheel is off-center when driving straight, this is a sign that your vehicle needs an alignment.
Another way to test your vehicle alignment is to take your vehicle to an empty parking lot or other safe location and attempt to drive in a straight line at a low speed with your hands barely off the wheel. If your vehicle drifts to one side rather than going straight, this could point to the need to have your tires aligned.
3. Your Tires Are Wearing Unevenly
If your tires are out of alignment then the tread on your tires will show uneven wear patterns. For instance, while the outer portion of the tire may still have a significant amount of tread, the inner portion of the tire may be completely bald. You may also find that the tires on one side of your vehicle are wearing much quicker than the tires on the other side of the vehicle.
To learn more, contact a company like Windermere Sustainable Car Care.