Improper car alignment can result in poor handling and cause parts to wear prematurely. The alignment is easy to check when you take your car to the shop for new tires or an oil change. Any shop with an alignment rack can check it quickly and let you know if it needs attention.
If the alignment is off, the car will give you some signs that there is a problem, so if you watch for them, you can catch the problem early and correct it before other damage occurs.
1. Steering Wheel Alignment
One of the first and probably most obvious signs that there is an alignment issue with your car is right in front of you. The steering wheel in your vehicle should be straight when the wheels are pointed straight down the road.
If the wheel is off to the left or the right, it is because something in the front end is not adjusted correctly or is out of alignment. If you notice your wheel is no longer straight, then take the car in and have the front end checked so you can resolve the issue right away.
2. Handling Issues
Another sign that something is not right is if your car is pulling left or right when going down the road. Be careful with this issue, though. If the road is not flat, a car with a proper alignment may feel as though it is pulling, when in fact, it is following the slope of the road. On a flat road, your car should not move to the left or right without steering input. If it does, your alignment is off, and the car needs to be checked out.
3. Uneven Tire Wear
Often, the front tires on your car will wear unevenly if the front end alignment is off. The tires may wear more on one side than the other, which can indicate a camber problem. In other words, the tires may be leaning in or out instead of being straight up and down on the hubs. The most common reason for this is worn suspension parts, but it can also be because the adjustment is off.
The tires are part of your suspension system, and if they are wearing, the car is going to drive different than it was intended. While tire wear can be related to improper inflation, wear on one edge of the tire and not the other is more often than not an alignment issue.
4. Steering Wheel Vibration
If you are feeling a vibration in the steering wheel, it may be related to worn front end parts or an alignment issue. In either case, the wheel should not vibrate, and any vibration here may indicate a vibration in the suspension system that you are feeling in the wheel.
The front suspension needs to be inspected right away if you have a vibration of any degree, because if something is loose or worn enough to cause this behavior, a part could be failing.
5. Steering Wheel Return
The steering wheel in your car should return to center almost on its own when you complete a turn and are straightening out the car on the road. If the wheel does not return on its own, there is a problem in the front end, and the alignment needs to be checked right away.
At Redford Auto Repair, our alignment specialists will check your car's alignment and let you know what needs to be corrected. Come by or call for an appointment today. The sooner you can detect a problem and get it fixed, the better your car will be