Does your car steering seem to be turning away to the left or right even on a straight road? Then your car might just require a little extra attention as it might be undergoing a problem of wheel misalignment. This problem usually occurs when your car hits a deep pothole or hits a curb while parking. There is also a problem of vibration that can occur in your car but it is totally different from wheel alignment. Vibrations are probably caused by wheels being out of balance or suspension parts being worn out, and getting your wheels aligned won’t solve those problems.Depending on the vehicle, proper alignment requires setting of the inward or outward tilt of the wheels. The adjustments are measured in fractions of an inch and will require professional wheel alignment checks, which are usually carried out by car service centres.
There are few signs which if noticed at the right time can forewarn you about your car’s wheel alignment and balancing needs. If your car shows any of the following signs, it may be time to get its wheels aligned.
1. Tendency to drift to left/right
While driving on a straight road your steering wheel must appear perfectly straight. If the wheel of your car is off center by more than a few degrees in either of the direction,it’s time to get the wheel alignment of your car checked. When the wheels start pointing indifferent directions, it increases the tire wear and tear which can become worse over time without proper alignment.
2. Uneven wear on car tires
Tire wear patterns can indicate a lot about the condition of a car. A qualified technician can use tire wear patterns to make good guesses about tire pressures, suspension condition, and alignment problems. Wear and tear on only the inside or outside edges of tires can hint a problem with the car adjustment. Feathering or scalloping of the car tires generally indicated an issue with the toe adjustment of the car. Tire wear is most often noticed by a technician while performing a tire rotation or an inspection performed during a service. Proper alignment will increase the life of your tires, so if you have any abnormal tire wear patterns, you should have an alignment test performed on your vehicle.
3. Loud squealing sound from tires
That loud squealing sound coming from your tires shouldn’t be taken lightly and can bea danger sign that your car requires immediate attention. This noise usually comes due to unbalanced or misaligned wheels. You should make sure that these signs are not ignored and your tires are regularly rotated/balanced at your trusted car service centre in order to achieve the maximum tread life out of them.
4. Unstable wheel while driving
If the steering in your car feels a little loose or unstable, one of the possible causes can be poor wheel alignment. This might come into notice if you feel as if your car is swiveling across the road when driving, or the car may start feeling very sloppy while driving around corners and turns. If you notice situations like these, you should have the alignment checked and corrected if necessary.
Incorrect wheel alignment can create premature wear problems, and it is usually considered best to get the vehicle inspected as soon this problem comes into notice. Even though it is not a safety issue for your vehicle, the money saved by not prematurely wearing out your tire might exceed the cost of the alignment itself. All the steering and suspension elements of your car should also be checked in addition to the wheel alignment check. Worn components of your car can often lead to improper wheel alignment. After having the suspension checked and an alignment performed, you will be pleasantly surprised by how nicely your car performs.
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