Every mechanic you will meet says that your car needs regular maintenance. But most people who have recently started driving or have always been driving new cars don’t know the mechanical issues of a car.
Wheel alignment, also known as tire alignment, is the angle of your vehicle’s wheels and steering wheel. When your car was made, all of the wheel angles were optimally aligned. But, when you drive over bumpy roads, these angles get changed, as a result of which the tires become misaligned.
If you think that you don’t know anything about wheel alignment and are not sure when it’s the right time to visit an auto repair shop, then don’t worry because you are not alone. In this post, you will learn all about wheel alignment and what problems you notice when your wheel alignment is not set.
The Steering wheel Is Crooked:
Naturally, your steering wheel is designed to be right in the center. As discussed before, when the car is new, the tires are aligned straight. due to which the steering wheel is right in the center.
The first thing you can do to inspect the steering wheel position is to park the car and inspect where is the steering wheel when the wheels are pointed straight. When the wheels are dead straight, the steering wheel should be right in the middle. However, if you have to tilt the steering wheel to make the tires straight, then this is a sign of alignment issues.
Due to alignment issues, the wheels of the car are not pointing in a straight direction, and you have to struggle to keep the steering wheel straight when driving. A tilted steering wheel doesn’t always mean that there is a problem with alignment. Sometimes, a bad tire or bent wheel can also cause your steering wheel to be crooked.
During wheel alignment, the mechanic will adjust the steering axis. This angle is known as a caster. The caster angle is important for maintaining stability and keeping the steering wheel in the center. If you want to avoid problems in the long run then get wheel alignment services so you can continue to drive safely.
Vibrations and Shaking of Wheels:
Vibrations and shaking in your car while driving are symptoms of wheel alignment issues. The vibrations can be felt even when going on a smooth road.
The vibration may be felt through the seats and the steering wheel. There are instances when the brake pedal feels the vibrations as well.
Sometimes, when driving at a high pace, the vibrations are amplified even though they would not be felt at a modest speed.
Driving a car with vibrations not only affects the ride comfort but also compromises vehicle handling and safety.
Controlling such cars during emergency maneuvers or in adverse road conditions can be a problem.
Car Doesn’t Drive Straight:
To test if your car needs wheel alignment, try driving on a straight road with no bends or curves.
Notice if your car pulls one way or the other after you take off your hands. There is always a little curve in your vehicle’s motion when you are not holding the steering wheel, so you don’t have to worry about that.
However, if your car drifts to one side as soon as you leave the steering wheel, then it’s a strong indication that you need wheel alignment.
Don’t do this test on a busy road, and don’t take your hands completely off the steering wheel.
Look for a sudden jerk as you lift your hands off the steering wheel and grab the wheel firmly again.
Steering Wheel Feels Loose:
A loose steering wheel can be a concerning sign and indicates faulty wheel alignment.
Over time, the components of the steering system, including tie rods and ball joints, can deteriorate. This leads to an increased play in the steering wheel that results in a loose feeling.
Similarly, misaligned wheels contribute to a loose steering wheel, as the wheels and steering wheel are attached through rods; when the wheels are not aligned correctly, the steering wheel might feel less precise.
Driving a car with a loose steering wheel is very dangerous, and it can quickly get out of control when accelerating or braking suddenly.
It’s important to look out for ‘wheel alignment services near me’ so you know where to go in the time of need.
Uneven Tire Wear:
If you are driving with misaligned wheels for an extended period, you may notice that the inner or the outer side of your tires are more worn than the other.
It’s due to the issue of camber. The angle of the wheels might be slightly outward or inward, and the patch of tire that is in constant contact with the road is more worn than the other.