A wheel alignment is the process of adjusting your vehicle’s wheels to the manufacturer’s standards for a safe, smooth ride. Alignments help prevent your tires from wearing down poorly, meaning you’ll have to replace your tires less frequently over the lifespan of the vehicle. How do you know when it’s time to take your vehicle in for maintenance? Today, let’s talk about the top signs your car needs an alignment.
5 Signs Your Car Needs An Alignment
1. Your steering wheel sits at an angle when you are parked, stopped, or while you’re driving
Your steering wheel is designed to return back to a neutral, level center when you let go of the wheel. When your car is aligned properly, your steering wheel should be sitting evenly, and the emblem in the center of your steering wheel should be level whether you’re parked or in motion.
A tilt a couple of degrees in either direction is normal, but if your steering wheel is noticeably crooked, you should visit your mechanic to see if it’s time for an alignment.
2. Your car is pulling to one side of the road – and the road is flat
A car that pulls to one side or the other on a straight road very likely has an alignment problem. Your vehicle is designed to coast down straight roads with minimal input from the driver.
Since this sign can impact how your car handles, especially in situations where you have to react quickly, it’s best to get this problem addressed as quickly as possible.
3. Your tires are wearing down unevenly
When your wheels are aligned properly, your tires will wear down at an even rate. Misaligned wheels, on the other hand, can cause unusual wear marks such as worn sides, centers, or even patches around your tire.
It’s a good idea to check the depth of the tread on your tires on a regular basis. This may be when you refill your tires with air or when you do your fall or spring maintenance. While you’re at it, make sure the tread on your tires is wearing down evenly and visit your mechanic if the wear marks look off.
4. Your vehicle’s handling isn’t what it used to be
Your wheel alignment doesn’t just impact how your car rides or the way your tires wear down; it also changes the way your vehicle handles. Misaligned wheels can cause your vehicle to handle in a ‘loose’ or ‘sloppy’ way.
There are several potential reasons for your vehicle’s handling to change, such as worn out shock absorbers or trouble with your suspension system. In any case, since responsive steering and handling is important for your safety and the safety of others, it’s important to get this issue diagnosed promptly.
Is there a difference between a ‘wheel alignment’ and a ‘front end alignment’?
‘Wheel alignment’ is a blanket term that may refer to two or all four wheels, while ‘front end alignment’ specifically addresses the two front wheels on your car. Regardless of the term, the process remains the same.
Wheel Alignment And More At T3 Atlanta
Unlike routine maintenance items such as oil changes, there isn’t an exact mileage at which you need to get your wheels realigned. Factors such as road conditions, driving habits, potholes, speed bumps, and others can throw your wheels out of alignment. T3 Atlanta can help determine if your vehicle needs a wheel alignment and straighten out your wheels if needed. Give us a call and we’ll book you in for fast and friendly service!