Given enough driving time, most drivers are bound to run over or into a curb, or more likely, a pothole the size of Texas. Do this a few times and odds are that you will notice your vehicle tends to pull to one side or the other. This is usually the result of a wheel being forced out of alignment.
The Steering Wheel Should be Centered
While driving on a level surface, the vehicle’s steering wheel should remain close to center, with the vehicle’s emblem appearing level. Also, after finishing a turn, the steering wheel should come back to center on its own. A steering wheel that’s off center by several degrees should be inspected by a professional as a candidate for a wheel alignment.
The Vehicle Should Not Pull to One Side or the Other
A properly aligned vehicle will travel relatively straight down a level road with little influence by the driver. Meaning, one should not have to maintain a death-grip on the wheel to keep the vehicle from pulling to the left or right. If the driver must apply more than minimal effort to keep the vehicle straight, it’s time to seek the assistance of Wheel Alignment Experts.
All Tires Should Show Equal Wear
To a trained technician, a tire’s wear pattern speak volumes about the vehicle’s alignment and suspension. Abnormal wear is often found during routine tire rotation and can serve as an early indicator of problems. Abnormal wear patterns on tires is typically corrected by a wheel alignment.
What is a Wheel Alignment?
Wheel or tire alignment involves adjusting a vehicle’s wheels back to their factory-determined angles. The type needed depends on the car’s suspension — those with independent rear suspension and 4WD vehicles necessitate a four-wheel alignment. All-wheel drive and non-four-wheel drive vehicles, call for a front-end alignment. Four-wheel alignments adjust front and rear axle components, whereas front-end alignments, adjust front axles only.
It is recommended to check a vehicle’s alignment every 8 to 10,000 miles. Properly aligned wheels ensure maximum drivability. Your tires will last longer, saving money on gas and tire replacement, and provide a smoother driving experience.