Wheel alignment is the process of adjusting a vehicle’s suspension or the system that connects the vehicle to its wheels. Contrary to what it’s called, it’s not the adjustment of tires or wheels themselves. The process helps tires perform properly and last longer. It also improves a driver’s handling and keeps the vehicle from pulling into unexpected directions.
Since terrible roads are a vehicle’s nightmare, driving on them may misalign a vehicle’s suspension in an instant. Even the slightest alignment issue can instantly wear tires faster. It’s vital to have the alignment of vehicles get checked every 6,000 miles. However, are there signs that indicate that a wheel alignment service is needed?
Signs That a Vehicle’s Alignment is Off
There are symptoms or noticeable signs that indicate misalignment. Although they’re very difficult to identify at first, they can be noticed while driving. An odd vibration or sensation on smooth roads might be one such sign.
1. Vehicle Pulling to the Left or Right
A vehicle should not change its direction on its own. However, if there is misalignment on its suspension, it might go left or right on the road even without touching the steering wheel. Out of all the symptoms, this might be the most dangerous sign as it can accidentally move you to another lane, causing a collision among other drivers.
2. Uneven or Rapid Tire Wear
Tires are considered to be worn out if the treads have faded. By gauging how deep a tread is, you can identify how much longer it takes for the tire to fully wear out before changing it. Keep in mind that the treads should not get to a point where they have fully faded. The treads are responsible for a tire’s grip on the road, especially on wet surfaces. Without it, a car might be too slippery to control.
3. Crooked Steering Wheel
A crooked steering wheel is an indication of the toe angle not being within specifications. For example, the steering wheel might be parallel to the windshield while the car is new. However, after a misalignment, the steering wheel may appear slanted.
4. Squealing Tires
Tires shouldn’t squeal unless there is pressure causing it. This is one of the early signs that a vehicle experiences misalignment.
Misalignment Remedies at Home
Doing things on your own is the first step to solving misalignment issues in vehicles. Treat it as first aid for motorized vehicles. However, doing it yourself should be done with caution. You might worsen the situation with one wrong move.
First, remove all the contents of your vehicle’s trunk. Since alignment is based on tire angles, it reflects on the height of the vehicle. By removing all the stored items from behind, you should see if one side is lower than the other.
It’s also best to maintain the correct air pressure in your tires before doing the test. Keeping the air pressure right on all tires should reveal the true and accurate height of the vehicle. It would be easier to find which side of the suspension is misaligned. Lastly, remember to drive with less strain on steering and suspension. Safe driving can mitigate damage to your vehicle.
A yearly checkup should be performed to help avoid misalignment in vehicles. Although it doesn’t seem like much by the time you discover it, misalignment can lead to various accidents—some might be life-threatening. Keeping things aligned should prevent mishaps from occurring, saving the drivers and passengers from danger.
Hoover Alignment offers precise realignment services in Alabama. As proper wheel alignment is important for all vehicles, we take pride in maintaining a comfortable and safe driving experience for everyone. Visit our website to learn more about our realignment services today.