Wheel alignment is a process through which angles of your wheels are adjusted to meet the proper specifications. During the process, your suspension and steering systems may need some work as well. This process helps you steer your car in a straight line with minimal effort, ensuring your own safety and that of your passengers and other drivers on the road. There are several signs that you may need a wheel alignment, so pay attention to your steering and get your car checked out if you notice any of the following problems.
How to Tell if You Need a Wheel Alignment
Your car will let you know if you need a wheel alignment based on how difficult it is to steer in a straight line, the patterns of wear on the tires, and more. Here are some key signs that you may need to get your wheels aligned before you can safely drive again.
Does Your Car Pull Left or Right?
Steering in a straight line should be the easiest part of driving. If your car begins pulling to one side of the road when you don’t intend to turn, you’ll need to get your wheels aligned to ensure safety and easier driving. During the alignment process, your car’s mechanic will likely find a difference in the caster on the left and right side of the vehicle. A wheel alignment should resolve this issue and allow you to drive safely, but if the problem persists, other factors may be involved in your car’s steering. An experienced mechanic should be able to help you identify additional concerns before you take your car home again.
Is Your Steering Wheel in The Correct Position?
Steering wheel position is an important element of proper alignment, though it may not immediately be apparent. If the wheel moves into the wrong position when you try to drive straight, it’s likely that the individual toe on the front and rear of the wheels is damaged. To fix this, you may be able to simply adjust the toe settings and complete a wheel alignment, though more extensive work to the suspension system may be necessary to prevent the problem from recurring. Your mechanic will let you know the extent of the damage before beginning work on your car so that you know what to expect.
Are Your Tires Wearing Differently?
Uneven or unusual wear on your tires can indicate a number of issues that take a variety of repairs to resolve, some more extensive than others. If the inner or outer edge of the tire is worn out, toe problems may be to blame. Outer ribs wearing out faster than the rest of the tire could indicate worn out shock absorbers, ball joints, and control arm bushings, which will need to be replaced. Other tire wear patterns could indicate overinflated or underinflated tires, bent steering components, and worn out or bent suspension parts. Keep a close eye on your tire wear and contact a mechanic if you notice any usual patterns, as this could indicate invisible issues that can nonetheless damage your car.
What Causes Wheel Alignment Issues?
Alignment problems are typically caused by wear and tear on suspension and steering parts, which naturally occur over extended periods of driving. If your car is older, you may notice alignment problems simply because of its age. Any time you replace steering or suspension components as they wear out, be sure to get a wheel alignment as well to ensure optimal driving.
Accidents and other impacts, such as driving over a pothole, can bend important parts of your steering or jostle parts out of place. It’s important to have your car checked out by an experienced mechanic as quickly as possible after an accident to identify and resolve any alignment problems before you begin driving again. Not only does an alignment help keep you and other people safe on the road, it saves money and prevents frustration.
Contact a Professional Custom Auto Body Shop
Speak with the professional auto mechanics at Rob’s Customs and Restorations for more information about wheel alignment and to schedule your alignment service today. The team at Rob’s understands the importance of proper wheel alignment and will work with you to bring your car back to its ideal condition. In addition to wheel alignment and other repairs, Rob’s can complete custom restorations on classic cars, custom paint jobs, and inventive engine swaps that will bring you closer to driving your dream car.