While most parts of your car have an assigned warning light on your dashboard to let you know there’s an issue, that’s not the case for a car’s alignment. Instead, drivers need to rely on regular checkups to make sure the vehicle’s alignment isn’t off. Even without that warning light, here are a few ways to spot it:
The car starts to pull to one side.
In an empty parking lot or a light-traffic side street, test out your vehicle’s alignment by lifting your hands from the steering wheel to let the wheel guide itself. If it swerves or drifts to one side, then that’s a sign the alignment needs to be adjusted. Make sure to keep your hands just above the wheel so you can right the car after your test. You might also notice you have to start fighting with the wheel more as you’re driving because it will want to drift to one side.
The steering wheel is crooked when driving.
Not all roads are flat and straight, which may make it harder to spot when your steering wheel has become uneven or crooked. When you are driving down a straight road, check to see if the emblem on your wheel is level and centered. Also, pay attention to how your wheel turns when driving. If it seems looser, then that’s another sign it needs to be re-aligned.
The steering wheel vibrates or shakes while driving.
When a wheel vibrates or shakes while in motion, that’s typically caused by unbalanced or misaligned tires. The wheel of a car is directly linked to your wheels system, so when it starts to move in a certain way, that’s a symptom of a wheel issue. It could also be caused by a couple other problems, however, so it’s always good to bring it in for an inspection.
The tires have uneven tire wear.
Drivers should inspect their tires routinely to maintain peak air pressure, measure tire tread, and search for any hazards such as a nail slowly causing the tire to deflate. Additionally, it’s always good to measure the tire tread on all of the tires and on different sides. Wheels that have been properly aligned will wear down at the same rate. If you find a difference between tread depths, then that’s a sign that your car is in need of realignment.
If you’ve noticed any of these issues when driving your car, it’s important to get in for an appointment sooner rather than later. It can save you from unnecessary wear and tear down the road. Superior Service Center offers an online appointment system so you can get on our schedule quickly and efficiently.