Proper wheel alignment is the key to your car's optimal drivability and performance. In case of emergencies where you must dodge something quickly or make a sharp turn at high speed, your car's wheel alignment could also be the thing that saves your life. If you regularly drive through potholes or down bad roads, you are more likely to experience wheel alignment problems especially if you drive poorly. Wheel alignment problems can also emerge when you hit a kerb on the road. Knowing some of the signs of poor car wheel alignment will help prevent more serious issues and costlier repairs down the line. Here are a few indicators to watch out for.
Uneven Tyre Wear
If the tyres are wearing down rapidly in an irregular pattern, you may need to take the car for a wheel alignment service. Unfortunately, most car owners only check their car tyres for pressure and overlook the wear pattern. Remember to look at the treads as well next time you inspect your car tyres. Focus on the depth of the rubber on both sides of every tyre. They should all match if the car has a proper wheel alignment. If you discover discrepancies, take the car for an alignment check-up.
Another universal sign of faulty wheel alignment is pulling or drifting. It often occurs when you are driving on a flat road, and your car appears to drift to one side. However, note that sometimes your car will drift on a banked road. It is usually a slight drift towards the gutter, and in such cases, there is no need to worry because it's common. To determine whether it's indeed an alignment problem, you can perform a little test. When driving on a straight road that stretches into the distance, take your hands off the steering wheel and observe the movement of the car for a few seconds. Remember to do this when there's little traffic. With your hands back on the steering wheel, observe the car's movement again. If it veers to either side of the road in both instances, the vehicle has a bad alignment.
Steering Wheel Vibration
A bad alignment can also cause vibrations. This usually happens as a result of the tyres pulling against or in the opposite direction of each other. However, vibrations could also be a sign of other serious issues such as wheel balancing problems. Either way, you need to get a professional to check out your vehicle.
Contact your local mechanics shop for more information and assistance.