How do you know car needs alignment?
5 Signs Your Car Needs Wheel Alignment
We know that your car often needs your attention, with warning lights on the dash, frequent trips to the petrol station and the annual service and MOT it soon feels like there is always something to sort on your car to keep in in tip-top condition and ready for your next journey.
Many of us deal with poor wheel alignment on a daily basis and it’s easy for it to go unnoticed or easy to ignore but having the correct wheel alignment can be one of the easiest and cost-effective trips to the garage you can make.
Not only will it save you money in the long run-on on tyres, but the handling of your car in all conditions will often be dramatically improved.
Here are 5 common signs your car needs a wheel alignment.
- The steering wheel is not centred. When you are driving down a flat, level road, your steering wheel should be sitting close to perfectly straight. Roads are designed with some camber so allow for that when checking this and always do it when it is safe. If your steering wheel isn’t central, then it’s time to get it checked. This is also a good point to make if you have recently had your alignment or tracking done you should get the car back and the steering wheel should be in the correct place.
- Vehicle Pulls to one side or the other. Again, this is the easiest to notice when driving down a flat and even road. A common mistake people make is expecting their car to drive perfectly straight when on a flat road when they take their hands off the steering wheel. Not only is this dangerous but roads are designed with camber, so this is not a good way to check. Your vehicle should drive straight ahead with minimal effort on the steering wheel. If your car feels like it is pulling to one side or the other it’s time to get it checked and adjusted.
- Abnormal Tyre Wear. We most commonly see this when it comes to MOT time. Tyres worn close to legal limit on the inner or outer edge. This means that you have not had full use of your tyres as they have worn unevenly. While this can be contributed to suspension or tyre pressure issues it’s worth noting that it can also be down to poor alignment. Get the most out of your tyres by checking the alignment before you are shelling out on new tyres before they wear evenly.
- Handling feels loose. You should always feel in control of your vehicle. If you feel like the car is loose or wandering when you are driving, it is a good indication that your wheel alignment is out. Get it checked.
- Your steering wheel does not return to the centre. After completing a turn, the steering wheel should naturally start to return to the centre as you drive. But if your steering wheel doesn’t even attempt to move back to the centre then it’s a good indication that your alignment is off. Get an alignment check done to see if it needs adjustment.
Car Friend offer a FREE alignment check. This comes with a visual print out of your cars current alignment status. From then we can make adjustments to get it back on track and where it should be.
Alignments or Tracking starts from just £45 and we can offer a fixed price for your vehicle. Call us on 01543 27 60 60 to get yours booked in today.
Is It Time for a Wheel Alignment?
If you’re wondering, “do I need a wheel alignment,” the answer is likely yes. Alignments help to keep your wheels pointed in the right direction, and when misaligned, you may experience a few uncomfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms. From reduced fuel economy, premature tire wear, and difficulty steering, wheel alignments are an important part of vehicle maintenance.
What is a Wheel Alignment?
Despite the name, a wheel alignment (also known as tire alignment) isn’t an adjustment of the wheel and tire themselves. In fact, they’re performed by adjusting your car’s steering and suspension, which connects your vehicle to its wheels. Proper alignment is achieved by adjusting the angles of your tires, which impacts how they make contact with the road. Every vehicle’s optimal alignment angles are dependent upon the make, model, and manufacturer’s recommendations.
Do I Need a Wheel Alignment?
Wheel alignment is necessary for the best possible driving experience. When your car rolled off the manufacturer assembly line, it came preset with specific tire angles and positioning. And for good reason too! In order for your vehicle to travel the way it’s supposed to, your wheels need to be precisely aligned to OEM specifications. Misalignment can lead to uneven tire wear, poor handling, and shorter tire life. In short, tires can be expensive. But fortunately, keeping them properly aligned could make them last longer.
How Often Do You Need a Wheel Alignment?
Typically, how often you need a wheel alignment depends upon your typical road conditions and how you drive your vehicle. But it’s important to note that bad roads can often be the cause of alignment issues. If you frequently ride over potholes, drive down poorly maintained roads, or even hit a curb, your alignment can be affected.
The general recommendation is to have your alignment checked at the first signs of misalignment or around every 6,000 miles. Your tires and your wallet will thank you.
How Will a Wheel Alignment Help My Vehicle?
A tire alignment ensures optimal drivability. From helping your tires last longer and keeping your vehicle drive smoother to ensuring your wheels are pointed in the right direction, regular wheel alignments provide many great benefits. Alignment issues can also cause your car to guzzle gas more quickly, so an alignment can potentially lead to a more efficient ride as well.
What Does Tire Wear Mean to My Car’s Alignment?
Poor alignment is a common cause of uneven tire wear. Ideally, you should see even wear across your tires’ treads if you are keeping up with rotations. If you’re noticing excessive wear, you may need an alignment adjustment or have too much junk in your trunk.
Poor alignment can shorten your tires’ lifespan by thousands of miles and compromise crucial steering and suspension components — resulting in a big hit to your wallet. Enjoy better fuel economy and longer-lasting tires by having your alignment checked, at the very least, with every other oil change or at the first sign of uneven or premature tire wear.
How Do You Know If You Need a Wheel Alignment?
There are some noticeable signs that could indicate a misalignment. Just use your eyes, ears, and hands. Your senses (and even the good old personal hunch) are great for spotting alignment issues. Here are some common signs that you are dealing with poor alignment:
- Your vehicle pulls to one side
- Uneven or rapid tire wear
- Your steering wheel is crooked when driving straight
- Squealing tires
Are you noticing symptoms of alignment issues? Schedule an alignment check at Firestone Complete Auto Care to get your ride pointing in the right direction.
What Are Some Misalignment Issues I Can Remedy Myself?
While it’s best to leave wheel alignments to the professionals, there are steps you can take to help prevent misalignment. Here are some tips:
- Remove heavy, bulky items from your trunk. If you have too much weight loading down your back end, it can throw off your alignment. Remove what you don’t need, and then make sure to have your alignment checked since your alignment can’t self-adjust.
- Maintain correct air pressure in your tires.
- Embrace conservative driving. It will place less strain on steering and suspension components which are key to maintaining proper alignment.
Let Firestone Handle Your Alignment Issues
Tire misalignment can be so subtle, you may not even realize it. If you are unsure about your current alignment, call on your local Firestone Complete Auto Care. Luckily, we have the precision equipment and expertise to check your alignment and fix it if needed.