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How to Know When You’ve Got Bad Wheel Alignment

Your vehicle’s wheels and bad roads never go well together. Driving through potholes or down poorly maintained roads can affect your alignment. Keep in mind that whether you buy a brand-new car through a dealership or used Japanese cars online, once you get the tiniest alignment issue, the problem can lead to uneven tire wear.

So, how do you know when your car has misaligned wheels? Well, keep on reading this article to discover the symptoms. Make sure you carefully observe the signs so you can address the issue promptly. After all, aside from knowing how to identify the cause of your engine problem, you should also learn how to diagnose a bad wheel alignment.

1) You Notice your Car Going Over to One Side

Try driving on a long highway that has very little traffic around. Remove your hands off the steering wheel and see where the car guides itself on the road. If you start to notice that the vehicle is going over to a particular side, put your fingers back on the wheel. Lightly maintain control of the steering, allowing you to stay in the right lane.

The next thing you’d have to do is test the car again. Try removing your hands from the wheel. If you feel the car guiding itself to the side, then it means that you need to get the alignment fixed. If you do not address this problem promptly, you would have a more difficult time keeping the car running straight. Moreover, you will easily cross over to other lanes the moment your grip becomes loose.

2) The Steering Wheel is out of Place

Keep in mind that your steering wheel must be sitting almost completely straight when you are driving straight down a level, flat road. Depending on the condition of the road, there should only be minimal discrepancy. In general, the wheel should be centered and straight. The emblem of your car in the steering wheel’s center should look level to you. If you notice that the steering wheel is off-center by several degrees in either direction, then it is time to get an alignment service. Doing so will enhance the overall drivability of your car.

3) Your Steering Wheel Starts to Vibrate

Pay attention to how your steering wheel feels. If you notice that it tends to vibrate, then there might be problems in balancing or alignment. Your wheels can get misaligned when you drive over something big or a pothole on the road. However, when you notice vibration on the steering wheel too this could be an indication of a much bigger problem. So, make sure you bring your vehicle to a professional mechanic.

4) There’s Unusual Tire Wear in Certain Spots

You can look at the wear patterns on the tires to know about the condition of your vehicle. Qualified technicians can look at them and make educated guesses about suspension condition, tire pressures, and alignment problems. If there is unusual wear only on the inside or outside edges of the tires, then there might be something wrong with the camber adjustment. Most of the time, when there’s scalloping or feathering of the tires, it means that there’s an issue with the toe adjustment.

A mechanic usually notices tire wear wile inspecting during a service or while performing a tire rotation. When you properly align the wheels, you can increase the life of your tires. So, if you notice unusual tire wear patterns, you should have your wheels aligned.

So, these are some of the signs you have to watch out to know that your wheels are misaligned. As we’ve mentioned, having this problem addressed promptly can prolong the life of your tires and improve overall drivability. So, at the onset of wheel misalignment, make sure that you have your car checked by a professional.

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