Vehicle alignment is something most drivers don’t think about until it’s a problem. We get it. This maintenance task isn’t as common as oil changes. Every automobile is different, but, generally, it’s a good idea to have your car, truck, CUV, or SUV’s wheels aligned every two-to-three years. If it’s been a while and/or you’ve noticed any of the five things listed below, it might be time to bring your vehicle into Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair for a wheel balance and alignment.
Uneven Tire Tread Wear
A sure sign that your wheels are out of alignment (and likely not balanced, either) is uneven tire tread wear. Inspect your tires to see if you have patches of tread wear. The patches could be circular or look more like feathers or scallops. If so, something is wrong with the wheels and it could be the alignment.
Cannot Drive Straight
Your vehicle is designed to go straight unless you steer it otherwise. You shouldn’t have to force it into a straight direction when the steering wheel is straight. If the car, truck, CUV, or SUV is pulling to the side, you need to have the automobile’s wheels realigned. The misaligned wheels are changing the direction.
Another sign of misaligned wheels is loose handling. You know how it feels to drive your automobile; it feels tight and controlled. If the vehicle suddenly feels sloppy, as if you can’t control it when making turns or driving straight, it could be the alignment causing your automobile to wander slightly.
Vibrating Steering Wheel
A vibrating steering wheel is one sign that your vehicle is overdue for a wheel alignment, but it could also be a problem with the steering system. If it is the wheel alignment, your steering wheel is vibrating, particularly at higher speeds, because the wheels are pulling each other in opposite directions.
Crooked Steering Wheel
With your tires pointing straight, take a look at your vehicle’s steering wheel. Is the logo in the center of it perfectly straight or is it lopsided? If it’s lopsided, your wheels are not aligned properly. The logo is put in the center of the steering wheel not only for marketing purposes but also to signal alignment trouble.