Do I need a Wheel Alignment?
Hitting a large pothole head-on may cause more than a loud thud. It could throw off your car’s wheel alignment.
Improper wheel alignment can cause issues with how your vehicle handles — which could create a safety hazard — and can also negatively impact tire tread and gas mileage.
Collisions even slight ones, can take a car out of alignment. Hitting stuff in the road is a big concern. Curb shots often take a car out of alignment but don’t get checked since the visible damage appears to get absorbed by the tire.
Highly rated mechanics offer signs to look out for and what to know about your car’s alignment.
Abnormal tire wear
- Tires that are abnormally worn could be a sign your car’s alignment is off track.
- Common tire wear comes from a lack of tire rotation. Unlike wear from poor alignment, though, normal tire wear typically occurs on the front tires and shows up as cupping on the outside edges.
- if the alignment is off, other wear patterns can show up, such as excessive wear on the inside edge and/or the outside edges of tires.
Steering wheel pulling
- If the steering wheel pulls to one side or the other, or isn’t level when driving, it could be an alignment issue.
- Other than the physical effort of over steering left or right, you’ll also notice the steering wheel is off center and to the side of the alignment pull.
- Your steering wheel also may remain at an angle even when you’re driving in a straight line.
Routine alignment maintenance
- According to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, wheels should be aligned every 10,000 miles, we also recommend having them checked if there is irregular tire tread.
- Wheel alignment is a maintenance issue that should be checked periodically.
- Normal preventative maintenance says you should align your vehicle with the purchase of new tires, but if you drive over rougher terrain, more often than not you’ll need to align more often.