How Can I Tell if My Car Is Out of Alignment?

You can knock your vehicle out of alignment suddenly or the wheels could slowly become misaligned. Either way, it’s important to have the wheels put back into alignment so you don’t damage them or the tires on your automobile. Kauai Auto Repair, LLC, can realign your wheels if they need it. Here are five ways that you can tell that your wheels are out of alignment.

1. Tread Wear

We recommend that you inspect your tires regularly for two reasons: 1. To make sure you have enough tire tread. 2. To make sure the tread wear is even. Uneven or patchy tire tread wear indicates a problem with the wheel alignment and/or balance. It could also mean you have an issue with the tires themselves. Either way, it’s best to have the uneven wear checked out so you don’t damage the tires.

2. Pulling

Your car, truck, or C/SUV should go straight when you’re steering straight. You should not have to fight to keep it from pulling to the side. If you do, your wheels are not aligned. Assume for the moment that you accidentally hit a curb hard when you made a right turn. You might find your vehicle pulling to right after this because you knocked the front, passenger-side wheel out of alignment when you hit the curb.

3. Drifting

Drifting to one side is a lesser form of pulling but it still means your wheels are not aligned. Drifting tends to happen over time. You didn’t do any one thing to knock your wheels out of alignment. Rather, they just worked their way out of alignment due to the constant road vibration and wear and tear. Getting your wheels aligned every two years helps prevent drifting to one side or the other.

4. Vibration

Wheel vibrations generally mean your wheels are not balanced properly, but if your steering wheel vibrates while you drive, your wheels are likely out of alignment. The reason why your steering wheel vibrates rather than the wheels is that your tires are pulling each other in opposite directions rather than working together. One misaligned wheel can make driving your vehicle very difficult.

5. Crooked Steering Wheel

Finally, the logo in the center of your steering wheel is there for more reasons than to show off your vehicle’s brand. If the logo is tilted to the side yet your wheels are straight, your wheels are not aligned. If your steering wheel’s logo is crooked, stop by Kauai Auto Repair, LLC, in Lihue, HI, for a wheel alignment. Contact us in advance to schedule an appointment so we can you in and out quickly.

Photo by Algre from Getty Images via Canva Pro