The alignment on your car is what ensures that it rides smoothly going down the road. If your alignment is off, it can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the wheel and drive components of your vehicle. If you’ve recently experienced any of these four car mishaps below, it’s time to head to your local mechanic to get your alignment checked out.
Shaking / Screeching
One of the most common indicators that it’s time to contact your local mechanic to check your alignment is vehicle shaking. When you’re driving down the road, your vehicle should be riding smoothly. Unless you’ve hit uneven pavement, it’s likely that any shaking is due to poor alignment. Also, screeching is another clear indicator that your tires are trying to drive in different directions. They must be realigned to stop the screeching noise.
Constant Turning in One Direction
If you constantly find yourself fighting the steering wheel to keep your vehicle going straight down the road, it can indicate a problem with the alignment. While the road service and state of your existing tires are going to play a role here, alignments are something that need to be checked out as well. Take your car down multiple roads and let go of the steering wheel for a moment or two. If you notice that your car is constantly drifting off to the left or to the right, then you need to get your alignment checked.
Uneven Tire Wear
If you’re starting to notice that one or more of your tires are having uneven wear on their tread, it’s a tale-tell sign that your vehicle is out of alignment. Most times, you’ll see that the inner or outer edge of the tire is wearing faster than the opposite side. Your mechanic will refer to this as camber wear. Another common type of uneven wearing is feathering. This is where one side of the tread is sharp and rigid while the other side is worn flat. Both indicate issues with a vehicle’s alignment.
Smacking a Curb
One surefire way to damage the alignment in your vehicle is to smack a curb. We’ve all been there. You make a turn tighter than you thought, or you pulled in much too close to the curb when trying to parallel park. If you smack that curb, it can shift the alignment of that tire. Just throwing off the alignment in one tire can result in poor positioning of the three remaining tires.
When it comes to checking the alignment on your vehicle, you probably don’t give it much thought. However, poor alignment can wreak havoc on the driving components of your vehicle. If you’re experiencing any of the four conditions above, be sure to consult your local mechanic right away.