The wheels of an automobile are attached to the vehicle by the suspension system. When the alignment of an automobile is not correct, it can cause problems. Misaligned wheels can be caused by worn out parts or an impact to the car, such as driving over a large pothole or hitting a curb. When the wheels of an automobile are misaligned, it is important to visit an auto repair shop for a wheel alignment. Some of the common signs that your vehicle is in need of a wheel alignment include the following.
1. Tires Wear Out Unevenly
When the wheels of a car are not properly aligned, the tires typically wear out evenly. It is in your best interest to check your front tires to see if they are wearing out evenly and then inspect the back tires to look at the wear pattern. It is also a good idea to have a mechanic check the tread on your tires when you have your car's oil changed. If you notice that your tires have uneven wear patterns, it is most likely because the wheels need to be aligned.
2. Vehicle Pulls to One Side
Misaligned wheels can make a vehicle more difficult to handle. If the wheels are very misaligned, an automobile may pull sharply in one direction when the driver lets go of the steering wheel. In most cases, misaligned wheels cause a slight pull in one direction. To detect slight pulling, drive in a level parking lot and let go of the steering wheel -- if your tires need to be aligned, your vehicle will veer to one side.
3. Vibration from the Steering Wheel
A vibrating steering wheel can be caused by a few different issues, including misaligned wheels. When your vehicle needs a wheel alignment, you will most likely feel the vibration through the steering wheel while your vehicle is in motion. The vibration is caused by the wheels of the car pulling in different directions.
4. Steering Wheel is Crooked
Paying attention to your steering wheel can tell you a lot about the alignment of your automobile. When the wheels of an automobile are aligned properly, the steering wheel is centered when driving straight. As you're driving, take a look at your steering wheel to see if it is slightly off center when you are in motion. If your car's steering wheel is crooked, book an appointment at an auto repair shop to have the wheels aligned.