How to Check Your Wheel Alignment
It’s common knowledge that automobiles need regular maintenance. Checking your wheel alignment should be a vital part of that maintenance routine – it’s not always the most obvious to detect, though. When a car breaks down, the driver knows that the engine needs fixing. When the wipers are not moving, they need to be replaced. When there is a flat tire, it needs to be changed. But, what if the wheel alignment is not right? It is not immediately visible and yet, it is critical to the safety of the car and the passengers.
If you are unsure whether or not your alignment is out of whack, check for these telltale warning signs that your car’s wheels need to be aligned.
Check the Steering Wheel
Here is a quick test for you. While driving on a flat level road, keep an eye on the steering wheel. The steering wheel should be straight and in the center. If you are not on flat terrain, the uneven ground can make your steering wheel appear tilted. Now, from your position in the driver’s seat, look at the logo of the car company that is welded in the center of the steering wheel. Does it appear in the middle? If it doesn’t, then it’s time to take the car to a workshop to correct the alignment.
The Tires Are Speaking
They really are. Only if you are ready to listen, that is. When the wheel alignment is off, the tires are a dead giveaway. Give the tire rubber a close and careful inspection. If you see balding on one side and not on the other, then it is a telltale sign that the car’s alignment needs to be checked. Also, while you are at it, you may want to consider getting the tires replaced too, because the uneven wear will make them go flat in no time.
Pulling to One Side
If you know that you are driving on a rather smooth road, but your car seems to always pull to one side, then there is a problem with the wheel alignment. A perfectly working vehicle should drive straight, as long as the steering wheel is not moving. If you need to keep steering the steering wheel just to get the car moving in a straight line, then your wheel alignment is definitely off. This kind of car behavior can turn very dangerous and can easily cause an accident, so be sure to correct this issue as soon as you detect it!
A Lot of Shaking
If your steering wheel is shaking while you are driving on a straight road, then you have a problem. The shaking of the steering wheel may very well indicate that you need to have your alignment done. Be cautious with this as the shaking can create some serious safety issues and should be corrected as soon as possible.
If your vehicle is experiencing any of these symptoms, you very well may need your vehicle’s wheel alignment done – at the very least, you should get the problem checked out as soon as you can. You as a driver are most familiar with your car, and should know when something just doesn’t feel right.