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Aug 19, 2015

How To Know If Your Car Needs An Alignment

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It may be surprising to know that alignment doesn’t refer to the wheels of your car but to the suspension system of your vehicle. A car needing alignment will definitely affect the way you steer your car while you drive and it’s a bad idea to continue operating the car if you have trouble controlling it, especially in dangerous driving conditions. When you notice that your car needs to be realigned, don’t hesitate to bring it into a trusted mechanic right away.

How To Know If Your Car Needs An Alignment

When the Suspension of your Car Needs Maintenance

Even though the suspension system is designed to absorb shocks and make your ride smoother and more comfortable, it’s made of many parts which means the extra energy from driving over bumps in the road can easily knock things out of place. Even if you handle your car carefully, eventually the suspension will need re-alignment. Avoid speeding up the process of making the suspension worse by driving carefully when making turns or pulling into a raised driveway.

Does your Car Naturally Drift to one Side?

If you’re cruising along on a road that’s flat, evenly paved, and straight, and your car pulls itself towards the left or right side of the lane, then your car is drifting on its own. You may find yourself correcting the car’s direction by turning the steering wheel every so often to stay well within your lane. A different way of testing your car is to find the position of the steering wheel that makes your car drive as straight as possible, and if the steering wheel isn’t centered, you should consider taking your car in.

In addition, when you pull into a parking spot, make sure you centre your steering wheel. Step out of your car and check to see your tires are facing forward.

Your Steering Wheel Handles Differently

Operating your car should feel nice and smooth, so if you feel vibration directly from your steering wheel while you’re driving, that’s also an indicator that your car needs to be taken into the shop. Of course your car will vibrate while driving, and that’s normal but if your steering wheel shakes in a way that’s not felt through your feet or seat, then there could be an issue.

Check your Tire Wear

Cars with alignment issues often have one or two tires that have visible extra wear:

  • The tread may be more shallow on the worn tires
  • Different tire colouration
  • The tire is more underinflated than the others when you go to refill the air in your tires

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