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Four Signs It’s Time for a Vehicle Alignment

vehicle-alignmentEveryday driving, traffic, and uneven roads naturally wear on your car’s tires and alignment, so even the world’s best drivers still face alignment issues. The issue isn’t with the tires, but rather with the suspension of the car that causes tires to tilt or bow in or out. Normal driving can cause parts of the suspension to rotate, tweak, or bend. Alignment is measured by the angles of your tires from the side and from the top of the car. Once you’ve had your car aligned, you will likely be able to tell a big difference in the ease of driving and the car’s overall performance.

An unaligned car leads to uneven tire wear, which can cause tires to lose tread much quicker than they would in an aligned car. For the good of your car and your wallet, taking the preventative measure of having your vehicle aligned can save hundreds of dollars and prolong the life of your tires.

Here are four signs that your car is in need of an alignment:

  1. Uneven tire wear. One of the easiest ways to tell if your car is unaligned is to check the tire tread. Ideally, tires will wear evenly on all sides. A car in need of an alignment will have fairly obvious wear that is uneven between the edges of the tire.
  2. Vehicle pulling to the side. If you notice your car naturally pulling to the left or right, it’s probably time for an alignment. A properly aligned car will drive straight when the steering wheel is straight, but an unaligned car might drift to the side with a straight steering wheel or require lots of correction.
  3. Vibrating steering wheel. If your steering wheel is working hard to keep your car moving straight when the wheel isn’t centered, it is common for the steering wheel to vibrate or hum.
  4. It’s been 6,000 miles. There isn’t a warning light or any kind of alignment notification from your car, but most manufacturers recommend getting your car aligned every 6,000 miles or so. Before going through with the entire alignment, have a mechanic check your suspension to see if it is need of an alignment.

 

A vehicle alignment is an easy way to prolong the life of your tires, make your car more enjoyable to drive, and help balance things out on rough roads. It doesn’t take much effort or maintenance to make a big difference.

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