While you’re driving, if your vehicle starts pulling to the side, you may be in need of a car service. You may need to take your car in right away to get an alignment. Vehicle alignments are on the low end of expense, but the benefits are on the high end. This will make your trip much smoother, but beyond that you’ll get the benefit of increased safety and better fuel economy.
Types of Alignments
Your vehicle may have four wheels, but you might be surprised to learn you don’t necessarily need all four wheels to be aligned during a service. There are two types of alignments, a front-end alignment as well as a full 4-wheel alignment.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to determine which is needed. The service technician will know. These two types of alignment reallly aren’t very different. The difference lies with the way your car’s axle is put together. Some vehicles have a single piece rear axle, and it never needs an alignment. So, in this case, you’d receive a front-end or 2-wheel alignment.
If you are driving an all-wheel-drive vehicle, each wheel has its own independent suspension. In this case, you’d receive a 4-wheel alignment.
Signs Your Vehicle Needs Alignment
Sometimes it’s obvious that your vehicle should be taken in to be adjusted, and sometimes it’s a little more obscure. Alignments need to happen when any of the wheels are not all pointing in the same direction. Often this occurs after you hit a pothole or a curb while driving.
Once the wheels are misaligned, you’ll experience extra wear on your car. The tires will wear down the trend unevenly. It also affects your gas mileage. So what should you look for?
Uneven Wear of the Tread
It’s not easy to see when the tread of the tires is wearing unevenly. When it becomes visible, that means it’s been going on for a while. This is a sign to take your vehicle in for a service soon.
When the vehicle is veering to the left or the right while driving, something is off with the tires. To rule out tire pressure, take your car to the gas station, check the pressure and refill as needed. If it is still veering, you’ll need to take it in. It might be an alignment issue, but it might also be a suspension issue. Your mechanic will be able to tell you which.
The Steering Wheel is Vibrating
Veering and a vibrating steering wheel are the classic signs of an alignment issue. When the alignment is off, the wheels of the vehicle are trying to go in different directions. As a result, the steering wheel moves rapidly back and forth as it tries to correct each wheel. This could negatively affect your ability to control the car. It’s time to take it in for an alignment if you are experiencing this.
Steering Wheel is not Centered
If you are having to point your steering wheel off to the side while driving, then you are compensating for the wheels being out of alignment.
If any of these signs are popping up on your vehicle, schedule an appointment with your trusted mechanic. At Auto Alternative Service & Sales, we are experts at what we do. Trust us to help you if you are in need of a wheel alignment.