Any auto expert worth his salt will tell you that the best time to get a wheel alignment is when you need one. But what does that mean for us, regular folks? How are we supposed to know when we need one? Well, routine auto maintenance can often diagnose the need for wheel alignment before obvious signs, like call pulling, uneven tire wear, and a vibrating steering wheel.
Signs You Need A Wheel Alignment
Owning a vehicle requires a good deal of awareness and being proactive. Always be aware of changes in the handling and behavior of your car. When you know what to look for, noticing the signs of wheel misalignment is easy. Schedule a wheel alignment service as soon as you experience any symptoms noted below. Avoiding common causes for misalignment is also recommended.
The most common reason for wheel misalignment is road hazards. Driving on rough roads, hitting curbs or potholes, and car crashes can all cause a sudden misalignment. However, I should note that under normal conditions, everyday driving can also cause your wheels to become misaligned over time.
While these common symptoms can all signify that your vehicle needs a wheel alignment service, they may also point to other issues. Take your car to your local auto shop for a diagnostic service if you experience one or more of these symptoms.
Uneven Tire Tread Wear
One of the easiest ways to spot misalignment is to look at the tire tread. Uneven wear of the tread indicates you may need a wheel alignment. A service technician should inspect excessive wear on the inside, outside, or middle of the tread to diagnose the problem.
Steering Wheel Is Off-Center
An off-center steering wheel can mean the toe angle is misaligned. You can tell your steering wheel is off-center if you need to turn it slightly to the left or right to drive straight ahead.
Car Pulls To One Side
Does your car pull to one side when driving straight? Car pulling can mean that your wheels are out of alignment due to the camber or caster angle being out of spec.
Vibrating Steering Wheel
If you are experiencing several of the above symptoms, plus a vibrating steering wheel, then schedule an appointment for a wheel alignment. If a shaking steering wheel is the only symptom, other issues may need to be addressed. In that case, have your technician look for worn-out suspension parts, out-of-balance tires, or warped brake rotors.
Difference Between Wheel Alignment & Balancing
- Wheel Alignment refers to how all four wheels are positioned in relation to each other and the ground. It is responsible for road traction and steering.
- Wheel Balancing refers to the equal distribution of mass and weight within each wheel (including both the tire and the rim). It is responsible for a smooth ride with more responsive acceleration and stopping.
Benefits Of A Wheel Alignment
There are many benefits to maintaining proper wheel alignment. Not only does it provide a safer driving experience for you and your passengers, but it is also financially advantageous. Benefits may include:
- Longer tire tread life – reduces the need for premature tire replacement
- Better fuel efficiency – filling your gas tank less often saves you money
- Increased safety due to more effective steering response
- Less wear on suspension components
- A more comfortable ride
Routine Auto Maintenance
As the manufacturer recommends, scheduling routine auto maintenance is a great way to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive. It also helps identify minor issues before they become expensive repairs. Most auto experts recommend a wheel alignment inspection once a year. If you are unsure when to schedule your wheel alignment service, consult your owner’s manual or call your local auto repair shop.
Wheel Alignment Service in Pomona, CA
TaylorCo Domestic Auto Service is an AAA-approved, ASE Certified auto repair shop in Pomona, CA. Your tires are literally where the rubber meets the road. If your wheels are unbalanced or misaligned, it can significantly reduce the life of your tires. Let us answer all your tire-related questions. We will find the best fit for your vehicle’s needs.
Schedule Your Appointment
Visit our website or call our office at (909) 316-6166 to schedule your Wheel Alignment Service today.