Is your vehicle overdue for an alignment? Wheels can become misaligned over time. Rather than having the same angle, some of your vehicle's wheels may have different angles. A wheel alignment service, however, offers a quick fix. During an alignment service, a mechanic will adjust your vehicle's steering and suspension so that all of the wheels have the same angle. Below are five signs that your vehicle needs an alignment.
#1) Uneven Tread Wear
Take a moment to inspect all of your vehicle's tires. If you notice that they suffer from uneven tread wear, you may need to get an alignment. Ideally, all of your vehicle's tires should experience the same level of tread wear in the same places. If there's a noticeable difference in tread wear between your vehicle's tires, you should consider getting an alignment.
#2) Pulling to the Side
One of the most telltale signs that your vehicle needs an alignment is pulling to the side. When driving on a flat road, your vehicle should go directly forward -- assuming you aren't touching the steering wheel. If it pulls to the left or right side, you may need to get an alignment. Misaligned wheels point in different directions, which can manifest in the form of pulling to the side.
#3) Uncentered Steering Wheel
Another common sign that your vehicle needs an alignment is an uncentered steering wheel. Steering wheels should typically be centered. The top of your vehicle's steering wheel should be positioned at the top by default. If it's crooked, an alignment may help. The steering wheel, of course, connects to the steering column. If your vehicle has misaligned wheels, the steering column may pull the steering wheel so that it becomes crooked and uncentered.
#4) Blown Tires
If you're constantly experiencing blown tires, you may want to get an alignment. Tires don't last forever. Depending on the type -- as well as your driving habits -- you can expect them to last for about three to five years under normal circumstances. But misaligned wheels may shorten the lifespan of your vehicle's tires. Some of your vehicle's tires may quickly wear down to the point where they blow. You can always replace the blown tires, but you'll ultimately get an alignment to prevent this from happening.
#5) Loose Steering
You may notice loose steering if your vehicle needs an alignment. Loose steering means that you have to turn the steering wheel farther to the left or right in order to turn your vehicle in that direction. As your vehicle's wheels become misaligned, it can affect the steering. And one of the many ways in which wheel misaligned affects the steering is by causing loose steering.