Driving on bad roads can be detrimental to the wheels on your car. If you find yourself often driving down poorly maintained roads, driving through potholes, or even hitting the curb, you could potentially find that your alignment has been impacted greatly.
This can result in even the slightest and most minimal alignment issue, which can quickly lead to uneven tire wear. Make sure that you have your alignment checked out every 6,000 miles or so. Your tires and your pocketbook will thank you in the end.
Even though you should be sure to check, inflate, and change your tires regularly, tire changes are not the only crucial aspect to maintain in regards to keeping the rubber on the road. Many vehicle owners often fail to check their wheel alignment until it is too late.
Wheel alignment is crucial for safe vehicle functions and can be critical for maintaining control over your vehicle in both rough and smooth roadway conditions. However, just what is wheel alignment, and what makes it so important to the safety of your car?
Why Is Your Car’s Wheel Alignment Important?
When you first buy a car from the dealership or manufacturer, the wheels are properly aligned to meet the specifications prescribed by the vehicle manufacturer, including aligning to multiple angles to make sure your vehicle is able to perform and be controlled optimally. Your primary angels are the front caster and the front and rear camber and toe. When these are in proper alignment, your car responds with little effort to steering and maintains direction as it travels down the road.
Not only does proper wheel alignment make sure that your vehicle is riding on the straight and narrow, but it also reduces expensive and sometimes hazardous wear and tear on your car’s tires. Improper wheel alignment can increase friction between your tires and the road, and increased friction can lead to tire treads thinning to the point of a potentially dangerous blowout. Keeping your wheels aligned can increase the lifespan of your tires and make sure you are safe on the road.
What Causes Problems With Wheel Alignment?
Wheel misalignment can sometimes be the result of natural wear and tear on your vehicle. Each time you hit the road, you are subjecting your car to significant amounts of torque and friction, which causes a slow and gradual degradation of your vehicle components. Pressure on shocks, springs, and tires can lead to them slowly slipping out of alignment over time.
Even more drastic causes of wheel misalignment are the result of jolting impacts. If you hit a curb or pothole, take a speed bump too hard, or are involved in an auto accident, these can all potentially knock your wheels out of alignment. If you have put your vehicle up on lifts, improper suspension alignment can also lead to wheel misalignment.
How Can You Tell If Your Wheels Are Misaligned?
There are many possible signs and symptoms that can tell you something is not quite right with your vehicle, and it requires close attention in order to determine that the issue is coming from misaligned wheels. One of the first signs you could notice is that your vehicle is “listing,” or drifting to one side as you drive. It could also dip further on one side than it does on the other.
If you perform a turn and your steering wheel does not naturally return to its normal resting position, this could be another symptom of poor alignment. The steering wheel could also jerk or vintage as you are driving. Watch the tread of your tires for uneven wear. If one or two tires are wearing more unevenly than others, your wheels are probably out of alignment. Also, listen for potential auditory cues, including squealing tires when you turn.
How Can You Correct & Prevent Wheel Alignment Issues?
Qualified auto mechanics in San Diego and auto service centers such as Automobile Repair Shop San Diego can offer wheel alignment services. You should bring your vehicle into the shop regularly for checkups, including a check on wheel alignment when necessary. Our mechanics use specialized equipment to measure the angles of your wheels and check against the specifications of your manufacturer to help realign them to their proper settings. Having your car’s wheels aligned properly can potentially help avoid safety concerns and driving issues. Do not forget to have your shocks and struts checked as well. Poor shocks can mean more force impacting your wheels and can lead to faster deterioration.
Protect Your Safety
Wheel alignment is much more than just an inconvenience that can make driving difficult and frustrating. It can be a significant safety hazard as well. When your car is difficult to control, it makes it nearly impossible to predict what may happen while driving in congested traffic. You may be unable to prevent an accident due to poor steering, or you may even be the cause of a crash as your vehicle drifts out of your lane. Worn, irregularly damaged tires can cause blowouts and often perform poorly on icy, snowy, or rainy roadways.
Making sure that your wheels are properly aligned is a minimal investment to ensure safe driving. Make wheel alignment a regular part of your routine maintenance and talk to our service consultants at Automobile Repair Shop San Diego about how you can help keep your vehicle in optimal working condition.
San Diego Automobile Repair Shop
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experiences. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today to see how we can help.