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Thom's Four Wheel Drive

5 Signs It's Time for a Wheel Alignment

Ignoring your car's maintenance appointments may cost you in the long run, more specifically, if your vehicle is not aligned correctly. A car with poor wheel alignment is dangerous to drive, and the poor alignment may cause other parts of the car, like the braking system, to get damaged. But how do you know when your vehicle needs wheel alignments? Here are the top five signs to be on the lookout for.

1. The car "pulls" you to one side of the road or the other

When driving on the road and you feel like the car is pulling you to one side of the road. Of course, some level of pulling is expected courtesy of the crowning of the road, but too much pulling is a clear sign that something isn't right. Misaligned wheels tend to lean on one side of the vehicle, and that's the side the car will pull.

2. Your steering wheel appears not to be centered

When driving on a flat, straight road, the steering wheel should look straight and sit perfectly. There could be some small discrepancies depending on the road's crown, but overall, the wheel should be straight and centered. If you notice any remarkable discrepancy, take your car to your trusted mechanic for wheel alignment.

3. Loose handling as you drive

The steering wheel should feel stable and tight. If it feels unstable and loose, it may mean that your wheels are misaligned. Loose handling will cause your car to wander on the road and become very difficult to drive. Have a mechanic check your alignment if you notice loose handling.

4. The tire wears most on some spots

In ordinary circumstances, your car tires should wear uniformly. The only difference in wearing out could be between the front and the rear tires. If there's any difference in wear pattern on the front tires or the rear tires, it indicates that one of the tires is experiencing more friction than the other. The same is also true if parts of the same tire wear differently though they are at similar points on the same tire.

5. The steering wheel fails to return to center

When you turn your steering wheel completely, then let it free, it should start returning to the center as long as the vehicle is still moving. Of course, you need not remove your hand off the steering wheel completely because you need to keep the car under control. If the steering wheel fails to return to the center, have your alignment checked.

If you need a wheel alignment, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!

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