When your car rolled off the assembly line, it came preset with special angles that position your tires correctly. In order for your vehicle to travel the way it's supposed to, it needs precise alignment. However, this is the time of year that roads can be particularly hazardous for your wheels. If you drive down poorly maintained roads, drive through potholes, or even hit a curb, it can cause even the slightest alignment issue.
The correct car alignment ensures optimal drivability by keeping your wheels pointed in the right direction. It helps your tires last longer and your vehicle drive smoother. Plus, your car will require less energy to keep going, potentially saving you money on fuel.
What are the 4 Signs of a Bad Wheel Alignment?
- Vehicle pulling to the left or right
- Uneven or rapid tire wear
- Steering wheel is crooked when driving straight
- Squealing tires
Alignment is based on tire angles, which go hand-in-hand with vehicle chassis height. If you have too much weight loading down your backend, it lowers your vehicle height and thus throws off your alignment. Ideally, tires should wear evenly across the tread. Uneven tire wear can result in decreased miles per gallons. Mis-alignment shortens a tire's life by thousands of miles and compromises crucial steering and suspension parts.
What are some ways to ensure you keep the correct car alignment?
- Maintain correct air pressure in your tires.
- Remove junk from the trunk.
- Embrace conservative driving so it places less strain on steering and suspension components, the key to maintaining proper alignment.
- Make sure you have your alignment checked every 6,000 miles or so, or at the very least, with every other oil change or at the first sign of uneven or premature tire wear.
Car misalignment can be so subtle you may not even realize it, leading to uneven tire wear, poor vehicle handling, and shorter tire life. It is much more cost effective to pay out for a wheel alignment service than to pay out for a set of new tires!
Unsure about the signs of bad wheel alignment? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Kestner Automotive today for more information about car alignment and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding area.