The alignment of your vehicle's tires is an often-overlooked aspect of your car's general mechanical state of well-being, but is nonetheless an important one. Poor alignment can reduce the amount of control that you have over your vehicle, while also reducing its handling capabilities and increasing the amount of wear that the suspension, axles, and tires experience. Fortunately, there are a few warning signs that you can look out for to determine when you need to have your vehicle realigned to prevent such problems from developing.
One of the most common indications that your vehicle's alignment may be deteriorating is if you notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side of the road while driving normally. This will start subtly, and may be hard to notice at first – if you notice that one of your arms is noticeably more tired than the other after driving, you may be fighting poor alignment constantly. To test your vehicle's alignment, you should go to a straight road without traffic and drive slowly in a straight line: take your hands off of the wheel and see if your vehicle gradually veers to the side. If it does, you should head to a mechanic straight away.
Another common indication of poor alignment, which is easier to notice than the above point, is if you notice that your steering wheel is vibrating significantly while driving. This can be because of your tires pointing in opposite directions, causing them to fight each other and reducing the amount of traction that they have with the road. This can also greatly increase the amount of wear that a certain section of each tire experiences, significantly reducing their lifespan as a result.
Uneven Tire Wear
In a similar vein to the above point, if you think your vehicle may be misaligned, you should inspect the wear patterns on your tires. Normal tire wear is even over the entire surface of your tire's tread: however, if you notice that a single side of your tires, even if it isn't the same side across all tires, you likely have an alignment issue that needs to be fixed.
Finally, another indication that your alignment needs to be adjusted is if you feel as if you do not have tight control over the direction of your vehicle. Looseness of the steering wheel while turning, especially if you notice that the wheel does not come all the way back to its straight, central position after you have completed a turn, can point to alignment issues that can increase the risk of you experiencing a collision while driving.
For more information, contact companies like Professional Automotive.