When your car's wheels are properly aligned, your car should travel straight ahead, with the steering wheel remaining straight and stead, when you take your hands off the wheel for a second. Cars are generally sold with their wheels properly aligned, but the wheels can fall out of alignment under certain conditions. An auto repair service will then need to re-align the wheels. Here are a few signs you need this service performed.
1. Your car keeps veering to one side
As you drive along on a straight road, do you feel as though the car is constantly pulling to one side? You may need to continually turn the steering wheel a bit to make up for this. Over time, you might get so used to having to correct for the pulling that you barely notice it, but a friend may notice it if they drive your car.
2. Your tires are wearing unevenly
Every couple of months, take a close look at your tires. Are they developing more wear on the inside than the outside or vice versa? Or perhaps the right tires are wearing much faster than those on the left-hand side of the vehicle. There are several possible causes of uneven tire wear, but one of the most common is misaligned wheels. Have the problem corrected as soon as possible, or else you may need to replace your tires prematurely (which can get costly.)
3. Your tires squeal around the corners
This is another problem that can be caused by a number of issues, such as brake problems and badly worn tires. But if your brakes and tires are in good shape and your car squeals around the corner, it could be because the wheels are improperly aligned. Squealing might seem like a minor annoyance, but the damage misalignment causes to your tires is no joke.
4. Your steering wheel is crooked
As you're driving along, pay attention to where the middle of your steering wheel sits. If it sits slightly to the right or left, rather than dead center, your wheels may be coming out of alignment.
The good news is that realigning wheels is a pretty simple task. Almost any tire replacement or auto care service should be able to realign the wheels or you. Generally, they'll take about an hour to perform this service, so you can even have it done on a long lunch break. Contact a local auto shop for auto alignment repair services.
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