Potholes are everywhere. They are gouged into the streets around your neighborhood, main roads, freeways, even parking lots. There are also curbs. Unfortunately, you cannot always avoid things like potholes and curbs when driving, but you can keep an eye on your wheel alignment.
What are the symptoms of misaligned wheels? Is it time to take your vehicle in for a wheel alignment? Let’s ask an experienced car mechanic in Athens County, OH for some signs to watch out for:
- Uneven tire wear: Uneven tire wear is not good for wheel alignment. If the tread on a tire on one side of the car is worn down and the other tires are fine, there is something wrong with that tire or wheel. Check all your tires each month to ensure they have the same wear patterns. Another good time to check them is after hitting a pothole, curb, speed bump or anything else harder than expected. Tires that appear to look the same are likely aligned properly, while tires that vary in appearance should be inspected by a mechanic.
- Sharp pulling: If your vehicle pulls sharply in one direction, your wheel alignment could be off. First things first, make sure the pulling is not related to air pressure. Under inflated tires can cause your car to pull to one side, especially if a tire is almost completely flat. Adjust your tire pressure to the correct pressure and take your car for a spin around the block. If after you’ve correct the tire pressure your vehicle still pulls hard in one direction, it could be a sign you might need to have your wheels realigned.
- Slight pulling: Sharply pulling to one side is not the only concern. While sharp pulling occurs with severely misaligned vehicles, slight pulling is way less noticeable most of the time. If you suspect your car is pulling more in a certain direction, but it’s difficult to tell, head to the nearest vacant parking lot. Make sure it’s a flat, even surface. Now, drive slowly in a straight line, release the steering wheel and see what happens. If your car drifts a little in either direction, it is probably misaligned.
- Crooked steering wheel: Pay attention to your steering wheel. A misaligned vehicle can drive with a steering wheel that is off center, but it can lead to serious car problems down the road. Think hard, and be observant. Does your steering wheel really sit straight? Are you subconsciously correcting it as it veers ever so slightly? A crooked steering wheel is not normal. Take your car in for a wheel alignment.
If you want to maintain proper wheel alignment, avoid driving aggressively, watch for road hazards and don’t go off-roading in a vehicle that’s not designed to drive on terrain other than pavement. Having your tires rotated on a regular basis is another way to be sure your vehicle stays properly aligned. Call Dana’s Tire Center today to have your vehicle looked at by a certified car mechanic in Athens County, OH!
Categorised in: Car Mechanic
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