5 Important Signs Your Vehicle Needs Wheel Alignment

Misaligned tires are a prevalent, severe issue that can happen to any vehicle. While it may seem like an inconvenience more than a problem, tires that aren’t aligned correctly will wear unevenly and make a car much more difficult to control. To keep your car running smoothly, explore these five important signs your vehicle needs wheel alignment.

The Steering Wheel is Off-Center

One of the fastest ways to diagnose off-center wheels is via the steering wheel. Correctly aligned tires will allow the wheel to center and appear in the normal position. When tires are not aligned, it’s common for a wheel to maintain a slight tilt, even when the vehicle travels straight. Attempting to adjust back into the centered position will cause the car to turn slightly in one direction.

The Car Pulls To One Side

Of the five important signs your vehicle needs a wheel alignment, most people notice pulling the quickest. When pointing the car in a straight line, a poorly aligned tire will cause the car to drift to one side.

The side is always the same, and the difference in tilt can be observed via the angle of the steering wheel. How much a vehicle pulls depends entirely on the degree of misalignment. Either way, pulling will only worsen and can cause a car to be difficult to control for long periods or at high speeds.

Uneven Tire Wear

Ideally, tires of the same type, make, and age are intended to wear evenly. However, this is only possible if the tires are correctly aligned. It can also cause the misaligned tire to wear in sections of the tire, reducing its overall effectiveness even once the alignment issue is corrected. Tires with very uneven wear are best replaced altogether. Our tire shops cover wheel alignments throughout Idaho Falls and the local area, as well as many other affordable maintenance services.

The Vehicle is Vibrating

Besides causing a car to continuously turn to one side, tires also may end up aligned in opposing directions. A vehicle will start to vibrate noticeably when two or more tires are pointed away from each other or the remaining tires. In other words, the tires are pulling the car in two directions and are then dragged back to the center, resulting in a rough ride.

The Wheels Are Visibly at Odd Angles

The final and best way to diagnose misaligned tires is to have a look at them. First, park the car, ensuring the steering wheel is centered. Normally, the tires should be straight and aligned. If they’re misaligned, though, they won’t be straight.

They’ll either turn inward or outward as if the steering wheel was not centered. Alternatively, tires sometimes become misaligned along the vertical axis. In this case, the upper half of the tire will be angled outward while the lower half is turned inward, or vice versa.