Your Vehicle is Out of Alignment
Do I Need My Car Aligned?
Tire alignment (also known as wheel alignment) refers to the adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension, the system which connects the vehicle to its tires. It doesn’t merely involve adjusting the tires themselves. Proper alignment also requires adjustment of tire angles so your tires are correctly positioned.
Bad roads make driving hard. But with misaligned tires, driving becomes hard, even on good roads. Why? Because your tires aren’t pointing in the right direction, which makes steering difficult even when it shouldn’t be.
What causes misalignment?
There are several possible reasons why your wheels get misaligned. There’s normal wear and tear which makes the rubber part of your tire crack, become less elastic, and become loosened from its attachment. Pot holes, hitting a curb or bumping into anything made of concrete also contributes. Of course, getting into an accident, whether minor or especially major, can cause misalignment.
Why should my tires be properly aligned?
If your tires aren’t properly aligned, you’ll have a hard time controlling your car, and it won’t run as smoothly as it’s meant to. If you can’t control your car, this would also mean that your safety will constantly be at risk. And that should be enough reason to avoid this issue at all costs.
We all know driving is hard enough, with all the distractions, the maddening traffic, the inconsiderate drivers, the road works and everything else in between. It’s challenging enough, even when your vehicle is in tiptop shape. It’s doubly challenging when you have to deal with external, as well as internal factors, in this case, your car not being in optimal condition because of misalignment.
Apart from ensuring your vehicle’s drivability, proper alignment also helps your tires last longer, which translates to cost savings for you since you don’t have to replace your tires as often. And don’t forget, when your vehicle is easy to handle, it requires less power to keep it going, which also means you save on fuel. You’ll probably get to save on time too because a car that’s easy to drive will help you get to your destination faster.
How do you know if you need to have your car aligned?
Unfortunately, unlike the internal components of your car which are accompanied by warning lights that show up on your dashboard to signify a possible problem, misalignment doesn’t have its own warning lights. If you’ve been driving for a while, though, it will be hard for you to miss the signs because it will be impossible for you to notice that your car isn’t as easy to drive.
Here are some of the common signs that indicate your wheels are not properly aligned.
- Your vehicle keeps on pulling to one side, sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right. It just doesn’t want to stay straight.
- Your steering wheel seems to be crooked or off-centered, even when you know you’re driving in a straight line.
- Your steering wheel vibrates as you are driving.
- Your tires show rapid or uneven tire wear.
- Your tires squeal a lot.
Keep in mind also that you don’t have to wait for the signs to manifest before taking your car to the shop for alignment. Remember that alignment is part of regular car maintenance. Check out your car manual to find out when it’s due for alignment, with or without the signs. Better yet, listen to the advice of experts who recommend an alignment check every other time you have an oil change.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Cars
Here at Big Sky Collision, we pride ourselves on being the best auto body shop in Billings. And that means making sure you have a safe vehicle. Whether you need your vehicle painted, repaired after an accident, or simply want it detailed so it is spotless for the summer, give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we can get you set up.