Having your wheels properly aligned is very beneficial. It will make your car easier to control and safer to drive. It will protect and extend the lifespan of your brakes, wheels, tires, suspension system and other components. It can even help improve fuel efficiency.
You should have your wheel alignment checked as part of your normal automotive maintenance routine. If a realignment is recommended, you will want to listen to your mechanic. Otherwise, there are some common symptoms and signs that you may be in need of a wheel realignment service. Here are a few issues you can look for as a driver:
1. Pulling Hard to the Side
If you are driving and the vehicle is pulling hard to one side or the other, your wheels are probably out of alignment. A simple test is to drive on a straight road without any other cars around and let go of the wheel for a couple seconds. A slight drift is probably no big deal, but a hard pull is cause for concern.
2. Trouble Handling on Sharp Turns
Another telltale sign of wheel misalignment is when your car handles poorly when making sharp turns. It may pull hard to one side or even shudder a bit as it tries to pull in the opposite direction. Or, it may feel kind of loose when cornering. These are common signs of suspension or tire wear issues, but wheel alignment will also be something to consider.
3. Crooked Steering Wheel
When your car is driving dead straight, but your steering wheel is way off-center, you could have serious wheel alignment problems. Either the wheel itself needs to be fixed or your alignment should be checked.
4. Bumpy Ride
There may be a time when things feel extra bumpy when driving or you notice every little vibration on the road. This is often a classic case of suspension problems and/or wheel alignment issues.
5. Uneven Tire Wear
Your tire wear can tell you a lot about the health of your brakes, wheels, suspension and wheel alignment. If one or more tires are wearing out excessively fast or very unevenly, you could have a wheel alignment issue. Keep in mind that wheels can get out of alignment in multiple angles, whether it's side-to-side, top-to-bottom or front-to-back. In auto repair terminology, these are known as the caster, camber and toe, respectively.
Most vehicles have some slight wheel misalignment issues that aren't a huge deal. However, when you start to notice some of these serious problems above, you will want to get your vehicle looked at. An auto repair shop can check your wheel alignment, inspect your suspension/brakes and recommend the necessary repairs to get everything back into ideal alignment. Sometimes it's a very simple adjustment and other times more work may need to be done. As with any auto repair, it's best to catch the issue early and deal with it before it develops into something much worse.
If you are having wheel alignment issues or just want to stop by for a quick alignment check in Northern Delaware, call Fox Run Auto at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online.