I Think Maybe I Need A Wheel Alignment...?
At AutoTread in Birmingham, AL, we sometimes see customers who are a little confused about whether they might need a wheel alignment. Let’s clear one thing up right away…
If you’re experiencing a vibration through the steering wheel, that is most likely NOT a wheel alignment issue. Wheel alignment problems mean that your vehicle’s steering angles have drifted away from factory spec, either through wear or damage. Alignment issues won’t result in vibration – vibration is a result of an out-of-balance wheel, suspension damage or a tire problem.
Here are signs you’re in need of a wheel alignment:
· Uneven tread wear on front wheels. When your wheels are out of alignment, one front wheel is constantly trying to push or pull the car in another direction. When that happens, the tire is dragged along as the vehicle tries to stay in a straight line, scrubbing tread off in an uneven pattern.
· Persistent pull to one side. This isn’t always a result of wheel alignment problems, though – it can also result from an underinflated tire, crowned pavement or tires that are in need of rotation
· Steering feels “heavy” or clumsy.
· Steering wheel doesn’t center itself easily after turning a corner.
· Steering wheel has to be held off-center to go in a straight line down the highway.
Alignment adjustments are minute and precise. Cams and bolts are adjusted to bring the wheels’ angles back into spec again. If you don’t think that wheel alignment is important, you may want to consider this…if your alignment angles are off by 1/8” and you took your hands off the steering wheel for one mile, your vehicle would end up 28 feet off the straight line by the end of that mile!
Poor wheel alignment is more than just tiring on a long drive. It’s also costing you money in terms of premature tire wear and fuel economy, as heightened rolling resistance uses more gas to keep you pointed down the highway. Don’t just put up with it – make an appointment with us at Auto Tread of Birmingham, AL and let our alignment techs put your car up on the rack to check those crucial alignment angles!