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When Do You Need a Wheel Alignment? Five symptoms

When Do You Need a Wheel Alignment? Five symptoms

Understanding “when do you need a wheel alignment” saves you a lot of consequences that could require higher repair costs. Here are the five symptoms indicating your vehicle is due for a wheel alignment column

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  1. Your vehicle is not driving straight
  2. The tire wear is uneven
  3. Your tires make squealing noises
  4. The steering wheel is crooked
  5. The steering vibrates
  6. The steering wheel is loose

Your vehicle requires regular maintenance to ensure its performance and extend its lifetime. Failing to do these regular maintenance leads to significant outcomes that could cost you tons of money on repairs.

One of the very common regular maintenances that you might come across is what's known as the wheel alignment. As the name suggests, wheel alignment refers to the process where your mechanic ensures that all wheels are aligned together like how they were designed when you first purchased them.

The question always remains, “when do you need a wheel alignment?” Since it might be challenging to say when exactly you need a wheel alignment, this article will provide you with all you need to know about the idea of wheel alignment and when to detect that your vehicle is due for wheel alignment.

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What does wheel alignment mean?

Before we dive into the details about “when do you need a wheel alignment?” First, we must understand what wheel alignment means in the first place. It might be very intuitive for you to hear about oil changes or probably tire rotation, but we'll alignments could not very comment to most inexperienced drivers.

The wheel alignment refers to the process where the mechanic checks the alignments of all the wheels and ensures that dear configured properly in a position to make your car drives smoothly and not to impact the suspension system.

More specifically, the wheel alignment involves squaring the car and ensuring that all the wheels and the axles are squared together and are put in the same direction. Next, the mechanic goes into this pension system and checks the angles to see how they are positioned with the tires. Also, they confirm how the wheels are related to the steering system and what are the vehicle's current wheel angles match the original manufacturer's standards.

How often should you perform wheel alignment?

Your vehicle's owner's manual should have some details about how often you should perform a wheel alignment. However, most automotive experts suggest somewhere between two and three years as a perfect time to perform the wheel alignment.

Keep in mind that you might deal with case-by-case scenarios where you need a wheel alignment before that. Therefore, it is critical for you to Flyers yourself with other symptoms that could indicate your vehicle is due for a wheel alignment before hitting the two or three years.

Front Wheel Drive vs. All Wheel Drive

When do you need a wheel alignment? Five symptoms

When you first purchased your car, the alignment would be great, and you wouldn't notice any issues with the driver bullet. However, over time, this balance and the alignment can get easily impacted. And therefore, your manufacturer cannot require you to check the alignment between now and then, depending on what's specified in a new vehicle owner’s manual.

Some drivers might miss reading through the vehicle's owner’s manual and forget about doing the wheel alignment. Therefore, learning about some common symptoms indicating that your car is due for wheel alignment is extremely helpful and can prevent you from paying thousands of dollars on unnecessary repairs. New paragraph, the good news is that automotive experts put together a list of potential symptoms indicating that you should check on the alignment immediately before dealing with other complications. Let's take a closer look at the normal color

1.    Your vehicle is not driving straight

One of the first and most common symptoms indicating that your vehicles have 24-wheel alignment is when your car doesn't drive straight. Have you ever been driving your car and noticed that it's drifting towards one side more than the other? Did you need to hold the steering wheel all the time to prevent your car from pulling into One direction more than the other? That could be a clear sign of alignment issues.

Keep in mind that this symptom can also be related to a bad steering system which means that your mechanic needs to perform a thorough inspection to confirm that the issue is related to the wheel alignment.

2.    The tire wear is uneven

Your vehicle's tires are great tools to detect if you're having an issue with other systems like the suspension, steering, and wheels. Therefore, perform a quick visual inspection and look at these tires. If you notice that that tire is not even throughout all the tires, it could mean that you're having issues with balance that are most likely related to improper alignment.

Again, uneven tire wear is another symptom related to a variety of components. Therefore, you'll need to confirm with the mechanic whether the issue has to do with the alignment or probably a combination of many.

3.    Your tires make squealing noises

Whenever you hear any weird noises coming from your car, it should alert you to internal issues. You should never ignore any noise coming from your car, and by ignoring these noises, you allow the problem to evolve and become severe to a point where you can't fix it without paying thousands of dollars.

One of the very common symptoms indicating that you are probably dealing with alignment issues is when the tires start making squealing noises. Once you notice this, check if it's coming from one side more than the other or an issue with all the sites. If that's the case, your mechanic can detect whether your alignment is messed up or whether you need to do something else.

4.    The steering wheel is crooked

The steering wheel is directly linked to the wheels, and if there is any problem with the alignment, you will notice it through the steering system. So one of the very important things to keep an eye on is whenever you deal with steering issues.

For example, if you've tried to steer to the right side and notice that your card is not responding, this is a very difficult and important situation to check on immediately because it impacts the way you control your car and could put your life at risk.

5.    The steering vibrates

Have you ever been in a situation where you were driving your car at a certain speed and realized that the whole steering wheel vibrates in your hands? That is a good sign to bring your attention to check on your car.

It could be a problem with the steering system itself, but bad wheel alignment could be a potential culprit. Check on the alignments and check on other components to confirm what's going on. You must never ignore any steering vibration because it's one of those issues that has to do with how you control your car.

6.    The steering wheel is loose

Finally, the more you drive your car, the more you'll notice any changes. For example, if you realize that the steering wheel is looser than before, it is a great sign that you're dealing with some alignment issues, if not an issue with the steering system. Therefore, do not take it easy and check with your mechanic the result of the issue as soon as possible.

The Differences between 4 Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive

How much does a wheel alignment cost?

The good news is that wheel alignment is not very expensive, and it's something that should cost you somewhere between $50 and $75. Remember that this price range might differ depending on where you get the job done.

For example, if you decide to go to a dealership, your repair costs will be much higher than someone else husband to a small independent shop. Also, notice that alignment is not something you can do on your own, like those common DIY car repairs.

Therefore, no matter how much you want to save on the wheel alignments, it will involve some labor costs. However, you should not worry about this because the process is not very complicated and will not take much time. Thus, the mechanic will take a minimal effort to get the wheel-alignment done.

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What could happen if I continue driving my car out of alignment?

If your car is out of alignment, you will still be able to drive it. It will not stop your car from driving because it doesn't have to do with how the engine performs or the other stuff. However, you will experience very challenging issues, including:

1.    Vehicle drifting hard

Your vehicle will be drifting towards each side harder than it should. As a result, it can be very challenging to control the car, especially if you're driving at higher speeds on highways. Therefore, there is a very high potential that you might get involved in major car accidents.

2.    Reduction in fuel economy

You'll notice that your vehicle consumes more fuel than it should, and you will perform more gas station visits than before. Thus, whatever you're trying to save by delaying the alignment should not be as expensive as how much you'll pay for the extra fuel.

This is because your engine is designed to support a specific wheel alignment, and if the car is out of alignment, the engine will work harder, and it will need to consume more fuel to generate its current energy to move your car.

3.    Fast tire wear

The other problem you might face if ignoring the natural alignment for a long time is faster tire wear. You'll notice that your tires are eating up very fast, and some of them might be damaged more than others. Therefore, you will eventually need to replace the tires, and even if you are dealing with issues with one or two tires, in most scenarios, you'll have to replace the four tires because of the issues with the balance.

4.    Faulty suspension system

The wheel alignment also has to do with the suspension system, and if you ignored it for a long time, you would start dealing with problems with a more expensive system, the suspension. Eventually, you'll have to deal with some repairs that could be available by performing the realignment regularly.

5.    Damage to the steering system

As you might notice, many of the mentioned symptoms of wheel alignments need has to do with the steering system. Therefore, the wheels are highly connected to the steering system. Therefore, any alignment problem could eventually damage the steering system, especially if you ignore the problem for a very long time.

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Final thoughts

Your vehicle's wheels are very important components because they are connected directly to the tires, and they might impact their safety if they're not in good condition. Along with the many different problems that the wheels could experience, issues with wheel alignment is a very common one.

Your manufacturer will ask you to check on the wheel alignment continuously, and it should be specified in the new vehicles owner’s manual. However, you still might get to a point where you're unsure about the question, “when do you need a wheel alignment?” This article highlighted six potential symptoms indicating that you are most likely due to wheel alignment.

If your vehicle involves a lot of other major problems, fixing the alignment might not be the top priority for you. Instead, you should evaluate whether it's better to sell your car and buy a vehicle that doesn't have any issues with alignment. However, who would want to buy a vehicle with major problems? Well, cash cars buyer does!

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