What’s the worst enemy of your car wheels? Poorly maintained roads! Bad wheel alignment is a serious issue because it could create safety hazards and impact the gas mileage and tire tread. However, the truth is even a pothole, or a slight thud can throw the wheel off balance.
The Signs of Bad Wheel Alignment
Even if you drive on smooth, well-maintained road and has a squeaky clean driving record, have the alignment got checked at every 6,000 miles. Properly balanced wheels will take care of the tires, save fuel, and guarantees optimal drivability. Let’s find out the symptoms of bad wheel alignment. Learning about these will help you to keep the vehicle at the top of its condition.
Drifting to the left or right direction in a smooth road
When you struggle to keep the car straight, you must take it to a servicing center to check the wheels. A wheel issue tends to make a vehicle veer into one direction on a flat road. To be sure, take your hands off the steering on an empty road and see if it drifts to the left or right direction a little.
The abnormal worn out condition of tires
All the tires have an average lifespan, and they tend to wear off after that period. However, the signs are different when it sprouts from bad wheel alignment. Usually, the tread thins out because of lack of tire rotation. In such cases, you’ll see cupping on the outside edges of the front tires. On the other hand, if the alignment is off track, you may see excessive wear on both the outside and inside edges.
Sloppy or hard wheels
Both the conditions are risky, especially when you are driving on a busy street or a road full of curves. It could be a problem with suspension components if you feel the wheels are loose or not holding up tightly while making a turn. However, bad wheel alignment is the culprit in most cases. Similarly, the same thing could be the reason of hard steering.
The steering vibrates while driving
The wheel alignment cause a vibration when it’s off balance. It mostly happens when the car hits a pot hole or bumps into something and knocks out the wheels of their position. However, the shaking could be the repercussion of many other serious problems such as warped brake rotors, damaged suspension components, and misaligned tires.
Bad alignment noise will warn you about displaced wheels. So, you should pay attention when your vehicle is making creaking, knocking, or squeaking sound. Although issues with suspension and loose or damaged components can be the reasons of strange noises coming underneath a vehicle, bad wheel alignment could be another potential cause.
A typical alignment repair may cost something between $75 and $100. However, some mechanics may charge more depending on the complexity of the task and the type of equipment they need to use.