What You Should Know About Car Alignment Issues

Although most car owners understand the fundamentals of oil changes, tire rotations, and even replacing worn tires, many car owners don't think about the importance of alignment, nor do they really know how to tell if their car needs one. Unfortunately, this can prove costly in premature wear, inefficient use of fuel, and more. Here's a look at what you need to know about car alignments and when it's time to call an auto repair shop.

Why Does Car Alignment Matter?

Your car's alignment directly affects the angle and direction of the tires. When the tires aren't properly aligned and even, it can lead to all sorts of performance issues and struggles. For example, when your tires aren't properly aligned, you'll have one section of a tire that contacts the ground more firmly and completely than the rest of it, such as the outer edge. This can lead to excessive wear on that edge of the tire, which may cause your car to pull in one direction or the other.

You'll also notice that you have to pull the steering wheel, even if only slightly, in one direction or the other to keep the car straight on the road. This can be tiring for those driving long distances. Not to mention that the misalignment of the tires affects your car's fuel consumption because the car is working harder to get down the road since it has to compensate for the tires not being properly aligned.

Finally, neglecting your car's alignment can also lead to wear and tear on the suspension and steering components since they are compensating so much when you drive. This can be quite costly over time, especially with premature component failures.

Is Your Car Out Of Alignment?

Now that you understand the importance of your car's alignment, it's equally beneficial to understand the signs that your alignment is failing. 

One of the most obvious signs of misalignment is if your car is pulling in one direction or the other. You might also notice that, when your tires are turned visibly straight, your steering wheel is slightly off-center. Left unaddressed long enough, you'll start to see uneven wear patterns on your car's tires because the tires are not coming into contact with the road at normal angles.

Any time you notice handling issues like these, or you see visible signs of uneven tire wear on your car's tires, those should all be indications that your car is in need of an alignment. Your auto repair technician can assess the alignment to determine if that is the source of your problems before you have the service done, and an alignment is usually a fairly simple, same-day process in most auto repair shops.

For more information on if your car is out of alignment, contact an auto repair shop near you.

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A Long Drive The next time you climb behind a wheel, think about how amazing it is that your car can drive down the road at 100 miles per hour or more. Granted, you are not going this fast on a regular basis, but even the ability to reach 60 miles per hour is pretty remarkable. The engine, body, wheels, and other components all need to work together to achieve this motion. The more you learn about cars, the more amazed you will be. Check out the articles on this blog, which are compiled by other car enthusiasts. From maintenance to driving tips, you'll find the topics engaging.



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