Alignment is a very important part of taking care of your vehicle. When your tire alignment is just a bit off, your driving ability can be in question. Sometimes, it is easy to spot the issues, such as your steering wheel vibrating or your car pulling to one side of the road. However, many times it can be more subtle and you might not even notice. For this reason, it is crucial that you have regular alignments on your tires and check ups to ensure they are doing what they are supposed to do. This will allow your vehicle to operate with better health throughout its lifetime.
The main risks of misalignment are: expense and danger. It can cost much more to pay for replacements and damage after an issue occurs rather than fixing potential problems before they grow. Of course, it is very dangerous to drive around with tires that are not aligned because it may cause you to have an accident and injure yourself, other drivers, and even pedestrians.
Causes of Misalignment
Here are some important signs to beware of that may be warnings of a much needed alignment:
- Recent accident - if you have been in an accident or collision lately, it could have resulted in damage to the frame of your vehicle. This affects your alignment as well.
- Tire patterns are uneven - if you notice uneven wear on your tires, or if you experience steering issues, then your car needs immediate attention by a qualified repair specialist.
- Road obstacles - if you have driven over a pothole, or even made slight contact with a curb in a way that caused your car's suspension and frame to adjust in a way that is not natural, then you could have alignment issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible.
- Caster - A broken caster will have a bad angle that will make steering difficult and loose. This is because of the pivot angle, which is measured by mechanics with special tools.
- Camber - If this is faulty, you will have "pulling" and tire wear. The car may not ever drive straight without getting this corrected, as the camber determines the angle at which the wheel is situated with your car's frame
- Toe - Your tires will quickly get worn down if your toe is not aligned right. Typically, an issue occurs that is called a toe-in, in which your wheels point inwards and put pressure on the frame and axle.
The benefits of correcting problems with your alignment are that you will experience longer lasting tires, steer easier, get more gas mileage, have smoother trips, and be more safe on the road. All these benefits far outweigh the cost of a professional to inspect and correct your vehicle. So if you notice any signs or symptoms of misalignment, contact your automotive specialist today.
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