Wheel Alignment
Warning Signs


5 signs to indicate you need a wheel alignment

Proper wheel alignment is critical for a safe and comfortable driving experience and it should be checked regularly. The question is, how do you know when it's time to get an alignment? Professional mechanics will look for five main signs that indicate an alignment is required and you can keep your eyes open for them too.

Vehicle pulls when driving straight
This sign is self-explanatory, but it’s easy to over-look. As the wheels become misaligned through natural wear or impact with a pothole, the car may start to pull to the left or the right. It’s easy to see when you’re driving on a straight road and you feel that, if you were to let go of the steering wheel, the car would go one way or the other. See our explanation on the Toe angle for more information on how a wheel alignment would help rectify this issue.
Excessive tyre wear
Tyres are one of the most important parts of a vehicle providing grip and stability to vehicles. They should wear evenly across the surface of the tyre. Uneven tyre wear is clearly visible and is a clear sign of a misalignment reducing the life of your tyre and increasing your fuel costs.
Excessive vibration in the steering wheel
Typically, this occurs when both wheels are pointing in or out. In this set up the wheels are working against each other causing a vibration in the steering wheel. As the wheels are ‘pushed’ along the road, they will place additional force on other areas of the car causing unnecessary wear. It’s best to get the cause of any unexpected vibration identified and fixed as quickly as possible.
Crooked steering wheel whilst driving straight
Your vehicle may drive in a straight line but still be misaligned. The error will show up somewhere and in this case, it’s the steering wheel. When correctly aligned, your wheels and steering wheel should point in the same direction. When you're driving straight the steering should be central. If you notice your steering wheel isn’t straight, then it's another sign you may have a wheel alignment problem.
Tyre squeal when driving or cornering
In the movies if your tyres squeal it means you're going fast, and probably being chased by someone! However, when you’re on the road 'tyre squeal' is a sign of misalignment. There are occasions when a small amount of squealing is expected (in a multi-story car park for example) but if you notice tyre squeal when driving or cornering normally, it may be time to get your alignment checked out.

Generally, most alignment problems can be rectified if caught early enough. Hopefully, these warning signs will help you identify any alignment issues you may have and get your car back to its best.

If you think you are having alignment issues, then book in to one of our test centres for a free alignment test today.

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