How Do I Know When My Car Needs An Alignment

As a car owner, it can be difficult to keep track of all the assorted bits and pieces that you need to check and maintain. Visiting a mechanic can help, but simply telling them to find everything that’s wrong isn’t always the best answer as it tends to get expensive and can be quite inconvenient if you’re doing it a lot. The result is that you as an owner need to learn to be more in tune with your car in order to help you give your mechanic a place to start looking for any problems. Some things like worn-out windshield wipers and faulty tire pressure sensors are very easy for an owner to diagnose but, then there are some things that are not: like knowing when it’s time to stop in for alignment service. 

Why Alignment Is Important

Initially, you may not experience any noticeable mechanical issues beyond contending with the annoyances that were previously mentioned but, over time you will have to contend with an ever-escalating number of problems:

  • Uneven Tire Wear - Initially this may not seem like a big deal but after enough mileage, your tires will end up wearing out well before they normally would because the weight of your vehicle is no longer evenly distributed across the tire’s surface which can start to add up in the form of more frequent replacement.
  • Difficulty Steering - This ties directly to the drifting issue mentioned earlier. At high speeds, you will notice that it will require an increasing amount of effort to keep the vehicle on a straight line. As your tires wear down these effects will begin to multiply making steering progressively worse.
  • Suspension Damage - If not repaired in a timely fashion your suspension system can suffer damage, which can lead to a very unpleasant repair bill later.

When it’s all said and done, keeping an eye out for the symptoms of improper alignment can mean the difference between a $130 alignment or a $2500+ suspension rebuild. Which would you prefer?

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