Snowy, slippery roads can be your wheels’ worst enemy. If you find yourself driving on poorly maintained roads, hitting potholes, or veering off the road and running into a curb, your alignment can be significantly affected. Even the slightest misalignment can accelerate uneven tire wear as well as reduce your car’s safety and effectiveness driving in snowy, icy, and slippery conditions. You should have your alignment checked at minimum every 6,000 miles. However, if you’ve experienced any kind of accident - including slipping off the road and running into a curb - you should have your alignment checked immediately. A wheel alignment ensures optimal drivability and should be taken seriously. Tires are expensive. Keeping your tires aligned isn’t!
A properly aligned vehicle will perform better and more efficiently. We are currently offering $15 off a 3D Laser Alignment. We utilize high-end equipment using laser precision to ensure your vehicle is properly aligned for optimal performance and tire longevity. If you aren’t sure whether it’s time to come in for an alignment or not, here are 5 common signs of a bad wheel alignment.
Your Vehicle Pulls To One Side
When you are going straight on a flat, even road, loosen your grip on the steering wheel and let the car guide itself. If it drifts or swerves at all to one particular side, this is a clear sign that alignment is off and it’s time to bring it in for a check. If you’re not sure, you can try the test a couple times to get a better feel for where the alignment’s at. The more the car pulls to one side, the worse the alignment is.
Crooked Steering Wheels
Make sure to pay close attention to how you’re using your steering wheel. You may be correcting for a misaligned vehicle without even realizing it. If you find yourself having to turn your steering wheel off-center in order to keep the vehicle straight, this is a sign that your wheels need to be realigned. When you’re driving down a flat, straight road, your steering wheel should be able to remain perfectly centered. If this isn’t the case, it’s time to bring your vehicle in to the mechanic.
Uneven Tire Wear
This is one of the most common telltale signs of a misalignment. If all of your tires don’t have the same wear pattern on the tread, your alignment is likely off. A car mechanic or tire specialist can quickly examine your tread and determine if there are any signs of a misalignment. Poor alignment can shorten a tire’s life by thousands of miles and compromise critical steering and suspension parts. If your tires tread is wearing down unevenly, don’t put off a trip to the mechanic to get things inspected and properly aligned.
Steering Wheel Vibrations
If you notice your steering wheel vibrating while your vehicle is in motion, this is often caused by misaligned or unbalanced tires. This vibration is normally caused by tire/wheel imbalance, but can also be caused by your tires pulling in opposite directions of each other. Because a vibrating steering wheel could also indicate other more serious problems, it’s important to bring your vehicle in right away as soon as you begin to notice this symptom.
Loose Steering or Squealing Tires
If your steering wheel feels loose or tends to move back and forth on its own as you drive down the road, this can be a sign of a misalignment. The sound of your tires squealing when turning slow corners(think store parking lots) could also indicate an issue with the alignment. If you feel you are turning the wheel a lot with little tire movement, or if you noticed your tires squealing on a regular basis, you should have your alignment checked out. Even if these symptoms don’t end up having to do with alignment issues, these are both signs that something else may be off with your vehicle. It’s also better to pay for inspections and maintenance than to be caught surprised with expensive repairs down the road.
Tire misalignment is definitely not a scenario you want to take lightly. It may seem like just a minor inconvenience at first, but driving long distances with alignment issues can quickly lead to expensive tire replacements and major car repairs. It also can reduce your vehicle’s ability to have a quick response time and avoid potential collisions. If you notice any of these signs and/or if you’ve recently been in an accident or run into a curb, call Main Street Mechanic in American Fork today! In addition to offering $15 off a 3D Laser Alignment, we are also currently offering a $9.99 Safety Inspection (a $49.95 value!) and a $69.99 Customer Appreciation Special. Enjoy Tire Rotation; Lube, Oil & Filter Change; 4 Wheel Brake Inspection; and a complete Safety Inspection for just $69.99 (a $159 value!!) We’re here to help you. We have a free customer shuttle, a tow truck, early drop off, late pick up, contactless vehicle pick up and drop off, and often have same day appointments available. Don’t delay, call Main Street Mechanic today!