Diagnosing When a Car Pulls to the Side, Shakes, or Has Tire Wear
Let’s set something straight: it doesn’t have to take a collision for your vehicle’s alignment to be put out of whack. Simply driving around Andover or Wichita streets can be all it takes to cause an alignment problem. If you notice odd tire wear or your vehicle pulling to the left, that’s the right time to start wondering if you’ve got a series problem with its alignment.
Here at Collision Center of Andover, we regularly service and fix cars who have suffered alignment problems. And while there are many things that can cause your tires to become misaligned, there are three common ways that cause this damage other than an actual vehicle accident.
Those annoying potholes that seem to pop up every day are a major source for causing alignment problems. You may think you’ve run over a pothole and think it wasn’t all that serious when even a small pothole could put your car out of proper alignment. If you do spot a big pothole, you can help keep other drivers on the road from running into it. The City of Wichita allows you to report a Wichita KS pothole online to help them be alerted it needs to be fixed.
We have probably all done this. We accidentally go over a curb out of a parking lot or while making a turn. While it might not seem like a problem, unfortunately that could be enough to throw your vehicle’s alignment off.
Even if you manage to avoid all the potholes and curbs, your vehicle could still be in need of an alignment. Simply driving around normally can cause alignment issues for a vehicle. So just because you have never had any sort of accident or bump with your vehicle, you still should not ignore the signs of a car being out of alignment.
The signs are not always obvious. The parts that are out of alignment are probably all out of view. But there are some tell-tale signs that could mean your vehicle is in need of an alignment.
DO I NEED A VEHICLE ALIGNMENT?
Top 5 SIGNS Your Car is Out of Alignment
- Your vehicle seems to be pulling to one side
- Damage or wear patterns in certain parts of your tires
- Steering wheel is crooked when you are driving straight
- Gaps in body panels
- Tires do not appear to be facing straight ahead
FIRST SIGNS OF POOR ALIGNMENT
The first thing you should do once you notice any of these signs of potential misalignment is to take your vehicle in to a mechanic and get it checked. If the problem is poor alignment, it is only going to get worse or turn into a bigger problem.
Not only that, but it’s also not safe driving a vehicle that is out of alignment. This problem can affect a lot of other components and could reduce your safety on the road. Your vehicle’s alignment affects your tires, your steering, and even how well you stop.
The Costs of Waiting to Get an Alignment
Delaying a needed tire alignment is only going to cost you more money in the long run. There are several ways that car out of alignment affects your wallet. It can reduce your fuel efficiency, sending you to the gas station more often than you normally would. But more likely you’ll find yourself needing to pay for new tires well before their time because of the abnormal wear they suffered from being unaligned.
Get it checked out right away and you may avoid the problem from getting worse. It can put added stress on your steering and suspension. Contact us at Collision Center of Andover and we’ll get your in to accurately diagnose any alignment problems. At our state-of-the-art autobody facility, we have the tools to quickly and accurately diagnose the exact problem your vehicle has. If your vehicle isn’t able to be driven, we have towing services to help.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ALIGNMENT
Front-end Alignment: This is the most common type of alignment work and it is to address any misalignment with the front axle.
Thrust Alignment: This is combining the front-end alignment with the thrust angle, which is used to ensure the front wheels are aligned with the back wheels
Four-wheel Alignment: This is typically for four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles. This is the most comprehensive alignment and addresses both the front-end alignment and the thrust alignment.
FULL-SERVICE AUTO BODY REPAIR
Do not wait to get your vehicle looked at if you suspect an alignment problem. Bring your vehicle in to Collision Center of Andover and we will have your alignment checked. We provide Computerized Frame & Unibody Alignment services as well as flawless repair to any body damage your vehicle has. Give us a call at (316) 733-9310 or request a free alignment quote online. We are conveniently located just a few miles east of Wichita on Andover Rd.
VEHICLE ALIGNMENT FAQ
How often should I get an alignment?
- The standard recommendation for most vehicles is that you should get a wheel alignment every 2 or 3 years.
Can I align my own car?
- Depending on the owner’s capabilities, it is possible to handle some level of vehicle alignment as long as the steering wheel is properly centered. Some companies provide tools that let you check your alignment yourself.
Is an alignment needed when I get new tires?
- You don’t necessarily need an alignment done when you get new tires installed, but it is a good idea to also have it checked then.
Is a lifetime alignment worth the extra cost?
- Lifetime alignments can really be beneficial in the long run. However, it’s a cost waste for a lot of drivers who purchase the additional warranty and then neglect to actually use them.
Can a bad alignment cause my car to shake?
- A vehicle out of alignment can cause a shaking steering wheel, especially noticeable at higher speeds.