Vehicle alignments in Lansing, MI are often a puzzling area of auto mechanics for many car owners. Most people do not know how their cars get out of alignment, but they find the effects annoying. Since alignment issues can lead to compromised traction, uneven tire wear and other performance issues, you will want to take care of it as soon as you realize it requires attention. Here are five symptoms that your vehicle may require work in this area:
- Recent loud thud: When cars become misaligned, the moment that occurred is frequently obvious. If you hit a pothole with a loud noise, chances are you also threw off your alignment. The same is true if you run over a curb or hit debris in the road. Even minor collisions can cause alignment issues that are detected after the body work is finished. If any of these jarring moments occur, expect to visit the shop for an alignment assessment soon.
- Steering wheel pulls: You will know for sure that your alignment is off if you feel like you are fighting your car as you are driving. When the alignment is not level, the steering wheel will pull to one side or fail to remain level while you’re operating the vehicle. You may also feel like you are overcorrecting just to keep your car moving in a straight line. As this can lead to handling issues, this type of pull requires immediate investigation.
- Vibration: At certain speeds, you will also notice that your steering wheel vibrates. This is due to the wheels pulling against each other as you drive. If the alignment is seriously off, you will also feel your whole car shake as you travel. Like the steering wheel pull, this is often one of the first symptoms noticed because of the irritation factor.
- Drifting: You may not feel your steering wheel actively pull. However, if you let the car go straight ahead, it will drift in one direction if there is an alignment issue. Sometimes, this may be due to the curve of the road, as well. But if you are on a straight road and you find the car drifts without your hand on the steering wheel, your car is likely misaligned.
- Abnormal tire wear: Tire wear normally happens pretty evenly, but when you have an alignment issue, you will see the wear concentrated on the inside or outside edges. This will be more obvious in the front tires, as that is due to the pressure from the steering wheel pull.
Fixing alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so everything is even again. Some shops use cameras to ensure the correction is complete. While front end alignments are the most common, sometimes a four-wheel alignment is necessary when you hit a really big pothole or run over something large on the highway.
PFS Auto Repair works on alignments in Lansing, MI every day. If you just had a jarring experience or your car shows any of the above symptoms, call us today to schedule an appointment.