How to know when your car needs a wheel alignment

gapmotors Shop Talk


Maintaining proper wheel alignment is essential for optimal handling, tire longevity, and overall vehicle performance. Over time, your car’s wheels can become misaligned due to various factors such as hitting potholes, curbs, or general wear and tear. Recognizing the signs that indicate your car needs a wheel alignment can help you prevent uneven tire wear, improve fuel efficiency, and ensure a smooth and safe driving experience.

Here are some common signs it’s time to have your car’s wheels aligned:

Uneven Tire Wear:
One of the most noticeable signs of poor wheel alignment is uneven tire wear. Inspect your tires regularly for any signs of excessive wear. Misaligned wheels can cause uneven distribution of weight and improper contact between the tires and the road surface. If you notice uneven tire wear patterns, it’s a clear indication that your car needs a wheel alignment.


Vehicle Pulling to One Side:
When driving on a straight, level road, your car should travel in a straight line without any steering input. If you find yourself constantly correcting the steering to keep your vehicle in a straight path or notice that your car pulls to one side, it could be a sign of wheel misalignment.


Steering Wheel Vibration:
Misaligned wheels can also lead to steering wheel vibrations while driving. If you feel a noticeable vibration or shaking through the steering wheel, especially at higher speeds, it may indicate an alignment issue. These vibrations can result from imbalanced wheel alignment, causing an uneven distribution of forces on the tires.


Crooked Steering Wheel:
Take a moment to observe your steering wheel while driving on a straight road. If you notice that the steering wheel is slightly off-center or not aligned straight, it’s a sign of wheel misalignment. A crooked steering wheel suggests that the wheels are not pointing in the correct direction, requiring an alignment adjustment to restore proper alignment.


Excessive Tire Noise:
Misaligned wheels can cause increased tire noise while driving. Pay attention to any unusual humming, roaring, or squealing sounds coming from your tires. The misalignment can cause tires to wear unevenly, resulting in increased road noise due to the uneven contact between the tire tread and the road surface.


Maintaining proper wheel alignment is crucial for the overall performance and safety of your vehicle. By paying attention to the signs mentioned above, you can identify when your car needs a wheel alignment. Regular wheel alignments at GAP Motors in Downtown Nanaimo will help prolong the life of your tires, improve fuel efficiency, and ensure a smooth and stable driving experience.

Contact us today.