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Signs You Need an Alignment

Everyone knows the feeling; your car’s steering wheel is at an angle, but your car is driving perfectly straight. This is just one of the signs that your vehicle needs an alignment service. Designed to keep the tires in contact with the road evenly, and so that tires will wear evenly, an alignment service can help keep your tires and car going for mile to come. At Thompson Automotive, we are the alignment experts, and are sharing the main signs your vehicle is in need of alignment.

Drifting and pulling: If you have wheels that are misaligned then your vehicle may drift and pull as you fight against the steering wheel. Misaligned wheels can pull your car to the left or to the right, or they may fight against each other (if they are toed inward or outward), which can make steering your vehicle inconsistent.

Uneven tire wear: Your tires should wear down their surfaces evenly. If you’ve noticed that your tires aren’t wearing evenly, than it may be an indication that your wheels are misaligned. Look for wear on the outside edge of your tires, where misalignment wear and tear is most evident. You may also have tires that are beginning to wear out prematurely on the inside of the tire.

Tire squeals: If your tires are squealing as you drive around, then you have a severe misalignment. Your wheels should run parallel to the wheels across from one another. If a set of wheels is misaligned it can cause one or both of the wheels to skid over the surface of the road, which will cause your tires to squeal.

Vibrating steering wheel: If your steering wheel constantly vibrates or vibrates as you approach highway speeds, then your alignment may be to blame. Steering wheel vibration is an indication that your wheels are fighting against each other, causing your car to shudder as you soar over the pavement.

Off-center steering wheel: Your steering wheel should rest straight when your wheels are aligned straight. If your steering wheel is off-center, or if you have to fight your steering wheel while you drive down the road, then your alignment may be out of whack.

Past owner’s manual recommendation: Check your owner’s manual for a recommended alignment interval for your particular vehicle. If your vehicle is overdue for an alignment, then bring it in to the shop — we’ll take a look at it. Take note, some owner’s manuals do not have recommended alignment intervals, since wear and tear can vary depending on how you use your vehicle.

Poor toe, camber, and castor angles: Your alignment can shift in a variety of directions as you drive your vehicle, or you may damage your suspension, which can result in misaligned wheel angles. The wheels can toe inward or outward (as your toes do when you turn your feet in or out). You’ll notice that your tires may squeal, and your vehicle may shutter as you drive.

The wheels can also tilt inward toward the cab or outward from the cab of your vehicle, which means that you have a bad camber angle for your vehicle. You’ll notice wear on either the inner or outer edge of your tires, and you may lose handling capabilities.

If you have a poor castor angle, then your wheels will be misaligned along the body of your vehicle. This will result in wear on the outer edge of your tires, and you may notice shuttering and poor steering wheel alignment.

If any of these sound familiar, bring your vehicle into Englewood, CO‘s best auto repair shop, Thompson Automotive.

Photo by GoldCastle7 from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro
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