A wheel alignment is designed to adjust your wheels' angle back to the position the manufacture intended the wheels to be in. Having your wheels in the right position helps to ensure you can safely drive your vehicle and enhance your vehicle's performance.
How often you need a wheel alignment really depends upon how you drive your vehicle. The alignment can become off by hitting curbs when parking, hitting potholes when driving, going too fast over speed bumps, getting into an accident, and just regular wear and tear. Luckily, your car will provide you with some signs that a wheel alignment is necessary.
Sure Sign #1: Vibrations
When you drive your vehicle, you shouldn't feel any vibrations in your steering wheel. If you feel like your steering wheel is vibrating as you drive, that is usually a sign that your tires are out of alignment. When your tires are out of alignment, that impact is felt through your steering wheel. You will feel like you must grip your steering wheel a little tighter to maintain control, which is not normal.
Sure Sign #2: Vehicle Drifting
When you are driving on a straight and level road, if you lightly take your hands off your steering wheel, your vehicle should continue to drive straight forward. If your vehicle drifts to one side or another noticeably, that is a strong sign your wheel alignment is off.
Only try this trick in an area where there is no traffic. Also, keep in mind that many roads are designed to be sloped towards the outside to facilitate the drainage of water, so your vehicle drifting slightly to the edge of the road isn't necessarily a sign of your wheel alignment is off.
Sure Sign #3: Strange Tile Wear
Your tires tell a story about your vehicle, and it is important to look carefully at your tires to understand how your vehicle is operating. Your tires will tell about how other parts of your vehicle are operating. When your alignment is off, your tire tread will show uneven tire wear. Your tire wear can be off due to other suspension reasons as well, which is why it is important to pay attention to strange wear on your tires.
It is important to keep your tires properly aligned, as your tires' alignment impacts the safety and performance of your vehicle. If any of the above signs occur, you are going to want to take your vehicle in and see if the alignment needs to be fixed.