McCullough NAPA Auto Care

Is Your Wheel Alignment Off? Here’s 3 Signs

Proper wheel alignment can help improve handling, fuel efficiency, and tire performance. However, misaligned tires can negatively impact various areas of your car, like the steering system, braking system, suspension, and tires. Your car’s wheels may become misaligned from driving on rough roads, potholes, or worn-out components, like shocks or struts. The good news is that it’s easy to tell when your wheel alignment is off. 

Here are 3 symptoms that indicate an issue with your wheel alignment.

1 – Car Pulls To The Left or Right

Do you need to regularly correct your car’s steering when driving straight? Perhaps you feel a strong pull to the left or the right? These are both signs that there is an issue with your wheel alignment. Cars that pull to either side are typically experiencing problems with their suspension components that may have become bent or moved out of place from impact with curbs, potholes, or rough roads. There is a slight chance your car may pull to one side if your tire pressure is drastically different on one side compared to the other. However, if tire pressure is equal across all tires, you likely have a wheel alignment issue.

2 – Uneven Tire Wear

This is possibly the biggest clue that your wheel alignment is off. If the tires on one side of your vehicle show more wear than the tires on the other, that is likely due to misaligned wheels. This is because when your car does pull to the left or right, you’ll constantly need to steer back toward the center to drive straight. Doing this for a prolonged period will cause your tires on one side to wear out faster than the other side, depending on which way your car is pulling.

It’s important to note that not all types of uneven wear indicate problems with your alignment. Worn-down tread patches randomly across a tire show a suspension issue at that wheel rather than an issue with all 4 wheel alignment. Likewise, if wear is only visible along the center strip of the tire, that is due to over or under-inflation of the tire itself. 

3 – Car Vibrates While Driving

If your wheel alignment is off, you may notice that your ride may not be as smooth as it once was, particularly at high speeds. As your tires become misaligned and out of sync with one another, your steering wheel and front end of the car may vibrate as a result.

Some vibrations may not be from misaligned wheels but from tire problems, like work rubber, sidewall bumpers, or an unbalanced wheel. Your car may also vibrate due to an underlying suspension issue, like work-out bushing or loose components. Either way, vibrations typically result from some internal parts rubbing against each other or acting in ways they shouldn’t. We urge you to bring your car in for a professional inspection if your car is vibrating before the damages can intensify.

Schedule a Wheel Alignment Service with McCullough NAPA Auto Care

Whether your vehicle needs a 4-wheel or 2-wheel alignment, our ASE-Certified technicians will measure each of the necessary wheel’s alignment relative to factory specifications. While your car is on the alignment rack, we inspect the tires, steering, and suspension components for wear or damage. We’ll let you know what we find and suggest honest repairs. Contact us to schedule your wheel alignment service that will correct any issues with your wheel angles and pressurize your tires to the manufacturer-recommended level.