Wheel Alignment Problems? 3 Basic Signs

Wheel Alignment Problems

One of the more important services for maintaining a safe vehicle, wheel alignments are also a key component to better fuel economy. A relatively minor procedure, wheel alignments enable your mechanic to identify tire and suspension issues prior to becoming expensive, major repairs.

Wheel alignment problems can cause 3 basic issues with your car.

1. Irregular Tire Wear
2. Handling Problems
car pulls to the right
car pulls to the left
3. Crooked Steering Wheel

Irregular Tire Wear

A common indicator of wheel alignment problems is excessive shoulder wear on a tire. This type of irregular wear is often caused by errors in camber or toe.

Camber, which is the inward or outward tilt of the wheel, can cause outside should wear if the wheel is tilted too far out. If the wheel is tiled too far inward the inside shoulder will wear. This problem can occur in the front or rear of the vehicle.

The toe angle identifies the exact direction the tires are pointed compared to the center-line of the vehicle when viewed from directly above. Toe errors will also cause shoulder wear. In fact, very rapid wear. If the wheels are pointed too far inward the outside of the tread will wear first. Rapid inside wear will occur if the wheels are pointed too far out.

Handling Problems

A vehicle pull is another indicator of wheel alignment problems. Alignment pull can be caused by side-to-side errors in camber or side-to-side errors in caster. Front wheels that are both tilted to the left can cause the car to always want to steer to the left. Front wheels that are both tilted to the right can cause the car to steer right all the time.

Another way to introduce a pull is with errors in caster. Caster, which is the front to rear tilt of the steering axis should be the same on each side. If for example, the right side is positive and the left side is negative, the front wheels will try to steer the car to the left all the time.

Crooked Steering Wheel

Misalignment will cause a crooked steering wheel. If the car is properly aligned the steering wheel will be straight, but errors in front tow will cause the steering wheel position to change.

Get an alignment check as soon as possible if you see a shift in the position of your steering wheel, unusual tire wear, or if your car is pulling.  Waiting will only make the situation worse!

J&T Automotive is proud to utilize Hunter’s state-of-the-art Hawkeye alignment system with their award-winning, patented ProAlign® software.

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