As soon as your wheels are not balanced and properly aligned, the tyres start to wear unevenly causing the car to pull to one side instead of driving in a straight line. Tires will begin to change in appearance by looking rough or torn. First, handling capability drops dramatically. Proper alignment is about much more than straight wheels. This typically indicates that your tires are suffering from what’s known as poor toe alignment. What causes your car to fall out of alignment? If your car is vibrating violently, then your rods are probably hanging on by a thin and dangerous thread. Your car will drive more smoothly when your tires are balanced. Rather than referring to your car’s wheels, wheel alignment (also known as tracking) is related to the suspension. Common complaints like knee pain, neck pain and back pain will generally occur when the body is out of alignment. Even if your car isn’t throwing up any red flags, it’s generally recommended that you have your alignment checked every other time you get an oil change. The Wheel alignment is not off that bad and it can be corrected with the built in angle adjustments during a standard alignment. The angle of your caster is off! Our ability to breath is interrelated with spinal health. SUV vs CUV vs LT: How Your Vehicle Determines Your Tires, What Brake Fluid Does & Why It’s Important. Unlike wear from poor alignment, though, normal tire wear typically occurs on the front tires and shows up as cupping on the outside edges. Essentially it becomes a control issue with the car. It may gather up in the muscles and causes pain in that specific area. In other words, it’s pretty important. Camber. And while manufacturers may deny it, some cars come from the factory not quite aligned properly. Proper wheel alignment is one of the most important criterion to keeping your car driving safely and happily. The alignment of your tires has a huge impact on how your vehicle handles when you drive, the wear and tear on your tires and other systems, and how easy it is for you to relax and cruise around without fighting your vehicle. You can help keep yourself (and your passengers) safe by making sure your car is properly aligned. One of the biggest giveaways indicating that your tires need to be aligned is uneven wear on the treads. If you're a driver of a high-performance car or sports car, your mechanic may be able to align your suspension to improve handling and tire performance, but such an alignment still may lead to uneven tire wear. You may notice your vehicle pulling to one direction or vibrating as the wheels pull against each other, or that your steering wheel is crooked even though you’re driving straight. When in doubt, have a mechanic take a look. Typically, your tires will be re-balanced more often than they’ll be realigned, but sometimes tire balancing is all you need to repair improper tread wear. “Collisions, even slight ones, [can take a car out of alignment],” says Dirk Owens, operations manager of highly rated Addison Auto Repair & Body Shop in Denver. This normally happens when your pelvis or lumbar spine is misaligned. They say the Caster is out of spec. These are designed to hold in place under harsh road conditions like slamming potholes. 4 Clear Signs. Rather, leaning steering in your car is more likely a sign that the wheels are out of alignment and dragging you off a straight path. Your car is an investment that requires proper maintenance to keep it running correctly. If you have to hold the steering wheel off center to maintain a straight line, your car is definitely out of alignment. Start driving forward, setting your steering wheel straight ahead, and then let it go. How to Treat Spinal Misalignment 1. Improper alignment can cause your car to drift or pull when you hold the wheel straight. Your car will tend to drift down hill so in this case it is the road not your alignment. Keep in mind most roads are sloped or crowned to allow for better water run off. Simple Steps to Troubleshooting Corroded Battery Terminals, 5 Unmistakable Signs Your Car Battery is Failing, 5 No-Fail Steps for Choosing the Best Car Battery, Can You Mix Synthetic Oil with Regular Oil, Should You Get an Oil Change? Can You Put Bigger Tires on Your Vehicle? Because the wheels aren’t positioned at their optimal angles, they’re facing excess friction against the surface of the road and the car has to work harder to stay in motion. Apply today for a CarCareONE card from Synchrony Financial, © 2021 The Garage BA. All rights reserved. Adding Weight to Truck Bed for Traction: Myth or Must-Do? Your pelvis may get out of alignment. Vehicle alignment can extend the life of your tires, lead to even tire wear, make for a smooth ride, ensure safe vehicle handling, and even save you money on gas. How do you know if your car needs a front end alignment? Why Is Your Service Brake System Light On? Toe refers to where the front of the wheel is relative to the back of the wheel. Check out your shoes, if one heel is more worn out than the other, that means you walk with an additional stress on one side. unlocking this staff-researched answer. Support wikiHow by The dealer says maybe something is bent. Camber is the angle of the wheel, measured in degrees, when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Your car also will likely struggle to drive in a straight line, pulling consistently in one direction. While this can be scary enough in normal conditions, imagine it on slippery, steep, or uneven roads. Wheels. A third strange tire tread pattern your wheels may exhibit is known as heel/toe wear, and it typically means that your tires just need a little more air, though it may be a sign of something more. Think of body alignment like getting a wheel alignment on your car. After all, there’s no handy dashboard warning light like there is for tire pressure or coolant temperature. If the steering in your car feels a little loose or unstable, one of the possible causes is poor wheel alignment. When your wheels aren’t lined up perfectly straight, your car’s ability to turn in either direction is dramatically inhibited. If they haven’t failed yet, they will soon. Cars need a lot of specialized care to run smoothly, which means you need mechanics you can trust. This can be felt as wandering across the road when driving, or the car may feel very loose and sloppy around corners. Save time in the store by booking your appointment online. So, even if you bought your car new and have never been in an accident, daily driving can cause your tires to shift. It’s possible to bend or break your wheel. If your steering wheel shakes when you drive, it’s definitely a problem needing attention—but it’s not the alignment. This is particularly common when the accident affects the rear end of the car. Once driving the vehicle, check to see whether the steering wheel is centered. One of the most common reasons that your wheels may have become misaligned is that you were in an accident. For those unfamiliar with auto mechanics, tire alignment and tire balancing may sound like the same thing, but they are actually separate processes. A car may need a front end alignment because of poorly aligned tires, problems with parts of the steering mechanism, or a bent axle. If left too long, positive or negative camber results in worn ball joints and bearings along with other suspension issues. Then there is the matter of the tires wearing unevenly. Fortunately, there are some telltale signs your car’s alignment is out of whack: The car pulls to one side when you’re driving. When your wheels are out of alignment, your tires aren’t pointing in the right direction. If so, it needs aligned. Vibrations, shimmy, and shaking felt in the steering wheel are usually not a sign of needing a front end alignment. Are Your Wheels Out Of Alignment? As soon as your wheels are not balanced and properly aligned, the tyres start to wear unevenly causing the car to pull to one side instead of driving in a straight line. This isn’t a safe way to drive and should be addressed immediately. This may not seem like a big deal, but a misaligned steering wheel is just an internal sign of a bigger problem. Some drivers think that leaning steering is just a quirk of their car in the same way that bowlers talk about how some lanes favor a particular curve. Because the wheels aren’t positioned at their optimal angles, they’re facing excess friction against the surface of the road and the car has to work harder to stay in motion. In fact, after the alignment is set at the factory they lock down the adjustments. Many people deal with the signs and symptoms of poor wheel alignment, often unaware that it’s an easy fix. Here are four things to check after hitting a curb. When this happens chronically, some vertebrae are pulled out of place, leading to misalignment. The more likely culprit is a bent wheel, an out-of-balance tire, or worn parts in the steering column or elsewhere. Identify the Possible Causes. When speaking of alignment, we are referring to your vehicle’s suspension, not the actual tires or wheels. If that’s confusing, just stand up and look down at your feet. Proper alignment prevents excessive wear and tear on your tires and it could even help you save on gas. If you know anything about wheel alignment, you’ve probably heard the terms Camber, Caster and Toe-in. A third way to tell if your car needs an alignment is how the steering wheel feels in your hands when you’re driving at highway speed. Time for the big question: is your car out of alignment? That doesn’t mean life is all butterflies and roses. However a bad set of tires should never be outright ruled out. Before pinpointing the alignment, make sure that you check your tire air pressures to make sure that they are all even. So, back to your original question. When your wheels are out of alignment, your tires aren’t pointing in the right direction. Your Vehicle Pulls to the Left or Right Every time you drive your car, you’re subjecting it to massive amounts of torque and friction, resulting in slow and gradual degradation of components. The tire treads are wearing out prematurely or unevenly. When the tires on your car are angled the same way (remember, we’re thinking in terms of birds-eye-view), we call this toe-in alignment. 6 Signs You Need One Now, Good, Better, Best: Engine Oil Types Explained. Poor tire alignment can cause your vehicle to vibrate because the tires are pulling against each other as though trying to drive off in opposite directions. If your car’s new tires are defective in any way that can cause the swaying. If your car is properly aligned, the wear gets evenly distributed across the tire treads. Poor tire tread on your tires affects the car’s ability to stop, especially in inclement weather. The faster you are going, and the higher the curb will increase the damage to your vehicle. Most of the time you can get away with just a minor curb rash, while other times a major bend can cause your wheel to be uneven. The steering wheel is crooked when you are driving straight. The type of alignment you receive will depend on your car's suspension. This happens when your one hip is straight for the whole long night while the other is in a bending position constantly. Wheel alignment on a car is important for the life expectancy of the tires. This type of alignment is adjustable on all cars. You should also consider having the alignment checked when your tires are rotated, typically every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. Think of body alignment like getting a wheel alignment on your car. Follow along as we demystify the purpose of your car’s alignment, why it’s so important to maintain, and how to tell if you’re in need of an alignment service. Save on tires, brakes, batteries, oil changes and more. © 2021 Tires Plus Total Car Care. If your car starts to turn off course, then you need your wheels aligned. This can be caused by an accident, running over something large, or just wear and tear. posted by Burhanistan at 8:20 AM on December 4, 2009 . The dealer said maybe a body shop has more tools to deal with this. If you find your tyres seem to be wearing quicker than usual, this may be a sign of a problem with your car's wheel alignment, also known as 'tracking'. We handle regular maintenance, emergency repairs, and everything in between so you can get back on the road. If you want to test your vehicles alignment find a three lane straight road. Usually you’ll see signs of unevenness in the form of excess wear on the inner or outer edge of the tire, known as camber wear. Under-inflation is easy to fix, but you don’t want to be driving around with misaligned tires because you didn’t get them checked. If the alignment is not “out” we are done and you are only charged for checking the alignment. You’re driving along the road when your car seems to start shaking. So how are you supposed to know that your car’s tires could use an adjustment? Just like with anything else, using your car regularly can cause changes to your car. If your neck is stiff or you can’t turn your head without pain or you can hear your neck crack every time you turn your head, this is a sure sign your cervical spine is out of alignment. :) 0 1. posted by immlass at 8:18 AM on December 4, 2009 . Contact The Garage Auto Repair today to learn more about how we can serve you. Maybe you drove over a speed bump too fast or drove over the train tracks on your daily commute. If the alignment is out, it can cause excessive tire wear and steering or tracking problems. Your vehicle drifts or pulls to one side or the other while driving. Distinct from camber alignment, toe alignment is the extent to which your tires turn inward or outward when viewed from above. Any time the alignment is checked, all the steering and suspension components should be checked as well, since worn components are a common cause of alignment going out of specification. You can probably make it for a couple of weeks, but keep an eye on your tires. Inspecting the tread wear of each tire is also important. There is no time limit as to when a retest must be carried out. Getting your facts straight is the first step to keeping your car straight! This may also cause them to screech when turning, since turning without the tires working together can result in one dragging across the asphalt. What happens when your car is out of alignment? To remain in a standing position for a longer time. The tires are squealing. Front left. Compare your front wheels to each other and take note of any major differences. One thing you might notice is you will become weaker - #6 – Tires That Squeal. Even if you know how to tell if your wheels need to be aligned, you might have overlooked why they fell out of alignment in the first place. If the top of the wheel is leaning out from the center of the car, then the camber is positive, if it’s leaning in, then the camber is negative. That’s not all. If you're a driver of a high-performance car or sports car, your mechanic may be able to align your suspension to improve handling and tire performance, but such an alignment still may lead to uneven tire wear. When your wheels go out of alignment, your car will suffer in a number of ways. More drastic causes of wheel misalignment include dramatic, jolting impacts. Tires Plus is Driving Great Futures for Over 600,000 Kids Across America, What You Need to Know About Colorado’s New Winter Traction Law, Ready, Set, Go: Download the Tires Plus App Today, Bridgestone Retail Operations Earns National Excellence in Training Award. Using the following steps, you can diagnose common alignment problems with your car and correct the most common one, front-end alignment issues, at home. A car that’s out of alignment could actually be a safety hazard. Another presentation of unusual wear is feathering. Tires will begin to change in appearance by looking rough or torn. What happens if your car fails its MOT? Find the best tires that match your needs.