Bad wheel alignment is one of those vehicle issues that is all too often overlooked.
This is because it can often be hard to spot, and even when people do spot that something is off, they ignore it until they really need their car to perform and it’s too late.
Below are 3 of the subtle signs you might need to go and get your car checked out by a qualified mechanic.
When you drive, do you notice your steering wheel is constantly vibrating, even on smooth roads? An alignment or balancing problem is likely to be the cause. That said, you should keep in mind that steering wheel vibration could also indicate a much bigger problem too, so make sure you get to your local garage when you can.
Are you finding that your steering wheel feels loose as you’re holding it, or that you turn the wheel and the vehicle doesn’t move right away? That is called steering lag and whilst it doesn’t always mean you have bad wheel alignment, there is no need to take the risk. After all, the lag time might be less than a second long, but that fraction of a second could mean life or death.
Do you notice the treads on some tyres wear out much faster than others? Then you’ve just spotted our third and final red flag, as this is a common side effect of bad wheel alignment. Crack out your tyre depth gauge and measure the rubber depth on both sides of each tire to see if they all match or not. Wheels that are properly aligned will have the same depth on all tyres. Wheels that are not aligned properly will have different rubber depths.
It’s not hard to cause bad wheel alignment; You could have driven over a pothole or some large object in the road, or maybe general wear & tear has chipped away at your vehicle.
If you notice any of our warning signs you should make sure to go to your nearest approved garage at your earliest convenience. And that goes triple if you’ve noticed all three!