safety and sporty - combining the two for teenage drivers

Car Not Handling The Way It Used To? 4 Signs You Should Have It Aligned

When it comes to car maintenance, your alignment might be the one thing that gets overlooked the most often. That could be because your car won't make any strange noises or illuminate any warning lights when it's time for servicing. Unfortunately, if your car is in need of an alignment, it could affect the way it handles. Here are four signs that it's time to take your car in for an alignment.

Your Tires Aren't Wearing Evenly

The next time you go outside, take a look at the tread on your tires. If your car is in proper alignment, the wear patterns on the tread will be the same on all of your tires. When your car is properly aligned, the tread will wear evenly across the tires. However, if your car is out of alignment, the tread will wear out unevenly. You might notice feathering across the tread. You might also notice that the inner or outer edges of the tires have more tread wear than the rest of the tire. If you see uneven tread wear on your tires, it's time to schedule an alignment.

Your Car is Pulling to the Side

When you drive down the street, you should be able to continue in a straight path if you take your hands off the steering wheel. That's because the alignment keeps your wheels moving forward. However, if your car is out of alignment, it will pull to one side while you're driving. You'll be able to feel this pulling whether you have your hands on the wheel or not. If your car is pulling to one side or the other, have it inspected by your mechanic.

Your Steering Wheel is No Longer Centered

Sit down in front of the steering wheel. The center portion of the wheel should be centered. If you're not sure how to tell if it's centered, take a look at the center of your steering wheel – the part that has a symbol or the make name on it. The symbol or name should be straight. If your steering wheel isn't centered, you have an alignment issue that needs to be taken care of.

Your Car Doesn't Take Tight Turns

When your car is properly aligned, you should be able to take tight turns without a problem. If the steering suddenly feels loose when you take a tight turn, or you have to continually adjust your steering throughout the turn, you may have an issue with your alignment. Be sure to have your vehicle inspected.

If it's been a while since you had an alignment performed on your car, it might be time. If the signs listed above seem familiar, schedule an appointment for an alignment as soon as possible.