Your wheels are some of your car’s most important parts—they move you forward and support the vehicle’s weight. That’s why it’s important to keep them in proper alignment. Think of a wheel misalignment as someone’s shoulder popping out of its socket: It’ll hurt to move their arm, and they won’t be able to properly function until it’s back in place.
Proper Alignment Saves You Money
Preserving a proper wheel alignment is one of the most basic preventative maintenance tactics for your car. Poor wheel alignment causes uneven wear on your tires by putting undue friction on certain wheels, or parts of a wheel, rather than spreading the load evenly. Uneven tire wear will require you to replace them more often—which can become very costly. Your tires will also have a higher risk of dangerous blowouts on the road.
Poor alignment can even put your suspension and steering system at risk of damage as they try to overcorrect for the wheel misalignment. Suspension and steering system repairs can be even more expensive than tire replacements and must be checked and repaired before a wheel alignment can be performed. Misalignment can also deplete fuel economy, making you spend more on gas.
The ideal alignment varies for each vehicle and is set by your vehicle’s engineers and manufacturer. Want to check on your car’s alignment? The friendly, local experts at Kennedy Transmission know each manufacturer’s individual recommendations and can check on your wheel alignment.
How do wheels become misaligned?
There are many ways your wheels can become misaligned. Off-roading when your car isn’t designed for it, for example, can be hazardous to your wheel alignment, undercarriage, and engine. You don’t have to be a daredevil to experience misaligned wheels, however. Safe driving does help prevent issues, but even normal use of your car can knock your wheels out of their proper alignment.
Everything from curb checks and potholes to uneven or gravel roads can misalign your wheels. Even small bumps in the road can prove to be problematic. Practically anything can bump your wheels out of alignment—and it probably happens more than you’d think.
Wheel Alignment Warning Signs
Your car’s manufacturer-recommended service intervals should include wheel alignment inspections. Recommended service intervals for your wheel alignment typically range between every year or two. Just like your yearly health checkup, a periodic alignment inspection helps you stay on top of and prevent any potential and unnoticed damage.
You should also be aware of the warning signs of a misalignment. If you notice any of the following while driving, get a wheel alignment service as soon as possible:
- Your car is pulling while driving due to your wheels tracking incorrectly
- The wear on your tires is not even, or wearing down too quickly
- Noisy steering
- The steering wheel vibrates when you accelerate
No matter what kind of wheel damage your car may have experienced, you should get your alignment checked following a noticeable bump. Driving on rough roads is also a good cause to get your wheels checked.
Stay on The Straight and Narrow with Kennedy Transmissions
Your car’s wheel alignment can be a finicky thing. At Kennedy Transmissions, we know how to get your wheels back on track, and you back on the road. Whether you’ve hit a bump in the road in Waite Park or you hugged the curbs too tightly in Bloomington, we can easily straight out your alignment. We also offer other convenient automotive services, including engine repairs, brake repairs, and more.
Find your nearest Kennedy Transmission service location to schedule a wheel alignment service today.