How can you tell if your car needs alignment?

My steering has felt a little off lately when I travel at highway speeds. How can you tell if your car needs alignment?

Answer
Even a minor alignment issue can cause uneven tire wear and early replacement, so it’s great you noticed there may be an issue.
Here are some telltale signs that its time to have your tires realigned:
  • Steering pulling to the left or right
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Steering wheel is turned when you are driving straight
  • Your tires squeal
If you aren’t sure whether these issues are present, it may be best to visit a tire shop or mechanic to check in on your alignment. There are also several ways to remedy the issue yourself until you have the chance to take your car in, including:
  • Removing junk from the trunk. Too much weight in the back of your vehicle can throw off your tire angle, which affects your alignment.
  • Check your tire pressures. Keeping tires properly inflated will create more of a buffer between your car body and the road, which can protect from your alignment being affected by a bump or object.
  • Drive conservatively. Slowing down and avoiding sharp movements will take some stress off the suspension and help maintain proper alignment.
If you’re concerned about your car breaking down or want some extra protection, try a roadside assistance membership with Jerry. Jerry’s roadside assistance membership protects you with their nationwide network of 55,000+ service providers.
Matthew Macgugan
Answered on Nov 01, 2021
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