There are certain types of car maintenance tasks you probably do for your car on a regular basis, but getting an alignment is probably not one of these. In fact, you might not even realize what an alignment is for or what the warning signs are that you need one. Alignments are important, though, and here are three things you should understand about them.
Signs Your Car Needs an Alignment
The alignment of a car refers to the suspension on your car and the angle of the wheels. The suspension on your car keeps your car balanced when you drive it, and it offers cushioned support when you hit bumps. Without a suspension, you would experience a very bumpy, rough ride each time you drove your car.
If the suspension is not properly aligned, you will likely experience several key signs. You might notice that your car pulls to one side or the other. If your car does this, your suspension might be out of alignment. Another common cause of a car pulling to one side is low tire pressure, so you might want to check that first.
Another thing you might notice is that your steering wheel is not centered. If you are driving straight, does your steering wheel appear straight, or is it turned to one side or the other? If it is turned, your car probably needs an alignment. These are the most common signs that a car needs an alignment.
Problems You Can Experience If Your Car's Alignment Is Off
When your car's alignment is off, it does not only affect the way your car handles, but it can also affect certain parts of your car. The most noticeable effect this can have is damage to your tires. When a car is not aligned properly, it causes uneven wear on tires. Unless you check your tires often, you might not even notice that this is happening until it's too late.
A car with poor alignment might also experience decreased efficiency in terms of gas mileage. You might also experience problems with the way your car handles. Your car might bounce more when you hit bumps, or you might feel your car shake more often.
Normal driving over a period of time leads to problems with a car's alignment, but hitting a lot of pot holes and bumps may increase the likelihood of having alignment issues. The best thing you can do if you suspect that your car's alignment is off is to take it to a shop to have them align it.
How Repair Shops Perform Alignments
When you take your car in for an alignment, the mechanic use equipment that precisely angles your tires so they are completely even. This is done to all four tires if you have four-wheel drive, or just to the front tires if your car has front-wheel drive.
As the mechanics work on your vehicle, they will check several different types of measurements to ensure that everything is lined up properly. This includes checking the toe, camber, caster, and thrust. The goal is to ensure that all the axles on your vehicle move in the same direction equally.
Once aligned, your car will drive more evenly, you will experience an improvement in gas mileage, and your tires will last longer. Getting an alignment protects your car and can increase its useful life.
If your car has signs that the alignment is off, contact Midland Muffler. Not only do we offer muffler services, but we also offer services for brakes, alignments, and more. Call us today to schedule an appointment for services.