Most vehicle maintenance issues can be planned based on time or miles, but the need for wheel alignment doesn’t follow any set schedule. It could be months before your vehicle needs one, or it could be tomorrow. The reason for this is that there are so many things that can throw off the alignment in the course of everyday driving. Any number of things can cause a need for wheel alignment, including potholes, speed bumps, hitting curbs and dips, or debris in the road. Even a minor accident can also throw off your wheel alignment.
The main signs that your car needs a wheel alignment are uneven tire wear, the car drifts to one side, or the steering wheel vibrates or isn’t centered. While needing a wheel alignment is not generally as critical as other repair issues, it can be a costly issue to ignore. This is not to say that a car that is way out of alignment cannot be dangerous, because if you become distracted and the car pulls into another lane, it could result in an accident.
The most obvious unnecessary cost is having to replace the tires way before they reach their expected lifespan. A less noticeable, yet potentially more costly, issue is that your car’s fuel mileage is reduced when your car is out of alignment. Handling problems can also be a sign of other suspension issues that should be addressed. At Joyce Automotive, we are happy to inspect your vehicle and let you know if it is time for a wheel alignment or if other repairs are needed.