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How to Know When You Need an Alignment

Springfield Wheel Alignment Services

Driving around Springfield can be enjoyable, but overtime maintenance concerns such as an alignment can add up. How you take care of your vehicle, and how others do the same, is often the difference between a safe commute and a life-threatening accident.

Wheel alignments are offered at just about every quick service shop, and is relatively inexpensive compared to most other preventative maintenance. However, keeping the right alignment ensures you minimize wear on your suspension, while also keeping the optimal amount of tread on the road. Here’s what you should know about why you need to add alignments to your maintenance routine.


Causes of Alignment Issues

Once your alignment is set, it should stay without the interference of some factor. One of the most common causes of alignment problems is hitting something while driving. This can be a pothole, a curb, or even a larger rock.

Some repair jobs will also throw your alignment off. For instance, if you need to replace a tie rod or a strut, it is best to get an alignment after doing so.


What are the Symptoms?

There are several telltale signs you may need alignment service. These may include the following:


Holding Steering Wheel Cockeyed While Driving

While you are driving on a flat and straight road, your wheel should be straight and you should maintain a straight line on the road. If you find you have to keep your steering wheel turned slightly to the left or right, there’s a good chance you need an alignment.


Drifting or Pulling

Along with holding your steering wheel off-center, you may notice your vehicle pulling to the left or right. This may be subtle, but when it gets significant it may become a significant safety hazard.


Tires Wearing Unevenly

When you have your tires serviced by MTS Express, we all check how your tires are wearing. When you see uneven wear patterns, this is also an indication your alignment is off, or there is another problem with your suspension.


Unusual Vibration

As you drive down the road, you should experience a smooth ride if the road is smooth. If you feel a vibration in the vehicle or in the steering wheel, this can indicate problems with either alignment or your tires’ balance.


Loose Handling

Have you ever noticed the difference in how steering feels from one vehicle to another? When everything is installed and aligned properly, your steering should be tight, regardless of the vehicle’s age.


Unusual Noises

Noises tell you a lot about your vehicle, if you only understand how to listen and interpret the sounds. Creaking, squeaking, knocking, or rubbing sounds while driving, and especially while taking corners, indicate a problem in the steering or suspension. As already indicated, this kind of work will need an alignment once complete.


When to Check Your Vehicle

Most manufacturers recommend having your alignment checked every 10,000 miles. This is also roughly how often most people will have their tires changed. You can easily add these two together being most tire shops also provide alignment.

You may also want to check your alignment after suspension or steering service. Most shops will add this into the estimate if the work risks messing it up.

Also think about how you drive. If you are in an accident, you may want to have check your wheel alignment, especially there was damage near any of the wheels. Be sure to keep an eye on how the car is handling, and if you suspect alignment, have it checked out.

Many of the symptoms of wheel alignment problems are also indicative of improper tire balancing. While getting your car into the shop to be looked at can be challenging, getting regular tire service should not be.

MTS Express provides mobile tire service, coming right to your home or office around Springfield, to ensure your tires are always ready to keep you safe. Our team not only provides new tire installation and tire repairs, but also rotating and balancing. Consider taking this step before disrupting your life and possibly save on an unnecessary alignment.


1 Comment:

  • Thank you for helping me to understand that steering in a vehicle needs to be tight. I think that my car is pulling to a left a little so it seems like I should find a mechanic. Finding a mechanic will be good because they will be able to get my tires back to their proper alignment.

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