Signs of Faulty Wheel Alignment

Correct wheel alignment is crucial in maintaining a safe and comfortable driving experience, but how can you tell if your car needs wheel alignment?

There are signs to look out for that indicate when wheel alignment is required. However, once these signs are present, some damage or premature wear will likely have already occurred.

That is why it is always worth scheduling a free wheel alignment check at least once per year at your local branch.

To save time, it is often more convenient to book your free wheel alignment check at the same time as your Annual Service or test, and you should ask for one whenever you have new tyres fitted.

Your vehicle pulls to one side when driving straight

Cars may begin to pull left or right as the wheels become gradually misaligned over time through natural wear or impact damage such as that from potholes.

This is easy to identify when driving on a straight and flat road. However, you must take into account that most roads are not flat, as they angle away to the sides for water drainage.

Irregular Tyre Wear

Tyres are the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road and, as such, play a vital role in the car's ability to accelerate, brake or turn correctly.
To do this, however, tyres must wear evenly, ensuring their contact patch with the road is maintained as the manufacturer intended.

Irregular or uneven tyre wear is a tell-tale of a misalignment that has the unfortunate byproduct of reducing the life of your tyres, meaning they will need replacing earlier than they should otherwise.

Vibration through the steering wheel

While this is more commonly a wheel balancing issue rather than a wheel alignment issue, in some instances, incorrect wheel alignment can have this effect.

In situations where both front wheels are either pointing outwards or inwards, they effectively act against one another, trying to roll in different directions, causing a vibration through the steering wheel.

Off-centre steering wheel while driving straight

When a car is correctly aligned, your steering wheel should be centred when all four wheels are pointed ahead.

If you have to hold your steering wheel off-centre in order to drive straight, this is a sign of a wheel alignment issue.

This issue can often occur due to a sudden impact, like hitting a kerb or pothole, rather than a gradual misalignment over time.