A front end alignment is an important part of any vehicle maintenance. But how do you know whether your vehicle needs this work done? There are several signs that can show that your wheel alignments are off and may need to be adjusted and realigned. One of the biggest is that the vehicle will pull to one side or the other while the vehicle is driving down the road.
You may also determine that this type of work is needed if you notice that one area of your tire is becoming more worn than it is in other areas, because this can be a symptom of the wheel rubbing against other components of the car or truck. When the proper maintenance schedule for this task is not followed you may also notice a decrease in fuel efficiency and higher fuel costs.
If your vehicle has been in a crash recently then you may need to have everything in the front end lined up properly. This is true even if the accident was minor and there is little damage to the vehicle. Unusual sounds can also signal a problem in the way that the components are lined up. You may notice a grinding or other new sound that is unusual and unexpected.
1. You Need a Front End Alignment if the Vehicle Pulls to One Side
One of the most obvious signs that you need a front end alignment is pulling. If you are driving straight and the roadway is smooth the vehicle should not pull noticeably to either side. If you notice that the vehicle pulls to the right or left when you let go of the steering wheel then this means there is a problem that needs to be addressed right away.
2. Your Wheel Alignments are off if Tires Show Excessive Wear in Certain Areas
Checking your tires can be a great way to determine if a front end alignment should be done. If your wheel alignments are off then one of the front tires may start to show excessive wear in the area that comes into contact and rubs against other vehicle components. If the severe wear is only in certain locations on your front wheels then things are not lining up properly.
3. A Decrease in Fuel Efficiency Could Signal an Alignment Issue
Your fuel efficiency will go down when a front end alignment becomes necessary. This is often caused by friction as the various parts do not work together properly. This issue can lead to increased resistance as your vehicle travels down the road. You will require more fuel to go the same distance and your gas bill will go up each week.
4. Vehicles that Have Crashed Usually Need This Service
A front end alignment is always recommended if your vehicle has been in any type of crash or collision. Even the smallest impact could throw things off in the front end of the vehicle. When this happens then all of the components will not work together smoothly as designed. Since this is usually very affordable neglecting to have the work done could cost you more later on.
5. You hear any Unusual Sound not Previously Noticed
If you notice any new and unusual noise when operating your vehicle that seems to be coming from the front of the car or truck then you may need a front end alignment. The sounds you are hearing could be caused by rubbing or bumping between the various parts and components. That may mean that your wheel alignments are not ideal.
The last time you had a front end alignment what symptoms did you notice, if any? Did the vehicle drive better after the work was finished?