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Car Oil Change

Signs That Your Alignments in Louisville, KY May Need Work

Posted on November 15, 2015 by Douglas Addington

Alignments in Louisville, KY are a misunderstood concept and many drivers will drive with their tires misaligned for a while, thinking the shaking and drifting is just an “old car problem.” Besides being irritating, alignment issues can be unsafe and end up costing you more with frequent tire replacement. If your car has an alignment issue, you will likely notice one of these signs:

  • Recent bumps and loud noises: Unless there were other things on your mind at the time, most drivers notice the moment their cars sustained alignment damage. The uncomfortable impact sound of hitting a deep pothole, running over road debris or running over a curb will often throw off the alignment. If you experience even a minor car accident, that impact can also cause your front or back end to misalign. When these incidents arise, you should visit your mechanic to check things out and fix any resulting problems from your incident.
  • Uneven tire wear: Tire wear is evenly distributed under normal circumstances. If there is an alignment issue, the wear concentrates around the edges. You will likely notice this effect more on the front tires than the back due to steering wheel pull. This can lead to needing to replace your tires sooner, or getting off schedule with replacement by requiring new front tires but not new back ones.
  • Pulling steering wheel: Drivers often notice alignment problems when they feel they are fighting the car as they drive. That is due to the fact that uneven alignment will pull the vehicle to one side. You may also feel like staying in a straight line requires overcorrection or putting your steering wheel in a headlock. This development makes handling your car safely more challenging, so when you feel the pull, you likely need to fix the issue sooner rather than later.
  • Vibration: Drivers also report the steering wheel vibrating at highway speeds. This happens because misaligned wheels pull against each other. With more serious alignment problems, the whole car will feel like it is shaking. Along with the steering wheel pulling, this is one of the first irritating signs that will lead drivers to get their cars looked at quickly.
  • Drifting: Less serious alignment issues will not cause the steering wheel to pull. However, if you let go of the wheel on a straight road, the car will start drifting in one direction if there is a problem. This is not a definitive test because the car may drift due to a slight curve in the road, too. But if you are on a seemingly straight road and the car keeps going towards the curve, you likely need to go in for alignment work.

To fix alignment, mechanics make adjustments to the wheel angles so they are once again even with one another. Cameras and other technology also help straighten the wheels. Front-end misalignments are the most common, as cars don’t often travel over potholes or debris with the back wheels once the front wheels have done so. But a big pothole or highway incident may require attention to all four wheels.

St. Matthews Imports – Auto Repair & Service works on alignments in Louisville, KY so drivers enjoy better handling from their vehicles. Call us today to set up an appointment if you notice any of these signs.

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