A perfectly aligned vehicle goes straight on a flat, smooth road even when you don’t have your hands on the steering wheel. If you find you have to fight to keep your vehicle headed in a straight direction, your wheels are out of alignment. Failure to have them realigned can damage your tires and suspension. Willoughby Hills Auto Repair explains these four things can knock your wheels out of alignment.
If you have a bad habit of hitting curbs, you could easily knock your wheels out of alignment. It doesn’t take much. Anytime you smack your wheels against anything, whether a curb, a parking space divider or a construction divider, you run the risk of unintentionally pushing that wheel off its aligned position. For example, if you constantly smack a curb when you turn, you’ll notice your vehicle pulls to the right eventually. This is easy to fix provided you didn’t hit the curb too hard and cause damage.
2. Speed Bumps
It might be fun to fly over speed bumps but you’ll knock your wheel alignment off in the process. Driving over speed bumps at a speed any higher than 5 miles-per-hour will jar your suspension. If you’re going particularly fast, you could damage more than just your wheel alignment. Also keep in mind that weight could be an issue with speed bumps. The heavier your car the slower you should go. The weight of heavier vehicles increases the motion they experience going over the speed bump.
Potholes are a vehicle alignment’s worst enemy. When you hit the curb, the impact pushes the wheel inward. When you go over a pothole, your wheel could go all over the place depending on how deep and wide the pothole is. Potholes also damage hubcaps, shocks, steering, suspension and tires, so drive over them cautiously. As with speed bumps, drive over a pothole as slow as you can. Ignore the impatient people behind you. You’re protecting your vehicle’s undercarriage.
Vehicle maintenance helps keeps your wheels aligned. Tire rotations every 6,000 miles help ensure the tire tread wears down evenly on each tire. This keeps them balanced. Your wheels should be re-balanced every 10,000 miles or per your automobile manufacturer’s specifications. If you do believe your vehicle is out of alignment, don’t wait to have it checked and realigned. And even if you don’t believe it’s out of alignment, you should have it aligned every two-to-three years anyway.
Call Willoughby Hills Auto Repair in Willoughby Hills, OH, at 440-497-0999 to set up an appointment for a wheel balance and alignment check.