Close-up of black tire

Why is Alignment Important? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Your car’s wheels are one of its most important components. They connect to the axle of the vehicle and enable it to roll and move. Your wheels should be aligned properly. Bad wheel alignment can affect how your vehicle handles and its overall performance.

What Causes Bad Wheel Alignment?

Your wheels can go out of alignment when you drive your car over a pothole or hit curbs and road debris at high speed. Other common causes of bad wheel alignment include minor collisions, and bad struts and shocks or other suspension parts. If you drive regularly on underinflated tires, the height of your suspension can change, leading to alignment problems.

Warning Signs of Bad Wheel Alignment

The most common sign of bad wheel alignment is poor steering response. Because the steering wheel of a car is designed to control the wheels, car owners can easily determine if their car is out of alignment by paying attention to how their steering wheel responds to inputs.

Here are some other common signs of bad wheel alignment.

  • The Car Pulls to One Side: If your car drifts or pulls to one side while driving on a straight road, it may be out of alignment. Depending on how frequently your car pulls to one side, you may be dealing with a minor alignment problem or a major issue.
  • Uneven Steering Wheel: When driving down a straight road, your steering wheel should remain straight and in the center. If it leans slightly off-center in either direction, your car is out of alignment.
  • Vibrating Steering Wheel: If you feel unsettling vibrations in your steering wheel while driving, your car may need an alignment. A vibrating steering wheel can also be caused by other problems. Take your car to a body shop in Healdsburg for a thorough checkup.

The Importance of Wheel Alignment

If you notice any signs of bad alignment, have a mechanic check your car as soon as possible. Remember, ignoring signs of bad alignment will only worsen it. Even if your car handles well and you do not notice any signs of bad wheel alignment, have your car’s alignment checked every year.

Here are some benefits of proper wheel alignment.

  • Improved Fuel Efficiency: Misaligned wheels do not work in unison, causing the engine to work harder. This results in poor gas mileage. When a car is aligned, its parts work together, helping reduce stress on the engine.
  • Extends the Lifespan of Your Tires, and Suspension and Steering Systems: Another compelling reason to keep your wheel aligned is that proper alignment helps reduce stress on your tires and suspension and steering systems, extending their service life.
  • Improves Vehicle Safety: Bad alignment can cause your car to pull to the left or right and can jeopardize your safety as well as the safety of other motorists and pedestrians on the road. When your car is aligned, it drives smoothly.

Have you been in a collision that affected your car’s alignment? Silveira Auto Body can help. Our auto body repair experts bring years of hands-on experience addressing different types of damages caused by collisions to the table. To learn more, call 707-433-2424.