What Are Some Signs That a Car Needs a Wheel Alignment?

signs-car-needs-wheel-alignment Credit: Kodiak Greenwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images

One noticeable sign that a car has a severe wheel alignment problem is when the car automatically pulls towards the left or right side while being driven. In this situation, the driver is constantly wrestling with the steering wheel in an attempt to keep the car properly aligned with the road.

If a driver notices that a car has a tendency to drift to the side naturally when both hands are off the wheel for a moment, the car is out of alignment. Sometimes a car begins vibrating as it is being driven. The car is shaking because its wheels are pulling against each other. The steering wheel can also provide clues about an alignment problem. Check to see if the vehicle's steering wheel appears crooked but the car itself is going down the road in a straight direction.

A vehicle's front or back tires may show signs of uneven wear on the tire treads when out of alignment. Check to see if the tires have a "feathered" appearance. Feathering is when one side of the tire is smooth while the other side is sharp. Unaligned wheels may also show signs of heel and toe wear. The tire treads will feel like saw teeth to the touch.