What's a Wheel Alignment and When Do I Need One?
When we notice our vehicle begins to pull to the right or left while in motion, things are no doubt starting to get out of whack – or for a better term - "out of alignment." To correct the problem, a wheel alignment requires attention from a certified mechanic who will perform the necessary maintenance and see to it that all the wheels are parallel and the rubber can once again firmly meet the road.
How Do Things Get Out Of Whack?
Driving over potholes is just one of the many ways our vehicles get out of alignment. Other reasons include driving on rough roads or taking the same bad road day after day, as well as general wear and tear, which can cause the wheels to become knocked out of place over time. Eventually things can get so rickety that it becomes obvious, especially when we have to continually fight with the steering wheel to keep control as we attempt to drive the straight and narrow.
When Should I Get an Alignment?
First of all, check your tires to be certain they are inflated correctly. If your tires are under - inflated, you may notice a distinct pull to one side or the other while driving, so be certain tires have the proper amount of air.
If you begin to notice your vehicle pulling to the left or right while driving on a straight road or highway, it's a good indication that an alignment may be needed. Another clue is to note the wear on the tires. If tire tread is frayed, striped or show more wear on one side than the other, it's a good sign that an alignment may be needed. Also, if your vehicle seems to move sideways while you're driving forward or if the rear is off to one side as the car is in forward motion, it's definitely time to take your vehicle in for a much needed alignment check-up.
How Much Does an Alignment Cost?
The cost of an alignment depends on the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of the damage and the rates in your area. Note that SUV and 4WD alignments may cost more. It's a good idea to get estimates from a few different service providers to choose which rates and services are best for you.
Guest Blogger: Tina Mockmore, CarsForGirls.com