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Car Maintenance Basics: Why Wheel Alignment Matters

You know your vehicle. It doesn’t take you long to become familiar with the nuances of your car. The sounds it makes, the way it handles, and the way it feels as you’re cruising down the highway as opposed to tooling around town. That’s why you’ll likely notice if something is amiss.

For example, when your vehicle starts drifting to the right or the left, it’s a good sign it’s time for a wheel alignment. Having your car periodically aligned is one of the main components of proper maintenance. Here’s what you need to know.

Signs your car needs to be aligned

Here are the tell-tale indications that it’s time for an alignment:

  • Your tires are wearing unevenly.
  • Noticeable pulling to the left or right.
  • Steering wheel is off-center when you’re driving straight.
  • Your steering wheel vibrates.

What causes misalignment?

There are a few situations that can cause your car to lose its proper alignment.

  • It can occur gradually, over time, as the natural result of being driven over normal roads and highways.
  • Hitting a large bump or pothole.
  • Being involved in an accident.

Consequences of waiting too long

Sometimes, knowing your car needs to be looked at is pushed to the back of your mind as you deal with what seems to be more pressing issues. The problem is that you’ll end up doing serious and costly damage to your vehicle if you put off getting an alignment.

Here’s what can happen:

  • Poor handling. A pulling, vibrating steering wheel will only get worse, making your vehicle hard to handle and even dangerous.
  • Premature tire replacement. Strange or uneven tread patterns can lead to your tires wearing out and needing to be replaced much more quickly than normal. Plus, once your tires are worn, you’re at a greater risk for a blowout, which puts you and others in danger.

An easy fix

If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side (especially after an accident or hitting a jarring pothole!), it’s time to get in touch with your trusted mechanic. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult situation to remedy.

It’s recommended that you have your vehicle’s wheels aligned every couple years, though it should also be done when you get new tires. Your best bet is to talk to your mechanic and consult your car’s owner’s manual.

Why choose Conrad’s

The expert auto technicians at Conrad’s use advanced, computerized tools to realign your vehicle to the highest precision and accuracy. They know that the slightest misalignment can have a big negative impact on your car’s performance and, ultimately, safety.

With over 30 locations across Northeast Ohio, it’s easy to find one that’s convenient for you. It’s vitally important that you keep up with regular maintenance tasks for your vehicle

Let the professionals at Conrad’s handle your car-care needs.

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