When your car starts to veer in one direction even when the wheel is straight, you may need to bring it to us at Highway Tire Service & Collision for a wheel alignment. The first step in diagnosing alignment problems is to check the tire pressure, since tires that are lower than recommended levels can cause the vehicle to veer, as well. If the tires are all at correct pressure levels, check the tread on both front wheels. If one tire has more wear than the other, that can also cause the vehicle to pull to one side. Check for any abnormalities or areas that look damaged.
The next at-home trick for wheel alignment diagnosis is to use a tape measure and a level to check for severe alignment problems. Your car may have toe-in alignment problems, which is when the front tires lean too far inward, causing faster wear on parts of the tires. If you want to test for wheel alignment problems, drive the vehicle on a smooth and flat road when weather conditions are clear and dry. Let go of the steering wheel (make sure there’s no chance of hitting anything or anyone in the process) and watch what your car does. You can also listen for grinding or scraping noises, or ask a friend to follow you and watch how your front wheels turn compared to your back wheels.
Any of these problems can point to wheel alignment issues, so the next step is to take it into a shop that specializes in alignment repair, like Highway Tire Service & Collision. Our technicians can perform more advanced testing and determine exactly where the problem lies, then give you options for repair. Wheel alignment is an important safety feature of your vehicle, so make sure to check it frequently so you can maintain good control of your wheels.