Does your steering feel strange? Does your car pull to one side at high speeds? You may need an alignment. Over time, your vehicle’s wheels and steering parts can shift and cause your car to feel funny. All vehicles need an alignment at some point, which straightens out the steering and ensures all parts are working properly.

Getting an alignment is an important part in keeping your car safe. But how can you tell if your vehicle needs an alignment? Continue reading below to find out.

How to Tell If Your Car Needs an Alignment

A steering alignment fixes issues having to do with your steering and suspension. The more you drive, the higher the chance of your steering components shifting. Little shifts are normal, but if your car is struggling to stay straight on the roadway, it can be extremely dangerous.

Here are a few signs that your vehicle might need an alignment:

  • Your car pulls to one side. If you’re having trouble handling your car, it can cause serious damage to the steering parts and components. You may notice your car veering to one side when driving straight.
  • Your tires are uneven. Some of your tires may be more worn down than others if your vehicle is not aligned properly, leading to frequent tire replacement.
  • Your steering wheel is not straight. Take a look at your steering wheel while you are driving straight. If it’s crooked or upside down, it’s a sign your vehicle needs an alignment.

So, how does misalignment happen? In addition to shifting over time, your vehicle’s steering and suspension can become damaged due to sudden impact. Hitting a large pothole, running over a curb or getting into an accident can all impact your vehicle’s alignment.

Misalignment can also be caused by wear and tear. Car parts such as suspension springs wear off over a certain period of time, so make sure to regularly service your car. Additionally, if you adjust the height of your vehicle but don’t change your suspension to follow suit, you will probably experience trouble with the alignment.

Aside from being dangerous, a misaligned car can also be costly. Since your tires will wear unevenly, it can cost you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars in replaced tires. And that’s in addition to the increased risk of an accident, which carries its own set of repair costs.

You can lower your risk of damages by ensuring your car is properly aligned. Most mechanics suggest getting an alignment at least every two years. To make it easier to remember, many recommend getting an alignment each time you get another type of service done, like brakes or tires.