What Causes a Vehicle’s Alignment to Change? | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What Causes a Vehicle’s Alignment to Change?

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vehicle alignment

Is your vehicle alignment causing you to experience steering-wheel drift when you drive? If so, what you are really experiencing is vehicle misalignment. Read on to learn about what causes this and how to prevent it from happening to you.

How Can You Tell if Your Vehicle Alignment is Off?

Tires that are out of alignment are not pointing in the correct direction. The driver can feel some of the indicators that signal misalignment such as the vehicle pulling to one side or unnatural wheel vibration. You can also tell by letting go of a straight wheel and watching the car drift to the right or to the left.

Why is Vehicle Alignment Important?

Vehicle alignment isn’t something to brush aside when you are making your auto-care checklist. Vehicle alignment influences your steering, car suspension, tires, and how safe you and others are on the road.  It doesn’t take much to throw off your alignment, and it doesn’t make much to fix it. However, it means alot for how your vehicle works and how it works for you and others.

How Do Your Driving Habits Affect Your Vehicle Alignment?

Yes, how you drive really can affect your vehicle alignment. How? Consider the following list. Have you experienced any of these things while behind the wheel?

  • Impacted a curb: Hitting a curb happens to everyone. But, a little bump can actually apply forces strong enough to throw a tire out of alignment. So, watch out for those curbs!
  • Didn’t Slow for a speed bumps: Hitting speed bumps with more speed than you should may sound fun, but that little bit of joy you feel isn’t worth the damage it can cause your suspension and your tires. Take speed bumps slowly–like you are supposed to.
  • Dropped in potholes: The jarring you feel when you hit a pothole can flag you too the forces impacting your car’s suspension. Bad impacts with potholes can also wreak havoc on your shocks, steering, tires, and hubcaps.  When possible, avoid entering a pothole at all, but if you have no alternative, take it slow.
  • Been involved in an auto accident (minor or major): Yes, even a fender bender can skew your vehicle alignment. Always have your car inspected after any minor accident or impact.
  • Normal wear and tear — as vehicles age, rubber components, and ball-socket joints can begin to breakdown. These breakdowns in your car’s components can result in misalignment of your steering structures. This one of the reasons that regular vehicle maintenance is so important.
  • Skipped regular car maintenance: Making the time to maintain your vehicle is worth the effort. At Scott’s Fort Collins Auto, we make car maintenance a breeze. Let us show you how!

Benefits of Proper Vehicle Alignment

While proper vehicle alignment is definitely safer for the driver, passengers and others you share the road with, there are other things to consider as well. Were you aware that your vehicle alignment can also affect your car’s fuel economy? When wheels are in their correct position, they produce less rolling resistance/drag.

Properly aligned wheels also help prevent damage to your car’s components and preserve the overall life of your tires–which is cash in your pocket.

Have More Questions Your Vehicle?

A visit to Scotts Fort Collins Auto can help answer the specific questions you may have about your vehicle or your vehicle’s alignment. Staying safe on the road requires that you understand some of the basics about your car and car steering to keep you safe. Call Scotts Fort Collins Auto today at (970) 682-4202 for a tune-up and a discussion on the status of your vehicle!

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