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What Causes a Vehicle's Wheel Alignment to Change?

Last updated 4 years ago

Does your car pull to one side while you’re driving on a straight road? If you have to crank on the steering wheel to keep your vehicle in one lane, you are experiencing wheel alignment issues. This type of problem is annoying, bad for your tires, and potentially dangerous. Read on for a look at some of the causes of poor wheel alignment.

Potholes and Road Hazards

One of the most common causes for wheel misalignment is high-speed contact with a road hazard such as a pothole, a speed bump, or a curb. When one or both tires are forced to quickly change direction by hitting an obstacle, alignment points can be jarred out of position and lead to alignment problems.

Traffic Collisions

Traffic collisions, unsurprisingly, are another common cause of changes in alignment. An impact with another vehicle can cause serious changes to the shape and position of many parts of your vehicle, such as the frame, steering, and suspension. If any of these changes are left unaddressed, you could be facing serious misalignment.

Normal Suspension Wear

Your vehicle’s suspension is tuned to keep your wheels properly aligned, but many of these components are flexible by design and will wear out over time. If your suspension begins to wear or sag—especially on one side more than the other—your wheels will fall out of alignment. Suspension maintenance and repairs can rectify this problem.

Imprecise Mechanical Work

If you have any repairs or upgrades performed on components directly tied to your wheels, your alignment could be affected. Miscalculations can lead to unevenness, which could either place your wheels out of alignment directly or put them at risk for quickly falling out of alignment. Be sure to have your wheel alignment checked after any changes to your wheels, steering, or suspension.

If you notice the signs of wheel misalignment, such as lateral pulling, vibrations, or uneven tire wear, come to A-1 Auto Tech, Inc. for realignment. We are a full-service auto repair shop in Mountain View, CA, with AAA approval and a staff of ASE-certified technicians. Contact us online to learn more.

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