Photo: Flickr / The Tire Zoo
When your wheel alignment goes out of whack, it’s foolish to overlook the problem.Like ignoring the engine light on the dashboard, Jack Nerad, executive editorial director of Kelley Blue Book, says letting the issue drag on can cost you hundreds. That means shelling out cash for a set of new tires and repairs, not to mention a hazardous blowout on the road.
Here’s what Nerad says to watch out for:
Poor handling. Whether the car pulls in a different direction or the wheel feels shaky, most drivers can tell when the handling feels off. “The car is just not driving efficiently,” Nerad says. The steering will become imprecise and it’ll be hard to manoeuvre.
Strange tread on the tires. “If you’re seeing strange tire wear, where it’s not across the tread but on one portion of the tread on the inside or outside, that’s not a good thing,” says Nerad. The tread will vary by how misaligned the wheels are, though it won’t always “be hugely noticeable.” Regardless, if the lines aren’t straight and even resemble crayon scribbles, then you’d better make a date with a trusted mechanic.
Another telltale sign: The car feels off-kilter, even on level ground. When the portion of the tire that’s supposed to be touching the road isn’t doing it, says Nerad, then the balance is definitely off and it’s time to take it in for repairs.