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Ask the mechanic: How to tell if your wheel alignment needs checking

Tyres are one of the most important elements of car safety, but not being a monitored element of a dashboard, can easily become overlooked as part of your regularly maintenance. One serious tyre-related issue to be aware of is wheel alignment, where your car tends to pull to one side, or causes your wheel to vibrate. This can present real safety issues, not to mention an annoyance when driving long distance. Here we look at some of the common causes of wheel alignment issues, as well as how to diagnose the problem.

What causes issues to wheel alignment?

Unfortunately, out-of-alignment can be the result of everyday driving, and is something that your car mechanic should be checking regularly. However, wheel alignment issues can also be caused by minor bumps or accidents, such as hitting the curb or going over a too-deep pothole. This can knock the calibrated-components of your mechanics out of whack, resulting in your wheels sitting at different angles. If you’ve recently had a minor accident or prang, it’s worth checking whether you’ve damaged your wheel alignment.

How can I tell if I have a wheel-alignment issue?

There are a few ways to tell if you have a wheel alignment issue. When driving, you may notice that your car appears to drift to one side of the road, even while you are heading straight. You may also notice your steering wheel vibrating slightly, or it appearing tilted to either the left or the right, despite moving in a straight line. From the outside of the car, another sign to look for is uneven tread or wear in your tyres – indicating that more pressure is being placed on one side over the other.

What to do if I have a wheel-alignment problem?

The most important thing to do if you have a wheel-alignment problem is get the issue fixed as soon as possible. It can cause serious damage to your tyres if left unchecked, not to mention present some real safety issues. Enlist the help of an independent mechanic such as Reliance Auto Centre, whose trained team of professionals are available to meet your car repair needs in Sydney.

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