(703) 352-7770 |  3215 Old Pickett Road, Fairfax, VA 22031  |  Mon–Fri: 8:00am–6:00pm (After Hours Key Dropoff Available)

Do I Need A Wheel Alignment?

May 15, 2020

Do I Need A Wheel Alignment?

If you’re driving through the streets of Fairfax, VA and notice that your vehicle’s steering isn’t handling like it usually does, you might need a wheel alignment.

5 Signs Your Vehicle Needs A Wheel Alignment

an image of toyota steering wheel

1) Your steering wheel is not centered – One way to tell if your wheel alignment is off is to drive down a straight, flat road. Your steering wheel should stay centered and straight, and your vehicle emblem in the center of the steering wheel should appear level to you. If the steering wheel is off center by more than a few degrees in either direction, you should have a wheel alignment check.

2) Your vehicle pulls to one side or the other – There is a common misconception that vehicles should drive perfectly straight when taking your hands off the steering wheel. In a perfect world, this would be true, but in reality this isn’t possible because all roads have some degree of crowning, which might cause a slight pull to one side. Instead, a vehicle should drive straight with very little effort on the steering wheel.
Important safety tip: Completely removing your hands from the steering wheel is VERY dangerous. We never recommend testing your vehicle’s alignment with this technique. 

an image showing abnormal tire wear

3) You notice abnormal tire wear in certain spots – Wear on only the inside or outside edges of tires can indicate a problem with the camber adjustment. Feathering or scalloping of the tires often indicates a problem with the toe adjustment. 

4) The handling feels loose when driving – If the steering in your vehicle feels loose or unstable, one of the possible causes could be poor wheel alignment. This can be felt as drifting across the road when driving, or the car may feel very loose and sloppy around corners.
5) Your steering wheel doesn’t return to center – After making a turn, your steering wheel should naturally start to return to center on it’s own as you keep driving. If you need to keep your hands on the wheel to help it achieve this quicker and keep control of the car, this is a good indication that your alignment is off. 
If you are experiencing any of these issues while driving, we recommend you schedule an appointment for a wheel alignment check. 
Misaligned wheels can create a variety of issues while driving and premature tire wear problems, so it’s best to get your wheel alignment checked. Even if it’s not a safety issue for your vehicle, the money saved by not prematurely wearing your tires will often exceed the cost of the alignment itself.

Call (703) 352-7770 to schedule a FREE wheel alignment check.