When you think of improper tire alignment, you probably think of a car that drifts slightly to one side. While that’s definitely one symptom, poor alignment affects your car in numerous ways that can harm your vehicle, your safety, and your wallet. Here’s how each part of your car is impacted by bad alignment:
When your tires are not properly aligned, it creates uneven wear. Obviously this will require you to replace particular tires sooner than you would have, which can be costly. But it’s more than that — certain tires wearing down faster than others can actually compromise your safety. For instance, when poor alignment places too much pressure on one tire, you may experience a blowout. This is obviously incredibly dangerous and can result in an accident. Proper alignment prevents unnecessary tire wear, but it can also save your life.
Just as poor alignment can place pressure on your tires, it also puts stress on your car’s suspension. Over time, this will damage the suspension components. This type of damage requires expensive repairs in most cases. It’s much wiser to pay for regular alignments than to wait for there to be a problem — your wallet will thank you.
One of the main results of poor alignment is problems with steering. When tires aren’t aligned correctly, it creates tire drag, which makes it more difficult to steer. You may find yourself fighting your car to turn, drifting, or having to hold your steering wheel at an odd angle. This increases your chances of getting in an accident, as the car is not responding appropriately and you’re not driving as you normally do. Misalignment completely changes the way your car handles, which is not safe.
When your car is aligned correctly, your wheels turn and travel in the same direction. So when your alignment is off, your tires’ movement is off, too. This can cause your car to brake unevenly. And remember how we said misalignment messes with your suspension? That strain on your suspension hinders your braking ability. We don’t need to tell you how important your brake performance is to your safety, so know that problems with your alignment can cause problems with your brakes.
Tire drag caused by improper alignment doesn’t just mess with your tires — it also causes your car to consume more fuel. The tire drag requires your car to work harder to get where it needs to be, which means you end up with an empty gas tank sooner. So to save money at the pump, make sure your car is perfectly aligned.