Cars run smoothly with properly aligned wheels, making driving pretty safe. Nevertheless, wheels often get misaligned due to some external encounters on the road. Hitting those potholes may soon start causing a shift in the suspension system. So, what are the symptoms of bad alignment?
Various signs tell you that your car has a bad wheel alignment. How bad can it get driving a car with a bad alignment? There are various dangers involved, much more as this issue causes the tires to wear out faster.
With the uneven wear, the vehicle’s steering wheel may start pulling from one direction to another. Such an issue can cause the car to lose its traction overtime on pavement terrains. It can also leave the driver uncomfortable with some annoying vibrations around the steering wheel.
Symptoms of Bad Alignment
Suppose you decide to go out for a joy ride with some friends, and you start noticing your car isn’t running efficiently. If you start facing some challenges having the vehicle run straight as you hit the road, it could be due to a bad wheel alignment.
Poorly maintained roads with potholes can cause some hassles for your car, causing serious damages to the wheel alignment. Wheel alignment problems cause some issues in handling the steering. You may start getting pissed off with the constant tire squealing and noisy steering.
However, this issue progressively starts getting worse with time. The earlier you detect the problem, the better for your car, and you can rest assured that the vehicle is in good shape. How do I know if I need an alignment or balance?
There are a few cases where you fear that your car’s wheels have a bad alignment, but it’s merely a case of underinflated tires. So, what are the common symptoms of bad caster alignment or other alignment types? Well, here are a few signs to look out for after checking the vehicle’s tire pressures.
Steering Wheel appearing Uneven
There are often no issues drivers face on a flat and straight road, and as such, the steering wheel remains straight. However, this is likely not the case with vehicles with misaligned wheels. A noticeable symptom is an emblem tipping off some degrees in any direction.
Since the emblem is out of the center of the steering wheel, there is a need for wheel alignment. Ignoring such signs would stem up some difficulties in controlling the car while driving. Once fixed, the vehicle should remain perfectly centered as you drive on a straight and flat road.
Uneven Tire Wear
Excessive tire wear can be troubling, but it becomes more overwhelming for driving when it occurs unevenly. When the treads on a particular tire start wearing out faster than the others, it could mean that you need to realign your vehicle’s wheel.
You can get accurate results from a proper measurement of the tread depth, ensuring that all tires have depths that seem the same. When the rubber depth of the vehicle’s tires lacks the same measurement, it means that the wheels lack proper alignment.
With the excessive wear affecting the tires unevenly, you may soon hear the tires squeal as the car makes swift turns or accelerates. That bad alignment noise means you need to realign your vehicle’s wheels.
Kindly note that this sign could also come up when the car has issues with the brake pads (worn brake pads). In essence, you should check before making conclusions.
Steering Wheel Vibration
There is often that disturbing vibration that accompanies swift acceleration when the car has bad tie rod ends. Nevertheless, your steering wheels may soon start vibrating while the vehicle is in motion. This action could be an indication that the car needs a proper wheel alignment.
It could also vibrate due to a more serious issue. Hence, the need to seek the help of an expert mechanic. A proper diagnosis would reveal the exact problem behind the steering wheel vibration.
Steering that Feels Lose
When you start feeling that the car’s steering appears loose or sloppy, it could be due to misaligned wheels. While some folks seem to ignore loose or sloppy wheels, it can be pretty dangerous. It can cause a delayed response when you need to take swift turns on the road.
Car Pulling to a Direction
When the car starts pulling in a particular direction (right or left), you should check the wheel alignment when you try driving straight. Soon it may seem like a daunting task driving straight across the road lanes, as the car keeps losing alignment. Thus, there is a need to check and fix this issue
Note: You may also hear some clinking sounds when handling the steering wheels. This noise could also signify a more serious problem like a bad ball joint.
Wheel Alignment Cost
After learning about the front and rear wheel alignment symptoms, it would help me learn more about the wheel alignment price. When your car’s wheel alignment is bad, it becomes a priority to get it fixed, seeking the assistance of an auto repair expert.
If you seem unaware of how to check wheel alignment in cars, you can quickly search for mechanics that work on “wheel alignment near me.” The cost of realigning your vehicle’s wheels varies, as it would depend on the extent of the damage and your location.
Nevertheless, it ranges from $50 to $100 for most cars that need either rear or front alignment. If you are keen on realigning all four wheels, you may need to budget more. 4 wheel alignment costs between the price ranges of $100 to $200.
There are top service stations, and they have varying prices for wheel alignment. You can check AutoZone alignment price and that of other service stations to choose a better option.
Most Popular Service Stations Estimating Cost
Here is a helpful list of the estimated cost of wheel alignment from top national companies.
This company provides excellent wheel alignment services at an affordable cost. You can opt-in for the “One time” wheel alignment option that comes at an average cost of $85. With this, Pep Boys provide customers a 3-month warranty.
Thus, you can rest assured that your car would run up to 4,000 miles without hassles. Nevertheless, you can opt-in for the “One-year” service that comes at an average cost of $110. With this, your car can cover 12,000 miles with a properly aligned wheel.
The wheel alignment cost at Goodyear for a single service goes for an average cost of $100.
Firestone wheel alignment price starts from $80, which comes with a 1-year warranty. However, you can opt for the lifetime package that comes at an average cost of $170.
You can get the front wheels of your vehicle aligned at this service station for an average price of $50. If you need to align all four wheels, it goes for an average cost of $75.
The average wheel alignment cost from Mr. Tire Company goes for $50. So, when you notice issues with the vehicle’s wheel alignment, it would help if you take your car here for quick fixing.
You can get the wheels of your small cars aligned for an average cost of $90 (a 1-time alignment), $125 (wheel alignment for a year), and $180 (a 3-year alignment). For trucks, the price seems higher, as it involves extra effort.
Truck wheel alignment starts from $105 up to $235, and the various packages come with a set time of warranty. Once your vehicle wheels get aligned, you can rest assured that the car would run smoothly.
When searching for “wheel alignment cost near me,” you should consider Sears, as they offer a 6-month warranty service at an average cost of $85. You can also access the one-year service or three-year service at an average cost of $115 and $165, respectively.
Popular Brands and their Estimated Wheel Alignment Cost
|S/N||Car Make||Car Model||Approx. Cost of Wheel Alignment|
|1||Toyota||Camry||$202 to $255|
|2||Ford||Ranger||$151 to $191|
|3||Chevrolet||Camaro||$137 to $171|
|4||Chrysler||Chrysler 300||$277 to $330|
|5||Jeep||Cherokee||$123 to $153|
|6||Dodge||Ram 1500||$132 to $167|
|7||Cadillac||Escalade||$197 to $231|
The wheels of vehicles need a proper alignment for a smooth ride. However, poorly maintained roads and other external factors may soon harm your car’s wheel alignment. Such situations may leave you with some difficulties in handling the steering wheel during acceleration.
Nevertheless, you can get it fixed. As such, it is recommendable that you get the wheels properly aligned as soon as possible. Interestingly, the wheel alignment time is pretty short, lasting for 30 to 60 minutes in most cases. Still, it would help if you learn more about various symptoms of bad alignment.