Choosing Great Looking Wheels

Three Signs Of Unaligned Tires

by Tommy Brewer

The tires on your car experience a massive amount of physical pressure and wear through normal driving, which can alter the direction that they are pointing in over time.  When your tires become misaligned, it can increase the amount of wear that they experience, and also cause undue stress on your suspension system and other related components. Understanding what a couple of the more common signs of unaligned tires are can help you figure out when you should head to an tire service shop to have them realigned.

Noisy Tires

One of the first signs that your tires will exhibit if they are misaligned is a constant high pitched sound while you are driving. This happens because the treads of your tires are unable to properly grip the surface of the road, as they are pulling in different directions, causing the squealing sound as your tires skid slightly. This is more than an annoyance: it places much more stress on your tires and means that they are likely to wear through the treads at a faster rate than they would otherwise.


Another extremely common warning sign associated with unaligned tires is your vehicle pulling constantly to the side. Veering while driving can occur when one tire is severely misaligned compared to the others, causing your vehicle to pull to the left or the right of the road. Major pulling is fairly evident, but minor veering can be harder to notice: if you find that one of your arms is significantly more tired than the other after driving for an extended period, you may be fighting the steering wheel to keep your vehicle on track without even knowing it. This is a serious safety concern that should be addressed immediately, as a car that does not move in a straight line is at a much higher risk of hitting other vehicles or obstacles.


Finally, one last sign that you should talk to a mechanic about having your tires aligned is if you can feel a constant vibration coming through the steering wheel while driving, especially if that vibration grows worse at higher speeds. The vibrations come from your tires pulling in opposite directions, placing a great deal of stress on the axle and your suspension system, resulting in shaking. If not fixed quickly, this shaking can cause structural damage and wear to occur to your axle, steering system and suspension, which are more complicated and expensive repairs to have done.