Car accidents can cause extensive damage to your vehicle, and even minor collisions can impact the alignment of your wheels. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s essential to have your car’s alignment checked immediately. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear, reduced fuel efficiency, and even unsafe driving conditions. In this guide, we’ll explore why proper alignment matters after a collision and provide tips on how to ensure accurate car alignment post-wreck.
Understanding Car Alignment
Before discussing why car alignment is crucial after a collision, let’s first define what it is. Car alignment refers to the adjustment of the suspension system that connects your vehicle’s wheels to its frame. Proper alignment ensures that all four tires are parallel with each other and perpendicular to the ground. When your wheels are correctly aligned, your car drives smoothly and handles appropriately.
There are different types of alignments available based on the number of wheels involved in the process. The most common type is front-end alignment, which involves adjusting only the front two wheels. Other types include four-wheel alignment, thrust angle alignment, and computerized wheel alignment.
Signs Your Car Needs an Alignment Post-Collision
After a collision or even hitting a pothole or curb while driving, you may notice signs indicating that your vehicle needs an alignment check:
Pulling to one side when driving
If you feel like you’re constantly correcting your steering wheel while driving because your car pulls to one side or another without any driver input, then it could be due to misaligned wheels.
Uneven or rapid tire wear
Misaligned tires often experience uneven tread wear in specific areas of the tire. This condition can lead to premature replacement needs for your tires.
Steering wheel off-center or vibrating while driving
Another sign that something might be wrong with your car’s wheel alignment is if you notice vibrations coming from your steering wheel or if it appears off-center when driving straight ahead.
The Risks of Ignoring Misaligned Wheels After a Collision
Ignoring misaligned wheels after an accident can lead to several risks:
Uneven tire wear leading to costly replacement needs
When tires don’t wear evenly across their surface area due to misalignment issues, they will need early replacement before they should have needed them normally.
Reduced fuel efficiency and increased tire drag
As tires drag against the road surface due to incorrect angles caused by poor wheel alignments, they require more power from the engine just for moving forward resulting in poor gas mileage overall.
Risk of losing control on wet or slippery roads
Misaligned wheels reduce traction between tires and roads leading to loss of control during wet weather conditions such as rain or snow.
Choosing the Right Auto Shop for Your Post-Collision Car Alignment Needs
Once you’ve determined that you need an alignment check post-collision in order not risk long-term damage down the line; finding reputable auto shops who specialize in this service is critical. Here are some tips for selecting a shop:
Researching local shops online and reading reviews
Take time looking up different auto body repair shops online so you can compare prices alongside customer reviews left behind by previous customers.
Asking friends and family for recommendations
Friends’ recommendations present trustworthy sources since they may have already gone through similar experiences themselves with these local auto repair companies.
Car alignment is essential after a collision to ensure that your car runs safely and efficiently. By understanding the risks of misaligned wheels and taking time to research local auto shops, you can ensure that your vehicle will be properly aligned post-collision and maintain its optimal condition over time.
Once again, it’s important to know why wheel alignment is important, the signs that your vehicle needs an alignment check after a collision, and the risks of ignoring misaligned wheels. When in doubt, it’s always best to seek professional advice from a certified auto repair technician to get the most out of your car’s condition.