When we think about cars and alignment, we often only think about the tires. There are, however, many parts connected to tires that provide little hints about their condition. One of those parts is your steering wheel. If you’ve ever driven your car in a straight line and realized your steering wheel was crooked, your car was trying to something is off with your vehicle. This shouldn’t be ignored. Your car is telling you something important – that your tires may not be aligned. Driving on misaligned tires can unevenly and prematurely wear down your tires and ultimately reduce their life.
Steering wheel crooked? Here’s why…
Poor tire alignment is likely the reason why your steering wheel is crooked. Sometimes, we don’t get time from our busy routine to take our cars to mechanics, and we avoid a simple maintenance. Our tires often get the shaft. This is not great, seeing how car tires take a lot of abuse. They’re the only part of the car that is in constant contact with the road. Weather, road conditions, potholes, driving styles and many other factors take a toll on your tires. Little bumps of curbs or hitting a pothole too fast can throw your tires out of alignment. A good rule of thumb is to have your alignment checked every 6,000 miles, or every oil change.
If you notice that your steering wheel is crooked, take your car to your local service provider as soon as possible to avoid continued damage to your tires. Remember, driving your tires while they are misaligned not only damages them, it can also impacts the drive of your car, resulting in a less smooth ride. When your car drives less smoothly due unevenly warn tires, you consume more gas. So, not only are you going to be paying for new tires before you need to be, you’re going to be spending more on gas as well.
If you’ve recently come from a service that included an alignment, it’s possible that your steering wheel became misaligned when your tires were realigned. The steering wheel can sometimes lose its center in the process. It’s possible that your service provider did not realign the steering wheel. Simply return to your service provider and have them take a second look and make the appropriate adjustments.
Crooked steering wheels can cost you in the long run
Poor alignment can shave thousands of usable miles off of your tires, and it can even cause damage to suspension and steering parts if not addressed. Paying attention to a crooked wheel could save you hundreds of dollars. Another factor to consider is personal safety. A severely crooked wheel presents a serious safety concern. If you are trying to move your car one way, but your car doesn’t actually move to the same degree intended, you could be at risk of an accident.
A crooked steering wheel is just one indication of poor tire alignment. Your car pulling more toward one direction than another is also an indication, as is rapid or uneven tire wear. When you are ready to bring your car in, remember that it’s always a good idea to get price quotes from more than one shop beforehand. Never ignore small problems with your car. Even if you can’t see any immediate damage or danger, you may be, over time, inviting serious and expensive repairs.