Top 6 Rear Wheel Alignment Symptoms
If the wheels are suddenly jarred, it can cause the vehicle to shift out of alignment.
This can happen even if the car is moving smoothly. The suspension and wheel assembly can also wear and shift, causing noticeable symptoms.
A properly aligned vehicle can help improve its performance and prevent it from getting into trouble. It can also help prevent accidents.
The article will delve into several rear wheel alignment symptoms and the importance of wheel alignment.
Table of Contents
Why are Wheel Alignments Important?
Your vehicle's wheels are a critical part of its operation, and if they're not aligned properly, it can cause damage and even cause you to lose control of it. The longer you leave it unattended, the worse it gets.
The sooner your tires wear down, the sooner they need to be replaced.
Also, if the steering and suspension components are not working correctly, you might break them.
This issue can also cause a reduction in the performance of your vehicle due to poor wheel alignments.
In addition, it will make your car lose traction and increase your braking distance.
If you notice that your vehicle's alignments are not working correctly, you must get them fixed immediately. It might seem like a costly process, but it's essential.
If you think about it, getting it fixed is a small price compared to getting new tires.
It also extends the life of your vehicle's suspension and steering components. It's a great way to avoid costly repairs later on.
Rear Wheel Alignment Symptoms
If your tires are underinflated, then they might cause problems that are similar to those caused by misaligned wheels.
So before going for wheel realignment, try eliminating the underinflated tire factor.
After adequately inflating the tires and if you still experience the following symptoms, it might be time for the realignment.
The following are rear wheel alignment symptoms:
1. Uneven Steering Wheel
The steering wheel may be centered if the emblem is still level while driving.
The car's steering wheel is meant to be completely straight when driving and not off-center.
The steering wheel may be uneven if the emblem is off-center or slightly off-center.
Having the realignment done right away will allow the vehicle to remain in its original position and make it easier to control.
2. Uneven Tire Wear
The wheels may be misaligned if the rubber tread on a section of your car's tires is getting worn out faster than the other sections.
This can be caused by excessive inner and outer tire wear as well as tire scalloping and outerwear.
To determine the level of wear and tear on your tires, use a tire depth meter to measure the circumference of both the outer and inner sides.
Having the wheels aligned properly will allow them to have the same rubber depth.
3. Vehicle Pulls to One Side
Observing your alignment is essential when driving with little traffic on a straight road.
If the steering wheel seems to be drifting or moving toward one side when you remove your hands from the wheel, that might be a misalignment.
Repeat the process, and if the steering wheel seems to be drifting or moving toward one side when you remove your hands from the wheel, that might be caused by rear wheel misalignment.
If you don't realign the wheels immediately, it will become harder to drive straight, and you might cross over into other lanes if you don't have a firm grip on the steering wheel.
Having the alignment done right away will allow the vehicle to remain in its original position and make it easier to control.
4. Loose Steering
Loose steering wheels are rear wheel alignment symptoms and can lead to decreased response times when turning.
This is why it's essential to check your vehicle's alignment regularly.
5. Squealing Tires
If your tires are squealing as they accelerate or make turns, this could be caused by uneven tire wear due to wheel misalignment.
Having the vehicle checked additionally can help identify other possible causes of this issue. This is also another rear wheel alignment symptom.
6. Steering Wheel Vibrates
If the steering wheel is vibrating while the vehicle is moving, it could be caused by either an imbalanced or misaligned set of wheels.
Having the vehicle checked can also help identify or eliminate other possible causes of this issue.
A vibrating steering wheel is one of the primary rear wheel alignment symptoms.
How to Diagnose an Alignment Problem
The other common reasons for alignment issues are heavy wear and potholes.
Since this issue requires an alignment rack, it's not an easy fix without a mechanic.
Fortunately, alignment problems are inexpensive to diagnose and repair without replacing wheel assembly parts.
- Before working on alignment problems, ensure that the panel on your driver-side door is clear and has the required pressure of your car.
This will allow you to check the pressure of your tires. After that, take out the cap of your first tire and test its air valve.
If the pressure is still low, try filling up your tires at a gas station.
- Get a lug wrench from the trunk of your car and go around the car, tightening all the loose bolts.
Doing so will allow you to properly observe if the issue persists.
If your loose or damaged lug nuts always come loose, try using a degreaser to remove the oil from them. Doing so will allow you to keep them in place.
- After you've carried out the instructions stated above, take the car to an empty parking lot.
If the steering wheel turns unevenly or in the same direction when driving across the lot, it might be an alignment issue.
If the steering wheel turns more than 5-to-10 degrees at any point, it also indicates that you need an alignment.
- This is a type of tool that's typically not in your garage. After you've identified the issue, take it to your mechanic. They will then be able to diagnose and address it.
The process of alignment involves making adjustments that are thousandths of an inch.
Even experienced gearheads can sometimes benefit from the equipment you can find at a used car dealer.
If your tires are out of alignment, your mechanic might need to reposition them to align them with your vehicle's rear wheels.
They might also need to adjust the angle or position of your suspension.
These are some of the standard adjustments that an alignment rack can perform.
It costs around $50 to a few hundred dollars.
- If your vehicle's A-frame or axle components can't be adequately aligned, you should have them replaced.
Some components that may need to be replaced include the control and spindle joints, ball joints, and spring coils.
If a crack or a rut has damaged your tires, you might need to replace them.
The A-frame refers to the part of your vehicle that's attached to the rear wheels. If it's damaged, it can cause the wheels to come off and throw the chassis off.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the cost of replacing the A-frame can vary.
Depending on the component, you can expect to spend up to $150 to $1,500. After that, add in the standard alignment cost.
Causes of Rear Wheel Misalignment
Proper alignment of all your wheels is essential for safe and proper handling.
It can help prevent premature wear and improve the efficiency of your tires.
Bad wheel alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly and quickly, leading to steering issues or even preventing you from controlling your vehicle.
Having your wheels realigned as soon as possible can help prevent this issue from happening in the first place.
Various factors can cause your wheels to get out of alignment. Some of these include poor driving habits and road conditions.
Getting the proper alignment of your wheels can also help keep your tires in great condition and improve their performance.
It can additionally prevent costly repairs from happening and helps the car manage fuel efficiently.
The primary causes of rear wheel misalignment include the following:
- Hitting curbs while driving or road debris.
- Minor collisions.
- Driving over potholes (this is very common).
- Bad shocks or the other suspension parts.
It is almost impossible to realign your wheels without the help of a technician.
So, taking the car to the mechanic is essential once you observe the abovementioned symptoms.