Signs that a Vehicle Needs a Wheel Alignment Described for Students in Automotive School

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A vehicle, much like any other machine, is prone to mechanical and electrical malfunctions and often needs routine maintenance work to perform at its best. As a mechanic, it’s important to recognize the signs of wheel misalignment on a car, not only so that you can perform the necessary repairs, but also to share valuable information with your customers to prevent future mishaps. The more they know about their vehicles, the more likely they can provide you with an accurate report when something goes wrong. Proper wheel alignment can help to avoid unnecessary damage to a vehicle, and will ultimately improve the client’s driving experience. Here are a few signs that a car’s wheel alignment might be off.

The Wheel Is Off-Centre

Imagine you’re driving down a straight road without any bumps, turns, lane switches or potholes. Normally, the steering wheel should be centred. A wheel that is is slightly off-centre is usually no cause for alarm. However, if it is off by more than a couple of degrees, it is definitely time to perform a checkup on the vehicle.

Another warning sign? After making a turn or switching lanes, the wheel should start to re-center itself. If the wheel doesn’t move back to its stable position, it could be a sign that the steering wheel is not aligned. As an auto mechanic, it’s important that you advise drivers to bring their car in for a check-up as soon as they notice this. If the problem is left unattended for too long, it can wear the tires out. By examining the steering wheel, you can prevent other issues from cropping up down the line. Students in automotive school will learn more through  a course that covers wheel alignment, as well as servicing tires, hubs, and steering systems.

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If the steering wheel is off by a couple of degrees, it might be time for a check up

Automotive School Can Teach You About Tire Patterns

If the steering on a vehicle feels “loose” while driving, for example when turning, there’s a good chance that the steering wheel is misaligned. Looseness and other symptoms can show up in the tire wear patterns. As an auto mechanic, you’ll be able to assess the tire wear patterns to see if there’s a problem with the vehicle. Unlike other symptoms, tire wear is difficult to identify for someone without auto mechanic training. While this is not a full-proof sign, it does allow mechanics to make educated guesses about tire pressure, suspension condition and, of course, the steering wheel’s alignment. Additionally, the placing of wear and tear on the tires can indicate where the problem is located. For example, if the wear is only on the outside edges, there could be a problem with the camber adjustment.

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Automotive school teaches what to look out for in tire marks

A Pull in Either Direction

A vehicle pull is most noticeable when driving down a straight road. In a perfect scenario, a car should drive straight even when there are no hands on the wheel to control it, which is the case for automated cars. Manual vehicles should also drive straight with very little pressure or control from the driver on the steering wheel. If the driver feels that the car is pulling to one side or it’s taking more effort than usual to keep the steering wheel straight, it’s time to check the alignment. 

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