Something as simple as driving down badly-maintained roads or hitting a curb can throw off your car’s wheel alignment, which can then lead to uneven tyre wear and reduce their lifespan. Regular wheel alignments enhances the driving experience, making it more energy efficient and ensuring you don’t have to pay for a new set of tyres as often.
In this guide, we’re covering the signs that your car needs a wheel alignment, and what you can do to enjoy an optimal driving experience in your Kia.
What is a wheel alignment?
A wheel alignment (or tyre alignment) is the adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension, which is the system that connects the wheels to the vehicle. It goes beyond just adjusting the wheels themselves, and is focused on improving the angle of the tyres, which affects how they contact the road.
Signs your car needs wheel alignment
Wheels alignments are overlooked by many drivers, but it’s a key criteria to keep your vehicle moving safely. Be sure to keep a look out for any of the following, which may signify that it’s time to get a wheel alignment.
- The car pulls to the left or right. When driving straight and exerting little effort on the steering wheel, you notice your car pulling to either side.
- The steering wheel is off centre, or looks crooked. When driving down a flat, level road, your steering wheel should ideally be perfectly straight - or very close to it. If it’s off centre by more than a few degrees, you may need an alignment.
- Tyre wear is inconsistent. You may notice abnormal tyre wear in some spots. Depending on the location of the uneven wear, your technician will be able to pinpoint the issue with the vehicle.
- Steering feels loose or unstable. If vehicle handling is loose, this could be a sign of poor tyre alignment. Be aware of any movements that feel loose, or if driving feels sloppy when going around corners.
- Steering wheel vibrates. A shaking steering wheel could mean your tyres are off balance.
What to do now
The good news is that wheel alignments are generally a quick fix. Make sure you check in your car for regular services as a good defence against misalignment, but if you are noticing any of the above issues, contact your local service centre and let the technicians know what you’re experiencing when you drive.
In the meantime, there are some steps you can take at home which may improve alignment issues. Just remember that nothing is as effective as a professional service.
Try the following:
- Empty the car’s boot to reduce uneven weight distribution
- Maintain correct air pressure in your tyres
- Drive conservatively and avoid accelerating hard when taking off at the lights
Book a service or shop online at Phil Gilbert Kia
Improve your vehicle’s drivability, safety and efficiency by booking a service at Phil Gilbert Kia in Sydney. We have Service locations in Croydon and Lidcombe, and can ensure a seamless, enjoyable service. For DIY-ers, browse our online shop of genuine Kia parts and accessories. You can reach our team on (02) 9735 8400.