A wheel alignment is a maintenance service that car owners should expect to get during the lifetime of their vehicles. There are a number of things that can lead to misalignments such as hitting objects lying in the road or potholes. Manufacturers have recommendations about the intervals that vehicles get the service performed, but driving haphazardly can lead to a vehicle needing an alignment sooner. There are consequences to not getting the service performed such as subpar performance and accident risks. The following points identify a few things that drivers should use as indicators that this service is needed. 

Lack of Maintenance Records   

Drivers who do not have maintenance records for vehicles that they purchased used should consider getting the alignment of their vehicles inspected. This proactive measure could save them on vehicle repairs. Sometimes vehicles that need wheel alignment do not look abnormal. The service will have to be done at some point if it has never been done. It can help to have a fresh record of having one performed. This will prepare the owner for an estimated future date it will be needed again.

Awkward Driving Pattern

Using a steering wheel should not feel like a forced action. Vehicles that are misaligned may appear to shift to the side when they are driven. This makes it difficult for drivers to keep them straight, and it can negatively impact parking as well as driving in a straight line. The steering wheel logos of these vehicles will also be crooked when the drivers attempt to park or drive straight. This is a good way to test your suspicions.

Tires Wearing Out Too Soon

This is a telltale and frustrating sign that a wheel alignment is needed. Drivers may try to save money and buy their own tires to install on their own or from a trusted source. The issue is that they will not have access to the equipment needed to test for and repair alignment issues. They may assume that their tires keep wearing out because of other issues such as not getting tire balancing or rotations. 

An auto service shop is a good resource to use to check for alignment issues. They have access to special equipment that can detect issues and correct them according to the manufacturers' specifications. These machines are advanced enough to detect minor and severe misalignment. Investing in the services can be a money saver because the lifespan of tires, the suspension, and brake systems can be enhanced. These areas of vehicles can suffer premature and expensive repair issues if alignment is out of sync.

To learn more, contact a company like East Bay Tire Co.