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4 Signs of Alignment Issues in Albuquerque

You’re out for a Sunday drive with your family when you notice your car just feels different. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know it’s not handling the way it usually does.

Alignment issues can creep up on car owners in Albuquerque. Unlike other performance problems, it’s usually easy to spot when your vehicle is out of alignment. There are 4 tell-tale warning signs that it’s time to get your vehicle in for an alignment. Ignore them, and you could end up with costlier repairs down the road.

Alignment issue warning sign #1: pulling to one side

Until self-driving cars become available to the public, you’re stuck navigating your vehicle the old-fashioned way. It’s probably a good thing because difficulty steering is one of the first signs you need to visit a shop that provides alignments in Albuquerque.

Pay attention when you’re driving on a straight stretch of roadway. Does your vehicle feel like it’s pulling hard to one side or the other? If so, it might be time to get an alignment check.

Contrary to popular belief, you should never take your hands completely off the wheel when checking for alignment. It’s an unsafe practice that can get you into trouble on New Mexico’s already dangerous roadways. It also doesn’t accurately measure your car’s alignment because all roadways have some degree of crowning, which can cause slight pulls to one side or the other.

alignment albuquerque penny test
You can check for abnormal wear and tear on your tires by doing the “penny test.”

Alignment issue warning sign #2: abnormal tire wear and tear

Tires can tell you a lot about the safety of your vehicle. It’s one of the reasons why our mechanics check your tires during a scheduled maintenance visit with Rio Grande Automotive.

You don’t have to wait for your mechanic to discover an abnormal wear and tear problem with your tires. Occasionally check yourself, especially if you think your car is handling differently on the roadway. Here’s an easy way to do it.

Insert a standard U.S. penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head facing down and out. Can you see all of Lincoln’s face? If so, your tread depth is below the recommended level—2/32 of an inch—for safety. Continue checking several places on your tires to see if the tread is evenly worn. If it measures differently on the same tire, then alignment issues can be at play.

Alignment issue warning sign #3: an off-center steering wheel

Look at your steering wheel when you’re not operating your vehicle. Most have the emblem of the automaker etched in the center. Is it centered on the wheel or crooked? If the wheel and the auto manufacturer’s logo are more than 2 to 3 degrees off in either direction, then you need to visit an alignment repair shop in Albuquerque.

alignment albuquerque squealing
Squealing tires when cornering can be another sign of alignment issues in Albuquerque.

Alignment issue warning sign #4: squealing tires

We’ve all seen TV shows or movies where a vehicle’s tires squealed going around a sharp corner. Usually, it’s when there’s a high-speed car chase happening in the plotline. If your vehicle is making a similar sound during normal driving, then misalignment could be the culprit.

Never ignore squealing from your tires when turning. If misalignment is to blame, pretending it’s not an issue can lead to more expensive damage to your vehicle’s entire suspension system.

How alignment issues in Albuquerque happen

Several components contribute to vehicle misalignment. The way you drive your vehicle is among the biggest factors. Hitting speed bumps too fast and jumping curbs when parallel parking are two of the most common ways drivers put their wheels out of alignment in Albuquerque.

Potholes also can do a number on your vehicle if you go over them too quickly. Even the most observant drivers can miss potholes. However, if you notice one, slow down and try to avoid it. If missing it isn’t possible without compromising your safety (and that of other drivers on the roadway), then go over it as slowly as possible.

Lastly, navigating through road construction projects can create the kind of uneven surfaces that mess with your vehicle’s alignment in Albuquerque. Take care with driving too fast through construction zones, especially ones that include metal plates and other uneven surfaces.

Checking for alignment in Albuquerque

Getting an alignment in Albuquerque is easy when you rely on the expertise of the mechanics at Rio Grande Automotive. We can service domestic and foreign vehicles. Call today to schedule an alignment check.

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