Whenever you drive, you expect your vehicle to turn as you turn the steering wheel. Strangely enough, that’s not always how it goes. When your wheels are out of alignment, you may find that your vehicle veers in one direction or the other—even when you hold the steering wheel straight. The moment you notice that your wheels are out of alignment, it’s important to visit an auto mechanic in Santa Clara. That said, it’s best to avoid the following causes of wheel alignment altogether.
Curbs and Potholes
Any sudden, jarring changes in the road surface can cause serious damage to the parts of your vehicle that are associated with wheel alignment. If you hit a pothole while traveling more than 30 miles per hour, for example, it could be enough to knock your wheels out of alignment. The same goes for driving over a curb. Making sure your wheels are in alignment is essential for your safety—as you can imagine, it’s important for your wheels to precisely correspond with your steering wheel movements.
Driving in Rough Conditions
Even if you’re careful to avoid conspicuous hazards in the road, your wheels could come out of alignment over time—particularly if you regularly drive over rough terrain. If you live at the end of a gravel driveway, for example, your tires may go out of alignment more frequently than drivers with asphalt driveways. When your wheels are out of alignment, your tires will likely wear unevenly, which means you’ll need to replace them sooner than you might expect.
Normal Wear and Tear
The above hazards will cause your wheels to go out of alignment rather quickly. Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do to prevent your tires from going out of alignment altogether. Even if you’re a perfect driver, normal wear and tear will take its toll on your alignment. The best thing to do is to visit your Santa Clara auto mechanic regularly and get your alignment checked.