Everyone likes the comfort of a vehicle that drives straight down the road with little effort to control it. When the steering components start to wear, all sorts of corrections in the steering wheel are necessary to maintain the vehicle. All these components must be tight with no movement in the parts to ensure proper wheel alignment.

Wheel alignment is crucial for proper tire wear and vehicle stability. A driver may experience signs when driving a vehicle with an alignment issue, such as drift or pull, wandering, shimmy, or sticky steering. Pull is a tugging sensation in the steering wheel to maintain a straight path. Drift will cause the vehicle to veer
to the right or left. Wandering is a tendency for frequent steering wheel corrections to maintain a straight path on a level road. Shimmy is an oscillation felt through the steering wheel. Sticky steering is when the steering wheel returns to the center after a turn is sticky. Abnormal tire wear is another indication of an alignment issue. Alignment is corrected by adjusting the camber, caster, and toe.

Rotating your vehicle’s tires every 5~7,000 miles will ensure that all four tires wear evenly. Front tires tend to wear faster than rear tires because of the weight transfer during braking and the effects of steering. Always reset the tire inflation pressure to the recommended specifications. Regular rotation will extend the life of your tires and allow the replacement of the tires in complete sets.

Modern wheel bearings are sealed units. In older vehicles, the bearings were serviceable and could be cleaned and repacked. When these sealed units go wrong, they will make a low-toned roar. As they worsen, the sound gets louder and louder. A slight movement left or right of the steering wheel will change the tone.