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Can You Drive a Car With Bad Wheel Alignment?

drive-car-with-bad-wheel-alignment

Cars drive with proper wheel alignment when the suspension system is properly configured and positioned alongside various components. This alignment makes it possible for you to drive straight forward or change direction easily. Proper wheel alignment is quite good and advantageous. However, does this mean that it is impossible to drive a car with bad wheel alignment?

Although not recommended, it is possible to drive a car with bad wheel alignment. Bad wheel alignment does not make a vehicle immobile. Rather, it makes driving quite difficult and exhausting.

A car with bad wheel alignment is an unstable car. As we all know, unstable cars are quite dangerous and endanger the driver, passenger, and neighboring cars. Cars with bad wheel alignment are quite a nuisance to drive. Besides that, they destroy your vehicle and bring about additional costs.

This write-up provides everything you need to know regarding this subject. Continue reading to learn more.

Is it dangerous to drive a car with bad wheel alignment?

Wheel alignment is all about adjusting a car’s suspension so that it can, in turn, ensure that the car and its wheels are in sync. A bad wheel alignment implies that the car and its wheels are not in perfect sync.

This can be quite dangerous, especially to your car and your wallet. Driving with bad wheel alignment causes accidents, steering problems, uneven tire wear, etc.

Uneven tire wear

Normally, vehicle tires wear out and need to be changed from time to time. However, when your wheels are badly aligned, they wear out faster.

If you analyze a vehicle with bad wheel alignment, you will see how uneven the wears and tears on the tires are.

Steering problems

The steering wheels of cars with bad wheel alignment are not that reliable. The more unaligned the wheels get, the more unreliable the steering wheel becomes.

There are times when you may want to move straight ahead but would not be able to. Bad wheel alignment makes driving straight ahead laborious and reduces your control over the car.

angry-driver-behind-the-steering-wheel

Accidents

Cars with bad wheel alignment are accident-prone. As your steering wheels lose their reliability, you lose the ability to control the direction in which your vehicle goes. As a result, accidents will likely occur, especially when driving in a crowded area.

Increase fuel expenditure

Cars with bad wheel alignment utilize more fuel. This is because the vehicle puts in more work to move at a consistent speed. Consequently, you will spend more money on fuel which is not particularly cheap.

Destroy suspension components

The suspension components of a car are very important. The suspension enables the car to synchronize with its wheels. Bad wheel alignment may stress the car’s suspension and damage the suspension components. This will be pretty expensive to repair.

What causes bad wheel alignment?

It is quite natural for car wheels to go bad after a couple of years. The most common causes of bad wheel alignment are faulty roads, road obstacles, and car accidents. Your car’s wheel will likely get misaligned when you knock your tires out by driving over a pothole or unexpectedly striking something on the road.

How can I tell when my car wheels are misaligned?

There are some very obvious changes associated with misaligned wheels. They include

  • If your vehicle vibrates for no reason, check out your wheel alignment.
  • If your tires tend to drag to the sides, your wheels may be misaligned.
  • If you exert a lot of effort to keep your vehicle moving straight, your wheels are probably misaligned.
  • If your steering wheel is not centered, your wheels are possibly misaligned.
  • Inspect your front and rear tires. If the wears on the tires are uneven, you should probably visit an auto repair shop.
  • If your tire wears after a few months, you probably have misaligned wheels.
  • Misalignment may also cause your tires to squeal when you accelerate.

How often should I align my wheels?

Some car manuals usually specify how often the car wheels should be aligned. It is not an issue if yours does not specify. Typically, car wheels should be aligned after every two to three years.

Daily, you encounter obstacles that gradually but surely misalign your wheels. For instance, driving over a pothole or something hard on the road will harm your car wheels. This will leave you no choice other than to realign your wheels.

It is advisable to align your wheels each time you purchase a new tire. Wheel alignment is quite convenient and cost-efficient in the long run.

How much does a wheel alignment cost?

The cost of a wheel alignment depends on several factors, including the labor cost, the number of wheels, extra repairs, and the type of car.

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  • Mechanics in different localities price differently.
  • If your car requires extra repair of suspension or other components, it will cost more.
  • The cost of a two-wheel alignment is about 75% that of a four-wheel alignment.
  • The type of car you have matters. Aligning the wheels of a luxurious car will be more expensive than aligning that of a normal car.

How long does a wheel alignment take?

A two-wheel alignment takes as much time as a four-wheel alignment. It sounds illogical, right. However, it is true. Irrespective of whichever you choose, it will take about 30 to 60 minutes to get your car wheels aligned.

With a two-wheel alignment, you can choose to align the front or rear wheels. While, with a four-wheel alignment, both the front and rear wheels will be aligned.

If your suspension components and other components are greatly damaged, the mechanic will need extra time to carry out the repairs before aligning the wheels.

Differences between Proper and bad wheel alignment

Proper wheel alignment  Bad wheel alignment  
With proper wheel alignment, tires wear out evenly.  Bad wheel alignment subjects your tires to premature uneven wear and tear.  
It makes it easy and convenient to drive straight.  It makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to drive straight.  
It does not result in extra fuel expenditure.  Cars with bad wheel alignment are costly because they consume more fuel.  
Cars with proper wheel alignment are not prone to accidents as the steering wheel remains reliable.  Cars with bad wheel alignment are prone to accidents as the steering wheel continually loses its reliability.  

Conclusion

Getting your car wheels aligned is way cheaper than dealing with the inconveniences and extra expenditure that come with using a car with bad wheel alignment. So, get it done and stop procrastinating if you are.

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