Crooked Steering Wheel? 5 Symptoms of Bad Wheel Alignment

crooked steering wheel

Have you ever driven down a straight road, only to feel your car to slowly veer off to the one side? No, you’re not falling asleep at the wheel; this is probably being caused by a crooked steering wheel.

Out-of-whack wheel alignment is far more common than most people realize and is a simple fix if taken to the right professional.

Here are 5 symptoms that point to a much-needed wheel alignment check-up and why it’s important.

1. A Crooked Steering Wheel

As we mentioned, a crooked steering wheel will most likely cause your car to drift either left or right, depending on your level of wheel misalignment.

Essentially, a crooked steering wheel indicates that the toe angle of your tires is either pointing inwards or outwards and not straight, as it should be.

A crooked toe angle is usually caused by worn steering components.

2. Vehicle Drift

If your vehicle mysteriously begins to drift to one side as you’re driving, this is a sign that your camber or caster angle is out-of-line. Basically, this points to an issue with your car’s suspension.

Alternatively, this can also point to a problem with your tire. You could be driving with an under-inflated tire, a tire that’s the incorrect size, or a tire with internal belt separation.

If your vehicle pulls in both directions, at random, this signals a major issue with your suspension and steering parts.

3. Vehicle Vibration

If your steering wheel begins to vibrate dramatically once you reach a certain speed, this is a sign your wheel alignment is out.

Some of the most common causes are an out-of-place caster angel, worn suspension parts, unbalanced tires or warped brake rotors.

4. Unusual Vehicle Noises

It’s not uncommon to hear some form of noise coming from your vehicle while you’re driving (except if it’s a Tesla!). But if these noises are a little louder or foreign to you, then it’s time to have your wheel alignment checked.

Noises such as loud clanking, banging, squeaking, or knocking could point to loose or worn steering and suspension components.

5. Uneven Tire Wear

Finally, another common way to tell if you have an alignment problem is with uneven wear on your tires.

If your suspension and steering are both on-point, then naturally, the next place to look is your tire wear and tear. Shoulder wear is the most common form of wear for car tires. However, if one side of a tire is wearing faster than the other, this point to misalignment issues.

If your tire is wearing faster on the outside, this means your camber angle is too positive. If it’s wearing faster on the inside, your camber angle is too negative.

Why is Wheel Alignment Important?

Keeping the tires on your car properly aligned is important for a variety of reasons.

But in short, it helps to improve the fuel economy of your vehicle and to extend the lifespan of your tires. It also makes for a smoother, safer ride in your vehicle and less wear and tear on your vehicle, overall.

Update Your Wheels With AudioCity USA

If you have a crooked steering wheel and need to have your tires replaced, check out our huge selection of wheels by vehicle, no matter the make or model of your car.

Looking to get in touch with a wheel or suspension expert? Contact us with all your inquiries!