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Troubleshooting Wheel Alignment: Diagnosing 3 Common Problems

Today’s post reviews 3 common problems that can be fixed with a professional wheel alignment service. Read on or contact a local TIRECRAFT to book a same-day quote and consultation.

Wheel Alignment Problem #1: Bump Steer

Have you ever had the unsettling feeling, after hitting a bump, that your car was steering itself? If you have, even for a split second, you know just how dangerous bump steering can be.

Sometimes referred to as roll steer, bump steer is a term used to describe a vehicle’s tendency to turn on its own, without input from the steering wheel, during a suspension stroke.

In modern cars, the front suspension and steering links are now designed to reduce the risk and intensity of bump steering during turning maneuvers, body rolls, and suspension motions. But in order for these designs to work, your vehicle needs proper “toe out,” which means proper wheel alignment.

Put simply, your vehicle’s steering system is probably out of level. This can be tested when your vehicle is up on the turntables with the lock pinks in place—we’ll simply push the bumper up and down, and if the steering system is out of level, your wheel will start turning.

But don’t worry: it’s totally fixable at your local TIRECRAFT.

Wheel Alignment Problem #2: Memory Steer

After completing a turn, do you ever feel your vehicle continue to pull in that same direction? That sounds like memory steer, a term used to refer to your vehicle’s tendency to “remember” the last turn, rather than return to the center position.

This problem is most common with pickups that have a large amount of adjustment made from 0 degrees, or that have bushing installed by the manufacturer.

Fixing this problem involves loosening and then retightening the ball joint stud nut, making sure each is properly torqued, or reinstalling the tie rod end. It’s not a beginner-friendly job, so contact your local TIRECRAFT for help.

Wheel Alignment Problem #3: Premature Tire Wear

  • When tires are smooth on one side, it’s safe to assume you’re dealing with a camber misadjustment.
  • When tires show feature edging, sharp on one side and smooth on the other, there’s likely a misadjustment of the toe.
  • When tires show a cupping appearance, you may be dealing with weak shock absorbers, incorrect shock application, defective suspension system, or tire imbalance/misalignment.

For further assistance diagnosing your tire wear, contact a wheel alignment expert at your local TIRECRAFT.

Contact Your Local TIRECRAFT For A Free Quote On A Wheel Alignment Service

Whether you need a wheel alignment, a new set of tires, or both, your local TIRECRAFT has you covered. We offer award-winning auto service and an unparalleled selection of Canadian tires, all under one roof.

Use the Find a TIRECRAFT tool to book a free consultation and get a same-day quote on a wheel alignment service.