Five Red Flags That You’ll Need a Wheel Alignment

Understanding the Signs: The Crucial Need for Wheel Alignment

Navigating the complexities of car maintenance in Seattle can often feel overwhelming, yet certain aspects, such as wheel alignment, are essential for ensuring your vehicle’s longevity and safety. Wheel alignment, the adjustment of a vehicle’s wheels to ensure they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground, plays a pivotal role in vehicle safety. A staggering 35% of car accidents result from tire-related issues, highlighting the critical importance of maintaining proper wheel alignment. This guide aims to empower drivers with the knowledge to identify signs of misalignment, underscoring the importance of addressing these issues promptly to ensure safe driving conditions.

  1. Unusual Tire Wear Patterns

One of the most telltale signs of a wheel misalignment is uneven tire wear. If you observe a significant disparity in tread depth between the inside and outside of your tires, this is a clear indicator that your vehicle requires a wheel alignment. Properly aligned wheels ensure uniform tread wear, extending the lifespan of your tires and enhancing your vehicle’s performance and safety.

  1. Steering Wheel Deviation

Experiencing a pull to the left or right while attempting to drive straight is a common symptom of wheel misalignment. This deviation can range from a slight tug to a more pronounced pull, signaling varying degrees of misalignment. Addressing this issue early can prevent more severe misalignment and potential safety risks.

  1. Steering Wheel Misalignment and Vibrations

A misaligned steering wheel, noticeable when the wheel is off-center while driving straight, is a clear sign that your vehicle’s wheels require alignment. Additionally, vibrations in the steering wheel are indicative of misalignment, as the wheels may not be rolling smoothly. These vibrations not only signal a problem but can also lead to driver fatigue and decreased vehicle control.

  1. Squealing Tires

The sound of your tires squealing while driving is not only unpleasant but also a warning sign of serious wheel misalignment. This noise results from the tires dragging across the pavement instead of rolling as they should, indicating an urgent need for alignment services.

  1. Post-Accident Alignment Concerns

Even minor car accidents can lead to wheel misalignment. Events such as hitting a curb too hard, driving rapidly over speed bumps, or encountering potholes can disrupt your vehicle’s wheel alignment. It’s crucial to have your vehicle’s alignment checked after any such incidents to ensure your safety and the integrity of your car’s performance.

The 34th Street Garage Difference

Here in Seattle, we understand the significance of wheel alignment for vehicle safety and performance. Our team of ASE-certified mechanics, boasting over 70 years of collective experience, is dedicated to providing top-notch service to ensure your vehicle operates safely and efficiently. We prioritize not only the technical aspects of auto care but also the importance of educating our clients on maintaining their vehicles for optimal performance and safety.


Wheel alignment is a critical aspect of vehicle maintenance that should not be overlooked. Identifying and addressing alignment issues early can prevent further damage, enhance driving safety, and improve your vehicle’s overall performance. If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, we invite you to 334th Street Garage for a comprehensive service that combines expertise, experience, and a commitment to safety. Let us help you ensure your vehicle is aligned correctly for the road ahead. Call Us At    206-283-3448