Driving a Car with Bad Alignment – Steering Through Trouble

car alignment symptoms

In case you’re noticing uneven control on the steering wheel, or your car starts to pull itself over one side, you need to find it why?

And in most cases, it happens due to bad alignment. Driving a car with bad alignment isn’t a recommended way at all.

We are here to show you the bad car alignment symptoms, reasons, and effects of this problem. Keep an eye out for any symptoms that might match your cases. Let’s get going

Why does a Bad Car Tire Alignment happen?

how to know if car alignment is bad? Well, there are a number of things that cause your car a bad alignment noise. Here, we’ve noted the most possible reasons in one place.

A Sudden Load

There is a certain carload capacity that it can undergo. But if sudden jarring happens that can cause heavy impacts on the components of the car, which can cause an improper alignment.

When you’re disobeying the car tire load index chart, the car components can shift out of their place, and that’s not a good thing at all.

Wear and Tear

Secondly, wearing and tearing can be another cause of inappropriate alignment of the car components.

As an example, wearing and tearing can happen after years of use. As a consequence, there can be a misalignment of suspension springs, shocks, and other parts as well.

As a result, there can be loosened control, lag in command executions, and unfit wheel alignment. For the sake of safety, you should look for car tire wear indicators every once in a while.

Change in Ride Height

As the third reason, we would like to note down changes in ride height without modifying the suspension system of your car. It can easily throw the alignment off and the dangers of driving with bad alignment may rise.

As you know, the suspension system of any car is designed to work for a specific ride height only. If a higher ride comes to take place, that might end up in bad alignment symptoms.

What happens if you drive a car with bad alignment?

We have learned about the reasons why a car balance problem and bad alignment happen to any car. But you can’t check all of the possible reasons every day. But there are a few ways to understand the symptoms.

If you feel or notice any of them, try DIY car alignment or go for checking with the help of a professional. However, here are the possible symptoms of a bad alignment in your car,

Car Goes Over One Side

The first way that you can under the misalignment of your car is, It’ll go over one side. If you try putting the gear on neutral, It won’t go in the same straight line.

You may also try to keep your hands off the steering wheel and check whether the car is going on a line or not. In extreme cases, follow the car weight distribution calculator provided by your manufacturer.

The steering wheel won’t be Centered

Usually, the steering wheel should be in its place and the car steering problem will take place. If you look at the emblem, it won’t be in the same place anymore.

In case you notice it is moving while you’re not controlling the steering wheel, then you can either lock up the steering wheel so it won’t keep moving anymore.

Secondly, you may set the steering wheel to off-centered.

A Sloppy Steering

Usually, a steering wheel should not be sloppy at all. It’ll act according to the direction of your hand pressure.

But if a misalignment on the car wheel is there, you can drive long-distance with bad alignment anymore. It’ll act sloppy, and feel loose on the hands.

If you turn the steering wheel, the vehicle may not turn accordingly and instantly. You may also like about wheel balancing procedure and how It’s working!

Vibration in the Steering Wheel

Another possible clue is that your car steering wheel is shaking. This is more likely to happen when doing wheel alignment and balancing, which is a consequence of the alignment problem as well.

Also, you might notice some bad car alignment noise when the problem is there.

Similar Reading: Car shaking when accelerating

Tire Wearing Isn’t Even on Both Sides

As you know, the tires of cars are supposed to wear over time. But in case your car has an alignment problem, uneven car tire wear will take place.

Look for a quick solution to fix uneven tires on an urgent basis.

If you have a look at the tire threads, you may see one tire on one side wear out faster than the other one.

If you aren’t certain about the manual measurement, you can check out the depth of the tire treads with a scale. If you find the rubber depth unequal, you might be certain about the problem.

What happens if you drive a car with bad alignment?

If you’re still thinking of continuing the car driving with bad alignment, you need to stop right now and go through this section of the post.

There are many risks and consequences that may happen if you do so. Here is a list:

It affects Your Car Handling Capacity

The first effect of a bad car alignment is, that it may affect badly your power to handle the car control.

Can bad alignment cause a car to shake?

Well, if your wheels aren’t in a straight line, your car can’t turn properly in either the right or the left direction.

The tire may Blow out

Another bad effect and risk of the misalignment are, that your car tire may blow out.

Especially, when you are driving at a high speed, the tire is under excessive pressure due to improper alignment. And that may call upon blown-up tires in the middle of the road.

Note: To regularly check up on the air and fluid quality utilize the throttle position sensor. It will help your car not to go beyond the desired speed.

Brakes Become Less Effective

Another passive impact of misaligned tires is the car brake system is not working anymore as it used to. Because the tires can’t turn in either direction properly, they can’t brake evenly either.

Two kinds of scenarios might appear-

  1. The car steering wheel is shaking and pulling to the left, or
  2. The car steering wheel is shaking and pulling to the right.

The problem isn’t in the break but in the tires and their misalignments. Find the bad wheel alignment causes and tune up the tires as soon as you can.

The Car will Pull from One Side to Another

The last result of a misaligned car is, that it will pull off improperly. One side of the car will pull off another side of it. As a result, It’ll be hard to control, and you may find that the car steering wheel is loose.

To check that out, you should check whether your car is moving straight at the neutral gear or not. If it doesn’t, it requires your sincere attention.

Can you drive a car with bad alignment?

Technically yes, you can drive your car in the middle sloppy road with bad alignment but this is not recommended as it will slowly damage your car. Moreover, if you will drive it at high speed with bad alignment then your life is at stake.


Having a car with bad alignment can be very expensive.

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of this problem before it gets worse, so you can take preventive measures or have your mechanic diagnose the issue for you.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to tell if your car has an alignment problem without having any experience in automotive mechanics!

If you notice that one side of your steering wheel is higher than the other when driving straight ahead, then chances are good that you’re experiencing misalignment issues.

If they persist after going over rough roads (like gravel), consider taking your vehicle to a professional as soon as possible – it could save both time and money in the long run!