Maserati are beautiful vehicles known for their class, style, and speed. This Italian-designed brand can turn heads and hearts with a single purr of the engine. That’s why it can be so upsetting when even a single detail is out of place with your Maserati.
Despite superior design to many non-foreign vehicles, Maseratis are still machines at the end of the day, which means they need proper attention and repairs. Not receiving this attention or being driven roughly can cause a whole host of problems to pop up. One of these problems is wheel misalignment.
A wheel misalignment can occur from sudden damage to your vehicle, such as from hitting a pothole too hard. Wear and tear on the suspension systems or wheel assembly can also cause your wheels to fall out of alignment gradually.
If you’re not selective in your mechanics, shoddy vehicle work can also be a cause of a misaligned wheel, which is why it’s so important that you pick a trusted mechanic to deal with the issue.
Unfortunately, while there is no surefire way to prevent any of these issues, drivers can take a few steps such as:
- vetting mechanics for honesty and skill
- driving responsibly
- avoiding roads known for potholes or other damage
- sticking to your Maserati’s suggested maintenance schedule
- asking your mechanic to inspect your wheels regularly
Types of Wheel Misalignment
There are 3 main types of wheel misalignment referred to as the “camber.” Camber is the angle of the wheel when you look straight-on at your vehicle from the front.
- A negative camber occurs when the tops of your wheels are slanted inward, toward the engine.
- A positive camber is when the tops of your wheels point outward, away from your vehicle.
- Toe camber refers to when your wheels are at the appropriate angle to your vehicle, but the wheels are slanted toward the front of the vehicle to create a “V” pointing forward (toe-in), and when the wheels are slanted toward the rear of the vehicle to create a “V” pointing backward (toe-out).
Signs of Wheel Misalignment
There are a few key signs of wheel misalignment. You may notice one or more of these at a time, depending on the reason your wheels are misaligned and how severely the balance is off.
While most of these are not directly life-threatening, they can all quickly become a safety hazard, so it’s best to bring your Maserati to a certified mechanic as soon as possible.
Uneven tire wear
It is one of the most obvious signs of wheel misalignment. This symptom presents as one or more of your tires wearing down faster than the others or faster in one particular spot. If you’re not sure whether or not your tires are wearing evenly, you can always ask your mechanic to check your tread and for other signs of wheel misalignment.
Vibrations in your steering wheel
It can be a sign of unbalanced tires or a misaligned wheel. If this symptom is due to the latter, the vibration is likely the direct result of your tires attempting to pull in opposite directions.
A crooked steering wheel
It is another potential symptom of misaligned wheels. You may notice this when you put your Maserati in park. Alternatively, you may be consciously or even subconsciously correcting for a misaligned wheel when you drive by steering harder in one direction or the other.
Vehicle pulls sharply to one side
If your vehicle pulls sharply to one side, this is most likely caused by a severely misaligned wheel or underinflated tire. On the other hand, if your vehicle pulls gently to one side while driving or when you try to park, chances are, you have a slightly less severe wheel misalignment.
Mark Douglas Motorworks Can Help
If you suspect your vehicle has any of the signs of wheel misalignment, make an appointment with Mark Douglas Motorworks as soon as possible. We serve the Orange County area, including Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills and Laguna Nigel, CA.
Our certified and trained mechanics are kept up to date on all of the latest procedures for dozens of makes and models of European vehicles. Whether you need a simple wheel alignment or in-depth engine work, Mark Douglas Motorworks has the know-how to get the job done.