Why Your Car May Need An Alignment After An Accident
When an accident leaves you with a damaged car, your insurance or the other party's insurance company should pay for all the repairs on your car. If the accident was your fault, you may be responsible for paying a deductible though. The rest of the repairs, however, should be covered, and this includes an alignment of the vehicle.
Why Is An Alignment Needed?
No matter how severe the impact of the accident was, there is a chance it may have left your car out of alignment. This is not one of the typical things an auto body repair company (or an insurance adjuster) will look for though, but you may want to mention this before the repairs are made.
Wheel alignment is important and when the alignment is off, it may cause a number of problems:
- The car pulls one way or the other
- Uneven wear on the tires
- Unnatural consumption of more fuel because it must work harder.
Impact from an accident often forces the alignment to shift, leaving your wheels unaligned. If you are concerned about this, make sure you talk to the insurance adjuster and the auto body repair shop. If you ask about it in advance, they may cover the alignment services needed to properly align the wheels.
What Happens If This Isn't Discovered Right Away?
If you do not ask the shop to check the alignment and fix it if it is off, the auto body shop most likely will not do this. When you get the car back, you should check to see if the car is properly aligned, and you can do this simply by driving the car. As you are driving, look at the steering wheel. When the wheels on a car are properly aligned, the steering wheel should be straight when you are driving straight.
If this was not included in the repairs, you may want to fight with the insurance company to get this covered. After all, it was a result of the accident, and the car should be fixed to the condition it was in prior to the accident.
According to Cost Helper, a front-end wheel alignment costs around $65 on average. While this is not a lot of money, it still should be included in the accident repairs.
To find out exactly what will be included in your repairs, talk to the auto body shop that is handling them. They may give you a printout that shows exactly what will be included, and you may want to ask about a wheel alignment. To learn more, contact a company like Tim's Collision & Service Center with any questions or concerns you have.