Why Is Tire Alignment So Important?
Having your car’s wheels aligned to the preferred specs will improve fuel economy, make your tires last longer, and provide a smoother and safer ride. An important vehicle maintenance item, wheel alignment is simply the process of making sure the wheels of a car are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the road. When tires are misaligned, they wear out faster, your car won’t handle as well, braking can be affected, and traction can be reduced.
How to Tell When your Vehicle Needs a Wheel Alignment
The most obvious sign that your car needs an alignment is in the steering and tire wear. You may find that your vehicle pulls left or right, or your steering whell may not be centered correctly. The tires themselves can also give you a clue that they’re misaligned, with uneven tread wear.
Causes for Tire Misalignment
Driving through pot holes, bumping curbs, and car accidents can all cause a vehicle’s wheels to go out of alignment. Worn and damaged parts can also cause issues. In addition, some repairs require an alignment to be done, such as those involving the suspension, steering, struts, tie rods, or control arms.
What to Do About Alignment Problems
To keep your vehicle driving safely and efficiently, have your wheels checked by a qualified technician as soon as you notice a problem. Even if your car seems to be driving fine, it’s a good idea to have routine alignment checks during every other oil change to catch issues early.An alignment should be performed every 15,000 miles or sooner. If it seems like too much of a hassle or expense, remember that it’s much less expensive to align tires than it is to buy a whole new set, and vastly less expensive than repairing the damage misalignment can cause.