Wheel Alignment Basics
Why is a wheel alignment so important?
Imagine a scenic drive in the mountains, winding through curved canyons and pine-filled views. Now picture this same scenario in a vehicle with the wheels pointing the wrong way. Not so scenic anymore.
“Alignment” is not just one part of your car. The alignment is actually a complex subject that includes a variety of terms and interrelated parts. When your tires are out of alignment, it means the wheels and the parts controlling them aren’t facing the correct angle to work properly. This affects steering, suspension, and can rapidly wear down tires. Incorrect alignment, over time, can even compromise the safety of your wheels.
How do vehicles lose their wheel alignment?
Did you ever notice your car pulling to one side or your steering wheel looking a little crooked, even when you’re driving straight? These may be signs your alignment is off. Cars can lose their wheel alignment in many different ways, even when you drive carefully. Many of the causes are common and, in some places, even unavoidable.
Alignment problems are caused by:
- Uneven roads or potholes
- Bumping into a curb
- Hitting concrete parking stalls
- Ordinary wear and tear —aging rubber components lose elasticity, socket joints loosen, and as they start to give a little more, the alignment gradually worsens.
Alignment angles are measured to tenths and hundredths of degrees, so even a slight misalignment can cause uneven wear on your tire, forcing you to replace them more often. Save your money and have a trusted, licensed professional check your alignment today! just some wheel alignment basics to help you out.
What happens if I don’t get my wheels aligned?
Wheels without proper alignment can lead to several, costly problems. Misalignment causes you to gradually lose proper steering and control over your vehicle and can even affect your braking system. Also, when your alignment is off, the tread will wear much faster and cause you to replace tires more often. Finally, your wheels require proper alignment in order to get the best fuel efficiency possible.
Fortunately, all of these issues can be easily avoided when you get your alignment checked by dedicated, trained technicians.
How often should I have my alignment checked?
You can always refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s manual but a good rule of thumb is every other oil change or 6,000 miles. When you hit potholes, travel on primitive or bumpy roads, or when you catch a curb with your tires, it is wise to get your alignment checked. Driving incidents and conditions like these can impact the angle of your tires, throwing off alignment in an instant.
Do vehicles have different types of alignment specifications?
Vehicle manufacturers determine the alignment specifications for every model that rolls off the assembly line. Each make and model will have unique alignment specifications for the length, size, weight, and intended use of the vehicle, which all play a role in the correct alignment angles.
Did you know?
- Waiting too long for an alignment check can actually cause more damage than you’d expect. If you are unsure about when your last alignment inspection was performed, bring your vehicle in today!
- or accuracy and fast service, our technicians use a computerized alignment machine.
- It is recommended to have your vehicle’s alignment checked every other oil change.
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