The what and why of wheel alignment
They’re out there: potholes, curbs and debris. And they’re waiting to knock your wheels out of alignment. Ok, that might be a bit dramatic, but those things can happen. Even regular wear and tear can take its toll on your vehicle’s suspension and steering. If any of those things happen, your tires, vehicle and handling could be affected. The moral of this introduction? Make sure your wheels are always properly aligned.
Why does wheel alignment matter?
Wheel alignment plays a vital role when it comes to your vehicle’s performance. Here are the big three reasons why:
Tire life If your vehicle’s suspension is misaligned, it’s more than likely going to cause uneven tire wear, which means a shorter lifespan for your tires.
Safety Misaligned wheels can cause your vehicle to pull to the left or right, making it more challenging to maintain control.
Comfort Aligned wheels help make driving easier and more comfortable than misaligned wheels.
A few signs that your wheels are misaligned
- Your vehicle pulls to one side
- Your vehicle’s front end is shimmying after hitting a bump
- Your steering wheel no longer lines up to the direction of your tires
- Your front tires show signs of uneven wear on one side
What you should do if your wheels are misaligned
Always treat any warning signs seriously and get a trained mechanic to inspect your wheel alignment. It’s never a good idea to check your alignment yourself because professionals use specific equipment to determine proper alignment. For example, specialized computers are needed to ensure all four wheels are parallel, sitting flat on the road and that your steering wheel is centered.