What Is A Wheel Alignment?

When your wheels are out of alignment, your tires aren't pointing in the right direction. You can imagine how this might cause you some problems. So what is a wheel alignment? A wheel alignment is the adjusting of the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another. It is impossible to perform an accurate wheel alignment without the proper equipment because the angle of the wheel is measured in fractions of a degree, which is too small for the human eye to distinguish. Therefore aligning your wheels on your own is not a smart choice.

When Do You Need An Alignment?

Do you think that your vehicle is ready for an alignment? If you're not sure, here are some warning signs to look out for.

  • Steering Wheel Issues - If your steering wheel is not in a straight, natural position while you are driving down a straight road, its likely the result of a misalignment.
  • Vibrations - If you feel a vibration through your steering wheel or under your seat, your vehicles alignment could be off. If it is the alignment, the vibration will worsen as you speed up.
  • Pulling - If your vehicle pulls to the left or right while you're driving, it's probably time to get your wheels aligned.
  • Strange Tire Behavior - Tire wear and misalignment are closely related. If your tires are wearing unevenly, showing unusual patterns, or squealing whenever you take a turn you could be due for an alignment.
  • Road Hazards - Not every pot hole is avoidable. Neither are sharp turns, or those curbs that stick out too far at the grocery store. For every little bump that you feel while driving, there is a bruise left on your vehicle. No matter how small the bruise, eventually they will add up, thus resulting in you needing to schedule an appointment for an alignment.
Why Do You Need An Alignment?

When you purchase a brand new car with a fresh set of tires, your alignment should be spot on. However, when you install new tires or suspension components you should have your alignment checked. If you don't purchase a full set of tires, make sure that the older ones completely touch the ground after you have your vehicle realigned.

  • Reduced Tire Wear - Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tire wear. Over the years, a properly aligned vehicle can add thousands of miles to tire life.
  • Better Gas Mileage - Gas mileage increases as rolling resistance decreases. A four wheel alignment sets all four wheels parallel to one another which, along with proper inflation, also minimizes rolling resistance.
  • Improved Handling - Is your car pulling to one side or the other? Does your steering wheel vibrate? Are you constantly moving your steering wheel to keep your car traveling straight ahead? The majority of handling problems can be corrected with an alignment. With all of the system components aligned properly, road shock is more efficiently absorbed for a smoother ride.

You don't NEED to do anything that you don't want to when it comes to your vehicle, but if you want to extend the life of your tires, and keep the cash in your wallet, you will want to strongly consider a wheel alignment. A four wheel alignment offers safe and predictable vehicle control, as well as a more comfortable ride.

Is your vehicle due for an alignment? Do you need to make a reservation? Don't wait, because a misaligned vehicle will not only destroy your tires, but is also a potential hazard to both yourself and other drivers around you. Call your local Town Fair Tire to make a reservation today.