WHAT IS TIRE ALIGNMENT?
Alignment refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels.
WHY IS TIRE ALIGNMENT IMPORTANT?
If your vehicle is not aligned properly, you risk prematurely wearing out your tires and creating some potentially dangerous driving hazards. When vehicles are out of alignment, the tires wear unevenly comparative to each other. Tires will begin to change in appearance by looking rough or torn. Poor tire tread on your tires affects the car’s ability to stop, especially in inclement weather It is recommended you have your alignment checked often, such as at every oil change and especially when you’ve purchased new tires to prevent uneven tire wear.
Here are some types of tread wear issues due to misalignment:
- Tires are “feathered” when the tread is smooth on one side and sharp on another.
- The inside or outside of the tread is more worn than the center of the tread.
- One side of your tread blocks wears down more quickly than the other in a circumferential direction. When you run your hand over the tread, or look from the side, it will look and feel like saw teeth.
If you’re experiencing any of these unusual wear patterns, you should have a technician check your alignment. Tire wear prevention is a good reason to keep your wheel alignment in check, the consequences of misalignment can also play out in overall vehicle performance.
CAUSES OF ALIGNMENT ISSUES
The main causes of alignment issues are:
- Sudden jarring or heavy impact caused by hitting something, such as a pothole, bumping a curb, or a road accident.
- Worn parts caused by wear and tear. Specifically, suspension components, including poor shocks or struts can become worn or loose.
- Height modification, when suspension has not been changed to suit.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A TIRE ALIGNMENT?
There are a couple ways to tell if your car needs a tire alignment. If you've noticed one or more of these indicators, you should have your alignment checked by a licensed service technician immediately.
- There is uneven tread wear on your tires
- Your vehicle is pulling to the left or right while driving
- Your steering wheel is off center when you’re driving straigh
- You feel steering wheel vibration when driving