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What is a Tire Alignment?

Tire AlignmentWhat is Tire Alignment?

Tire alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the  tires and wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. You want to get the maximum life out of your tires, right? Then it is important to understand why tire alignment is important. Not only will your tires last longer, but proper alignment helps insure your vehicle tracks straight when driving straight and on a level surface.

When Is It Time to Align Your Tires?

Wondering if it’s time to align your tires? The best thing you can do is periodically check your tire alignment on a regular schedule or each time you have your oil changed or other vehicle maintenance. Otherwise, you can check each tire and look for uneven wear patterns. The problem with this method, however, it may be too late to save that tire if you do find uneven wear.

A wheel alignment cannot be done on a car with loose or worn front end parts. If you take it in, your technician will first check for worn parts and inform you of any problems before re-aligning your tires.

The best type of wheel alignment is a four wheel alignment. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Your car has four tires, so you should treat them equally. Many cars today have adjustable rear alignment settings, but even for cars without adjustments in the rear, a four wheel alignment will allow the technician to identify any rear tracking problems and compensate for them with adjustments to the front.

You should definitely take your vehicle for a drive following alignment work to make sure your vehicle goes straight and the steering wheel is in proper position with the spokes level. This test should be done while driving straight on a level road. If you notice a problem or something doesn’t seem quite right, take the car back and have the technician drive it and fine-tune the alignment settings.

What Are the Symptoms Your Tires Are Having One of Those Days?

  • Unintentionally wandering on a straight, level road
  • Uneven or rapid tire wear
  • Pulling or slowly moving away from a straight line
  • Spokes of the steering wheel off to one side while driving on a straight and level road. (Steering wheel is in an odd position in order to drive straight)

Do you have unanswered questions about your tires? The TireZoo would love to hear from you. Stop in or give us a call.