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Do I Need A Tire Alignment?

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Tire or wheel alignments are regular part of automotive maintenance and normally done once or twice a year. An alignment is necessary for the best possible driving experience. Regular alignments can help your tires perform properly and even help them last longer. It can also improve handling, keep your vehicle from pulling in one direction, or vibrating strangely on the road.

But what is a tire alignment and how do you know if you need one?

What is a Tire Alignment?

Despite the name, a tire alignment actually corrects the suspension, not the tire itself. During an alignment, the angles of the tires are adjusted which affects how they make contact with the road.

Do I Need a Tire Alignment?

There are a number of signs that it could be time for a tire alignment. Along with the symptoms listed below, it is important to take other factors into consideration.

Do you drive on particularly rough roads? Do you have a habit of contacting curbs (we don't judge)? Have you been driving on roads riddled with ruts and pot holes? These could all point to needing an alignment, or needing them more often.

A convenient time to plan for a tire alignment is after putting on a set of new tires or when swapping seasonal tires in the fall or spring.

Signs an Alignment is Neededwheel 20alignment 202

There are a few noticeable signs that could indicate a misalignment. Your eyes, ears, and hands can all easily help you when checking if an alignment is needed.

1. Uneven wear across the tire. The tire is wearing out faster on the inside or outside of the tire(s). It is possible the uneven wear can be limited to just a couple tires, or even just one.
2. Pulsing and shaking of the steering wheel. This is something you will be able to feel through the steering wheel or sometimes even through the seat. The pulsing and shaking occurs regardless of road conditions and road surface imperfections.
3. Steering wheel is off center. When driving straight, the 12 o'clock position of your steering wheel is to the left or right of center.
4. Pulling left or right. Without steering correction -- as in, with your hands off of the steering wheel (we don't suggest making a habit of this) -- the vehicle pulls to the left or right. You may also find yourself correcting the vehicle as it pulls or wanders, especially while driving on the highway. This is the most common sign of misalignment.
How Will a Misalignment Affect My Vehicle and Wallet?

Improper wheel or tire alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely. Ideally, you should see even wear across your tires' treads if you are keeping up with rotations. Poor alignment can shorten your tires' lifespan by thousands of miles and compromise crucial steering and suspension components -- which you will feel in your wallet as well as in your driving.

Enjoy better fuel economy and longer-lasting tires by having your alignment checked regularly. An alignment is a much more affordable, preventative maintenance, cost than repairing the potential damage. 

Our specialists at the Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center are able to help you with all your tire needs, including alignments. If you have any questions or would like more information on tire alignments or any other automotive concern, please contact our team today.

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