To get as many miles as possible out of your automobile, you’ve got to make sure you take excellent care of every component under the hood as well as under the car, and that’s especially true when it comes to the tires. Without proper tire inflation or tire performance, you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Sun Devil Auto can tell you how to fix a flat tire, but we’d also like to teach you a thing or two about wheel alignment and the impact it has on your vehicle’s overall performance.
What is Alignment?
Alignment is the adjustment of the angles of the wheels so that they are both parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. When the vehicle is out of alignment, there is uneven pressure on the tires causing imbalanced friction and greater resistance from the road, ultimately resulting in difficulty maneuvering and often premature tire replacement.
Symptoms of Improper Wheel Alignment
In regard to tire alignment, one of the main indications that something is off is when you feel your car start to drift to the left or right when you’re steering straight. You might also notice your steering wheel tilts to either the left or the right when you’re driving. There’s also the fact that one or more of your tires might appear to be uneven when compared to your other tires. Rather than a small tire blowout, the issue could be that your wheels are simply out of alignment.
Common reasons that wheels are out of alignment include driving over potholes, hitting the curb, or being involved in small collisions. Whenever you feel a jarring motion centered in the tires, it’s always a good idea to take a look at your wheels to see if they’ve sustained any type of damage.
Dangers of Poor Alignment
In terms of tire failure, poorly aligned wheels can be quite a driving hazard, mainly because you never know when or how much your car might drift to the side, which can result in sideswiping or colliding with a car. Even if you don’t hit someone or something due to uneven tires, the fact remains that your tires can wear down unevenly over time, which can cause you to spend more money than necessary. If you even suspect your wheels might be out of alignment, it’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible to avoid an unnecessary disaster as well as unnecessary spending, which can knock your finances out of alignment.
Proper Alignment and Wheel Balance
No matter how careful you are when you drive, there’s no airtight guarantee you’ll never have problems with your wheel alignment. For that reason, it’s best to keep up with regular wheel maintenance with the help of a professional Sun Devil Auto technician. Make sure your tires are checked whenever you take your vehicle in for an oil change. Chances are that if you have your tires rotated after every other oil change, a mechanic will let you know whether your wheels appear out of alignment. But just to be on the safe side, you should ask that your wheel alignment be looked over.
Another time to have your wheel alignment checked is whenever you buy new tires. It won’t do you much good to put fresh tires on your car if they’re only going to wear away unevenly with the very first rotation. Drivers who commonly navigate over especially rough terrain should have their wheels and tires checked more often. Finally, should you ever take your vehicle in for flat tire repair, it’s the perfect time to have your alignment checked.
Should you ever have to have alignment work done, make sure the work (and your peace of mind) is protected with a guarantee. Repairs will have a guarantee, however, there is not typically a warranty offered on alignments.
Remember that Sun Devil Auto is here to answer any questions you might have about wheel alignment, tire failure, and anything else to do with your vehicle. Let us help you get as many miles as possible out of your car and as many rotations as possible from your wheels.