Keep Your Car Prepared

What You Should Know About Wheel Alignment

The alignment of your wheels is important. If they are out of alignment, your tires don't face the right way, which then becomes a major safety hazard. Here is more information about wheel alignment and when it needs to be done.

What causes alignment issues?

There are several different things that can lead to wheel alignment issues. In many cases, it is due to minor damages or collisions. For example, if you accidentally hit the curb, bump into a parking spot bumper, or drive over a pothole, it could cause misalignment of your wheels. Regular wear and tear has also been known to cause alignment problems. This happens due to nothing more than age, since over time the rubber components of your wheels can start losing their elasticity and cracking.

Why is wheel alignment so important?

Aside from the fact that it could be a safety hazard having your wheel pointing in an odd direction, bad alignment is also very hard on your tires. When your wheels are not aligned properly, your tires will wear down very quickly. This could mean cracks in the sidewalls and low tread before you were expecting it. You might not be checking your tires very often, so the pressure gets low and you lose tread, but don't realize it until you lose your tire on the freeway, deal with a flat tire, or get into a vehicle accident due to sliding on icy ground.

How do you know your alignment needs to be adjusted?

Unfortunately, there are no obvious signs or symptoms of having wheels that are out of alignment. You don't have a warning light on your dashboard, and it is hard to see on your own. The best thing to do is take your vehicle in for a tune-up and oil change regularly, as the technician will also check the alignment during these check-ups. It is a good rule of thumb that you should have your alignment checked during every oil change, or at least every other oil change. It only takes the technician a few minutes to check the alignment of your wheels.

Do all wheels need to be aligned?

The number of wheels to be aligned depend on the type of vehicle you have and its size. With some vehicles, there is a requirement that all four wheels be aligned at the same time, while in other vehicles, you can just have the front wheels aligned. The best thing to do is check your owner's manual. A technician will also know based on the make and model of your vehicle. If you're looking for an auto shop in your area that offers wheel alignment, visit D Wells Automotive Service.