Do I Need an Alignment?
There is more to wheel alignment than maintaining the right angle of your car. It also works to adjust the suspension of the vehicle. Driving with misaligned wheels is a major safety hazard as it can result in the vehicle drifting out of the lanes and resulting in a collision.
Moreover, it can also increase the friction between the road and the tires, resulting in increased thinning of tire treads, which can cause inadequate road performance and loss of inflation pressure.
What is a Tire Alignment?
Alignment refers to an adjustment made to the suspension of the vehicle. This is the system that connects your vehicle to its wheels. The core principle of proper tire alignment is to adjust the angles of the tires that impact how they contact the road. It also enhances handling and keeps the car from pulling in a single direction or vibrating awkwardly on the road.
How Do You Determine the Need for a Tire Alignment?
There are certain ways to tell if your vehicle needs a tire alignment. If you notice any of the following indicators, you should get the wheel alignment –
- Steering tire vibration
- Uneven tread wear
- The vehicle is veering to the right or left.
- The steering wheel is moving off-the-center while driving straight.
- Your vehicle is making flapping noise while driving. It would indicate that alignment issues or underinflated tires.
Typically, it is recommended to get your wheel alignment checked every year. But adhere to the instructions mentioned in the owner’s manual to choose what is best for your vehicle.
Besides, if you often drive through improper road conditions or drive in harsh weather conditions, then you might have to change alignment more often.
What Are the Reasons Behind Wheel Alignment Issues?
Alignment issues are generally caused by wear and tear of the suspension and steering parts. They can also be the result of an impact on the curb or potholes or change in the ride height to raised or lowered suspension.
If your vehicle is pulling to one side of the road, the chances are that the alignment procedure will show considerable difference in caster both on the right and left side.
If the steering wheel is incorrectly positioned while driving straight, the toe on the front as well as all rear wheels are misaligned.
Do You Need to Get All Four Wheels Aligned at The Same Time?
Yes, it is recommended to have all your wheels aligned at once, but in some vehicles featuring solid rear axles, you only need to align the front wheels. However, even in this case, you need to get your rear tires to check for any damage that may influence the handling of the car. If you can get all tires aligned, that would be the best solution for your vehicle. But if you cannot, then have your front wheels aligned and get the rear axle checked.