Wheel Alignment: Does My Car Need One?

Wheel Alignment, Car Pulling, Uneven Tire Tread Wear, Routine Auto Maintenance

Wheel Alignment: Does My Car Need One?

Wheel Alignment, Car Pulling, Uneven Tire Tread Wear, Routine Auto MaintenanceAny auto expert worth his salt will tell you that the best time to get a wheel alignment service is when you need one. But what does that mean for us regular folks? How are we supposed to know when we need one? Well, routine auto maintenance can often diagnose wheel alignment issues before signs like car pulling and uneven tire tread wear appear. 


Common Causes For Wheel Misalignment

The most common reason for wheel misalignment is road hazards. Driving on rough roads, hitting curbs or potholes, and car collisions can all cause wheel misalignment. However, even under normal conditions, everyday driving will cause wheels to become misaligned over time. 

4 Signs Your Car Needs A Wheel Alignment

Owning a vehicle requires a lot of awareness and proactiveness. Always be aware of changes in your car’s handling and behavior. When you know what to look for, noticing the signs of wheel misalignment is easy.

1) Uneven Tire Tread Wear

One of the easiest ways to spot misalignment is to look at the tire tread. Uneven tread wear indicates that you may need an alignment. A service technician should inspect excessive wear on the inside, outside, or middle of the tread to diagnose the problem.

2) Steering Wheel Is Off-Center

An off-center steering wheel can mean the toe angle is misaligned. You can tell if your steering wheel is off-center if you must turn it slightly to the left or right to drive straight ahead.

3) Car Pulling

Does your car pull or veer to one side when driving straight? Car pulling can mean that your wheels are out of alignment due to an out-of-spec camber or caster angle.

4) Vibrating Steering Wheel

If you experience any of the above symptoms, plus a vibrating steering wheel, schedule an appointment for a wheel alignment. A service technician should diagnose the issue if a shaking steering wheel is your only symptom. Have them look for worn-out suspension parts, out-of-balance tires, or warped brake rotors.

Difference Between Wheel Alignment & Balancing

Wheel alignment and wheel balancing may sound similar, but they are different. 

  • Wheel Alignment refers to how all four wheels are positioned in relation to each other and to the ground. Wheel alignment is responsible for road traction and steering.
  • Wheel Balancing refers to the equal distribution of mass and weight within each wheel (including the tire and the rim). Wheel Balancing is responsible for a smooth ride with more responsive acceleration and stopping.

Benefits Of A Wheel Alignment

There are many benefits to maintaining proper wheel alignment. Not only does it provide a safer driving experience for you and your passengers, but it is also financially advantageous. Benefits may include:

  • Longer tire tread life – reduces the need for premature tire replacement
  • Better fuel efficiency – filling your gas tank less often saves you money
  • Increased safety due to a more effective steering response
  • Less wear on suspension components
  • A more comfortable ride

Routine Auto Maintenance

Scheduling routine auto maintenance ensures your vehicle’s safety and helps identify minor issues before they become expensive repairs. Consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended wheel alignment interval.

Wheel Alignment Service

Most auto experts recommend a wheel alignment inspection once a year. If you have uneven tire tread wear or need help determining if your vehicle requires a wheel alignment service, call Ron’s Garage. Our service technicians will be happy to discuss it with you!

Schedule Your Appointment

We would love to hear from you! Please visit our website or call us at (734) 961-4701 to arrange your service time.