Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy and auto owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a highway or surface street.
When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive suspension problems.
But the big issue for , , and motorists is safety. When your wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at in .
When undergoing an alignment service at , your is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.
Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.
drivers should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.
Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.
That’s why manufacturers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with or your service advisor at in .
One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at is cheaper for drivers than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.