What To Know About Wheel Alignment

You probably know how important it is to take care of your vehicle. What most people don’t know is just how much goes into keeping a car running smoothly. Changing your oil and keeping a fresh set of tires on your car is helpful, but you need to do more if you want the best out of your ride. Having your wheels aligned every now and then is an important part of making sure your tires wear evenly and last longer. If you haven’t had an auto repair shop align your wheels in a while, here’s what you should know.

What Is Alignment?

Most people refer to alignment services like wheel alignment, which is accurate in terms of the effect wheel alignment has. However, the wheels aren’t what’s being adjusted when you take your car in to have it aligned.

Understanding the purpose of alignment starts with understanding how tire wear works. Certain parts of your tires make more solid contact with the ground, which makes them wear out faster. This is why you should have your tires rotated regularly to make sure they’re all wearing evenly. However, having your suspension aligned so your tires make more consistent contact with the road is one of the best things you can do to make them last longer. When you take your vehicle in for alignment services, your suspension will be tweaked until your tires are making solid contact with the ground.

One important thing to note about alignment is that your needs may differ depending on your circumstances. In some cases, you may simply need two wheels aligned; this is often the case in larger vehicles. However, you’ll need four-wheel alignment services if you drive a smaller vehicle or if your vehicle was involved in an accident recently.

The Consequences of Misaligned Wheels

Keeping a good set of tires on your vehicle is one of the most important things you can do. As powerful as your engine may be or as sleek as your car may look, it’s not safe to drive if you don’t have a set of tires that can give you some traction on the road. Unfortunately, tires tend to wear down over time.

Rotating your tires and having your wheels aligned are the two best ways to prevent tire wear. If you don’t visit an auto repair shop for this maintenance on a regular schedule, certain spots on your tires are going to wear down quicker than others. The biggest consequence of this is the fact that your tires aren’t going to last nearly as long with uneven wear.

Another thing you have to consider when it comes to uneven tire wear is how it affects your ride quality. Your ride might feel smooth when the tread on your tires is wearing evenly, but that quickly changes if you’ve got spots where your tires aren’t making contact. This can make your ride feel a lot rougher and result in poor traction.

How Often Should Wheels Be Aligned?

If you want to keep your tires wearing evenly, you need to have a routine alignment schedule. Having your wheels aligned regularly prevents premature tire wear and makes future alignment services simpler, so it’s best to have it done on a regular basis.

According to most professionals, you should have your wheels aligned every two to three years. This is the recommendation regardless of how many miles you drive during that time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some vehicles may need alignment services more or less often. If you’ve recently been involved in an accident, chances are your vehicle’s alignment is out of whack and needs to be fixed.

Creating a Wheel Alignment Schedule

If you want to make sure your tires last for as long as possible, regular wheel alignment services are important. You can work with an O’Fallon, IL, mechanic to create a wheel alignment schedule so you can stay on top of routine maintenance.

Aside from determining how often you should have your wheels aligned, your mechanic can also help you figure out what type of alignment you need for your vehicle. If you’re involved in an accident or something else happens to your vehicle’s suspension, your mechanic may recommend you have your vehicle aligned sooner than scheduled and use a different type of alignment service.

While it can be difficult to keep up with vehicle maintenance, it’s a crucial part of keeping your car running. By working with an O’Fallon, IL, mechanic to create a maintenance schedule, you can make sure you’re having your wheels aligned regularly and preventing excess tire wear. If you need your wheels aligned, give Full Circle Auto Service a call today.