Tire Alignment

If you’re wondering whether your car needs an alignment, first look at your tires. Uneven tire wear — often, more wear on the outside of some tires — is a prime indicator that your car is likely out of alignment. Here are a few more indicators:

  • your car seems to be drifting to one side, even when you think you’re driving straight
  • your steering wheel vibrates
  • you are driving straight, but your steering wheel isn’t centered

How Does a Vehicle Get Out of Alignment?

As vehicle parts age they get worn out and tend to bend or flex, this creates stress & strain and pulls on the suspension system of the vehicle in different ways. Sudden “jarring” of the suspension eventually forces these pieces to pull out of alignment when being driven.

Wheel alignment can be thrown off by:

  • Pot holes
  • Hitting the curb
  • Bumping into concrete parking stalls
  • Fair wear and tear — as vehicles age, rubber components start cracking or losing their elasticity. Ball and socket joints develop looseness. They start to give a little more, progressively getting slightly worse over time.

What if I Never Check My Alignment?

Wheel alignment and axle repair cost often seem like unnecessary expenses, especially if a car is only a few years old.

Dealing with small alignment problems and minor axle issues immediately, however, keeps repair costs down in the long term and helps make sure you’re always in control.

An alignment check will ensure that your car drives straight and handles properly, making your ride safer. You’ll also get better gas mileage because your tires will be properly aligned with the road, decreasing resistance.

At Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center, we recommend an Alignment Check with every other oil change. A lot happens over the course of 6,000 miles.

Video: How to Maintain Your Tires for Best Performance