Whether you believe it or not, knocking your vehicle’s wheels out of alignment is much easier than you might imagine. All it takes is a huge pothole, an aggressively taken speed bump, or an accidental roll over a curb. Nevertheless, there are times when even regular wear and tear is enough to knock your wheels out of alignment. Even though having a properly aligned car might not seem that important at first, it can have severe and costly consequences if overlooked. When your vehicle’s wheels do not have proper alignment, it will affect your overall steering and suspension system, leading to many significant issues like premature or uneven wear on your tires.
We have noticed a lot of vehicle owners wondering how they can know if their car needs alignment and why is it critical to a vehicle? To help you understand better, our Express Auto & Tires team has written down three crucial reasons you must keep your car’s wheels aligned and working together.
You will extend the total life of your tires.
When your vehicle’s wheels are out of alignment, it will cause uneven wear on your tires. As your tires start to wear, their overall life expectancy also shrinks, meaning they will have to be replaced sooner than expected. Moreover, a car that is out of alignment will also put a lot of stress on its suspension and steering systems, causing several other parts to wear unevenly. If you wish to avoid these expensive repairs and replace tires more frequently, you need to have your vehicle wheel alignment checked as a part of your regular maintenance schedule.
It will save you money on gas.
Even though they may seem like two completely unrelated things, properly aligned cars also get to enjoy better gas mileage. Whenever your wheels are out of alignment, they will not work together optimally, which will make your engine work much harder to make your car move forward. This will harm your vehicle’s fuel efficiency since more gas is required to help keep the engine working overtime. Keeping your wheels inflated will also help you save money on gas. Underinflated, unaligned, or uneven worn-out tires require more fuel to move forward.
A smoother ride
A vehicle whose tires are out of alignment may cause it to pull to either left or right, making it harder for you to control. If your steering wheel is pointed straight up ahead, but your vehicle seems to be drifting to a particular side, it suggests that your vehicle’s wheel alignment is off. It will make for a rougher overall ride while taking away your attention from driving. When you have correctly aligned wheels, your vehicle will run smoother, and you will not have to work so hard when driving.
What does an alignment entail?
Getting the alignment of your vehicle checked is, in fact, a very sophisticated process. A professional mechanic from Express Auto & Tires will raise your car into the air, attach devices to all the wheels, and use an alignment machine (linked to the computer) to help make precise measurements. This machine allows professionals to square the vehicle’s wheels and axles, so they all move in the same direction together. Our professionals will then adjust the suspension angles and ensure your steering wheel is also centered.
Each vehicle’s manufacturer has designated angles for alignment and specifications that suit best to that particular vehicle. The main objective is to have all four wheels parallel and sitting flat on the surface with your steering wheel centered. Front-wheel drive vehicles or all-wheel-drive vehicles that feature independent or adjustable rear suspension tend to require wheel alignment, so all four wheels align together in a rectangle, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the road. All different types of vehicles ideally require a front-end alignment to adjust the components of the front axle.
How to figure out if your vehicle is out of alignment?
Whether you believe it or not, it is straightforward for an average driver to tell if a car is out of alignment. Vehicle pulling to a particular side is one of the most common tell-tale signs of an alignment problem. If you are driving a car on a straight, smooth road and notice that the vehicle is pulling to either left or right without turning the wheel, you need to check your alignment.
After you make a sharp turn, your steering should ideally return to the center position immediately. If you notice that it is slow in returning to the center position or feels loose, it could signify that your vehicle has an issue with the alignment. Moreover, if your steering wheel seems to be shaking, it could also be a sign that you need to get your wheels aligned. You can also take a look at your front tires. Do you notice any uneven tread wear? If you see that your tires are bald on one side or are wearing down unevenly, it may indicate that your wheels are out of alignment.
If you wish to ensure that your tires are correctly aligned and getting the most out of your vehicle, you must add a wheel alignment check to your regular vehicle maintenance service. Your vehicle manufacturer will provide you with ideal recommendations on how often you need to get your wheel alignment checked.
Get in touch with Express Auto & Tires right away!
Need to have your alignment checked or wish to schedule a maintenance service? Stop by Express Auto & Tires in Irving, TX, and have one of our professional experts take a look at your alignment right away. Since they have been in the business for years, our team has all the knowledge and experience to give you the best service possible. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call at 972-636-4903 or contact us online to get started right away.