Car Care Basics: Wheel Alignment

Making sure that your wheels are properly aligned is an important step in maintaining your vehicle. Misalignment in your wheels can lower your vehicle’s fuel economy, negatively affect vehicle handling and shorten the life of your tires.

It’s not always easy to tell if your car needs an alignment, but there are a few signs that might point in that direction.

  • If you slightly loosen the grip on the steering wheel while your vehicle should be going straight and it begins to pull to the right or left, there’s a good chance that you are due for an alignment.
  • Vibration or shaking while you are driving can sometimes point to an alignment issue.
  • If you look at your tires and notice uneven wear, particularly along the inside or outside edges, that’s another good indicator you may have an alignment issue.

Many factors can play a role in misalignment of your wheels.

  • Poor road conditions, such as potholes, big bumps, etc. can lead to alignment issues.
  • Your driving habits can be a reason. If you’ve had some hard hits to curbs, these can begin to cause issues.
  • Suspension repairs, such as replacing shocks, tie rods, etc. will usually affect alignment. Wheel alignment is recommended after any of these types of services.
  • And if you’ve had an accident, that can easily affect wheel alignment.

If you have a concern that your vehicle may have an alignment problem, it’s important to address this quickly. It doesn’t take a tremendous amount of driving or mileage to begin to cause improper wear on your tires.

All Plaza Tire Service locations offer wheel alignment services. A visual inspection of wheel alignment is also performed at no additional charge when customers come in for an oil change or to purchase tires.