Oil changes get all the glory when it comes to preventative maintenance, but a simple wheel alignment can have significant impact on the comfort and safety of your daily drive.
Benefits of Wheel Alignment
What Causes the Issue?
A vehicle’s wheels are attached to the suspension system, and the two must be aligned precisely for your car to ride optimally. Your vehicle’s wheel alignment can become thrown off by obvious events such as hitting a pothole (regardless of size), driving on a curb, or getting in an accident. But you don’t need an inciting incident to cause an issue.
Wheel assemblies will naturally become out of alignment from everyday driving, which is why wheel alignments are recommended annually even if you manage to dodge every pothole.
Effect of Misaligned Wheels
Improper wheel alignment symptoms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are obvious, such as squealing tires when you turn or the vehicle pulling hard in one direction. Others can be a bit subtler.
One major myth about is that vibrations felt in your steering wheel are caused by wheel alignments. There are several reasons these vibrations can occur such as tires being out balance, tires are due for replacement, a bent or damaged wheel, or a worn steering or suspension component. All of these items might cause your alignment to need adjustment but finding the root cause is of great importance so the proper corrections can be made.
Another sign you need a wheel alignment is a slight pull to one side or the other. Drivers may not even realize that they’re holding the wheel slightly turned in order to drive straight.
Misaligned wheels can cause tires to wear unevenly, especially at the edges, which leads to less control on the road, increased susceptibility to hydroplaning, and the need to replace them more frequently. The condition of your tires is a great visual sign of possible alignment issues. If the edges are worn or you see uneven tread wear it is possible your alignment needs to be adjusted. Though correcting the alignment will not reverse the tire wear it will stop it from getting worse.
There are even unseen effects, such as the added stress and wear on components of the vehicle’s suspension.
How a Wheel Alignment Can Save You Money
Safety is the most important reason to get a wheel alignment, but it can also save you money. A vehicle’s fuel economy is better when the wheels and suspension are properly aligned. Eliminating uneven wear will extend the life of tires, which means you will be replacing them fewer times. And reducing unnecessary stress on the vehicle’s suspension system will help avoid costly repairs down the road.
The most obvious way you save money by getting a wheel alignment though is by helping you avoiding accidents. Proper wheel alignment gives you more control on the road, helping keep both you and your vehicle safe. If it’s been more than a year since your last wheel alignment or you’re seeing any of the signs above, call 844-288-5593 or find your nearest AAA Car Care center to book an appointment today.