Wheel alignment is a regular maintenance task if you want to keep your vehicle in a good state. If not taken care of, misalignment may occur, and it may cause vehicle damage or even cause an accident. As a car owner, you must regularly have your wheels realigned at a service center or auto repair shop after the recommended two to three years. Below is a comprehensive overview of alignment.

What is wheel alignment?

Wheel alignment, also known as braking or tracking, is a process that adjusts the angle of your car wheels. So, your vehicle will drive straight without pulling on either side. This is achievable by bringing suspension components to proper configuration and adjusting some parts.

It can cause uneven tire wear without proper alignment, which may not be covered in your warranty. Although you handle numerous vehicle maintenance tasks by yourself, wheel alignment needs professionalism. You have to visit an auto repair shop as it’s equipped with alignment machines and has experienced professionals to assist with alignment services.

What type of tire alignment does your car need?

The type of tire alignment needed relies on a car’s suspension system and how it distributes power to the tires. For instance, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles need a four-wheel alignment. Conversely, cars with rear-wheel and front-wheel drive systems must get front-end alignment.

How often should you get a wheel alignment?

The interval between alignments depends on your preventative maintenance processes, driving conditions, vehicle type, and much more. Most auto repair shops recommend getting alignment at least once within two or three years. You can make the best decision by fully adhering to the interval period in the owner’s manual.

If the manual doesn’t specify how often you should get a wheel alignment, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop or service center for an alignment check-up once per year. Generally, a car’s tire misalignment starts one or two years after driving. This is mainly because of your driving conditions and potholes on the road.

How do you tell your vehicle needs alignment?

You will know your car tire is misaligned if;

  • The tires wear out unevenly.
  • Vibration
  • Your vehicle starts to wander side to side
  • The car pulls to one side when driving
  • Your steering wheel becomes dysfunctional and off-centre. If the wheels align, the steering wheel returns to the center.

Car wheel alignment is a vital maintenance process that you should consider as a car owner. Tire alignment takes around one hour for both two-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles. It takes longer if there is damage on the suspension parts, track rod, and too much wear on the tire as it will need replacement. For wheel alignment services, schedule an appointment with Tread Nation today.