The Importance of Proper Wheel Alignment

Those darn potholes! It’s not only our tires that can be damaged. Those potholes can cause a misalignment in our wheels and damage to our steering and suspension systems. When that happens, your safety is compromised. Having your wheels aligned on a regular schedule will make sure all the tires are running perpendicular to the road and parallel to one another. In this blog post, I’ll talk about why proper wheel alignment is important and how often you should have your wheels aligned.

  • Safety is Reason #1. It’s tough to drive a vehicle that’s pulling to one side. It becomes even more difficult when you must drive in wet or snowy conditions.
  • Added strain, wear and tear on other components of your vehicle. Your brake shaft won’t be able to work the way it was designed. Serious problems can also occur with your steering or suspension systems. You may experience things like severe pulling or drifting to one side, your car may “jump” when you hit bumps in the road, or you’ll have difficulty steering your vehicle. These are all symptoms of a problem that can become dangerous if not addressed.
  • Your tires will last their expected lifetime. They won’t wear unevenly and you won’t have to replace them sooner than you should. Having to shell out the money for the cost of new tires alone is good reason to have your wheels aligned regularly. (Click here to read our blog post on the 4 Keys to Maintaining Your Tires)
  • You’ll save on fuel costs. Improperly aligned tires cause uneven pressure which in turn creates more friction and resistance from the road surface. That means your vehicle works harder to get you from point A to point B.

When Should You Have Your Wheels Aligned?

One thing is certain, if you hit a large pothole, curb, or anything else that can throw off your alignment, get your wheels aligned. You’ll also want to have an alignment performed if you notice one or more tires wearing unevenly or your car is pulling to one side or the other. As far as a general rule, it’s a good idea to have your wheels aligned once every 6,000 miles or 6 months, whichever is earlier. And remember, a wheel alignment is not the same thing as balancing your tires. Like an improper wheel alignment unbalanced tires can also cause some of the same problems listed above.

Shade Tree Garage has the equipment needed to properly align your wheels. Call today to schedule an appointment for a proper wheel alignment by the technicians at Morristown, NJ’s, Shade Tree Garage.

photo credit: Notre Dame de Grâce & Victoria via photopin (license)