Wheel Alignment? Understanding Why You Might Need To Schedule This Type Of Service

In order for your car to travel in the direction you want it to go, all four wheels must be in proper alignment. If one or more of the tires have become misaligned, the car will become increasingly difficult to steer. If you would like to know more about wheel alignment, the following information will help you understand its importance and decide whether scheduling wheel alignment is something you should consider. 

Understanding how wheels become misaligned

Most drivers notice that vehicles steer more smoothly and are more responsive to their steering when new or immediately after the installation of a new set of tires. New vehicles steer more smoothly because they have not yet acquired enough age, damage, or mileage to cause misalignment issues to arise. In a lesser fashion, vehicles that have just been outfitted with a new set of tires can offer improved steering and handling because the new tires are not yet worn enough to cause alignment issues or allow existing ones to be noticed.

Misalignment of your car's wheels can occur in multiple ways, including: 

  • being driven on damaged streets or surfaces that are rough due to erosion or road construction
  • impacting concrete parking barriers, curbs, or debris in the roadway
  • continuing to drive on tires that have uneven wear or damage
  • driving on mismatched tires 
  • continuing to drive with unrepaired issues with the cars brakes, suspension, or steering systems

Alignment issues can also occur in vehicles that are frequently overloaded or those that have been involved in an accident serious enough to cause damage to the frame of the vehicle. 

Understanding the potential risks of postponing wheel alignment

Cars will still start and drive, even when wheel alignment issues are severe. Because of this, drivers may feel that it is okay to postpone having a wheel alignment until they have more time or money. Unfortunately, postponing a needed wheel alignment service appointment can have serious consequences. 

In addition to increasingly difficult steering, drivers may also notice that tires do not wear evenly or last as long as they should when wheel alignment is an issue. Braking may also become increasingly problematic, especially in hazardous driving conditions because misaligned wheels can cause the vehicle to pull sharply to one side when the brakes are applied. 

Proper wheel alignment makes driving safer and allows drivers to avoid some types of costly auto repair and maintenance costs. If you would like to learn more about wheel alignment, contact a tire dealer in your area who offers wheel alignment services.