One area that drivers often overlook, until it is to late, is the alignment on their car or truck. Without a doubt, vehicle alignment is the number factor in extending the life of your tires. If it is out of alignment… it eats up tires fast. I learned that the hard way over the years.
In addition, a properly aligned vehicle gives you increased safety out on the road, as well as a much smoother ride. That’s not to mention how much easier it will be to drive because you do not have all the pulling to one side or the other, or the dreaded vibrations the faster you drive.
There are a lot of things that go into properly aligning a car or truck. You have the camber, toe and caster to get right, as well as the tires themselves. It takes specialized equipment to get all of this done correctly. And you need to have someone with the knowledge and skills to make it all happen the right way.
What Causes Vehicles To Get Out Of Alignment?
Naturally, you can get your car or truck out of align by hitting curbs, going through potholes, going over railroad tracks, and many other obstacles. It happens in everyday driving regardless of how careful you try to be.
But daily driving is not the only cause. Vehicles get out of alignment due to worn suspension parts. The older your vehicle is, the more likely the alignment problems will be related to these worn out parts.
Some of these parts can be your springs, ball joints and tie rods. Only a shop mechanic can analyze your vehicle and know what is the root cause behind the trouble.
How Do You Know It Is An Alignment Problem?
One way to know that your car is out of align is when you notice it pulling to the left or right. Another way is by looking at the tread wear on your tires. If the camber is bad then you will notice inside or outside premature shoulder wear. Or, if the toe is incorrect it could be causing feathered wear.
Beyond that, you could be seeing smooth spots or some other type of irregular wear as well. All of these conditions mean it is time to get your vehicle into the shop.
If you catch it early you can save your tires and simply pay for an alignment. But if you wait too long you will be buying at least two new tires, plus paying for an alignment.