How to Tell When It’s Time for a Car Tire Alignment

Car tire alignment or wheel alignment is not the adjustment of tires. It refers to the adjustment of the suspension of a vehicle – the system that links a vehicle to its wheels. Proper tire alignment is changing the tire angles, which in turn determines how they contact with the road.

Tire alignment is critical for your vehicle to function properly and increase the lifespan of the tires. It can also improve the brake functions and reduce those problems that make your car vibrating strangely on the road.

Benefits of Tire Alignment

Regular tire balancing not only enhances the functionality of tires and your vehicle but also:

  • Prevents damage to steering column
  • Optimizes fuel economy
  • Promotes smoother performance of the brake system
  • Saves money by increasing the lifespan of tires and saving several other parts from attrition

When It’s Time for Car Tire Alignment?

Tires can go out of alignment for hitting stuff on the road. Even minor collisions can prove to be dangerous. Look out for the symptoms to know if it’s time for tire alignment:

Worn out Tires

It’s normal for tires to collect minor grooves and wear over time. Such wear occurs as cupping marks on the outside edges of the front tires. However, when the alignment is off the track, you’ll notice excessive wear signs on the inside or outside edges.

Pulling the Vehicle to One Direction

Misalignment of tires can affect the brake system and thereby cause your car to pull to one side when braking. The problem can also cause the steering wheel to go off center even when you keep your hands off of the steering wheel.

Creating Vibrations

Your car will produce vibrations if the car tire alignment is not accurate. Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop if it shakes while running down the road.

car tire alignment

Photo Credit: Plaza Tire Service

How Often Should You Do Alignment of Tire?

It depends on a couple of factors. Check the alignment at least once a year if not more. However, the visit to the repair shop should be more frequent if you often drive on bumpy or mountainous roads.

On the other hand, you should immediately have tire balancing checked in case of a fender bender or collision in the road. Besides, alignment should be done at the time of replacing the tires.

Tire Alignment Repair Cost

The cost of alignment of tires depends on the charge of the repair shop and the use of standard equipment. However, you can expect to pay something between $70 and $100 for fixing the car tire alignment.