Q: Why Should I Get an Alignment?

asked by on November 17, 2015

Why should I get an alignment?

Suspension alignments are necessary for two main reasons: to forestall uneven tire wear and to be sure your car is handling optimally. Vehicle manufacturers have generally moved away from recommending that wheel alignments be checked or performed as part of a maintenance program, but only be done on an as-needed basis. Checking whether or not your car’s tires are wearing evenly needs to be done whenever the tires are rotated and a wheel alignment should be performed if necessary. The suspension components should be checked and corrected, if needed, when the alignment is done to be sure a worn or malfunctioning part is not causing the uneven tire wear. Suspension alignments require special equipment that mobile mechanics can’t carry.

Usually, handling issues show up when you notice that your car doesn’t track straight when you momentarily take your hands off the steering wheel. In cases like this, the suspension should be checked and adjusted, if necessary, to the manufacturer’s specifications. As a side note, another aspect to take into consideration in “car pulls while driving” cases is a condition known as “radial tire lead.” This is a condition where the belts under the tire tread are not aligned properly with the body plies and there’s a cone effect in the tire, causing the car to pull. This isn’t a safety concern, and the only solution is to replace the tire or rotate it to the back axle of the car where it won’t influence how the car drives.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Rubbing noise from driver's front wheel while turning right

Look at the inner fender or track arm for signs of the tire rubbing on the parts. Your tires may be a little too wide for your vehicle. The fix may be to swap for a narrower tire. Also be...

What Causes Shock Absorbers Or Struts To Leak Or Otherwise Fail?

Shock absorber/strut life depends on how and where the vehicle is driven. Original equipment shock absorbers/struts are carefully matched to the vehicle springs and bushings to provide the best ride comfort and control. As the ball joints, control arm bushings,...

Tire leaning in

This is an obvious damage to the spindle in the rear or the upper control arm. Also alignment is out causing the steering wheel to be off center. You should have a 4 wheel alignment check to isolate the bent...

Related articles

Can I Safely Add Camber to My Wheels?
It’s It’s increasingly common to see “tuner” cars (or less commonly, pickup trucks) with extreme camber settings — in other words, with wheels and tires that are noticeably tilted relative to vertical. Some owners may wonder whether changing their camber...
What Are the Dangers of Driving a Vehicle With a Broken Suspension?
Every car, truck, and SUV has a suspension, the collection of parts that holds the car off the ground, cushions passengers and cargo from bumps,...
What Is the Difference Between Sprung Weight and Unsprung Weight?
Car Car aficionados, particularly those involved with racing, sometimes talk about “sprung” and “unsprung” weight (or mass). What do these terms mean? The spring is the suspension component that holds the vehicle up and cushions it and its occupants and...