Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why Should I Get an Alignment?

asked by on

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
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

Q: Problems with the steering after replacing tires and alignment

The steering drag link, idler arm, and tie rods should be checked to see if the joints are worn out and needs to be replaced. The steering shock should also be checked to see if it is still good, worn,...

Q: Noise when turning to the left

It's difficult to say without inspecting the vehicle firsthand just what the noise is. A worn or damaged wheel bearing will make a rotational growling noise that often gets worse when turning. To check for a bad wheel bearing, lift...

Q: Tire not aligned correctly.

The upper and lower ball joints on these vehicles are known to go bad. The tire leaning in could be either one or both. The only way to check is to have an inspection done by a mechanic, like the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...