car getting a tire alignment at a mechanic

A car is only as good as its tires. If the tires are not properly aligned, it can lead to all sorts of problems, from decreased fuel efficiency to decreased car lifespan. 

That’s why it’s important to get a tire alignment service every once in a while. Today, we will discuss the benefits of getting a tire alignment and how it can help improve your car’s performance.

What is tire alignment?

Alignment describes suspension tuning, which is the system that attaches a car to its wheels. Proper alignment adjusts the angles of your tires in relation to how they contact the road, not the actual tires or wheels themselves. 

What is the difference between Tire rotation vs Wheel alignment?

Confused about car maintenance? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many individuals are intimidated by terminologies used in the automotive industry. For instance, two similar yet distinct services offered for cars are wheel alignment and tire rotation (or tire balancing). 

The purpose of tire rotation is to help your tires last longer by ensuring they experience even wear over time.

The purpose of a wheel alignment is to make sure your wheels are pointing in the same direction as the steering wheel. This allows your car to drive straight when your steering wheel is straight, rather than the wheels pulling right or left. To make this possible, wheel alignment involves adjusting the angle of your car’s axles and wheels. Having your wheels aligned differs from rotating your tires in that alignment is not a regular service for a car.

How do I know if I need a tire alignment?

If you experience any veering (driving in a curved line) or notice uneven wear on your tires, a tire alignment is needed NOW!

These are good indicators to follow: 

  • Uneven tread wear
  • Vehicle pulling to the left or right
  • Your steering wheel is off-center when driving straight
  • Steering wheel vibration

What do technicians check?

Camber, toe, and caster are all components of a car’s suspension system that affect its handling. 

Camber is the degree to which a car’s wheels tilt inward or outward from the car’s vertical centerline. 

Toe is the degree to which a car’s front and rear tires are pointed in or out from each other. 

A caster is the angle of a car’s steering pivot relative to its vertical centerline. When these settings are properly aligned, your car will handle more smoothly and predictably. 

Does Realigning Your Tires Improve Fuel Economy?

Yes, tire alignment improves your car’s fuel efficiency. When the tires are aligned properly, they don’t have to work as hard, thus using less fuel.

How often should I get my tires checked?

Annual (or bi-annual if you frequently travel on bumpy roads) alignments are part of regular auto maintenance. Getting your wheels aligned early means you can avoid premature tire wear. Most cars gradually go out of alignment, so it’s important to check it regularly.

To be taken into account:

  • After an accident
  • After hitting a curb or pothole 
  • If you frequently go offroading
  • Anytime you lower or lift your car
  • If your vehicle pulls to one side
  • If the steering wheel is positioned to the left or right when you’re driving in a straight line.

So if you want to keep your car running smoothly, get regular tire alignments. Not only will it benefit your car in the long run, but it will also help you save money and improve your car’s handling. Get in touch with our Murray Master Muffler specialist today to learn more about the benefits of car alignment or to schedule an appointment.

Categories: Tires

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