How Do I Know It’s Time for a Wheel Alignment?
Your vehicle represents a major investment. However, the investment doesn’t stop at the initial purchase. To protect and ensure the life of your vehicle, it’s imperative to have regular preventative maintenance. While everyone knows about the importance of an oil change, having regular wheel alignments holds a place in the preventative maintenance hierarchy as well. Simply put, wheel alignment improves the safety of your vehicle by keeping the right amount of tire in contact with the road. Wheel alignment also prevents your vehicle from pulling too much to the right or left.
Even so, many customers often ask us, “What is a wheel alignment” and “How do I know when it’s time for a wheel alignment?” Fortunately, the team at the Coulter INFINITI Service Center has you covered. Let’s take a closer look at the wheel alignment service as well as a few tell-tale signs that you need to have your wheels aligned.
What Is a Wheel Alignment?
While the name of the service is “wheel” alignment or “tire” alignment, it actually has very little — if anything — to do with your wheels or tires. A wheel alignment refers to the adjustment of your vehicle’s suspension. The suspension system is tasked with connecting the vehicle to the wheels, which determines the way your vehicle and tires make contact with the road.
How Often Should I Have My Wheels Realigned?
You should have your vehicle’s alignment inspected and realigned at least twice a year or whenever you purchase new tires. You may need to have your wheels aligned more often depending on your driving habits. You should also have a wheel alignment or inspection if:
- You venture off-road often,
- You have a sharp impact with a pothole or curb,
- You notice your tires are wearing unevenly,
- You have other suspension parts replaced,
- You have steering components replaced,
- Notice your vehicle pulls or drifts to one side,
- You lower or raise your vehicle,
- You get in an accident, or
- You notice your steering wheel isn’t centered when your tires are pointing straight.
What Are the Signs I Need Wheel Alignment?
As with most parts of your vehicle, it may offer distinct signs that your wheels are out of alignment. Here are the most tell-tale signs that your wheels need to be realigned:
- A crooked steering wheel. If you are driving straight and your steering wheel is crooked, you may need a wheel alignment. One simple test is to pay attention to your steering wheel logo. It should be straight if you’re driving straight on a road.
- The tires wear too quickly. Every tire has a mileage rating, which indicates how many miles you should travel before needing to replace the tires. In the event your tires wear significantly faster than the rating, you should have your alignment inspected.
- Your tires wear unevenly. When you have your tires properly rotated, they should wear evenly. However, if your tires are wearing unevenly, you could need a wheel alignment.
- Weird noises from the steering system. Your vehicle is designed to make noises, but hearing strange noises from the steering system could indicate you need a wheel alignment.
- The vehicle pulls to the left or right. When driving on a straight road, your wheels should generally continue straight and hold the path. But if your vehicle veers to the right or left, you may need a wheel alignment.
- Squealing tires. When you turn corners, your tires shouldn’t squeal. If they do, it’s most likely due to a misaligned suspension.
Why Should I Have a Wheel Alignment?
At the very core, having properly aligned tires will ensure you enjoy the best possible driving experience. On the other hand, if your vehicle is out of alignment, steering could be more difficult. It could hinder your ability to do quick maneuvers, which could spell disaster in an emergency situation. In addition, proper wheel alignment can help your tires last longer and deliver a smoother drive by ensuring all wheels are pointed in the proper direction. And, poor wheel alignment can cause your vehicle to guzzle gas more quickly, reducing your MPGs. Simply put, it makes dollars and sense to have your wheels realigned.
Contact Coulter INFINITI for Wheel Alignments
Although proper tire alignment is extremely important, it’s often overlooked. Part of this may be due to the fact that tire misalignment can be very subtle. Fortunately, the experts at Coulter INFINITI can help. Our ASE-Certified mechanics can perform fast and efficient wheel alignment inspections. We leverage the latest and most advanced precision equipment coupled with the best expertise to check your alignment and repair as needed.
Contact Coulter INFINITI today for wheel alignment services.