Tire Alignment and Why Choosing the Right Car Garage Matters

 In Neal's How-To's, Uncategorized

Placing a tire on a vehicle doesn’t seem like a big deal. Many people feel pretty capable of rotating and maintaining their tires. So it’s easy to assume that you can just put one on, right? Not exactly. Tire alignment is the adjustments made to how a vehicle’s wheels are connected. How tires are placed on the vehicle will effect how it makes contact with the road, and therefore tire wear. The conditions and position of other components such as axels, bearings and joints, will also effect tire position.

Each vehicle manufacturer has a specific formula for how tires should be aligned on their vehicle to achieve the best performance. This takes into account weight distribution, location of axels and drivers, width of cars, etc. Proper tire alignment to these specifications will help your vehicle and tires perform at their best, and prolong the life of your tires.

Poorly aligned tires will cause:

  • Uneven wear to tire treads
  • Vehicle pulling to one direction
  • Off center steering wheel
  • Steering wheel vibration
  • Tire feathering
  • Tire camber wear
  • Tire Heel/toe wear

If you have any signs of these issues, you should have your technician check your alignment. Also, this is why choosing an experienced and certified technician is crucial to your vehicle and tire performance. It is recommended to have your alignment checked every 5,000 to 6,000 miles.

Let’s take a moment to think about the many ways a tire makes contact with a vehicle and the road. We will use our feet to help illustrate.

  1. How tires are tilted inwardly or outwardly in respect to the front/back of the car. They call this Camber. With your feet, it is like when you roll the sides of your feet in or out, under or over pronation. Bearings and ball joints will effect your camber.
  2. How tires are tilted inwardly or outwardly in respect to the top/bottom of the car. They call this Toe. With your feet, rotate your toes in towards each other or outwards away from each other.
  3. How the steering axis is angled to the vehicle and driver, Caster, will effect stability and steering.
  4. Tire inflation. Over inflated tires will wear unevenly in the middle. Under inflated tires will wear unevenly on the outer sides.

So many variables effect tire wear and overall vehicle performance. This is why choosing the right car garage and technicians matters. Feel free to call us to ask us about tire or wheel alignment, our tire program, and ways we can help maximize the life and performance of your vehicle and tires.

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