Do you ever feel like your car is pulling to one side of the road? If so, your car’s tire could be out of alignment. But what does that mean, and does it really need to be fixed?
We’re Sam the Hubcap Man, Florida’s number one stop for everything from black hubcaps to tire rotation and installation. We can tell you that you could be causing untimely damage to your tires if your wheel alignment is off.
Read on to learn the importance of proper alignment and signs of improper alignment.
What Is Wheel Alignment
Alignment refers to the connection between the vehicle and the wheels. The system through which they are connected is the suspension. Alignment deals with four settings:
- Caster – Steering axis angle
- Camber – Tires outward or inward tilt when viewed from the vehicle’s front
- Toe – Angle of tire’s front and rear when viewed from above
- Ride height – The distance between the vehicle’s frame and the road
When any of these elements are out of balance, tires wear prematurely. Often, uneven wear on tire treads is easily visible. Other times, the most telling sign of misalignment is a slow response in steering or the car pulling off-center while driving. How the symptoms present themselves usually correlates with where misalignment occurs.
What Causes Wheels To Fall Out Of Alignment
So what causes wheels to fall out of alignment in the first place? The answer is many things and also nothing at all. Impacts like potholes or curb brushes can affect alignment, as can minor and major fender benders.
Sometimes nothing in particular led to misalignment. Over time, regular use can cause wheels to lose their alignment. Like anything, a car’s suspension becomes worn with use. Springs wear, lowering your ride, and altering your vehicle’s balance leading to misalignment. Worn ball joints affect handling.
Steering response isn’t what it was, causing irregular tread wear on tires. Tire rods begin to wander, further affecting the angle. At this point, you’ll notice the effects of imperfect alignment in your car’s performance. You’re going to want to get your vehicle in for servicing fast.
When Should Alignment Be Checked?
As always, it’s best not to wait until things get out of hand before getting your car serviced. The best plan is always to stick to a regular maintenance plan. For most drivers, that means that you should have your alignment checked annually. If you regularly travel rough roads, consider twice a year.
Also, consider having alignment checked anytime something throws off the balance of your suspension. So if you purchase new tires, get the alignment checked. But if you’ve finally upgraded to those black hubcaps you’ve been eyeing, you wait to have your alignment check at the regularly scheduled visit.
If you hit a curb, have a run-in with an animal, or find yourself involved in a fender-bender, stop in and have your alignment checked.
If you need your suspension checked, or if you’re finally ready to purchase those black hubcaps, call Sam the Hubcap Man. We carry the industry’s best and hold ourselves to the highest standards in the industry. So give us a call and see why we’re Florida’s top choice for everything from wheel alignment, tire installation and rotation, and custom accessories!