What You Need To Know About Your Vehicle’s Alignment

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Whether you call it tire or wheel alignment, you need to have it done at least every two years. Wheel alignment not only gives your tires a longer lifespan, but it also helps improve your automobile’s handling. Padron Automotive can align your wheels when they’re out of alignment. Let’s talk about vehicle alignment, why it’s important, and how it’s done.

What Is Wheel Alignment?

Your wheels are connected to the suspension, and a wheel alignment adjusts their angles so they make direct contact with the road. There are three ways your vehicle’s wheels are aligned: camber, toe, and caster. To dig deeper, if you look at your car’s wheels from the front, a negative camber alignment means the wheels are tilted inward. A positive camber alignment means they’re tilted outward.

A toe alignment can be negative or positive depending on the inward or outward angle of the tires when viewing them from above. These two alignments might sound the same, but they are different. If you think of your front tires as two feet, a negative toe alignment would make them pigeon-toed. Finally, the caster alignment ensures your vehicle’s steering is stable and the steering axis is not tilted.

Why Is Wheel Alignment Important?

As you can imagine, if your wheels are not sitting squarely on the ground because they are tilted inward or outward, and if your steering axis is off, this will make it difficult to control your car, truck, or C/SUV. When the tires don’t rest on the road evenly, you end up with feathered tire tread wear due to poor toe alignment or tread wear on the inside or outside edges of the tires due to poor camber alignment.

How Can I Tell if My Wheels Are Out of Alignment?

Your vehicle will give you hints that the alignment is off, and you can knock it out of alignment if you hit a curb, bump, or pothole. Not only will your tire tread wear be uneven, but you might also notice that

  • Your automobile is pulling to one side even though you’re driving straight
  • The logo on the steering wheel is tilted even though the wheels are pointed straight
  • Your steering wheel vibrates when you turn corners or adjust your driving direction

If your car is vibrating as you pick up speed, this is a wheel balance problem more likely than an vehicle’s alignment issue. As we said above, every two years is a good time to realign your wheels.

If it’s been two years, or if you have knocked your wheels out of alignment prematurely, give Padron Automotive in Topeka, KS, a call. We’ll realign your wheels.