Wheel alignment is among some of the regular maintenance tasks which are essential for one to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape. It ensures your car runs smoothly on the road. If the wheels of your vehicles are not aligned properly, then it becomes mandatory for you to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop.
In this comprehensive guide, we are going to talk about wheel alignments, how long the process takes, and how you can easily save up on your wheel alignment.
Let’s get into the details on how wheel alignment works.
What is a Wheel Alignment?
A wheel alignment is the process of aligning a vehicle’s wheels with each other. Auto mechanics achieve this by configuring the car’s suspension properly. By adjusting the components and positioning them correctly, car mechanics align the wheels of a vehicle to ensure smooth operation.
Unlike other vehicle maintenance tasks, wheel alignment is important.
Properly aligned wheels are those that are balanced with each other. The objective is to square a vehicle’s wheels and axles so that they move in the same direction.
The process involves adjusting the suspension angles. Subsequently, the steering wheel is checked to ensure it is properly centered. Lastly, the vehicle manufacturer aligns the tires to specific degrees.
Whether you have an all-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive, wheel alignment is a mandatory routine maintenance task that every automobile owner must consider periodically.
Is Wheel Alignment Necessary?
When the wheels of your vehicle are not properly aligned, you may experience a drastic drop in its handling capabilities. The vehicle will constantly pull in one direction, significantly affecting its ability to steer correctly or drive in a straight line. This not only makes driving difficult but also reduces the comfort of the person driving behind the vehicle.
As a car owner, failing to realign the wheels every once in a while can impact your car’s ownership. Wheels that are not properly aligned often experience gradual wear and tear, making them more susceptible to damage. Eventually, you may have to replace your car’s wheels. It is not uncommon for wheel misalignment to lead to damaged wheel rims and suspension.
Altogether, you may find yourself paying a hefty amount to maintain these aspects of your vehicle.
How Often Should You Get a Wheel Alignment?
Wheel alignment jobs are dependent on a multitude of factors such as your driving habits, type of vehicle you own and other similar factors. Many mechanics recommend that you get a wheel alignment done every once, twice or thrice a year. However, the best thing to do here is to follow the recommended interval as per your car manufacturer’s provided manual.
If your owner manual doesn’t specify when you should get your vehicle wheels aligned, it’s best to bring the vehicle to one of the service centers or an automobile repair shop for wheel alignment checkup.
It’s essential to get this done at least once a year, usually when the vehicle’s wheel alignment starts getting slightly off. On average, people usually get their vehicle’s wheel aligned at least after two years of driving.
Factors That Depend on How Frequently to Get Your Wheels Aligned
The time required to perform wheel alignment also depends on multiple factors.
Vehicle Pulling Sharp in One-Direction
When you’re driving down the road and your vehicle starts pulling in one direction, there’s a high chance your vehicle tires are under-inflated. If it continues to pull on one side after you inflate the tires to correct the pressure, it’s a sign you should get the wheel aligned.
Slight Pulling Which Isn’t Noticeable
When your car’s slight pulls, it shows that the wheels on your vehicle are misaligned. To make sure your vehicle pulls gently to one side of the road, you can always go to a vacant parking lot with a level surface and drive your car slowly in a straight line to check.
A Vibrating Steering Wheel
If the steering wheel of your vehicle starts vibrating out of the blue, it’s a sign that your vehicle wheels are unbalanced. When the tires of your vehicle are misaligned, you will notice that the steering wheel of your vehicle starts vibrating and it’s usually because tires pull in one direction.
Crooked Steering Wheel
Do you feel that your vehicle’s steering wheel is crooked while you’re on the road? It’s probably because you’re subconsciously driving with the steering wheel going off-center. If this is happening, it’s a sign that it’s about time that you should realign your wheels.
Uneven Tire Wear
If you see that your vehicle’s tires are uneven, you can always get them changed. Look for your front tires and check the wear patterns and then check the rear tire and see if the patterns are repeated. If the wear patterns aren’t the same on both, it’s an indication your wheels aren’t aligned.
How Long Does Wheel Alignment Take?
We understand that Nashville drivers are always in a routine. Where people aren’t ready to spend even 15 minutes, taking out enough time to perform a lengthy process such as that of wheel alignment can be burdensome. But with Tire One Nashville, we make the entire wheel alignment process a breeze for our customers.
All you have to do is drop your vehicle at our service station and we take around an hour on average to get the job done. If there are any other problems such as with your car’s suspension system, steering bush, track rod or any other automobile part or component, then we will inform you as it may take longer.
Dial (615) 465-8171 and get your all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive tires aligned today!