How Can I Tell When I Need to Get My Wheels Aligned?

There are three specific things that extend the life of your tires. The first is tire rotations. The second is wheel balances. The third is wheel alignment. Usually, the tires are balanced every time they are rotated, so you don’t necessarily need to worry about that. When should you get your vehicle’s wheels aligned, however? Oxford Automotive is here to answer this question and give you more information about why it’s important that you keep your vehicle’s wheels in proper alignment.

Wheel Alignment Information

It might seem odd, but your wheels aren’t automatically aligned. Each tire that sits on each wheel weighs slightly different. It doesn’t matter if you buy four of the same tires. The tires must be balanced and the wheels must be aligned to ensure that there is even weight across the axles. Small things, such as a different tire on one wheel can throw off your vehicle’s alignment. Balancing and alignment make it easier to control your automobile because the wheel weight is distributed evenly across the axles.

Signs Your Wheels Are Misaligned

It’s easy to knock your wheels out of alignment. If you just went flying around a corner and slammed up against the curb, you probably misaligned your wheels. Other things that knock wheels out of alignment include driving too fast over bumps and potholes. Signs your wheels are out of alignment include

  • Tire tread wear that is patchy, uneven, and premature
  • Pulling to the right or left when driving straight
  • A crooked steering wheel when the wheels are pointed straight

One way to test your wheel alignment is to drive straight on a flat surface, such as a newly-paved parking lot. Make sure there is no one around and drive forward slowly. Let go of your steering wheel to see if your vehicle drifts to the right or the left. If it does, your wheels are not aligned.

When to Get Your Wheels Aligned

Aside from getting your wheels aligned if you accidentally knock them out of alignment, you should always have your wheels balanced and aligned when you purchase a new set of tires and have them installed on your automobile. After that, tire rotation and balancing are recommended every 6,000 miles. Your wheels do not need to be aligned until you’ve driven on the new set of tires for two years.

In some cases, you may need your wheels aligned more frequently, especially if you do a lot of driving. Call Oxford Automotive in Oxford, PA, today to schedule a wheel balancing and alignment.

Photo by uatp2 from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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