If you are experiencing irregular tire wear, handling problems or a crooked steering wheel, an alignment check should be performed. Ignoring these signs can make your alignment problems more expensive to address down the road, can reduce the life of your tires, and can even cause driver assist systems to malfunction.
Even without experiencing these problems, most vehicle manufacturers recommend checking your alignment every 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first.
Let's talk about the importance of wheel balancing and wheel alignments for your vehicle.
Wheel balancing is important because wheels lose their balance over time. Factors concerning the weight distribution of your vehicle, road conditions and tread wear can cause an unevenness in the tires, which can then lead to further uneven tread wear. As a result, the vehicle might shake or vibrate while in use.
When a technician balances the wheels, they typically apply a calibrated spin balancer, and will normally also test both the static (non-moving) and dynamic (moving) aspects of wheel balance. Any existing unevenness is corrected. Wheel balancing is a service that’s normally done when tires are rotated on the vehicle, or roughly every six to 12 months, depending on the vehicle and its use.
Wheel alignment differs in that it involves an adjustment of the angle of the vehicle’s wheels. This is normally done based on the manufacturer’s recommended specifications. A wheel alignment usually includes a tire tread check along with the three basic components for measuring wheel orientation, involving the toe, camber and caster.
Wheel alignments are generally recommended if the vehicle feels like it’s pulling to one side, if it has been involved in an accident, or during annual inspections. Since vehicle use will differ among drivers, there is no specific mileage or designated timeline for wheel alignments. For these reasons, the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as those of your automotive facility are likely to be the best sources of advice concerning alignments.
Wheel alignments and wheel balancing are important for reasons that include the safe and efficient operation of your vehicle, including requirements for control in difficult road, weather and driving conditions, as well as to ensure that you benefit from the longest use of your tires.
Wheel balancing and wheel alignments are just some of the many services offered by National Tire Wholesale. Our technicians only recommend maintenance and repairs to keep you and your car safe.
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