You may not give much thought to the wheel alignment of your car, as you can still drive your car when the tires are poorly aligned. Because of that, you might overlook having this done when it's needed. To ensure you have your car's wheels aligned as needed and know what is included in this service, note a few common and very important questions about a car's wheel alignment.
1. What exactly is a wheel alignment?
Having your car's tires aligned doesn't mean just pointing them all in the same direction. This is important, but wheels should be aligned to a certain degree or angle according to the recommendations of a vehicle's manufacturer. This will ensure tires are properly supported when the car is in motion and the rubber of the tires doesn't drag along the ground, which happens when tires are not aligned as they should be.
2. What's the point of an alignment?
An alignment is very important for your car's performance and for your safety.
When wheels are not properly aligned, this causes excess wear and tear on the tires so that the rubber wears down more than it should, and you'll need to replace tires sooner.
Proper alignment is also important for your car's steering and braking. When tires are not properly aligned, they will pull the car in one direction or another so that you cannot steer the car as easily as you should. Properly aligned tires also have more rubber in contact with the road so that when you apply the brakes, the tires may better grip the road and stop your car more easily. Without a proper alignment, your car could easily skid and slide when you slam on the brakes, increasing your risk for an accident.
3. Does an alignment ever need checking?
Typically you want to have your tires aligned when you put on new tires, but your car's alignment should also be checked if you notice that your car pulls in any one direction. You may also notice very poor gas mileage or will simply be able to tell that your car seems to drag more than it should. Note too that your alignment can be damaged if you run over potholes or curbs, so it may be good to have the alignment checked every year if roads near your home are very rough.
Now that you know the importance of having proper alignment, contact your mechanic if you suspect any problems with your car's functioning in that regard.