Home Technology What is Wheel Alignment & Its Importance?

What is Wheel Alignment & Its Importance?

by Bryan Cunningham
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Wheel Alignment

Vehicles are complex machines with numerous components and systems. Thanks to evolving technology, automobiles seem to be growing more intricate every year. Their mechanical aspects and electrical systems alike are constantly advancing. At this point, even AI and the internet are becoming increasingly intertwined with automotive technology. That means keeping vehicles up and running involves an ever-growing list of factors.

Wheel Alignment: An Ongoing Factor in Vehicle Maintenance

Despite the intensifying complexity of vehicles over the decades, some factors have remained consistent. One of those is the importance of wheel alignment. This applies to the angle of a vehicle’s wheels in relation to several other points. If wheels aren’t properly aligned, an array of problems can ensue. As such, scheduling a wheel alignment near me Okotoks at least once per year or when alignment issues arise is essential.

How Do I Know If I Need a Wheel Alignment?

Determining whether a wheel alignment is in order is difficult for some vehicle owners. After all, unlike certain other critical mechanical and electrical problems, automobiles aren’t equipped with warning lights that tell people their wheels are out of alignment. That being said, some warning signs can be indications that the wheels have drifted out of alignment or have been knocked awry.

One of the most straightforward signs of misalignment is drifting. When a vehicle’s wheels aren’t properly aligned, it will drift to the left or right despite the steering wheel being straight. In some cases, drivers may feel like they’re fighting the steering wheel to keep the vehicle heading in the right direction.

Another indication of misalignment is uneven tire wear. All of a vehicle’s tires should be worn evenly from side to side. If the wheels are out of alignment, the tires may wear unevenly. Keep an eye on the tires. If they seem to be wearing more toward the inside edge than the outside or vice versa, it’s probably time for an alignment. As mentioned, time is a good indicator as well. If it has been more than 6,000 miles or 12 months since the last alignment, consider scheduling a service appointment.

Why Is Wheel Alignment Important?

Proper wheel alignment is an important aspect of vehicle maintenance. As touched upon earlier, misalignment can cause uneven tire wear. In turn, that could detract from vehicle safety and lead to mounting tire replacement costs.
Additionally, when a vehicle’s wheels are out of alignment, the added strain will cause excess wear and tear on the suspension system. Again, that could bring about safety issues and costly repair needs. Furthermore, wheel misalignment can cause a vehicle to shake or vibrate and reduce its fuel efficiency.

Keeping a Vehicle in Optimal Condition

Keeping a vehicle in optimal condition is the key to longevity and consistent performance. Several factors enter the mix here, but wheel alignment is one of the less straightforward. Many people contribute performance issues, inefficient fuel consumption, and rough rides to poor roads and other problems. In truth, they’re often the result of improper wheel alignment. Schedule alignment services at least once a year, after hitting particularly large potholes, or following minor accidents to help keep a vehicle in top-notch condition.

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