We get asked questions all the time about wheel alignment on all different types of automobiles. We decided to put together a short checklist of quick facts about your vehicle’s wheel alignment. Below are some questions, answers and facts about your vehicle’s wheel alignment.
Can my vehicle being out of alignment cause me to experience a rough ride?
Generally, no. Rough riding vehicles are usually caused by tires being out of balance, wheels being out of round or shock absorbers and/ or struts being worn out. Your vehicle’s tires might have accumulated an irregular wear pattern due to your alignment being out of specs, but the alignment it’s self probably will not cause a rough ride. If you have front end or other suspension parts which are worn out, these can also cause a rough ride.
Will having my alignment set to factory specs make my vehicle quit pulling to one side?
Generally, yes. If your vehicle pulls to one side, having your wheel alignment checked is the first thing to do. Once your vehicle’s alignment is set back to factory specs it should correct any pull you might have to one side for the other.
If correcting the alignment does not correct the pull, chances are one or more tires are causing the pull. Irregular tire wear can cause your vehicle to pull to one side or the other. Incorrect air pressure can also cause a car to pull (or be pushed) to one side or the other. If your alignment has been corrected and your vehicle still pulls to one side, rotating the tires can help. If you cross the two front tires and your vehicle pulls in the opposite direction, you know for a fact the tires are causing the pull.
What causes a vehicle’s alignment to need to be reset?
A vehicle’s alignment comes pre-set from the factory to the specifications required for each vehicle. Your alignment is a mechanical setting on your vehicle. Over time, due to normal wear and tear, these settings need to be re-set. Anything from bumpy roads, hitting a pot-hole too hard, running into a curb, etc., can cause the alignment to need to be re-set.
Worn out suspension parts will also cause your vehicle’s alignment to need to be reset once the bad parts have been replaced.
Do vehicles have alignment settings on the front and rear?
Some vehicles have both front and rear alignment settings. Vehicles with sport suspensions and/ or different size tires on the front and the rear will almost always have settings on the front and the rear of the vehicle. Most rear wheel drive vehicles will not have alignment settings on the rear, although some will. For example, a two wheel drive Ford F-150 will not have alignment settings on the rear of the vehicle. A rear wheel drive Chevrolet Corvette with 4 wheel independent suspension will have settings on both the front and the rear.
How often should I have my alignment checked?
If you have normal driving habits, having your alignment checked annually is a good rule of thumb. If you periodically drive on rough roads, having your alignment checked every six months is a good rule to go by. If you drive on rough roads all the time, you might consider checking your alignment more often.
If you notice bad or irregular tire wear you should get your alignment checked as soon as you can. Once tire wear becomes noticeable to your eyes, it might already be to late to salvage your tires. One way to keep ahead of this problem is to have your tires rotated on a regular basis so a tire technician can check your tires for irregular wear on an ongoing basis.
What are some signs that my alignment needs to be checked or corrected?
- Tires wearing on the edges
- Other irregular tire wear
- Vehicle pulls to one side
- Steering wheel is off-center
- Tires cupping
- Any un-natural sound coming from the font end of your vehicle
- If you can’t remember the last time it was checked
Postle’s Tire Barn specializes in checking and correcting wheel alignments on most cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Postle Tire Barn is a locally owned and operated tire and automotive service center located on Jug Factory Road in Tuscaloosa, AL. We’ve been serving the West Alabama are for more than 35 years. For more information, call us at 205-391-0062 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.