How Important Is It to Get an Alignment?

An alignment is one of the most common, and basic, forms of vehicle maintenance. The car manufacturer and dealer may recommend when to get a tire alignment. It can increase the life of your tires, not to mention make it easier to drive straight.

Why Should I Get a Wheel Alignment?

If the wheels are out of alignment, your vehicle will shift to one side or another, even if the road is level and straight. This will require constant correction—but wheel alignment doesn’t only affect the handling of your ride.

When wheels are out of alignment, it can cause the tires to wear unevenly and faster than normal. Even if the alignment problem is fixed and the tires are worn, they may not make full contact with the ground, possibly affecting control of the vehicle. Excessive wear on the steering system is also possible, leading to major and very expensive repairs.

What Is the Purpose of the Wheel Alignment?

An alignment adjusts the angle of the wheels so they line up straight and in the direction of travel and steering. When you search for a “tire alignment near me,” three different types of corrections may be made. These adjustments ensure the wheels are perpendicular to the ground and, at the same time, parallel to one another:

Camber: Wheel angle viewed from the front of the vehicle. It may lean out from the center at a positive angle, or in at a negative angle. Tire wear occurs on the tire tread facing the inside of the angle. The vehicle will pull to the side, if the camber is out of adjustment, to where the camber is more positive.

Caster: The angle of the steering pivot seen from the side of the car. A positive caster is when the pivot leans toward the vehicle’s rear, and a negative one leans toward the front. Signs include straight line tracking, pulling to the side, and wandering.

Toe-in: The difference in distance between the front of a set of tires and the back of them. With toe-in, the fronts of two tires are closer than the rears. Toe-out is when the rear of both tires is closer than the fronts. A saw-tooth wear pattern, equal on both tires, is typical.

When to Get a Wheel Alignment

When it comes to tire alignment, Calgary is in great hands with Tire Pirates, but it helps to know when your vehicle needs an alignment. Consult with a mechanic if:

  • The vehicle pulls to one side or another.
  • There is wandering.
  • The steering response changes.
  • Unusual vibrations occur when driving.
  • The steering wheel is crooked.
  • There’s excess or uneven tire wear.

However, pulling doesn’t always mean the wheels are out of alignment; it can also occur with unequal air pressure, brake problems, and power steering issues. Remember to have your tire alignment checked once a year. When repairs are needed, contact Tire Pirates for a discount tire alignment and a wheel alignment Calgary drivers have relied on since 1991.

Request more details online or call us at (403) 907-0394 in Foothills or (403) 907-0431 in Chinook.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Top of the Line Tires
  • 25 Years in Business
  • Highly-Trained Technicians
  • We’ll Install, Inspect and Repair Tires
  • Customer Service is Our Top Priority