Asking yourself “why I should have my vehicle aligned?” is one of the most important questions you must have as a driver. Vehicle alignment is extremely important to confirm that all vehicle tires meet the roads at the right angle, so you have proper contact, a smooth ride, and the best tire lifespan.
Most drivers know the common, typical car maintenance like oil changes. However, many people are not fully aware of the importance of vehicle alignment. That’s why we get this question from many of these inexperienced drivers: “why I should have my vehicle aligned?”
Vehicle alignment is one of the common regular maintenances you must keep up with. It ensures that your tires are meeting the road at the right angle and you're having the smoothest ride without causing any premature damage to their tires.
In this article, we will discuss several topics to help you answer why I should have my vehicle aligned? Read on for more details and protect your car to enjoy the longest lifespan out of your vehicle possible.
What does it mean to get your vehicle aligned?
When you go to your mechanic to perform wheel alignment, your mechanic will adjust some connections in your suspension system to ensure that the vehicle's tires are connected at a specific angle as specified in your vehicle's owner's manual.
In general, all-wheel alignment tests the whole process with how the tires are contacting the road and the closer you are to the recommendations in your vehicle's manual, the smoother your right is and the longer your tires will serve you.
Do cars still need to be aligned?
Despite the great technology and the significant upgrades in vehicle manufacturing, all vehicles still require a four-wheel alignment between now and then. If you're driving a small car, SUV, or even a van, you must perform the wheel alignment.
Vehicles are designed with many components interacting, and several of them could cause viruses to the angle your tires are connected to the roads. Therefore, you'll have to check on your car between now and then and confirm that you still have the right alignment and that your tires are probably still connected to the road.
How often should I perform vehicle alignment?
You'll need to perform vehicle alignment after installing new tires. Also, most automotive experts recommend performing vehicle alignments once every two and three years. However, you must pay attention to signs that your vehicle needs a wheel alignment before hitting the deadline or the recommended frequency.
In other words, some external factors might cause some biases or affect the angle where your vehicle contacts the road, which means that you need to fix this issue as soon as possible.
What are the common signs of the need for a wheel alignment?
As you mentioned earlier, some external factors might cause issues to the vehicle alignment before you get close to the two or three years. So that's why every driver must understand the different symptoms indicating that your vehicle needs a wheel alignment soon.
Luckily, a few more experts were able to put the list off all potential signs of the need for a wheel alignment in the following list:
1. Your car pulls to one side more than the other
Have you ever experienced a situation where your vehicle pulls towards one side more than the other as you're driving? This can be a very scary situation and make us feel that we can't control the very dangerous vehicle.
Although there are tons of reasons that could cause this to happen, one of the things that you must check is your view wheel's alignment. Perhaps you are getting close to the threshold of two or three years, or perhaps there is a problem that happened to the vehicle's alignment that you must fix immediately.
Therefore, whenever you experience this situation, consult your mechanic as soon as possible and have him look at the wheel alignment.
2. The steering wheel is uneven
When you stop your vehicle and try to drive on a flat surface, your steering wheel should be accurately centered care, and if that's not the case, then you'll most likely deal with some alignment issues, and that's where you must consult your mechanic as soon as possible.
Sometimes the issue can be related to the steering system itself. Still, it could also be a problem related to the wheels because they are connected to the steering column and, therefore, to your steering wheel.
3. The steering is loose
Sometimes you might experience a different type of problem in your steering system. For example, if you realize that the steering wheel is not as tight as before or feels very loose, it could indicate a problem in the wheels that is most likely related to issues with the alignment.
4. The steering wheel vibrates
Another thing you might want to look for is any potential signs of steering wheel vibrations. Typically, a steering wheel is the first component you will feel, telling you a lot about what's happening in your wheels.
If you've experienced some shaking or vibration in your student wheel that just happened recently, you should not ignore it because it could indicate that you need wheel alignment soon. However, remember that this vibration might also indicate a different problem, so you cannot immediately assume that you must perform wheel alignment because you need to have your mechanic check first and then confirm the issue.
5. The tires are not wearing out evenly
In a perfectly aligned vehicle cover, your tires should wear out simultaneously. In other words, you won't see that one tire is more worn out than the other. Otherwise, you're dealing with issues with either your suspension system or probably a problem with the wheel alignment that you have the check immediately.
Ignoring this problem costs you a lot because if one tire were worn out more than the other, you'd most likely have to replace it.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers recommend replacing all tires simultaneously if you're experiencing a problem with one of them because you cannot install a new one and then deal with some imbalance issues because of the amount of terror, and we're in some of them.
Therefore, to serve yourself a lot of money, keep up your vehicle alignments. Whenever you notice any minor problem in the list that we indicated, you must take it seriously and resolve issues in the list possible.
6. The tires are squealing
When your vehicle has misalignment issues, you'll notice that the tires are making a weird squealing noise, especially if you accelerate or probably making some turns parent again, this squealing noise might be related to a lot of issues, and you must perform a thorough inspection to detect whether it's only a misalignment issue or something else carrot
How much does a tire alignment cost?
The good news is that performing tire alignment is not very expensive and should cost somewhere between $50 and $75. However, if you want to perform a wheel alignment for the four wheels, it usually costs somewhere between $100 and $150.
Remember that you must add up some labor costs that could depend on the location where you get the job done. For example, sometimes you can't easily perform the wheel alignment for the $100 only if you go to an independent shop. However, sometimes costs by what if you decided to go to a dealership where labor cost is a significant component.
Although this cost might mean some money, performing as soon as possible is extremely important. Ignoring the wheel alignment can cause a lot of negative consequences that we will discuss in the next section
How long does a wheel alignment take?
All of us are busy, and we have many things to take care of. That's why it is critical to understand how long it takes to perform wheel alignment so we can plan and adjust our schedule.
Typically, performing wheel alignment should take up to one hour. First, however, you must check with your mechanic shop or the dealership whether there is a waiting time. For example, we highly encourage you to call them first and book an appointment so you can immediately go and have people work on your car, so you don't have to wait in line and add more hours.
The waiting time can be extremely significant if you live in an urban area where lots of people go to the same independent shop where you're going.
Why should I have my vehicle aligned?
As we mentioned earlier, many negative consequences could happen if you don't have the right vehicle alignment. But unfortunately, there are still some people who are not convinced that vehicle alignment is extremely critical, so we'd like to highlight some of the negative consequences you might run it through when you ignore the wheel alignment for a long time.
Your vehicle is designed in a certain way that expects specific balance and specific vehicle contact with the world. If that is not the case, you'll deal with a lot of issues, including difficulty controlling your car and sometimes tires blowing out of your vehicle, which can be an extremely scary and dangerous situation that does not only impact you but also impact other people driving around you.
There are some situations where if you ignore realignments for a long time, you might deal with some significant damage in the wheel runs, which can be very expensive to appear and means thousands of dollars on repair.
Ignoring the wheel alignment is never a good idea because if you could perform wheel alignment for a couple of hundreds, your problems now require thousands of dollars to be fixed if you can even fix them.
Should I get new tires or an alignment first?
It won't make a difference. Performing the wheel alignment before or after installing the new tires does not make a huge difference. Most automotive experts indicate that you must perform your alignment no matter whether you're going to install new tires or not.
However, it is critical that if you're planning to install new tires, you perform a wheel alignment after to confirm that when your mechanic installs the new terrors, he did not cause any bias to the wheel Alignment.
One of the many important regular maintenance that you must perform is wheel alignment. Wheel alignment is very important to protect your tires, extend their lifetime, and provide you with the smoothest ride.
This article helped you answer, “why I should have my vehicle aligned?” It highlighted the main negative consequences you could encounter if you forget or ignore realignments for a long time.
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