How Does Wheel Alignment Work?
When you drive your car, truck, van, or SUV, many systems have to interact with each other to keep your vehicle moving forward, stopping correctly, and maintaining a generally safe mode of operation. One of these systems is the steering system, which must be maintained on a regular schedule to ensure proper functioning while the vehicle is in use.
Steering isn’t quite as simple as just turning the steering wheel to activate a change in front wheel orientation. There are also ratios that must be maintained between the wheels, ratios that must be set with precision equipment. This is done for two main reasons:
- Reduction of ‘pull’ to either side while vehicle is moving: When your wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will tend to drift to one side or another unless the driver corrects for this. This is an unsafe condition that requires immediate attention.
- Even wear on tire tread: If wheels are not aligned correctly, the tire tread will wear down prematurely on the sides of the tire, instead of along the center of the tire. Uneven tire tread can exacerbate the steering issue even further.
Most manufacturers recommend tire alignments according to specific mileage intervals. To determine the right maintenance interval for your vehicle, just call and ask. Our ASE-certified mechanics can tell you what steering-related services might be needed for your vehicle. You can also keep an eye out for these signs that you may be overdue for an alignment.