There are lots of important components on cars that are easy to ignore. Sure, there may be warning signs that something isn’t quite right but the car continues to run and gets you to point B with hardly a whimper. Eventually, however, these small problems often become much larger and more expensive problems. Wheel alignment is one of the areas of your car that’s easy to ignore but is still vitally important.
The wheels on your car are kept pointing in the right direction by a system of linkages that are ultimately connected to the steering wheel. Ideally, each front wheel should be aligned exactly the same. Wheels can get knocked out of alignment by hitting the curb, driving over a big pothole, or minor accidents.
How do you know if your wheels are out of alignment? The most common warning sign is uneven wear on the front tires. When the wheels are aligned properly, wear should be even over the surface of the tire, and both front tires will have the same wear pattern, especially if you get your wheels rotated regularly. If the tread is worn away from either the inner or outer edge of one tire only, there’s likely a problem with the alignment. In severe cases, a car will pull to one side on a flat, level road with little crosswind. You might also notice that it’s difficult to straighten your car out after a turn, or that the steering wheel is always turned slightly one way even when you’re driving in a straight line. Fixing your wheel alignment involves adjusting the toe in, toe out, and camber of the wheels. Each vehicle has a recommended toe and camber value.
How Often Should I have my Alignment Checked?
It’s a good idea to get your alignment checked every time you buy a new set of tires. After all, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on brand new tires only to have them wear out prematurely because of an easily repaired alignment problem. Improperly aligned wheels also affect your fuel economy because they create drag, making it more expensive for you to drive your car.
Bring your Vehicle to Kelowna Nissan for a Free Alignment Check
When you bring your vehicle to Kelowna Nissan for even a minor inspection or an oil change, you’ll automatically receive a free wheel alignment and battery diagnostic using our advanced Hunter Hawkeye Alignment checker. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll receive a full report on your car’s wheel alignment health. Click here to book an appointment.