Regular vehicle maintenance includes tire or wheel alignment. Driving with improperly aligned tires can cause your tires to wear unevenly, reducing their lifespan. Tires should be aligned every 5,000-6,000 miles to maximize their performance and your overall safety on the road. Cannon Automotive Service+ offers alignment services as part of basic vehicle maintenance to help you get the most miles out of your tires.  

What is Tire Alignment?

Tire alignment, also called wheel alignment, refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension — what connects your vehicle to its wheels. Alignment does not mean an adjustment of the tires or wheels themselves, but rather an adjustment of the angles of the tires and how they make contact with the road. 

Proper alignment is key to a smooth driving experience and improved handling. When tires are misaligned, your vehicle might pull to one direction or you might feel a vibration in your steering wheel. Get your vehicle checked by a licensed technician like the team at Cannon Automotive Safety + in La Porte for a safe and smooth ride. 

How Do I Know If I Need A Tire Alignment?

There are a few “symptoms” that might mean your tires are out of alignment. If you notice any of these, have your alignment checked by a licensed service technician right away. 

  • Uneven tread wear on your tires
  • Your vehicle pulls to the right or the life
  • Your steering wheel isn’t centered when you drive straight
  • You feel a vibration in your steering wheel

Even when you don’t notice or feel an issue with your vehicle, alignment is important when 

  • You get new tires
  • Your vehicle is lowered or lifted
  • Any suspension parts are damaged or replaced 
  • You’ve gotten in a fender-bender or hit a curb at significant speed
  • It’s been a year or more since you last had your tires aligned. If you typically travel on rough roads, increase this frequency to twice yearly. 

When a technician looks at your tire alignment, he or she will check three things:

  1. Camber: the inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from the front of the vehicle
  2. Toe: how much your tires turn inward or outward when viewed from above (think of looking down at your feet–are your toes turned in or out?)
  3. Caster: the angle of your steering axis when viewed from the side of your vehicle. With positive caster, the steering axis is tilted toward the driver. Negative caster is angled away from the driver. 

In addition to these angles, a wheel alignment check includes an inspection of the vehicle’s suspension and steering systems, as well as noting each tire’s pressure and condition. 

With properly aligned tires, your car handles better for increased drive safety. 

If your handling feels off, or it’s been a while since you’ve had your wheels aligned, call the experts at Cannon’s Automotive Service+ and we’ll take a look! (219) 362-4415