What Drivers Should Know About Vehicle Alignments

vehicle alignements

Let’s talk about alignments.

Did you know this? Alignments should be done only 2-3 times during the life of your vehicle. Four at the most.

Does Your Vehicle Need an Alignment?

A lot of times people think, “Oh, I’ve got a pull to the right, I need an alignment!” A pull to the right can mean many things. It can mean road crown or a tire problem. You might have hit something and damaged part of your front end. 

Sometimes what will happen is that your steering wheel will be off, and you’ve got a bent part—at that point yes, you should get your alignment checked. But if you’re doing things that are consistent with maintaining your tires, meaning keeping them at the right pressure, rotating them, and keeping them balanced, you should only need an alignment 2-3 times maximum over the life of your car. 

Warning:

Lots of places will sell you a lifetime warranty for alignments. The only way these places can make money off of these warranties is to sell you something every time you go in. We’ve seen this many times! But if you monitor your front end, and you keep your suspension system greased, lubricated, and make sure you haven’t run over anything, there should be no other reason you should need to have your alignment checked. Again, 2-3 times in the life of your vehicle is all you should need for alignments.

 How Many Alignments Your Vehicle Needs

Some vehicles are going to be a little bit different. Sports cars are a little bit different. They have softer, compound tires, so they’re going to go through tires quicker. In that case, you may want your alignment checked maybe 4-5 times over the life of your vehicle.

Front wheel drive vehicles will wear the front tires a lot more than a rear wheel drive vehicle. However, if you have a heavy foot, you’ll wear the tires just as fast on a rear wheel drive vehicle! 

Why Alignments Are Important

In the end, good alignment has a lot to do with taking care of your tires. Make sure you’re not going through tires too quickly! We had a customer who had 6 tires replaced within 60,000 miles, so about every 20,000 miles they were replacing a set of tires. The biggest problem here was that the gentleman had a heavy foot, his front suspension was bent on one side, and he didn’t have anyone align it to the right tolerances and make sure that it was noted that there was a bent part. 

Your tires should be rotated every 5,000-8,000 miles. A good reference point is every other oil change. Just rotate your tires at your oil change, every other time.

If you maintain your front suspension and your tires to get the best optimal wear out of your tires—you should get anywhere from 30-40,000 miles on a standard set of tires on a standard vehicle, and you should only need an alignment 2-3 times, ever!

For a free alignment check, give us a call today and mention this post: 972-978-8797

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