Don’t Overlook the Importance of Wheel Alignment

computerized wheel alignment machine clamp

Wheel alignments are one of those maintenance items that often get overlooked, but they’re important for two primary reasons: safety and money. When your wheels are out of alignment, they can make your car pull to one side—sometimes very hard and abruptly. If you’re not paying attention or are in slick conditions, this could cause an accident. Bad alignment also causes your tires to wear much more quickly.

We had one customer who noticed his wheel alignment was off right before a road trip, but he didn’t think they were that bad and decided he’d take care of it after he got back. After a couple of long days of highway driving, his front tires were worn down to the cords! He had to take half a day out of his mountain vacation to find a rural town in NH that was large enough to have a tire service center. Needless to say, it would have been much easier—and safer—to have taken care of the alignment before leaving on his trip.

Signs You Need a Wheel Alignment

All four wheels are supposed to be lined up and pointing in the same direction. Sometimes one or more wheels will go out of alignment; when this happens, that wheel is essentially pulling against the rest of the team. Not only does this cause excessive tread wear, but it also hurts fuel economy.

In addition to pulling to one side, some common signs you need a wheel alignment include:

  • Uneven or rapid tire wear
  • A crooked steering wheel, even when you’re driving straight
  • Noisy steering
  • Squealing tires
  • Your vehicle shakes and vibrates as you drive, especially at higher speeds
  • Loose steering

Your owner’s manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment, or we can look it up for you. Typically, wheel alignments are recommended every 2-3 years.

Visit EuroCar Service for All Your Maintenance and Repair Needs

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, schedule an appointment at Euro Car Service. During your wheel alignment, we’ll also inspect the steering and suspension components; whatever caused your wheel alignment to be off in the first place may have also damaged other parts. As your local European vehicle experts, we specialize in maintenance and repairs for all European makes, including BMW, BMW, Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini-Cooper, Saab, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Volvo, Smart Car, and Fiat! Call us today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online.