What is a Tire Alignment?

Out of all the components of your car, the tires really seem to take the most punishment. As you drive through Pittsburgh, Wexford, and Cranberry Township, they must contend with uneven surfaces, road debris, and a slew of potholes.

In order to make your tires last, you need to stay up to date on routine maintenance, including tire alignments.

So, what exactly is a tire alignment? In this article, the Baierl Tires team is going to show you.

Understanding Tire Alignments

A tire alignment, or wheel alignment, is related to your car’s suspension. Remember, this is the system that connects the underbody of the car to its four wheels. And in order for them all to perform at their best, that alignment needs to be even.

Over time, the natural inconsistencies of the road can throw your tire alignment completely out of whack. For instance, if you frequently drive over bumpy roads or through potholes, there’s a good chance your alignment is taking a serious hit.

A poor wheel alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and at an accelerated pace. As a matter of fact, one set of tires can lose thousands of miles of life just from driving on them with an uneven alignment. Ultimately, that equates to money lost.

Signs That Your Car Needs a Wheel Alignment

Unlike certain other bits of routine maintenance necessary for your car’s health, there is no warning light to alert you when a tire alignment is due. Instead, you’ll have to have your mechanic check at every maintenance appointment. Or, you can just look out for these signs:

  • The steering wheel is crooked. This can be true, even if you’re driving completely “straight.” The wheel can’t align itself properly because the suspension is off kilter.
  • The vehicle is pulling to one side of the road. You’ll notice this mostly when you try to bring the car to a complete stop. You may feel it listing to one side of the road.
  • The tires are squealing. We may typically attribute squealing to our brakes. However, the tires can also squeal when the alignment is out.

How to Protect Your Car’s Alignment

Aside from driving carefully and avoiding uneven roads or holes, there are a couple of other things you can do to protect your car’s tire alignment.

First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure that tires are always at the correct pressure level. Having one side slightly deflated will quickly throw the alignment off balance.

Also, you’ll want to maintain proper weight distribution in the car. That means removing all the heavy, unneeded junk from the trunk. A sagging rear is sure to do a number on the suspension.

Schedule Your Next Tire Alignment

Now that you know what a tire alignment is and how important it is to the performance of your car, you may be looking to schedule one here in the Pittsburgh, Wexford, or Cranberry Township area.

All routine maintenance can be taken care of here at Baierl Tires. Contact our team now to schedule your next alignment!