Both tire rotations and alignments should be part of your regular automotive maintenance. However, even if you regularly rotate your tires and had an alignment recently and your car feels like it’s driving differently, it could be a sign that you need one of the two again sooner rather than later. Here are some signs to help you know what you might need.
What is an Alignment & Do I Need One?
First, if you don’t understand what an alignment is, you may want to. Having your car aligned refers to adjusting your car’s suspension. It doesn’t have anything to do with the wheels (or tires). The most common sign that you need one is that your car pulls to one side of the road. If you feel like you’re unnaturally steering to keep the car straight, head to your auto maintenance center and have then check. Other signs include squealing tires, vibrating steering wheel and uneven tread wear on your tires.
Benefits of a Properly Aligned Car
When your car is properly aligned it will be easier to drive. However, perhaps more importantly, your tires will wear more evenly and you’ll get better fuel economy. Additionally, you’ll avoid further damage to your car when it’s aligned.
Tire Rotation & Balancing
Typically, both car and tire manufacturers recommend you rotate your tires about every 6,000 miles. Doing this increases their life and makes for a smoother ride. You don’t always need your tires balanced when you get them rotated. If, however, you notice vibration in the steering wheel or when your feet are on the floorboard, you probably need to have your tires rotated and balanced. An out of balance tire will wear improperly leading to a quicker replacement.
If you get your tires balanced, you should also ask for an alignment. Chances are good that something caused the need for the balancing like hitting the curb or a large pothole. Ask your auto maintenance center for a tire rotation, balance and alignment if you experience any of the above issues. If you don’t have a maintenance center you work with, call Oldsmar Automotive for an appointment at (727) 784-3501 or come by 3166 Tampa Road in Oldsmar. We’re a full service auto maintenance and repair service center.