Tires and Alignment
It's important to keep your tires and wheels in good condition. This is where your vehicle meets the road, so your tire condition and wheel alignment will have massive impacts on the ride. Your vehicle will handle more smoothly, which also helps keep you safe on the road. As an added bonus, regular wheel alignments will help your tires last longer, so you save money by needing new car tires less frequently.
Some people like to schedule regular tire inspections and wheel alignments to keep up with this important maintenance. If you don't address this as part of your preventative maintenance routine, that's alright. Just be more observant and look out for any warning signs that you need wheel alignment services or new car tires.
How Do I Know When I Need Wheel Alignment
At first, the signs that you need wheel alignment will be fairly subtle. The problems become more obvious over time, at which point they're also becoming more dangerous. You can prevent the issue from getting out of control if you're familiar with all of the following warning signs:
- Your vehicle pulls or drifts to one side. This is especially noticeable when you're driving on some of the long, straight roads around Tucson. If your vehicle always seems to drift or pull itself to one side of the lane, something is out of alignment. You really shouldn't have to correct the steering very much on straightaways.
- The tires wear unevenly. Even here in Arizona, where we don't get a lot of inclement weather, it's important to make sure your tires have good tread on them because this is what helps them grip the road. Check your tires often to make sure they aren't too worn. Signs of uneven wear and tear may point to an alignment problem.
- The steering wheel is crooked. If your steering wheel isn't straight when you're going straight, something is out of alignment. You'll notice this when you have to hold the wheel to one side or another just to keep the vehicle moving in a straight line.
- The vehicle handles poorly. A number of different problems could cause poor handling, but wheel misalignment is a common cause. It's most apparent when you're braking or turning.
Wheel Alignment Services
Once you know the warning signs, you'll be more prepared to determine when you need vehicle alignment services. The alignment check normally starts with a measurement of three angles:Camber — This is the angle of the tire as viewed directly from the front or rear of the vehicle. Some vehicles have a positive or negative camber, which means they lean slightly instead of being perfectly perpendicular to the road. If this angle is off, your vehicle will wear the tires down unevenly and prematurely. You may also start to notice your vehicle pulling to one side when the camber is off.Caster — The caster is the angle of the tire as viewed directly from the side of the vehicle. It may lean too far toward the front or rear of the vehicle, which will also cause the vehicle to pull or drift.Toe — The toe is the angle of your tire as viewed from directly above. This is the thing that's most likely to get out of alignment because it can happen if you hit a curb, pothole, or anything else. Next time you encounter one of the potholes around Tucson, consider an inspection to see if your wheel is out of alignment. A problem with the toe isn't very likely to cause your vehicle to drift or pull, but it will probably wear the tire out in a bad way.
Once a thorough diagnostic and alignment check has been performed, we'll check the steering wheel's centering and other suspension components. We'll fix anything we find.
New Car Tires
Some people mistakenly call these services a “tire alignment,” but the tires don't actually need to be aligned. During your wheel alignment, though, the technician can also check the condition of your tires. The tires can be rotated if needed, and the tire pressure and tread level can be inspected. It's dangerous to drive on tires that are too worn or that aren't properly inflated, but many people forget to keep up with this simple maintenance step. If your tires are too worn or otherwise damaged, we can quickly replace them and get you back on the road with new car tires.
Wheel Alignment and Tire Services in Tucson
Here at Cactus Auto, we've been serving the Tucson community since 1986. In that time, we've become a top-rated dealer with the BBB, in large part because of our service. Contact us today for professional wheel alignment services.