Fitting new tires to your vehicle is a complicated, but necessary part of maintaining your vehicle. The complication is that you have to pay the price of the tires yourself, plus fitting and balancing costs, plus any other costs the shop likes to charge. And what it takes is for your car to need new tires. But do they have to do an alignment after they put the new tires on?
What is alignment?
Wheel alignment is the adjustment and correction of the geometry of the vehicle’s suspension in conjunction with the tires. When the vehicle’s tires are aligned, the vehicle follows a straight and true path and does not pull to the right or left while driving. In addition, proper wheel alignment can prevent premature or extraneous tire wear and later possible suspension problems.
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Is an adjustment required after receiving new tyres?
This is always a hot topic of conversation among mechanics, although most say that alignment is necessary after new tires are installed. This is because you want your new tires to not only ride smoothly and last a long time, but also have the right contact with the road you’re driving on.
Equipping a car with winter tires | Dmitry FeoktistovTASS via Getty Images
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How do you know if your car needs to be aligned?
There are several symptoms that indicate your car needs to be aligned. Some of the most common signs:
- Uneven wear of the contact block or tyre : If you notice that the inside or outside of your tires are wearing down faster, your vehicle may not be properly aligned. Uneven wear may occur on all four tires or only on one or two.
- Pulsating feedback or steering wheel shake : If your car is not properly aligned, you may feel a slight jolt or vibration in the steering wheel.
- The steering wheel is off-center: If the car’s steering wheel is not centered or points in a different direction than when it is centered, it definitely needs to be adjusted.
- Drag to the right or left : The vehicle pulls to the left or right when the hands are removed from the steering wheel.
How often should your vehicle be aligned?
How often your vehicle needs servicing depends on how often you travel and what routes you typically take. If your car spends most of its time on very rough roads, it may be worthwhile to perform an alignment once or twice a year.
But if the roads you drive on are generally smooth, an annual alignment check will usually suffice. For safety reasons and to ensure that your tires wear evenly, it is advisable to check your vehicle’s alignment every year.
Continental has unveiled a self-driving car during a test drive. | (Photo by Hauke-Christian Dietrich / photo alliance via Getty Images).
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How long will the adjustment take?
It depends on the vehicle, but the alignment usually takes about an hour. It is generally advisable to make an appointment at the garage you are taking your car to, as many garages only have one alignment counter, which can lead to long waits if you walk in without an appointment.
frequently asked questions
How soon should I have my wheels aligned after buying new tyres?
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What happens if you do not align the tyres correctly?
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