The Importance Of Car Alignment

The Importance of Car Alignment

Keeping up with your vehicle's maintenance helps extends its life span and reduces the need for expensive repairs. Your car's alignment is one of the most critical parts. If you don't maintain your car's alignment on the manufacturer's recommended schedule, you could cause more damage to your car than necessary.

A car's alignment can change just from driving regularly, so it's essential to check it a few times a year. Below, you'll learn more about why tire alignment and rotation are important, how to tell when your vehicle needs alignment and how car lifts can help you get the job done.

What Is Car Alignment?

A car or tire alignment refers to adjusting your vehicle's suspension, which is the system that connects your vehicle to its wheels. An alignment is more than an adjustment of the wheels or tires. Ideally, an alignment adjusts the angle of the tires so they make proper contact with the road.

It's essential to have your car aligned periodically to improve its performance and comfort. Most manufacturers recommend that you get an alignment every 6,000 miles, which you can schedule around the same time you get an oil change.

Benefits of Tire Alignment

There are numerous reasons why cars need alignment, and you should keep up with a tire alignment schedule every 6,000 miles or as otherwise recommended by your car's manufacturer. Some of the reasons why tire alignment and rotation are important include:

  1. Better tire performance: When your suspension is out of alignment, it can create uneven pressure on your tires, making them work harder than necessary and wearing more on one side than the other. It can be hazardous to drive on uneven tires, and you may need to purchase new tires before you need them. Staying consistent with tire alignment can help improve the performance of your tires and make them last longer.
  2. Increased comfort: When tires wear down unevenly, you may notice the steering wheel vibrating. The tires may also make more noise, creating an uncomfortable driving experience. Aligning your vehicle regularly ensures you can drive without distractions.
  3. Improved fuel efficiency: Worn-down tires make your car work harder to make up the difference, which burns more fuel than usual. Getting your car aligned can help it perform at maximum efficiency.
  4. Easier steering: Steering can become more challenging when your car is out of alignment. You may have to hold your steering wheel at an uncomfortable angle or constantly change the position to prevent it from veering in one direction. You can usually solve this problem by fixing the alignment in your car, making it easier and more comfortable to steer while driving.
  5. Reduced chance of voiding warranty: Most warranties have stipulations, such as keeping up with your vehicle maintenance. For some warranties, if you fail to keep up with your maintenance and alignment schedule, your tires may wear out prematurely, and your warranty won't cover it. Keeping up with your alignment ensures you can use your tire warranty if something happens, saving you money and time.
  6. Fewer and less expensive repairs: Misaligned wheels can affect different components of the car, such as the transmission, brakes and suspension. The longer your car goes without alignment, the more damage your vehicle can experience and the more expensive your repairs will get.

Keeping up with tire alignment helps you maintain your vehicle's quality and life span. You'll also have a more enjoyable experience driving a properly maintained car and won't have to spend as much time or money on repairs.

How to Tell if You Need Wheel Alignment

There are a few ways you can tell if your vehicle needs alignment, such as:

  • Steering wheel vibrations
  • Uneven tread wear on the tires
  • An off-center steering wheel when driving straight
  • Vehicle pulling off right or left when driving

If you notice any of these signs, especially when you're driving, it's essential to have your alignment checked by a professional — or check it yourself if you're knowledgeable about car maintenance — as soon as possible.

How a Car Lift Can Make It Easier to Adjust Your Alignment

If you're well-versed in car repair, you need an alignment lift to perform proper wheel alignment. This equipment helps you get underneath the vehicle to check other aspects that could be affected by improper tire alignment. You can't align worn parts, so an alignment lift allows you to check the springs, ball joints, tie rod ends, struts, bushing and related components to ensure they're in good condition before you make alignment adjustments.

While you can use any lift to make adjustments, an alignment lift helps improve turnaround and maximizes productivity. These specialized lifts have numerous unique features, such as built-in slip and turn plates. Slip plates allow you to manage the car's rear suspension, so you can settle it to its average height, while turn plates help you check toe-out and caster when you turn the wheels to either side.

Alignment lifts have drive-on ramps to help lift the vehicle. These ramps allow you to check wheel alignment properly by letting the vehicle weight rest on its suspension. You'll also want a high enough lift to ensure the car doesn't scrape the ground while you're adjusting the alignment.

Alignment lifts can be equipped with different lift accessories, such as:

  • Computer-controlled wheel alignment systems
  • Scissor lifts for reduced intrusion in your workspace
  • Turntables or turnplates

Whether you're a car enthusiast or own an auto garage, you can use an alignment lift to check the alignment of your cars or your customer's cars and adjust it to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Find an Alignment Lift at North American Auto Equipment

If you're looking for alignment lifts, North American Auto Equipment can help. We specialize in high-quality lifts for professional garages, including alignment lifts. We have years of experience in the industry, giving us the knowledge and expertise to help you find the correct lift for your repair needs.

We also offer a broad range of accessories to help you make the most of your lift, making us a one-stop shop for lifts and accessories. We have our own warehouse and stock, so you can rest assured you're getting first-rate products from the start.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you revolutionize your auto repair shop!