- Check each tire and look for uneven wear patterns.
- At each tire, take a coin and insert it in the tread at the inside, center and outside.
- If the tire is over inflated, the tread is deeper on the edges than in the center.
- If the tire is under inflated, the tread is deeper in the center than the edges.
- If the tread is deeper on one side than the other, have your wheel alignment checked as soon as possible.
- Look at the tread from side to side. If the tread is smooth in one direction, but jagged in the other way you probably have what is called a “saw-tooth” wear pattern. This can be caused if you have a toe-in problem. Have the alignment checked as soon as possible as this condition causes rapid tire wear.
The problem with the above method, is that by the time you see the symptoms, it may be too late to save your tires. This is why it is a good idea to have your alignment checked periodically. You should also have your tires rotated on a regular basis.
Another way to tell if your car is out of alignment is when your car drifts or pulls to one side of the road when you let go of the wheel. These conditions may or may not also contribute to premature tire wear. Remember that some roads may be banked, so this isn’t the best way to tell if you need an alignment.
A wheel alignment requires that the front end parts cannot be loose or worn . Our technician will first check for worn parts as aprt of the procedure and let you know if there are any problems before starting the alignment.
The preferred type of alignment is a four wheel alignment. Many cars today have adjustable rear alignment settings, but even if your car does not have adjustable rear alignment settings, a four wheel alignment will allow the technician to identify any rear tracking problems and compensate for them with adjustments to the front.
After the wheel alignment is done, the vehicle should be driven on a straight and level road. Make sure that the car drives straight and that your steering wheel is in the right position with the spokes level. If there is a problem, bring the car back to have the technician drive and adjust the alignment settings.