We tend to think that nothing much happens to our tires other than an occasional puncture. It is very important that we regularly get our car’s wheels aligned. Wheel alignment is making sure that the wheels of the car are perpendicular to the road; also, it makes sure that the wheels are parallel to one other. Your car needs alignment if you start noticing strange behavior while driving, like when you point your steering wheel straight but the car veers in right or left direction. Another indicator is when you notice that one tire is wearing more than the others.
If the alignment of your vehicle is out, it will rapidly start to eat your tires. Considering the cost of buying new tires and getting your car aligned every now and then, it is a no-brainer. You will be spending far less in the form of scheduled wheel alignment than ignoring it and ending up spending far more on new tires. Basically, if your wheel is ‘dragging’ on the road, it is creating resistance, and more resistance means tires is going through wear and tear rapidly. The surface of your tire will start to wrap from one direction and in a particular circumferential area. This leads to uneven tire wear. Uneven tire surface is very dangerous if you drive at high speeds often. Since not all of the tire is in contact with the tarmac, you won’t be able to fully utilize the tire’s braking ability in case of an emergency. Generally, an alignment shop will check for toe in and toe out setting of your car, including the negative and positive cambers.
Proper alignment is not only good for your tyres, but also helps you save fuel. Since there is no unnecessary drag and engine doesn’t need to apply extra force to rotate the tires, your car will start saving you fuel. Basically if tires are not aligned to each other, they push towards or pull away from each other. This creates unnecessary resistance against the road. It makes your car work harder to drive and steer, specially in slow speeds. Since most of the cars in Pakistan are front wheel drive without any sort of adjustment in the room, people neglect rear alignment of cars that need it as well. So if your car has relatively modern suspension setup at the back, ask your technician if your car needs rear alignment as well.
So make sure you car is well aligned. It will help you enjoy your car more, and will also save you money. A rule of thumb is that you should get your car’s alignment checked at around 10000 kilometers. But if you feel your car is behaving oddly with regards to how it drives, take it to your local alignment shop as soon as possible.