wheel and tire buying basicswheel and tire buying basics

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wheel and tire buying basics

I bought my son a cheaper vehicle for his first car. The car wasn't exactly what he wanted and needed some care. I told him that I would pitch in half the cost of buying new wheels and tires for it since it had plain black wheels that used to be hidden underneath hubcaps. When we started looking into his best options for wheels and tires, I learned a lot. I found out what kind of wheels should be avoided when you drive down dirt roads often, found out what tires will provide the best traction for our roads and much more. Learn what we did by reading our blog.


When To Take Your Car In For Wheel Alignment Or Adjustment

Over time, the parts in your vehicle's front suspension and steering will begin to wear. When that happens, the wheel alignment can begin to change, and you may start to see strange tire wear patterns developing or feel changes in how the car drives. An alignment service can check the wheel alignment and make adjustments when necessary, but it is essential that you take the car to the shop if you feel something is off with the vehicle. 

Steering Changes

One of the first things you may notice if the wheel alignment is off in your car are changes to how the car drives and handles. The steering may feel loose, or the vehicle can pull to one side and be challenging to keep in the center of the lane. 

Sometimes these changes in handling are exaggerated by road conditions like potholes, gravel surfaces, or roads with a lot of cracks and damage. However, if the handling is off on a good road, you need to take the car to an alignment service and have them check the front end. 

Ignoring the handling and steering issues will not make them go away, and as they get worse, the car could become unsafe to drive if the problem is not corrected. Often the repair is simple, but most alignment shops will inspect to determine what you need as a courtesy and only charge for the repair work they do.

Vibration And Noise

Vehicles with vibrations in the front end may have more significant issues, but until the technician gets under it they will not know what needs repair. If the car also has unusual tire wear patterns on the tread, there could be a part that is loose or damaged enough to allow significant movement in the front end that shows up as vibration or wobbling.

In some cases, the tires themself could be causing the vibration because of the wear, but typically the wheel alignment issues cause the wear issues, and the entire problem can be connected. The best way to resolve the situation is to go through the suspension and steering system, locate defective parts and replace them then do a wheel alignment to bring the steering back to the factory specifications. 

When you take your car or truck to a wheel alignment shop, give the technician as much information as possible about the handling or other issues you have with the vehicle. Sometimes something that seems irrelevant can be a significant clue that the tech can use to determine why your car is handling poorly, has a vibration, or is making noises that are not normal for your vehicle.