When we talk about alignment, even those who lack the proper technical term to define what this is can explain how it feels like when the alignment is no longer in order.
The most obvious of these signs is the battle that ensues between the driver and the steering wheel over who is in control of the car. In order not to fall into such a situation, it is best to learn what affects the allotment and ways to maintain the car alignment.
So, Does tire size affect alignment? Yes, tire size is one of the factors which greatly affect alignment. A questionnaire was to be passed around amongst individuals shopping for a new size tire for their vehicle.
The majority of the population in such research would indicate their need for a bigger tire as a desire to have their car look better than its pairs. Only a handful will remember to consider the after-effects of such size such as the impact on alignment, fuel consumption, the gear ratio, and others.
There is nothing much to changing car tires. The skill sets required include learning how to use the jack to raise the tire off the ground, knowing how to unbolt all the nuts using the appropriate tool, and learning how to unmount the tire and replace it with a new one that is secured. The Jack is released and you should be good to go.
If the new tire is of the same size as the old one which just got replaced then the above procedure ends there without any complication.
However, if you decide to buy a tire, not of the same size as the original follow come tires, which came with the vehicle from the car company, then know that such tire may not be a perfect match for the car and as such may require some adjustments.
The latter scenario, that is, when the new tire is of a different size from the old one is what is considered in this article.
Here, we shall take a close look at what relationship exists between the size of the tire and alignment, if any, how does tire size affect alignment?. Other similar questions such as the effect of a large size tire on alignment, why there is a need to have an alignment done whenever you install new tires, and more are covered here.
What happens to the alignment when you change your tire size?
As long as you only make use of factory-size tires, you may never have to bother about alignment following a tire change except for other causes of misalignment such as curbs, speed bumps, and potholes ( this will be explained later). Sometimes, even with the same size tire as factory tires, you may have to get an expert to inspect the alignment after a tire change to make sure the process did not mean up with it.
However, most cases of worrisome misalignment are seen when the newly installed tires are not of the same size as what is recommended by the factory. How does size relate to alignment? When we talk about tire size, it commonly refers to how tall the sidewall of the tire is or how wide. Big size tires are commonly wider than the average tire and also have an increased sidewall height.
Imagine what happens when you try fitting your foot into your teenage sneakers, at this stage in growth and development, your feet have outgrown such size and if forced into the shoe will cause stretching and possibly tearing of the show material.
When a tire that in comparison with the original factory tire is much larger and taller is installed without the proper necessary adjustments, what happens is that this will cause the different parts of the suspension to become stretched. This then translates to different forms of misalignments including the caster, camber, and toe angle.
Do you need an alignment after installing new tires?
Once a new tire is installed, it brings in a lot of changes as the parts of the suspension adjust to accommodate the new size of the tire. This is a negative adjustment that brings about a misalignment. It is for the experts to therefore examine the new tire, and its dimensions and come up with the needed adjustments and modifications that will allow a good fitting of the new tire.
This is a process that demands a good level of knowledge and expertise and can not be carried out by the car owner alone. The services of a well-versed and professional expert must therefore be sorted in this case.
Some defects are manageable and pose no significant threat. Some drivers have formed the habit of ignoring certain dysfunction as long as the car can come on and drive them to their various destinations. It should however be noted that such practice will only encourage further deterioration of the involved parts.
In the case of an incorrect alignment following the installation of a new size tire, the improper alignment has the most effects on the tire lifespan. irrespective of what is stated as the normal lifespan of the tire, the durability of the construction material, and as long as the alignment is not in order, be sure to have the tire lifespan cut short.
While tires wear without the presence of any form of abnormality such as incorrect alignment, the wear in this car is usually a uniform pattern, slow and regular. This is quite different from what is noticed with tire wear secondary to incorrect alignment.
As usual, I believe an analogy paints a better picture. So, imagine an individual with an abnormal walking gait which causes the shoe to wear from one side of the sole.
Soon, this part becomes sunken making it difficult to continue using the shoe. Ironically, upon inspection, the general outlook of the show may show a shoe that is still in good shape as most parts of the shoe did not suffer the same degree of wear.
This analogy paints the perfect picture of what happens with tire wear secondary to incorrect alignment. Imagine one side of the tire showing a degree of wear that is only seen in a tire that has been in use for years and yet the other aspect of the tire seam to be in a perfect shape. You will be forced to change a tire that has parts looking brand new.
Why does tire size affect alignment?
The primary issue with incorrect alignment is its effect on the road surface of the tire. When a force is generalized and distributed across the entire surface area, the effect on one part is less compared to when it is focal and affects one part more than others.
In the first scenario, the force is shared by the different parts of the tire uniformly. However, in the second scenario, lonely one side of that tire suffers the consequences while the other is spared.
I take my car alignment issues seriously and you should as well. This is not something to be toyed with, ignored until it becomes a bigger deal.
At the very first notice of any of the signs of an incorrect alignment, the car should be taken for inspection and examination by an expert. This is because the process is usually asymptomatic similar to hypertension.
The day the diagnosis of hypertension is made is not when you first developed it. It is a silent killer and has probably been lurking around for a while and was accidentally discovered.
So, a symptomatic incorrect alignment existed for a while before its discovery. When symptoms such as a vibrating steering wheel or veering off the road uncontrollably are noticed, no hesitation or delay should be shown in speaking for expert management
What is the connection between tire size and alignment?
Surprisingly, there is a long list of the things that get affected by tire size aside from alignment. Most persons are however in the dark about this and cannot simply wait to see how gorgeous their car will appear following the installation of a new set of tires.
What is the value of a look that will cost you the functionality of the vehicle? Yes, complements and showers of admiration poured on the sleek-looking car joy to the car owner and some feeling of uniqueness, if this tire size, on the other hand, cost you the alignment of your car, the joy will soon turn into sadness and un-budgeted spending.
Is the car alignment affected by bigger tires?
Both the small size tire as well as the large size tires, bigger than the original factory tire constitute a problem for the car alignment and demand a great deal of modification to get the car to accept the new tire size.
What is not hard is a regular inspection of the tire to make sure all the tires are properly inflated. Having a pressure monitor will sure help in this regard. Attempting to cut down the budget on a tire change by attempting to have this done by yourself when you have little or no knowledge about what is required when installing tires of a different size than the OEM tires nor have the good and technical skills required to carry out the modification required is highly inadvisable.
Does Tire Size Affect Alignment – Conclusion
Except you are interested in becoming a tire repair expert, installation of tires whose sizes are different from what you have currently demands the involvement of someone who knows, the tools ans skill set needed for the adjustments and modifications required to have such tire fit without causing a misalignment.
I am passionate about all things automotive and have a deep understanding of the topic. As a mechanic, I use my free time to share knowledge of everyday challenges that any car owner can experience – helping you make informed decisions about tires.