The four wheels of your car are connected via what is known as suspension. The adjustment of this to allow for the highest feat of tire performance is what is known as alignment. The car wheels or tires do not always need alignment unless affected by certain factors which cause their misalignment.
So, will a bad tire affect alignment? The common finding is that a bad car alignment usually causes the car tires to go bad before their due date.
When the car tires are well aligned, which is the normal state of the tires or wheel when the car is bought initially, they give the best driving experience and allow the car tire sufficient contact with the road.
However, as long as the car is driven every day, a properly aligned wheel is bound to get misaligned someday, especially if the car is driven on a bad road filled with potholes or by a driver who drives recklessly, speeding over road bumps without slowing down.
The tires are one of the first parts of the car to suffer a direct consequence of misaligned wheels. they show an obvious symptom of wearing prematurely and unevenly. Their lifespan is shortened considerably and they make driving rough and un-enjoyable.
A lot of drivers out there do not care much about the vehicle’s tire alignment and may not be familiar with its symptoms. The misalignment, therefore, goes unnoticed for a while until it begins to cause major issues in the car.
Here in this article, we shall consider some of the causes of a misalignment, the common findings in a car with misaligned tires, and why it is important to regularly check the car’s alignment and have it adjusted when need be, amongst other issues related to vehicle alignment.
How does alignment affect a car’s tires?
Your driving experience, that is, how smooth or rough the driving feels depends highly on the condition of the tires. The condition of the tires on the other hand is greatly influenced its alignment. When a car wheel goes out of alignment, it poses a considerable threat to the tires, especially when left in this state for a considerable period.
One of the primary benefits of always checking the car’s alignment as regular as possible such as during an oil change is that it helps to prolong the life span of the tires amongst other benefits which shall be mentioned later in this article.
So, how does the car alignment relate to the condition of the tires? When the car tires connect the car to the road and bring about the movement of the car. The four tires must have good contact with the road and must move at the same speed and in the same direction to bring about a smooth driving experience.(Read Also: Does Tire Weight Matters?Find Out Here!
When the car wheels become misaligned as a result of factors such as bumps or potholes, the four tires will no longer be in synchrony with one another and this will cause a bad driving experience.
The tires will be out of place in terms of contact with the road and may not move at the same speed or direction unless the suspension is readjusted once more.(Read Also: Will Tire Pressure Light Fail Emissions?)
The consequences of this are that the tires may experience premature wear and tear and become unusable before their due date. Also, the wearing, rather than being uniform as seen with a properly aligned car tire, will be uneven, this will greatly affect the driving experience.
What causes the car to go out of alignment?
Depending on the type of factor your vehicle is exposed to, the rate at which you will need to visit the auto shop for an adjustment of the car’s alignment differs. So, what are the factors that can cause the car to go out of alignment?
These factors can be classified into road factors, driver factors, and the condition of the components of the car’s suspension.
In terms of road factors, individual who drives commonly along bad roads characterized by numerous potholes are more likely to have to deal with misalignment problems often than those who drive along good roads.
Similarly, the presence of bumps on the road also affects the car’s alignment and influences how frequently the car will benefit from adjustment of its alignment.
The style of driving is equally an important issue with a direct bearing on the car’s adjustment. Drivers who drive recklessly above the speed limit not minding the presence of potholes or speed bumps and running through and over them respectively will cause the car to go out of alignment in no time.
When a pothole is entered into suddenly without slowing down, irrespective of the size of the potholes, you are likely to cause the car to go out of alignment.
Similarly, there should be a considerable application of the car brakes when approaching a speed bump, otherwise, the car wheels may as well be shifted out of alignment.
When similar objects are hit at a high speed, they could also cause the same problem. When the car collides with another car or is involved in any form of accident, the alignment is likely going to need some adjusting.
As regards potholes and speed bumps, do not think their size is what determines the damage they are capable of doing to the car.
Speed bumps in particular are usually constructed in a specified way in terms of their dimension. What is most important is the speed with which the car is driven into the pothole or over the speed bump.
At high speed, the car tires come are suddenly impacted by these causing the alignment to shift out of place.
How well you take care of your tires are also some of the factors that could affect the tire alignment. Ensuring that the tire is properly inflated within the recommended tire pressure will help prevent misalignment when the tire runs into a pothole.
Low-pressure tires are more likely to suffer a more severe and devastating effect when they run through a pothole or across a speed bump.
When new tires are purchased, ensure to adjust the car alignment after installing such tires. This is because the new tires have a different tread height than the old ones which have undergone wearing due to friction.
For the four tires to be at the same degree of contact with the road and to move at the same speed and direction, always ensure the car alignment is adjusted following the installation of new tires.
How do you know when the tires are misaligned?
Some of the symptoms of misalignment often go unnoticed, especially during the early days of the problem. This causes most drivers to be unaware of an ongoing problem in their vehicle.
Ideally, every driver should pay close attention to the general condition of the car and not simply turn on the ignition and drive the car around without paying any attention and observing whether the car is in a good working condition or not.
So, what are the symptoms that could tell you or cause you to suspect an alignment problem? Many symptoms indicate the misalignment of the car wheels.
The presence of one or more of such symptoms will necessitate that you visit the mechanic shop as soon as possible for diagnosis and to have the car fixed before causing more damage to other parts of the car.
Here are some of the symptoms that are known to be caused by the car going out of alignment.
Pulling the vehicle to the right or left
When your car’s alignment is out of place, one of the early signs will be the car moving on its own towards the right or left each time the hands are removed from the steering wheel. This is thus one of the ways of knowing or diagnosing an alignment problem.
Whenever you wish to try this, ensure the road is clear and free of oncoming cars. Also, make that this is done on a smooth flat road.
While driving at a moderate speed, attempt to remove your hands from the steering wheel and observe whether the car will remain in its straightforward movement or swerve to the right or left.
The degree to which the car drifts off when the hands are removed from the steering tells how misaligned the wheels are and the urgency to have it adjusted as any further delay could lead to road accidents.
Other possible symptoms include:
Will A Bad Tires Affect Alignment – Conclusion
one may not appreciate the significance of regularly checking the car alignment until it leads to further damage in other parts which will not only cost more in terms of repair but could also jeopardize the driver’s safety as well as the safety of other road users. A bad car alignment amongst other resulting side effects can cause premature damage to the tires.
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.