Picture of pick up doing wheel alignment at Morgan Hill | C&M Auto Service

How Often Should You Get Your Wheels Aligned in Morgan Hill?

With the help of suspension and steering, the wheels help keep the vehicle on the road. A variety of factors, including hitting bumps and potholes, rubbing against curbs, driving on rough terrain, and normal wear and tear, can lead to misaligned wheels. Most people don’t think of alignments until something happens, and by then, the tires already have damage. C&M Auto Service Inc in Morgan Hill CA does tires and alignment to help you keep your vehicle properly maintained.

Types of Alignments

There are three types of alignments, and the one you get depends on your vehicle:

  • Front-End Alignment: The front-end alignment is for older rear-wheel drive vehicles and those with non-adjustable rear suspension. Only the front wheels are aligned.
  • Four-Wheel Alignment: Sometimes referred to as a thrust-angle alignment, the four-wheel alignment is for most vehicles, especially if a vehicle has independent rear suspension. Most vehicles need a four-wheel alignment.
  • All-Wheel Alignment: A full-suspension alignment is usually used on all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. It is also used on luxury and high-performance vehicles with advanced suspension systems.

Reasons You May Need an Alignment

Your vehicle can become misaligned for many reasons, including wear and tear over time. Some of the reasons for misalignment include:

  • Potholes, Rough Roads, Bumps: Hitting anything that can jolt the suspension can knock it out of alignment. Potholes, debris in the road, speed bumps, and even driving on uneven roads and gravel roads can knock the suspension out of alignment.
  • Curbing: When you hit or rub a curb or other stationary objects with the wheel, you can knock the suspension out of alignment.
  • Wrecks: Even a minor wreck can cause your vehicle to be knocked out of alignment. In this case, the impact could knock more than one wheel out of alignment.
  • Worn Suspension Components: Worn springs and control arms and broken or worn bushings can affect a vehicle’s alignment.
  • Uneven Tire Wear: If the tires are worn unevenly, it could affect the alignment. For example, if you never rotate the tires and the left front wears faster than the rest, it could affect alignment. Additionally, worn suspension and a misaligned vehicle can cause uneven tire wear.
  • Lift Kits / Lowering Kits: When you modify a vehicle by lifting or lowering it, you alter the suspension’s geometry. If this isn’t done correctly, you can cause misalignment. Always have an alignment after you add a lift kit or lowering kit, even if it’s a minor change.
  • Worn Steering Components: When tie rods, wheel bearings and ball joints wear out, they can affect the alignment. Before an auto repair tech can align your vehicle, you must replace any worn steering components.
  • Imbalanced Wheels: As part of preventative maintenance, you should have the wheels balanced at least once every year, even if they don’t seem to be out of balance. Sometimes, a wheel may be out of balance enough to eventually affect the alignment but not enough to cause a shimmy in the steering wheel.
  • Manufacturing Defects: In very rare cases, a manufacturing defect in the suspension could cause alignment problems.

How Often You Need an Alignment

If you drive “normal,” you should check the alignment once every year. However, if you drive on gravel roads, pothole-filled roads, or go off-road, you should check the alignment every six months.

While some may consider six months overkill, it’s not really if you drive on gravel every day or go off-roading. It’s better to be safe than to ruin a set of expensive tires. And don’t forget, the wheels can go out of alignment just from the wear and tear of the suspension parts.

Schedule Your Wheel Alignment in Morgan Hill, CA Today!

Don’t let misaligned wheels dictate your driving experience and safety! At C&M Auto Service Inc. in Morgan Hill, CA, we’re dedicated to ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently. Give us a call at (408) 778-8218 or visit us at 16169 Caputo Dr., and let our expert team optimize your vehicle’s performance. Seize the road with confidence – schedule your alignment appointment today and let us steer you in the right direction!

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