Tire Alignment: What It Is & Why You Need It

Tire alignment is balancing a car's two or four tires to make sure that they are running straight and parallel to each other. It is an important part of maintaining a vehicle's safety and performance.

The main purpose is to help the vehicle run smoothly and prevent damage. It also ensures that all tires are properly inflated and in good condition.

Adjust the valve stem position, check tire pressure, and rotate the wheels, so the road surface is in perfect circular contact with them.

A tire alignment is also the process of aligning the position of the steering axis of a vehicle with its front or rear axle.

A tire alignment aims to ensure that the vehicle wheels are aligned with the car's steering system. This makes it easier for drivers to maneuver through tight spaces and make turns while driving.

A mechanic checks the tires, suspension, and steering system to determine any problems.

A new laser alignment technology has been introduced, which uses a laser beam to determine how well your car's wheels are aligned. This technology can be used on cars and motorcycles, with no more need for a tire alignment machine.

New technologies have made it possible to check our cars' alignment with just a smartphone. 

Table of Contents

What is tire alignment?

A tire alignment service corrects weight imbalances on tire and wheel assemblies, while an alignment service corrects the angle of the tire on the road.

In short, tire alignment is the process of adjusting the angles of your tires so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.

Incorrectly aligned tires can affect fuel efficiency, impact tread wear, and even create dangerous driving conditions. You should have your tires aligned at least once a year or every 10,000 miles.

The best way to learn more about your car care is to know what wheel alignment is and what tire balancing is. Learn the difference between the two today.

How do I know if I  need a tire alignment?

If you are a driver with a passenger vehicle, you can check for alignment problems by turning the steering wheel from side to side.

If the steering wheel moves in the same direction, you have an alignment problem. If the steering wheel moves in the opposite direction, you have a steering alignment problem.

Wheel alignment is necessary on cars and motorcycles to ensure smooth and even tire wear.

It refers to aligning the wheels of a vehicle so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. This is necessary to ensure even and smooth tire wear and proper handling and steering.

A wheel alignment is needed if your motorcycle or car pulls to one side while driving or the tires are wearing unevenly. You can also have someone look at your suspension and steering to see any misalignments.

Wheel alignment can also help improve vehicle stability.

A misaligned wheel can cause a vehicle to pull to one side, making the steering wheel difficult to control. An out-of-alignment wheel can lead to premature tire wear in extreme cases. This is why drivers should periodically check their wheels for alignment issues and correct them as soon as possible.

If you notice uneven tire wear, a shaking steering wheel, or having to turn to go straight, it is time for wheel alignment.

You might need a wheel alignment if you have trouble steering straight or if your tires are wearing unevenly. When necessary, wheel alignments should only be done as they damage your tires.

6 Ways to Measure Tire Alignment 

This is a guide on measuring tire alignment and how to tell if your car's tires are not aligned.

  1. Check the tire tread depth. If the tread of your tire is worn, or if it has a lot of grooves in it, that means that the alignment of your car's tires is off.
  2. Check the wear pattern on the sidewalls of your tires. If there are any grooves or nails in this area, they need to be replaced soon and will need to be fixed with an alignment service at a shop.
  3. Check for uneven wear on each tire's inside and outside walls- this could mean either one or both wheels are out of alignment.
  4. Look for uneven wear on the tread- this could mean one
  5. Check your wheel alignment by using a car align professional tool- this will tell you if your wheels are crooked or if they need to be rotated.
  6. Compare your measurements with those from a trusted online resource, like The Tire Rack. If your measurements don't match up, it's a good indicator that you need to take your car in for an alignment.

Why tire alignment matters?

Tire Alignment Matters because the alignment of your tires will affect the way your vehicle handles, rides, and performs. Tire alignment affects steering, braking, suspension, handling, and fuel efficiency.

Wheel alignment is a service that makes sure your tires are pointed straight and aligned within the axis of your vehicle.

Aligning the wheels of a car should be done periodically to ensure the tires are aligned within the vehicle's axis. If they are aligned improperly, it can decrease gas mileage, uneven tire wear, and even premature tire failure.

Misaligned tires can cause accidents, uneven tire wear, and other dangerous driving situations.

Misaligned tires can cause several dangerous situations while driving. For one, the car may pull to one side or the other, leading to an accident. Furthermore, uneven tire wear can shorten the life of your tires and even affect your car's handling.

Ultimately, it's important to have your tires aligned regularly to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Wheel alignment is important for vehicles that feel off-balance or drift towards one side of the road.

A misaligned wheel will often cause the car to feel "off-balance." It may also cause the vehicle to drift towards one side of the road. This is dangerous and can lead to accidents. Consequently, having your wheels aligned on a regular basis is very important.


Tires with feathered tread are usually a sign of poor toe alignment.

If you notice that your tires are starting to wear down on the edges and look a bit feathered, it's likely because of poor toe alignment. When the front and back of your tires aren't parallel, it can cause excessive wear on the edges. This is why it's important to have regular tire alignments done to keep your car driving smoothly.

Poor toe alignment can cause many problems, including but not limited to: flats, blowouts, and injuries.

When your car's tires are not aligned correctly, it can result in various issues. Poor toe alignment can cause the vehicle to pull to one side, wear down the inner edges of the tires, and cause blowouts. Additionally, poor toe alignment can also lead to ankle and knee injuries.

Camber Wear

Camber wear is a sign that your wheels are not aligned properly. You can damage your suspension if you ignore this issue, which can result in early tire wear. It's important to have your tires aligned regularly to prevent these problems.

The camber on the wheel is positive when it tilts inward, while zero camber is when the wheel is perfectly perpendicular to the ground. These are the two most common types of camber, but there are also negative and adjustable cambers. When your wheels tilt outward, you have negative camber, and adjustable camber means you can change how much camber your car has.

Camber wear is a common issue that can indicate different problems with a vehicle. One such problem is wheel misalignment, caused by various factors, such as hitting a curb or driving on an uneven surface. When the camber wear becomes excessive, it's important to get the car serviced and find the root of the problem.

Negative camber wear is caused by the inner wheel pushing against the outer wheel, bending it.

Negative camber wear is a condition where the inner wheel of a car pushes against the outer wheel, bending it. This type of wear is often caused by bad alignment and can lead to decreased tire life and uneven tread wear.

When the contact area between the wheel and ground decreases, there is a decrease in frictional force. This causes the car to drift or move away from its intended path. Therefore, it is important to keep your tires aligned properly to avoid this camber wear.

Heel/Toe Wear

Heel/toe wear is an indicator of alignment problems.

Heel/toe wear is an indicator of alignment problems on a car. When the tires are not aligned properly, they wear down unevenly, leading to dangerous driving conditions and decreased fuel efficiency.

Contact a technician if you're experiencing any of these unusual wear patterns.

The following unusual tire wear patterns need to be addressed: heel/toe wear, cupping, feathering, high spots, and low spots. An alignment may be necessary in these instances. 

5 Myths of Tire Alignment

Myth #1: You Should Let the Tire Store Check Your Alignment

The first myth is that you should let the tire store check your alignment. This is a common misconception because many people believe that it's a skill that only trained professionals should be doing. However, some people are not comfortable with having to pay for something they might not know how to do themselves and are willing to try it out.

Myth 2: Driving on a Bent Rim is Not as Bad as Driving on One That's Out of Alignment

Driving on a bent rim is not nearly as dangerous as driving on one that's out of alignment. The car industry has perpetuated this myth because it does not want consumers to believe that its products are unsafe.

In reality, driving with a bent rim is more dangerous than driving with a wheel out of alignment. Since the wheel can only be in one position, if it moves, it puts the driver at risk of losing control and crashing.

Myth #3: There Is No Such Thing as Off-Road Tires; they're All Aligned

There is no such thing as off-road tires; they're all aligned.

Most people believe this myth because we've been told tires are made to provide traction on flat surfaces.

However, the tire's sidewall provides traction on different surfaces. The tire's tread pattern provides grip on wet surfaces, and the shoulder of each tread block provides grip on dry surfaces.

If you look at the sidewall design of a tire, you'll notice that it has grooves that are angled upward towards the center of the wheel. When you're driving over a gravel surface, it will have more contact with these grooves than with any other part of the tire.

Myth #4: Only a Professional Mechanic Can Align Tires Properly

In a recent survey, it was found that more than half of the mechanics were not able to align tires correctly. This is because most mechanics don't know how to use a tire alignment tool.

There are many myths about tire alignment and what it takes to do it. The four most common myths are:

  • Only professional mechanics can align tires;
  • It's difficult to align tires; 
  • You need an expensive tool for this job, and 
  • It's hard or impossible to do without any tools.

Myth #5 The Professionals Don't Know What They're Doing

Despite the popularity of AI writing assistants, many people still believe professionals are better.

This myth results from the reality that most content writers are not utilizing AI assistants to their fullest potential. 

What to Ensure is Done for the Best Tire Alignment & Car Safety

Tire alignment is an important aspect of car safety, and it can be the difference between an accident and a safe drive.

Some of the most common safety features for cars are:

  • Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
  • Tire-pressure warning light
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Electronic stability control system (ESC) 

What Are the Different Methods of Checking a Tire's Alignment?

Alignment is an essential factor of a tire's performance and safety. It is important to know how to check your car's alignment to keep it safe and prevent it from getting damaged.

Various methods can check tire alignment, but there are some basic guidelines to follow. Check the wheel's position, check the rim for cracks or wobbles, and check for excessive wear or damage.

Some ways to check your tire's alignment are using a jack stand, using the car's handbrake, a wheel balancer, and an aligner tool.

Which Methods Are Used By Automotive Mechanics when they Check Your Car Tires?

Automotive mechanics use several methods when they check your car tires. The most common methods are visual inspection, tread depth, and pressure checks.

Visual inspection is the most common method automotive mechanics use when they check your car tires. They use this method to look at your tire's condition and determine whether it needs to be replaced or not.

The tread depth is the measurement between the top of the tire and its contact with the road surface. This measurement can be taken using a ruler or a measuring tape. Each tire's air pressure is checked and ensured to be within the manufacturer's specifications during the pressure check.

How to Check Your Tires for Proper Alignment (keyword: tire alignment)

Tires are a major cause of accidents and car damage. It is important to check your tires for proper alignment to avoid serious accidents.

Tire alignment is an important aspect of vehicle maintenance, but it can be difficult to detect tire misalignment with the naked eye. The best way to check for it is by using a digital tire-aligning tool like TireRack.com

Tire Alignment Tips & Tricks From Expert

Many people don't know how to choose the right type of tires for their car.

Types of tires:

All-season: These are good for driving in all weather conditions, but they are not designed for performance driving.

Summer: These are designed for high-performance driving on dry and wet roads, and they also have a high treadwear rating.

Winter: These are designed for cold weather driving, but they may not be suitable if you live in a warm climate. 

Snow: These are designed for driving on slippery roads and in snow, and they often have a higher traction rating than all-season tires.

What Is Tire Balancing?

Tire balancing is balancing the vehicle's weight on the tires, and it is also known as vehicle alignment. The process is essential for safe driving, and tire balancing is usually done simultaneously as tire replacement.

By balancing the tires, you can correct the uneven distribution of weight on the wheels.

Vibrations, excessive tire wear, and damage to the suspension are among the problems caused by unbalanced wheels.

Tire balancing eliminates uneven points in your tires to provide a smooth, comfortable ride.

What Are the Signs That Your Tires Need Balancing?

The most common sign that your tires need balancing is when you have a vibration in your steering wheel. Another sign is when you have a vibration in your tires that you can feel in your seat.

Tire balancing is a procedure that helps to restore balance to your tires.

Uneven tire wear and potholes, as well as curbs and curb hits, can contribute to tire imbalance.

Your mechanic will first take your car for a test drive to see what is causing the imbalance and make necessary adjustments.

The pressure in your tires will be checked, any needed adjustments will be made, and the alignment process will begin.

Are There Any Signs Your Car Needs an Alignment?

Checking your tires for wear and alignment is a great way to save money and keep your car safe.

A misaligned vehicle will pull to one side while driving, wear unusual tires, and have a steering wheel out of the center.

Wear can also be uneven if you drive with too-inflated, under-inflated, or imbalanced tires.

One last common point of confusion: Vibration while underway is often a symptom of out-of-balance tires, not bad alignment.

Alignment is a procedure used to straighten and level your car's wheels and tires.

The alignment measurement should be taken before service is performed to ensure accurate results.

A printout of the alignment measurements should be kept for future reference.

Balancing and Alignment: What Are Their Benefits?

Balancing your car allows you to drive with ease and comfort. On a bumpy road, however, you must maintain your car's position, which can be tiring.

Alignment aligns your car to be in the same position relative to the road. This makes driving much more comfortable, as the car is not jiggling around, and it is much easier to drive.

Tire balance and wheel alignment are services that aim to correct weight imbalances and angles on a tire, respectively.

Correcting these issues can help reduce tire wear, improve vehicle handling, and extend the lifespan of tires.

Schedule an appointment for a zen-like ride that's reliable and relaxing at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care today. 

Balancing and aligning your car's suspension system can improve ride quality and handling.

Balancing and aligning your car reduces wear and tear on its components.

In addition to proper suspension alignment, camber adjustments can also optimize tire performance.

Keeping your car's suspension system balanced and aligned is important in maintaining its performance.

Is Tire Alignment Necessary?

The alignment of your tires is among the most crucial maintenance tasks.

Failure to realign wheels regularly can cause your cost of car ownership to go up significantly.

Misaligned wheels can lead to flat spots and tire blowouts.

Are there different types of alignments?

Vehicle suspension has enemies and can be affected by alignment.

There are three main types of alignment: front end, thrust, and four-wheel.

Having your alignment checked regularly ensures that your vehicle drives straight, improves MPG, and increases tire life.

Tire replacement can be expensive - generally, what you pay for a routine alignment is far less than the cost of replacement tires.

There are different types of alignments, which affect how much it costs.

Front-end alignment

A front-end alignment involves adjusting the front axle.

This is the most basic type of alignment and is not always recommended for modern vehicles.

A four-wheel alignment is for front-wheel-drive vehicles with adjustable/independent rear suspensions.

A thrust alignment combines a front-end alignment with a thrust alignment to ensure all four wheels are square.

There are three main types of alignment - front-end, thrust, and four-wheel.

Thrust alignment

In car alignment, the suspension is adjusted so that the wheels align with one another and with the road surface.

In newer alignment machines, you can clamp devices on the wheels (raised in the air) and use a computer that makes precise measurements.

An alignment essentially requires squarering a car's wheels and axles to move in the same direction.

Four-wheel alignment

A four-wheel alignment is typically only performed on all-wheel-drive vehicles.

Front-wheel-drive vehicles with adjustable rear suspensions may still need four-wheel alignments.

Aligning a vehicle's wheels with each other and the road surface is known as tire alignment.

A four-wheel alignment is needed on vehicles with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Front-end alignment is needed on vehicles with front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

How Long Does an Alignment Take?

An alignment takes about 1-3 hours to complete. A well-written, well-designed, and well-thought-out document can take a lot longer.

The alignment of your wheels is one of the most important maintenance tasks.

Proper alignment is key to tire wear, comfort, and fuel efficiency.

If the suspension is out of alignment, uneven pressure on the tires can cause your car to work harder on the tires than it needs to.

Continental's Alignment Verification System (AVS) warns drivers when it is time to have their wheels aligned. 

Wheel alignment must be checked when the steering wheel is vibrating or free rolling.

Small wheel misalignments are often overlooked, resulting in increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Out-of-alignment symptoms in your vehicle

When you notice any of the following, your vehicle may need an alignment:

The car is pulling to the right side of the road.

There is premature or uneven wear on the tire treads.

There is squealing coming from the tires.

* The steering wheel tilts off-center when you're driving.

* The steering wheel vibrates when accelerating.

Maintaining Proper Alignment of a tire. 

A tire is a complex object that needs to be properly aligned to keep it in good condition. This is done using alignment tools like the alignment jacks or the rack, and these tools are necessary for maintaining the proper alignment of tires.

The use of alignment jacks and racks has become popular because they can help with tire maintenance, but they also have drawbacks. The main disadvantage is that these tools can be quite expensive, especially if you need them for multiple cars or trucks. In addition, you may also need a lot of space to store these tools.

As a result of these outdated methods of aligning tires, companies are looking for alternatives like 3D printing or robotics to align their tires without damaging them.

What can cause my vehicle to come out of alignment?

When your vehicle comes out of alignment, you may feel a vibration or a noise coming from the front or rear. This is typically caused by the axles being out of alignment.

The most common cause for an axle to come out of alignment is when it's bent. This can happen due to an impact, overloading, or a poorly designed suspension system. A bent axle can be changed either by taking it in for service or by doing it yourself with some basic tools and replacement parts.

Your vehicle is likely out of alignment without a noticeable vibration or noise due to worn steering joints and loose suspension parts.

What tools are used to align the tire?

The tire is the most significant part of the bike, and it provides support and protection to the rider, and it also helps to propel forward.

Tires are subject to many wear and tear, and they are subjected to punctures, cuts, bruises, and other damages. What tools do you use to fix a tire?

Many tools can be used for fixing a tire. Some tools involve using an air pump or inflating a tube, while others use an impact wrench or a scissor jack.

Is it bad to not align your tires?

If you don't align your tires, you could be putting yourself at risk of a blowout.

Do not think that aligning your tires will make them last longer, and doing so risks the tire's structural integrity and can lead to a blowout.

How often should you get an alignment?

Keeping your body in shape and improving your balance can be achieved with alignments. They are also great for the joints and can help with pain relief. However, many people don't understand when it's time for an alignment.

We created this article to explain how often you should get an alignment and what you should look out for when you're getting one.

How do you align a car at home?

This is an example of a question that can be answered by using AI writing assistants. The AI will generate relevant sentences and options for the user to choose from.

To align a car at home, you need to start with the front wheels. You then need to move the car to allow you to place it on its side on the ground. Next, you will have to place a jack under one of the axles and lift it so that it is about 12 inches off the ground. Once this has been done, use your hands or other tools to rotate each wheel until they are facing in opposite directions from each other.

The first step is positioning yourself near the front wheels of your car while it is still on its side on the ground with one axle lifted.

Does wheel alignment get worse over time?

The answer is yes. Wheel alignment gets worse over time due to age and wear.

Aligning wheels on a vehicle ensures that the wheels are parallel to each other and contact the ground. Measurements, such as wheel diameters and angles or a laser sensor to detect tire wear patterns are used.

While many things affect wheel alignment, one common cause is age and wear. As tires get older, they tend to develop uneven treadwear patterns, which can cause them to wobble when they move forward or backward on the road. This can lead to increased tire wear which causes more friction in the system and makes it harder for drivers to maintain control during turns or

How can you tell if you've been waiting too long for an alignment?

An alignment is a term used in astrology, and it refers to the moment when two or more celestial bodies are aligned with each other. The term also refers to a similar astronomical phenomenon occurring between two planets, asteroids, or comets.

If you have waited too long for an alignment, you may be left with no options for what to do next. Many people believe that this is because they live in a time where there is no longer any harmony and balance in the world around them. This could be true if you have waited too long for an alignment, but it's not always true; sometimes, it's just timing. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What kind of equipment do I need to perform a tire alignment?

You will need a jack and a jack stand. You will also need a jack handle or a bar to help you reach the vehicle's underside. You will also need a leveling device to ensure that the vehicle is level.

2. How should I prepare to perform a tire alignment?

Make sure your vehicle has enough space to turn around. Park in the farthest spot from the street. 

3. What's the best way to align my tires?

There are many ways to align your tires, and the best way is to get an alignment done at a local shop or dealership. 

4. What's the best way to align my tires? 

There are many ways to align your tires, and the best way is to get an alignment done at a local shop or dealership.

5. When should I get an alignment?

Some general guidelines will help you decide when it's time to get an alignment:

6. Is wheel alignment necessary every year?

Many people believe that wheel alignment should be done every year to maintain the stability of their car. However, this can be done only if you have a professional do it for you as it requires special equipment and expertise.

Wheel alignment may also be detrimental to the performance and durability of your car if it is done too frequently.

7. How long can you go without alignment?

Most people can generally go without alignment for about 2-3 hours; however, this will vary from person to person.


Making sure your tires are pointed straight and aligned within the axis of your vehicle is important for many reasons. Alignment problems can cause decreased fuel efficiency, uneven tread wear, and even dangerous driving conditions.

If you're a driver with a passenger vehicle, you can check for alignment problems by turning the steering wheel from side to side. If you notice one or more of the following indicators, it might be time for a wheel alignment.

David V. Williamson

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