You just replaced the tires on your car and you’re not sure if you need an alignment. The answer depends on a few factors.
Do I Need an Alignment After Replacing Tires?
First, did your old tires have major tread wear or noticeable damage? If so, it’s likely that the wheels and suspension were misaligned before replacing them. It’ll be worth getting aligned to make sure all of this work is done right. If the old tires were relatively new, your wheels might have been slightly out of alignment due to normal wear and tear. You may still want to consider getting an alignment. If the suspension stays misaligned, it could negatively affect ride quality.
If you have new tires but are still experiencing vibration or uneven tread wear, your wheels might be cocked or out of balance. This can be fixed without needing an alignment service. With a bit of practice, you can get a wheel balanced by hand without an alignment.
If the tires had major tread wear, there’s a chance that it was due to a suspension or alignment problem. You might want to have them checked out by a professional technician before going on with your car’s routine maintenance tasks.
If the new tires are relatively new and non-carcassless, they probably don’t need to be aligned.
What Is an Alignment?
An alignment is a set of processes to adjust the wheels and suspension to keep them from rotating out of their original positions. This prevents your car’s wheels from going out of true. Misaligned wheels will push the car’s frame up and down, which can make the car uncomfortable to drive. It can also affect its performance, especially when you’re cornering the vehicle.
How Can You Tell if Your Car Needs an Alignment?
You can usually tell if your car needs an alignment by looking for these three signs:
- Uneven tread wear
- Vibration while driving, especially at higher speeds
- Clunking suspension noises while driving over bumpy surfaces. If the clunks are accompanied by uneven tire wear, this is a sign that your vehicle might need an alignment.
However, even new tires should be checked regularly for uneven wear. Talk to a professional technician if you’re still noticing these problems after you’ve replaced the tires.
How Often Does Your Car Need an Alignment?
You need to check your alignment every time you replace the tires on your vehicle. This isn’t true for some vehicles, like cars with independent suspensions due to their front and rear suspension systems. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need an alignment if this is the case.
The need for an alignment also depends on how you drive your car and the condition of the road. You may need an alignment check more often if you drive over bumpy roads at high speeds, or if you take turns at higher speeds. The frequency of your checks also depends on how often you replace the vehicle’s tires. If you’re replacing the tires every few months, it may be necessary to have your car checked before or after each tire change.
In a nutshell, wheel alignment is still necessary even if you’ve recently replaced the tires on your vehicle. You can avoid future problems by checking for misalignment before and after tire replacement.