Tire Care & Safety
For improved overall performance and extended tire tread life under various driving conditions and speeds, it is imperative that the tires be in proper alignment with the vehicle. Poor or improper alignment occurs when the suspension and steering systems are out of adjustment.
Several factors may be involved with poor alignment. Be aware that customers tend to replace tires rather than correct the real problem — alignment. The result can be a dissatisfied customer who switches from one tire manufacturer to the next with the same result and eventually goes elsewhere to buy new tires.
For most vehicles, poor alignment results in excessive and/or uneven tire wear. Improper alignment can reduce a tire's life by more than 70%.
Improper Alignment and Correction
Poor or improper alignment typically results in a variety of abnormal treadwear patterns that are "readable." These clues often point to one or more sources of the problem that can be measured and corrected. But before taking any alignment measurements, check the following:
- Proper inflation of each tire: Pressure over or under recommended levels will affect some alignment measurements.
- Ride height: Ride height is the distance between the vehicle's frame and the road. Because all alignment specifications are relationships between various suspension components, ride height becomes the reference point for all alignment measurements. Therefore, proper alignment is not possible if ride height is higher or lower than factory ride-height specifications.