What You Need to Know About Your Car's Wheel Alignment

Black and White Alignment
Steve Snodgrass, Flickr 

If you’ve ever had a conversation with an auto mechanic about a wheel alignment, you’ve likely heard terms like “toe in” and “toe out” bandied about as if the definition is common sense. It is, but generally just to mechanics, and those already schooled in the fundamentals of wheel alignments and alignment toe. If these terms confuse you, worry no more.

The Lingo Your Mechanic Uses, Explained:

  • “Toe in”

    The front of your tires are pointing inward, toward the center of your vehicle. Driving around like this for too long can cause your tires to wear out unevenly on the outside edges.

  •  “Toe out”

    The exact opposite of “toe in.” In this case, the front of our tires are pointing outward, away from the center of your vehicle. This results is excessive wear on the inside edges of your tires.

Misaligned toe isn’t easy to spot until the damage has been done, and your tires have begun to wear out prematurely on either the inside or outside edges.

Good News

The good news is toe is adjustable for your vehicle. As a rule, you should always have your alignment checked whenever you replace your tires or have an oil change done so that you can get the maximum life out of your tires. Even if you buy a set of tires that have a killer mileage warranty, most manufacturers will not warranty tires that wear out prematurely due to a mechanical issue in your alignment. This is stated in the fine print – so read it carefully.
As soon as you’re done doing that, make an appointment with a local auto service shop to have your alignment checked especially if you drive in and around a city where vehicle are susceptible to potholes. Doing so will save you from having to replace your tires every six months. For information on how to find the best nearby mechanics, start with Openbay. Compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button. Openbay is car repair for today’s world.