Tire Rotation

Description: Tire rotation refers to the regular practice of switching the position of each tire on the car.

Purpose: Tire rotation helps to equalize tread wear and is critical to gain the maximum life from your tire investment.

Wheel Alignment

Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment is the position of the wheels relative to your car. When properly aligned, the wheels point in the right direction. Without proper alignment, the wheels resist your steering commands, as well as each other. Alignment also affects gas mileage and tire wear. If your tires are pointed in different directions, they fight against each other and can cause tread wear.

Computerized alignment equipment is used to measure all alignment angles on today’s cars. These include both adjustable and non-adjustable angles. (Non-adjustable angles require repair or replacement of the suspension component.)

The most common adjustable angles are:

This refers to the tilted direction of the wheels toward or away from one another when viewed from the top. Toe is the most critical tire wearing angle. Tires that “toe-in” point toward one another. Tires that “toe-out” point away from each other.

This refers to the tilt of the wheels toward or away from one another when viewed from the front. Wheels that tilt in toward the vehicle have “negative camber.” Wheels that tilt away from the vehicle have “positive camber.”

This refers to the angle of the steering axis in relation to an imaginary vertical line through the center of the wheel when viewed from the side. “Positive caster” is the term used when the vertical line is tilted back toward the rear. If it’s tilted forward, we call it “negative caster.” The proper caster angle stabilizes your car for better steering.

This refers to the relationship of all four wheels to each other, as well as their relationship to an imaginary center line that runs from bumper to bumper. The term “thrust line” refers to the direction in which the rear wheels are pointed. Thrust angle is correctable on cars with adjustable rear suspensions. If your car has a non-adjustable suspension, thrust angle is compensated for by aligning the front wheels to the rear wheels.

Wheel Balance

Description: Tire rotation refers to the regular practice of switching the position of each tire on the car.

Purpose: Tire rotation helps to equalize tread wear and is critical to gain the maximum life from your tire investment.

How do I know if I need my wheels balanced?

Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheel is out of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because it’s endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Come in for prompt, professional service—most people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and inexpensive procedure makes. Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come see us:

  • Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.

Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.

Maintenance Tips/Suggestions

Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended rotation interval and pattern; generally a rotation interval of 6,000 miles is recommended. The rotation pattern varies with different makes and models, which shows the tire locations during rotation. Some vehicles have different size tires on the front and back or directional tires. This limits the locations that a tire may take on the vehicle. When in doubt, check the owner’s manual or consult a professional technician for guidance. Tire rotation time also offers a good opportunity to have the tires and wheels balanced. It’s another step you can take to maximize your tire investment.

Make sure your tires are ready for the road, fully angled, and balanced.