What Is A Wheel Alignment And Why Do You Need One?

12 September 2022
 Categories: , Blog


There are a few regular maintenance services to keep up with when you own a vehicle. Just like you get your oil changed regularly, you also need to get a wheel alignment regularly. This service can get overlooked and deemed unnecessary if you are unsure of what it is and how it can help your vehicle. 

What Is a Wheel Alignment?

Wheel alignment occurs when a mechanic adjusts the suspension on a vehicle; nothing is done directly to the wheels, but the adjustments made to the suspension affect the wheels. Some mechanics will recommend a wheel alignment every 6,000 miles driven, whereas others will recommend once a year. 

What Happens If You Do Not Get a Wheel Alignment?

If you do not get a wheel alignment, you will notice it after a while. 

If it has been some time since your last wheel alignment, you may notice some of the following things:

  • Lower gas mileage
  • When driving straight the steering wheel is not straight
  • Uneven wear and tear on the tires
  • The vehicle pulls more to the right or left

Steering wheel vibrations are also a big symptom if you put off a wheel alignment too long. If you do notice these symptoms, you should take your car to a mechanic or body shop as soon as possible. 

Benefits of Regular Wheel Alignments

If you can remember to keep up with your wheel alignments regularly, you may notice some benefits. 

The benefits of regular wheel alignments can include:

  • Better gas mileage
  • Damage prevented to other parts of the vehicle
  • Extended tire life
  • Safety improvements
  • Improvements to the car's handling

Cost of a Wheel Alignment

The cost of a wheel alignment will depend on the body shop or mechanic you take your vehicle to. However, the cost of a wheel alignment averages around $65 to $100 each time. Depending on where you go, the body shop may offer a lifetime plan for a slightly higher price. The lifetime plan is a great idea, but if you do not plan to keep your vehicle for much longer, you might want to think twice.

To take advantage of the lifetime plan, you would pay a high price, but your wheel alignments would be free after that. This will typically only extend through the lifetime of the vehicle; if you have more than one vehicle, you will have to purchase a lifetime plan for each vehicle. Similarly, if you sell the vehicle covered under the initial lifetime plan, you would need to purchase a new lifetime plan for the new vehicle.