Tire Balancing Properly balanced tires help minimize uneven wear and extend their life. When tires are balanced, small weights are attached to the wheels to limit vibration of the tire and wheels as they turn. Newly installed tires should be balanced, and thereafter whenever a vibration is noticed. Balancing is also called for whenever a tire is removed from the wheel, for example to repair a puncture. Wheel Alignment Wheel alignment is the measurement of the position of the wheels compared to specifications that the vehicle manufacturers recommend. Each vehicle has specific wheel alignment settings. If any alignment measurement falls outside the specified range, uneven tire wear can result, vehicle handling may be affected and fuel economy can be diminished. You should have the wheel alignment checked and adjusted when new tires are installed, and thereafter any time when unusual steering characteristics are observed. A vehicle’s wheels are properly aligned when the car will drive down the road in a straight line without drifting or pulling to either side. A drift or pull can be caused by problems other than just alignment, so a thorough inspection should be performed by a qualified shop to determine the exact nature of the problem before an alignment is performed. Spending a few minutes with your tires every month can help protect your family, improve your vehicle’s performance, and lengthen the life of your tires. Wheel alignment is important to the health of your car or truck. If you hit a massive pothole, you might bump your suspension out of the carefully calculated locations that the components have been set. All of the elements that make your car go straight are called “alignment.” Some shops try to make it seem like rocket science, but wheel alignment is a fairly straightforward affair. Here are some common signs that you are dealing with wheels with poor alignment: Vehicle pulling to the left or right.Uneven or rapid tire wear.Your steering wheel is crooked when driving straight.Squealing tires. On your vehicle, though, out-of-whack wheels mean more than a mere annoyance. Poor alignment creates higher rolling resistance. Higher rolling resistance means greater wear on the tires and lower fuel economy. With the price of gasoline nowadays, can you really afford to bleed off more miles per gallon than absolutely necessary? To get the highest gas mileage, as well as the longest tire life and best ride and handling from your vehicle, you need to recognize when you need a wheel alignment. AAA suggests having the alignment checked, whenever you have your tires rotated or at least once a year. The roads we have around here aren’t in the greatest condition, and that can throw the alignment off sooner than you think. Slamming into a pothole or butting a tire hard into the curb while trying to parallel park is usually all it takes.