Reasons Why Wheel Alignment is Important - Service Information to Know from Hanson KIA

Driving may seem simple, but there's so much that goes into something as simple as making sure the wheels are where they need to be. The proper alignment of the wheels on your Kia is crucial to your having a positive driving experience. Because we want you to have important information about Kia service, we've put together this page with information about wheel alignment.

Complete front suspension

5. Alignment Is Actually a Suspension Issue

We talk about "wheel alignment" because the wheels are where the effects of misalignment become most obvious. But while the wheels are certainly affected, they're not the source of the problem. Misalignment actually springs from the suspension components on which the wheels are mounted, components like ball joints, tie rods, and springs. If these components are out of whack, the wheels will also be affected. They could have a negative or positive camber, meaning that the wheels will appear tilted when you're looking at the car head-on. Toe-in and toe-out are also possibilities; these mean that the wheels are angled towards each other on either the front or rear side. Misalignment could also cause negative or positive caster, which doesn't affect the wheels visually, but can still affect both steering or traveling in a straight line.

Close-up of Kia wheel driving through rainy puddle

4. Things That Can Cause Misalignment

Unfortunately, knocking a suspension out of alignment isn't a difficult task. In fact, it happens naturally. As you drive, your suspension components can become worn. Of course, there are also ways to speed up this process--ways that the road is more than happy to provide. Impacts or jarring from potholes and curbs can knock the suspension out of alignment, and being involved in even a minor accident may have the same effect. In addition, adjusting your ride height without also adjusting the suspension can cause a number of problems, misalignment among them.

3. A Misaligned Vehicle Can Decrease Your Safety & Comfort

When your vehicle's suspension and wheels aren't properly aligned, handling and turning capabilities decrease. You may notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side on straightaways. Dealing with this adds to fatigue, as you find yourself constantly adjusting the wheel. What's more, if you forget to adjust for the pull, you may find your vehicle drifting into the wrong lane. In addition, vehicle misalignment can make steering more difficult, including causing decreased turning response. This is similarly dangerous.

Wheel alignment service

2. An Improperly Aligned Vehicle Can Wreak Havoc on Your Tires

While there are some people who don't want to spend the money on an alignment service, failing to do so may cost you even more money on tires. When a vehicle's suspension is out of alignment, the tires are likely to wear down unevenly. This means that you'll have to replace them sooner than you otherwise might--and, if you're lucky, it will be due to excessive wear. But blowouts are also more likely, so you may find yourself on the side of the road instead.

1. How To Tell if Your Vehicle Is Out of Alignment

There are some instances where it's easy to tell if your vehicle is misaligned. If the steering wheel is uneven, or if you notice tire wear or a pull to one side or the other, it's safe to assume that the suspension is a likely culprit. If you're not sure whether your car is going straight or not, there are some tests you can do on your own. For example, many people take their car to an empty parking lot that they know is flat, and then start driving without touching the wheel. If the car pulls to one side, chances are your alignment is in need of adjustment.

We don't necessarily recommend this method, since it can lead to false negatives. Not all types of misalignment lead to a drastic pull, so you may think your car is fine when it's actually not. The best way to determine whether your car is in our out of alignment is to have it inspected. It's good to have this done at least once a year, as well as whenever you get new tires or if you suspect that something may be wrong.

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  1. Hanson Kia

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales: (877) 816-5820

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Hanson Kia

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Sales: (360) 339-5079
  • Service: (360) 339-5079
  • Parts: (360) 339-5079

Hours

  • Monday 8:00AM - 8:00PM
  • Tuesday 8:00AM - 8:00PM
  • Wednesday 8:00AM - 8:00PM
  • Thursday 8:00AM - 8:00PM
  • Friday 8:00AM - 8:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Sunday 10:00AM - 7:00PM