By September 13, 2013 2 Comments Read More →

Front End Alignment

front end alignmentHow do you know when your car needs a front end alignment?  I get tons of emails each week asking about front and 4 wheel alignments and I wanted to share just some basic information with you guys and a few videos I made that might help you determine if you really need an alignment or something else.


You might need a front end alignment if…..

1. You have a pull to one side when you let go of the steering wheel

2. You have tire wear that is worse on 1 tire than all others


You might need a tire rotation and wheel balance if…..

1. There is shaking or shimmy feeling in your seat or steering wheel at freeway speeds.

2.You have a pull to one side when you let go of the steering wheel….yep, a tire that has a “radial pull” meaning the internal tread of the tire has a problem and wants to pull the car to one side.   Move that tire to the rear of the vehicle.

As you can see there are not really many symptoms of front end alignment problems (YESSSSSSSS there are more items but for you non car people, those are the bulk of the issues you will see).

What usually is the culprit of people thinking they need a front end alignment is a bad tire, or a tire that is out of balance causing a shimmy and shake feeling. As a general rule of thumb, if you can drive out of the shimmy…meaning its there at 50MPH, but at 65MPH its better or gone it’s most likely a tire balance issue.


Take a minute and watch these two short videos I made for you. (Sorry for the video display width)

This one is focused on tire wear patterns…which you NEED to know and look for.


And this one, is about tire balancing and shimmy feelings while on the freeway.


Anytime you get new tires on your vehicle I HIGHLY recommend you also get a 4 wheel alignment to make sure things are good and straight and won’t prematurely wear out your new investment.


Austin Davis

please leave your comments or questions below

Posted in: Front End

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • Austin Davis

    I would need to hear that to be sure

  • Howard james

    I would like to know what causes the tires to slap when they go over the joints in the road?