Tire Rotation vs Wheel Alignment

Tire safety is an important part of safe driving and maintaining your vehicle. At Herrin-Gear Chevrolet, we understand the importance of tire maintenance. Your vehicle’s tires and wheels are similar to the shoes that you wear on your feet, as they protect your vehicle from having direct contact with the road. Similar to your shoes, they will wear out over time and eventually fail completely.

For this reason, tire rotations and wheel alignments are two very important parts of vehicle maintenance. By staying on top of both of these maintenance services, you can help your car reach an optimal level of performance as well as safety.

It is important to understand that tire rotation and wheel alignment may help your vehicle in similar ways. They are both different types of maintenance. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Tire Rotation?

The tread on your vehicle’s tires is responsible for the safe slowing and stopping of your vehicle, as well as controlling your vehicle on the road. Over time, however, the tread on your tires will wear down. In many cases, the front tires will wear at a faster rate than the rear tires due to the extra friction they absorb when you turn.

A tire rotation involves the movement of your tires from one side to the other, allowing them to wear more evenly. This technique also prolongs the lifespan of your vehicle’s tires.

Generally, tires are moved in a cross pattern. With a front-wheel drive vehicle, the left front tire would move to the left rear, while the right front tire would move to the right rear. With a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle, the left rear tire will go to the right front, while the right rear will go to the left front.

How Often Do You Need to Rotate Your Tires?

From the tire brand to the road conditions in your local area, there are a number of factors that can influence how often you should have your tires rotated. However, as a general rule, tire rotations are recommended every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

You can find more information about how often your vehicle needs to undergo a tire rotation in the owner’s manual. This number is just a basic guideline, and you should keep a close eye on the tread of your tires to ensure you are rotating as needed.

What Is Wheel Alignment?

Have you noticed that your vehicle is driving off to the side of the road? Or maybe the steering wheel isn’t straight even though you are driving perfectly straight? These are signs that your vehicle is due for a wheel alignment.

A wheel alignment involves adjusting your tires so they are pointed straight and properly aligned with the axis of the automobile.

When your wheels and tires are misaligned, it can lead to uneven tire wear, accidents, and other dangerous situations. For this reason, it is important to have your vehicle checked out by a professional at Herrin-Gear Chevrolet sooner rather than later when you notice an alignment issue.

When Do You Need to Align Your Wheels?

While tire rotation should be performed on a routine basis, wheel alignment is only done as needed. The signs and symptoms related to needing your wheels aligned are very similar to an issue related to tire balancing. Steering wheel and vehicle shaking and vibration occur with both issues.

However, one sign that distinguishes tire balancing and wheel alignment needs from one another is that misaligned tires will often cause your vehicle to pull or drift to one side. The same with the steering wheel.

Two more signs of wheel alignment issues are uneven tire tread wear and being involved in an accident. Misaligned tires will cause the tread on your vehicle’s tires to wear unevenly due to the excess stress placed on certain areas of the wheels and tires. The impact of an auto accident can sometimes cause the alignment of your wheels to shift.

Tire Service at Herrin-Gear Chevrolet

If you believe your vehicle is due for a tire rotation, wheel alignment, or any other maintenance or repair, the experts at Herrin-Gear Chevrolet can help. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns or if you are ready to schedule a service appointment.