Wheel Alignment and Tire Rotation

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There are many different parts you need to tend to when maintaining your vehicle, especially when trying to get the absolute most out of the life of different vehicle parts. Two such vehicle maintenance tasks you need to perform from time to time are tire rotation and wheel alignment.

Doing these maintenance tasks will help you avoid spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars unnecessarily. They will also result in fewer trips to the autobody shop. In the long run, taking care of these relatively simple maintenance tasks will helpĀ  keep money in your wallet, and your vehicle on the road.

Aligning Your Wheels

Getting your wheels re-aligned from time to time is incredibly important. It affects multiple aspects of how the vehicle drives, and the efficiency it manages to maintain as you continue to drive it. When you do not get your wheels re-aligned, your steering could be adversely affected, or you could notice any number of other potential problems creep up with how the vehicle handles. Not aligning your wheels could end up costing you a lot of money in repairs if you do not take care of this important maintenance task from time to time.

How to Tell if your Wheels Need to be Aligned

There are multiple telltale signs that will let you know it is time to head on over to the local autobody shop and get the wheels on your vehicle re-aligned. That being said, you should not wait until these signs start coming up to realign your wheels. If you have not kept up on vehicle maintenance and your wheels have not gotten re-aligned, you may start to notice signs that your vehicle needs to get its wheels re-aligned. The signs are:

  • Vehicle pulling to the left or right
  • Steering wheel vibrates
  • Steering wheel is off center when driving straight
  • Uneven tread wear

Before you go ahead to get your wheels re-aligned however, there is a simple check you can do first before going to take it in to the repair shop. Checking the air pressure of your tires can end up saving you the $60-$100 that it typically costs for you to get a wheel re-alignment job done. If it turns out you just need to add some air in one or more of your tires, you could very well end up saving some money that you couldĀ Ā  use for other bills and expenses.

Rotating Your Tires

A tire rotation is a handy preventative measure that you should take a few times per year. By doing so, you will be extending the life of your tires, and get more miles out of them than if you had not made any adjustments at all.

Tire rotation is a process where you move the tires on your vehicle to different positions on the vehicle. It helps to promote even tread wear on all four tires. Regardless of the way(s) in which you drive, all tires on a vehicle will wear at different rates.

Types of Tire Rotation

There are multiple kinds of tire rotations. Depending on what kind of condition your tires are currently in, they will get a different rotation. When it comes to getting a tire rotation, no two jobs are exactly alike. Different kinds of wear, and different kinds of vehicles, require different kinds of tire rotation. Such forms of rotation include front-to-rear, forward cross, X pattern, rearward cross, and side to side. The following is a list of each kind of tire rotation including how it is done, why it is done, and for what kinds of vehicles it is done for:


  • Used when rear tires show uneven wear
  • Front tires move straight back to the rear
  • Rear tires cross to opposite sides on front
  • For front wheel drive vehicles

Forward Cross

  • Rear tires cross to opposite sides on front
  • Front tires move straight back to the rear
  • For front-wheel drive vehicles
  • Used when rear tires show uneven wear

X Pattern

  • Rear tires cross to opposite front positions
  • Front tires shift to opposite rear positions
  • Used when thereā€™s uneven wear
  • For all types of vehicles

Rearward Cross

  • Front tires cross to opposite rear positions
  • Rear tires move straight up to front
  • For all-wheel, rear-wheel, or four-wheel drive vehicles
  • Used when thereā€™s uneven front-tire wear


  • Front two tires are moved to opposite sides on front axle
  • Rear two tires are moved to opposite sides on back axle
  • For staggered wheels

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