Having wheels that are properly aligned is very important for your car or truck; even a slight misalignment of the wheels makes it difficult to steer a vehicle and may cause skidding and sliding when you apply the brakes. Improperly aligned tyres may also result in longer braking distances, which is dangerous for you and other drivers on the road. While a check by your local mechanic is the best way to determine if your vehicle's tyres need an alignment, note a few symptoms to look for that can also tell you if it's time to have the wheels aligned and balanced.
If you feel a drag from your vehicle's tyres, this is an obvious sign that they're misaligned and that one or more of the tyres is being pulled to one side, rather than rotating evenly. However, when a vehicle's wheels are only slightly misaligned, you may not feel that actual drag, but may still hear a type of dull squeal from the tyres. This squeal is from the rubber being dragged to one side or another along the road. Misalignment can also put pressure on the ball bearings inside the wheel well, and this can also cause that squealing sound.
If the steering wheel pulls to one side, gives you resistance when turning, or vibrates while you're driving, this often means that the tyres are misaligned or even mismatched. You might also note if the steering wheel is crooked when you're driving straight. While the steering wheel is meant for you to control the tyres, those tyres also move the steering wheel itself in one direction or another; in turn, poorly aligned tyres can pull the steering wheel in the direction of a misalignment, so you may notice that it is off-centre.
Replacing tyres sooner than you should
Misaligned tyres will suffer uneven tread wear, which will mean a shortened tyre lifespan. When the rubber of tyres wears down unevenly, it also wears down more quickly since you're putting more weight and resistance on a smaller area of the tyre. When tyres are misaligned, you may then find that you need to replace them far sooner than you should, as they may more easily suffer cracks, splits, flats, blowouts, and the like. Misaligned tyres also put pressure on the lug nuts and bearings in the wheel well, so if you need to consistently replace these parts and pieces, this can also mean that the tyres need an alignment and balancing.
Contact companies that offer truck wheel alignment for more information and assistance.