What you need to know about vehicle alignment


Have you ever been driving down a perfectly straight road and feel like you’re arm wrestling your car just to stay between the lines? 

That’s probably a sign your car’s alignment needs some work.

Wheel alignment or tire alignment refers to your car’s suspension system, which includes the tire, air pressure, springs, shock absorbers and other components that work together to make sure your tires roll down the road the way they’re supposed to. The alignment refers to the adjustment of angles within those components in relation to the road.

How to tell if you need one

Sometimes, you can tell your car’s alignment is off just by how it handles. If your vehicle pulls to one side, the wheel shimmies, or the tires show signs of uneven wear, you need an alignment. Things that might throw your car’s alignment off include a collision, hitting a curb or pothole (not that there are any of those in Rapid City) or just the onset of time.

What happens if you ignore it

Improper alignment can mess with your car’s suspension system, and make it handle poorly. That can be a safety hazard. The biggest impact you’ll see is on tires. Poor alignment makes tires wear more quickly, and unevenly. Uneven tread then further impacts alignment, throwing the alignment more and more off. Eventually, that affects how long tires last, gas mileage, how your car handles, and overall safety. Basically, it’s not worth the damage.

Benefits of proper alignment:

Just to recap, here’s what you gain by getting your car’s alignment squared away:

  • Even/less tire wear. That prolongs the life of your tires, saving you money and likely saving you the hassle of having other tire issues.
  • Better gas mileage. It makes sense that if your engine is expending less effort to roll down the road, you’re using less gas. Less spent at gas stations, and more money in the bank.
  • Makes your car more fun to drive! Let’s be honest, no one likes feeling like their car is trying to nosedive into the nearest ditch.
  • It’s safer. See last bullet point.

Our parts and service department at Denny Menholt Toyota is committed to help you prolong the life of your vehicle. Our personnel are highly trained professionals, who can diagnose your vehicle’s alignment issue, or whatever may be the case. Stop by our store, call us at 605-342-2490 or use our online scheduler to schedule your next appointment!