3 Ways Misaligned Wheels Can Harm Your Vehicle

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A recent Globe and Mail article talked to automotive experts across the industry about the importance of keeping the tires on your vehicle aligned properly. Wheel alignment can lengthen the life of your tires, greatly improve fuel economy, and most importantly keep you safe while driving.

Replacing Tires Early

The most well-known and obvious reason to keep your vehicle aligned properly is to avoid premature and excessive wear on your tires.

“If a tire is out by one degree, then for every kilometre you drive, you’re scrubbing it
sideways for 17½ metres,” said Tim Orpen, Kal Tire’s manager for mechanical programs.

“We’ve driven these tires for about 200 kilometres and you can see the wear
on them already.”

Consistently performing alignments when servicing your vehicle can add years to the life of your tires. The good news is that reputable dealerships will check your alignment for free and only charge you if adjustments are needed. A good rule of thumb is to check your alignment every year or 20,000 km’s worth of driving.

A Vehicle Out of Alignment Can Affect Safety Systems

Almost all new vehicles made today have some sort of lane-keeping assist, which can quickly correct the path of the vehicle if it senses you are drifting out of your lane at any point. These advanced safety systems rely on the vehicle having proper alignment and always being pointed in the right direction.

“The newer cars are going to have lane-keep assistance,” said Dan Martin, regional manager for  Hunter Engineering,

“If you’re not properly aligned and the car’s safety systems don’t know where straight-ahead is, then that feature could actually be pulling you into traffic or the ditch. If it’s looking in the wrong direction, it’s going to be pulling you to one side.”

Paying More at the Pump

One of the most overlooked issues with improper wheel alignment is how it affects your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Misaligned tires drag instead of rolling freely. Improper alignment can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10%, with gas prices going through the roof this summer a 10% increase in gas price will cost you around 20 cents a litre.


Avoid this headache by getting your vehicle serviced regularly by following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. You can also come see us at Kia Victoria, where we offer a full alignment service for $139.95. We will only charge for the service if adjustments are needed! Book an appointment today!

Here’s the recommended maintenance schedule for gas/hybrid vehicles, and electric vehicles.