Wheel & Tire Alignment Shop
The experts in professional wheel alignment services
Keeping your vehicle safe on the road by ensuring it is steering and handling properly is essential. Tire alignments are a key part of this. So, when you need a professional alignment shop, look no further than Martin Tire Company!
A wheel alignment service, sometimes also referred to as a car alignment or tire alignment, is the adjustment of components within the vehicle’s suspension. The suspension is what connects the vehicle to the wheels. So, unlike what many people think, an alignment is not an adjustment of the actual wheel/tire assemblies themselves. Essentially, a wheel alignment means the technician is using the suspension to square the wheels and axles with each other, ensuring they are sitting evenly and moving properly in the same direction.
During an alignment service, our ASE-certified expert technicians use computerized alignment equipment to check how each wheel is aligned with the other wheels and the road surface. Then they’ll make the necessary adjustments. This alignment technology allows for much tighter alignment specifications and increased accuracy, compared to manual measurements and adjustments. To put it simply, without the best technology like you’ll find at Martin Tire Company, a proper alignment cannot be performed.
Wheel alignment is often done at the time brand-new tires are installed and can easily be checked with your regular tire rotation to ensure the maximum life for your tires.
In-depth alignment checks are quick and easy
If it’s been a while since your last wheel alignment service, if you’ve recently had a collision or run over a large pothole, or another similar situation, you should have your alignment checked as soon as possible at your closest Martin Tire Company location.
An alignment check features:
- Assessment of the steering and suspension components
- Examination of the tires for proper size and inflation, as well as the level of wear
- Comparison of your tire alignment to automobile manufacturer guidelines using state-of-the-art equipment (our shops are equipped with Hunter Wheel Alignment Machines)
If the technician finds that any of the alignment angles are out of specification, they will then make the necessary adjustments and ensure your vehicle’s wheels are properly aligned. Our ASE-certified auto repair mechanics can also inspect for steering and suspension concerns, as well as drive-line complications.
Visit us to have our certified technicians provide you with a dependable wheel alignment and help ensure that your vehicle is in optimal driving condition. Schedule your appointment for your next wheel alignment at Martin Tire Company today!
Also, make sure to check our coupons page for our free alignment check coupon, as well as other special savings on our services.
Wheel alignments maintain vehicle handling and protect the life of your tires
What it does: Wheels must be lined up correctly to keep proper control of your vehicle. Wheels that are out of position could cause uneven wear on the tires, making driving more difficult. When your wheels are properly lined up, your car will offer a smoother and safer ride.
Why service is essential: An effectively aligned automobile is a happy vehicle. Regular tire alignments (as well as tire balancing and rotation) have several valuable benefits, including:
- Extending the life of your tires
- Boosting the overall safety of your vehicle by maintaining proper vehicle handling
- Enhancing performance
- Helping to maintain proper fuel economy
- Preventing damage to suspension components (shocks, axles, etc.)
Catching any misalignment early will help keep your vehicle in the safest possible driving condition. It will also prevent you from more frequent tire replacement, spending more money on gas, and needing expensive repairs to suspension and steering components.
Include wheel alignment service in your vehicle’s preventative maintenance schedule
There is no all-encompassing service schedule for wheel alignments. So, exactly when your vehicle will need it is largely dependent on how and where you are driving. The most precise answer to the question of how often an alignment should be done will be found in your vehicle’s owner manual.
Vehicles usually go out of alignment gradually over time, except in the event of running over a large pothole or object in the road, or having a collision. Misalignment can often be so subtle that you may not even realize it at first. This is why your vehicle’s regular preventative maintenance routine should include having your car alignment checked and corrected as needed.
We recommend having the alignment checked roughly every 6,000 miles (or at every other oil change, depending on your vehicle’s service schedule). Also, if you have recently hit something in the road, you should have your alignment checked as soon as possible. When this happens, it can throw your vehicle out of alignment just as much as an accident would.
The three main alignment angles
There are several different alignment angles that all have to be in the proper position to ensure your wheel and tire assembly is in optimal alignment, according to your vehicle’s manufacturer guidelines. Knowing what these angles are can help you understand exactly what happens during a wheel alignment service.
The three main angles that make up your vehicle’s wheel alignment are:
This is the angle that is most often in need of an adjustment. The toe angle is the outward or inward direction of your tires when viewed from above. Misalignment of this angle will not cause the vehicle to pull but will quickly cause adverse tire wear. The angle is also the easiest to “knock out” of specification by hitting a pothole, curb, or other objects.
The camber angle is the inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from the front. For example, the Leaning Tower of Pisa shows a negative camber. The vehicle will sometimes pull to one side if this angle is significantly outside of the manufacturer’s specification and will cause premature tire wear along one edge. This is because one side of the tread will be in more contact with the road than the other side.
This is the angle of the tire toward the front or rear when it is viewed from the side of the vehicle. When the caster is out of specification, it usually won’t cause adverse tire wear but will definitely cause pulling to one side.
How to know if you may need a wheel/tire alignment
There are several indicators you may notice when your wheels are not in alignment, including:
- You experience vibration when turning
- The steering wheel/vehicle pulls to the left or right
- The steering wheel is not straight when driving on a straight roadway
- Your tire tread is wearing unevenly or faster than normal
- The tires make a squealing sound when turning a corner at normal speeds
- You have reduced vehicle handling when braking or turning corners
Have you recently noticed any of these issues? Schedule your wheel alignment appointment today at your closest Martin Tire Company location. Our expert technicians can pinpoint and correct any alignment issues your vehicle may have.
Ways you can help maintain proper alignment
There are several ways that you can maintain your suspension and help ensure your vehicle stays in alignment longer, including:
- Remove excess weight: The tire angles that your vehicle’s alignment is based on are directly related to the chassis height. So, if you have too much weight in the back of the vehicle, the vehicle’s height will be lower, throwing your alignment off. Remove anything that you don’t need in the vehicle.
- Maintain correct tire air pressure: Underinflated tires also affect the chassis height of the vehicle. So, make sure to maintain the correct tire pressure in each tire.
- Be more conservative in your driving: Driving more carefully and less aggressively will reduce strain on the suspension and steering components, which are key to maintaining proper wheel alignment.
- Watch what you drive over: This may sound obvious, but pay attention to what you drive your vehicle over. If you see a pothole or debris in the road ahead, switch lanes safely or use an alternate route to avoid it. Running over a pothole, curb, or other rough road condition is the most common cause of misalignment.
If you are doing the above things and still are noticing indications that your vehicle may be misaligned, bring your vehicle into our alignment shop as soon as you can. Save your vehicle from uneven tire wear and undue strain on suspension components.
Visit Martin Tire Company for top-quality wheel alignment service
When you need high-quality, professional alignment service, visit our team at Martin Tire Company. We can help you maintain proper vehicle handling and extend the life of your tires, as well as take care of any other auto service your vehicle may need.
Do you have questions about tire alignment or your vehicle’s suspension? Our expert ASE-certified technicians can answer any questions you may have.
Schedule your appointment online for an expert wheel alignment service today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Wheel alignment is an essential auto maintenance service, so you might think you’d be able to follow a preset alignment schedule for this work. But while that is true for oil changes, your wheel alignment needs can be a bit trickier to pin down. Still, there are a few ways to simplify the process of scheduling this service.
For starters, you should aim to get wheel alignment taken care of once every two to three years at a minimum. On top of that, you’ll want to set up an alignment ahead of schedule if your suspension has been under a great deal of stress, you often drive on rough roads, or you spot any telltale signs of wheel alignment issues. No matter how often you need a wheel alignment, you can count on the team at Martin Tire Company to provide this service!
As a conscientious driver in the El Paso, Texas, area, there’s a strong chance you’re already taking your auto maintenance needs seriously. This includes setting up an oil change schedule and keeping up with your preventive maintenance requirements, but you shouldn’t stop there. You should also take care of services such as wheel alignment to ensure that your car won’t develop new issues.
By bringing your car to a nearby auto shop for regular wheel alignment work, you’ll ensure that your tires will wear as evenly as possible and will give you no trouble driving in a straight line. However, that doesn’t mean you should have this service done at random. Instead, set up an appointment at Martin Tire when you notice symptoms such as:
- Irregular tire wear. Tires that are correctly aligned (and are rotated every so often) should wear at about the same rate. Your tires should also receive the majority of this wear in the area that usually makes contact with the road—that is, their center. When your tires aren’t wearing evenly or are wearing in unexpected places, you may need a wheel alignment.
- Vibrations in your steering wheel. Whether you’re driving on a smooth road or on rougher terrain, you shouldn’t feel steering wheel vibrations. These sensations can be caused by misaligned wheels and are especially noticeable while you are driving at high speeds. Instead of neglecting steering wheel vibrations (and allowing them to get worse in the meantime), visit Martin Tire for wheel alignment.
- Difficulty keeping your steering wheel straight. When you stop holding on to your steering wheel, it should be able to stay straight—not that you should let go of the wheel while driving, of course. If you attempt to do this in a safe setting and your steering wheel veers in one direction or the other, your wheels could easily be misaligned. This issue can affect any vehicle, but it’s particularly notable in cars with four-wheel or all-wheel drive.
- Squealing tires. Noisy tires are often associated with worn brake pads, but that isn’t the only potential cause. If your tires squeal when you try to turn or accelerate, it could be due to improper wheel alignment.
- Excessive fuel usage. Is your vehicle working extra hard to perform its usual job? If so, it’ll burn more gas in the process. That means prioritizing wheel alignment is an easy way to save on fuel!
When you choose a full-service tire shop such as Martin Tire, you can take care of wheel alignment and tire balancing simultaneously. Even so, it’s wise to know what sets these services apart. And while it’s easy to get tire balancing and wheel alignment mixed up, these tasks are less similar than you might think.
Of course, wheel alignment focuses on making suspension adjustments, with the goal of allowing your tires to hit the road at the correct angle. But despite its similar name, tire balancing deals with the weight of your tires. While unbalanced tires are different from misaligned tires, both issues can lead to uneven tire wear, fuel economy problems, and vibrations in your steering wheel.
When you need tire balancing service, you can count on the Martin Tire team to handle this job for you. Our crew will place small weights on your wheels to ensure they all weigh the same. This process may not seem to be a big deal, but it will have a surprisingly significant impact on your tire wear and fuel efficiency.
You might assume that major impacts will affect your vehicle’s wheel alignment—and you’d be correct to think this. Whether you hit a pothole or a curb while driving or you got involved in a fender bender, the force of this impact could easily throw your wheels out of alignment. That’s why it’s ideal to check your alignment after experiencing these events.
Even so, there are many other reasons your wheels could become misaligned. For example, the everyday wear that comes from average driving can gradually cause issues with wheel alignment. The components in your suspension (including your shocks and springs) will naturally develop gaps as they age. Since these gaps can affect your wheel alignment, it’s best to check it regularly—especially if you drive an older vehicle.
Furthermore, it’s smart to pay attention to your wheel alignment if you’ve recently changed your car’s ride height. Ride height can affect the performance of your suspension system, so you should make suspension adjustments whenever you get your ride height changed.
If you get your tires replaced at Martin Tire, wheel alignment isn’t technically a requirement. Of course, just because you can get away with not doing something doesn’t mean you should try to. The crew at Martin Tire can quickly provide wheel alignment services when you buy new tires from us, and it’s in your best interest to take care of this job right after you have a fresh set of tires installed.
Not performing a wheel alignment after replacing your tires could seriously affect your tire wear over the next few years. Since your car’s current wheel alignment is based on your old tires’ needs, it might not work perfectly for your new tires. Get your new tires off to a good start by letting us handle wheel alignment ASAP!
For a high-quality wheel alignment El Paso residents can trust, you’ll need to pay a bit more than you would for some auto services—but much less than you would for others.
The price of your next wheel alignment could be affected by many factors, including:
- The type of car you drive. If you own a supercar, you should know that the high cost of this vehicle comes with similarly high maintenance expenses. These cars often have more complex designs than an “average” car, and they might need specialized equipment for service (including wheel alignment work).
- How many wheels need an alignment. A front-end wheel alignment will deal solely with the wheels on the front of your vehicle. Due to the smaller amount of work involved in this service compared with a complete wheel alignment, it will usually be quite affordable (though you obviously shouldn’t neglect your rear wheels’ alignment to save a few dollars).
- Whether you are in need of other services. Qualified mechanics can easily discover a previously undetected issue with your vehicle while doing their job. As a result, our technicians may find other suspension problems or unbalanced tires while adjusting your wheels. If so, it’s good to take care of these issues right away—despite the extra cost involved.
Believe it or not, a wheel alignment doesn’t actually involve direct adjustments to your wheels. Instead, this process focuses on making changes to your vehicle’s suspension and steering systems. But since these systems connect your car to your tires, the adjustments made to them as part of this process will impact your tires’ angles.
In the long term, driving with poorly aligned wheels can have a real effect on the lifespan of your tires. Still, that doesn’t mean you can get away with driving with poor wheel alignment for “just” a few days. In fact, ignoring this “minor” issue could have a severe impact on your ability to drive safely.
One of the primary symptoms of a bad wheel alignment is trouble steering. When your wheels aren’t in alignment, driving in a straight line becomes nearly impossible. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be hard to see how improper wheel alignment could affect your safety on the road.
If you’re driving in Texas and get into a car crash, you’ll have to spend a lot more on auto service than you would for a simple wheel alignment. This maintenance service can help you stay safe while driving (and reduce your risk of accidents in the process).
Taking that into account, you could easily end up saving quite a bit of money by getting a quality wheel alignment in El Paso at Martin Tire!