Wheel alignment should occur annually, along with a tire tread check and tire rotation. However, an astonishingly large percentage of vehicle owners do not have any of these services completed. Whatever the reason, these issues simply remain unaddressed. Maybe it is because you have so many questions to ask your wheel technician, and you simply do not have the time to ask them. If that is the case, maybe some of your questions are as follows. Answers are provided free of charge.

Can You See When Wheels Are out of Alignment?

You cannot really see when wheels are out of alignment unless you place a panoramic rear view camera under the back bumper of your vehicle and record your vehicle as it rolls down the street. Wheels that are out of alignment wobble in and out as they roll, which means that if you drive your vehicle into a wheel alignment garage, you may or may not come to rest the tires on the "out" of a wobble. Trying to see the tires in this state is very tricky indeed, but the special scale-like equipment a technician uses can easily pick up and "see" the tires as they are out of alignment.

Does Wheel Alignment Only Affect One or Two Tires?

Unlike the wearing of tire tread, wheel alignment affects both tires on a single axle. Additionally, if you let things go long enough, the alignment issues with one axle will get bad enough to affect the other axle of the vehicle. Then all four tires are out of alignment. Wheel alignment never affects just one tire. 

How Does Wheel Alignment Affect Tire Tread?

When the wheel alignment is off, it can affect the tread on the tires. Usually, the tire that wobbles outward the most will show wear on the tread on the outer edge of the tire. The other tire on the same axle will show wear on the inside of the tread. Worn tires that need to be replaced can also affect the alignment by allowing the tires to wobble excessively and creating a very pronounced wobble. In worst case scenarios, worn tires and pronounced wobbles from misalignment can cause the tires to blow on the road. 

Should Vehicle Owners Replace All Four Tires Prior to Getting the Wheels Aligned?

No, you do not have to replace all four tires. However, you may want to replace the two tires that require re-alignment. This ensures equal wear and tear on the two tires since the axle will not roll this way or that.