Wheel Alignment in Tulsa, OK
Better Performance and Extended Tire Life From Your Go-To Alignment Shop in The Greater Tulsa Area
For expert wheel alignment service, come see the ASE-certified professionals at your nearest Tate Boys Tire & Service Center location. Our team can take care of everything required to get your wheel alignment done perfectly and in short order to get you back on the road.
Complete Line of Wheel Alignment Services
From free alignment checks to adjusting caster, camber, and toe angles, wheel alignment service needs to be performed by experienced professionals with the right equipment to do the job to the proper specifications.
At all Tate Boys locations, customers can rely on a complete set of wheel alignment services including the following and more:
- Full inspection of your entire alignment and suspension system
- Checking alignment and dialing in the proper adjustments
- Checking for steering wheel centering
- Checking suspension for signs of excessive wear and tear
Our tire alignment pros know what it takes to get your wheels dialed in perfectly. Keeping all four wheels parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground is crucial for a proper wheel alignment.
Signs It Is Time for a Tire Alignment
When you need a wheel alignment, there are a variety of different symptoms that can present themselves in your vehicle. Some of these are really noticeable, while others you may never realize were there. Having your alignment checked at regular intervals can help spot an issue that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Signs that you should have your alignment checked include:
- Uneven or premature tire treadwear
- Noticing the steering wheel isn’t on center when driving straight ahead
- Hearing odd noises when you turn the wheel
- Feeling a sort of pulling motion to either the right or left
- Hearing a squealing noise coming from the tires
Whenever you notice any of the above or if you’re simply unsure, it’s a good idea to go ahead and let our professionals inspect your alignment and suspension system to make sure everything checks out. For expert wheel alignment service, bring your vehicle into the nearest Tate Boy location.
Questions to Ask When it May Be Time for a Wheel Alignment
These questions can help you better articulate to your wheel alignment professionals when and how the issue first presented itself. With this information, they’ll be able to better understand the nature of the problem and the best ways for getting your alignment back in line with specs.
- What was the first occurrence of the issue? Think back and try to isolate the timing of the first symptom. Did your steering start pulling to the left or right after you hit a large pothole? Sometimes the exact cause will be hard to pinpoint simply because parts age and wear out eventually, so this may be a gradually-increasing issue.
- Do you experience the issue frequently or only on occasion? Sometimes issues are caused when there’s a specific reason, such as roadway imperfections or with hauling cargo. The issue may actually be present in another component and causing stress to your alignment or suspension systems.
- Have you kept your tires properly inflated, rotated, and balanced? Proper tire maintenance is key to getting the best performance and longevity out of your tires, but it can also help prevent issues related to your alignment.
- When was the last time your steering or suspension system was worked on? Kind of like a medical history for your vehicle, helping the wheel alignment professionals know of any work that’s been done in the past can help techs know to keep an eye on certain areas. Unfortunately some less-qualified alignment shops can cut corners and use refurbished or even salvaged parts, which can be more prone to premature failure.
Having all the information you need to create the best game plan for your vehicle is what our top alignment shops in Tulsa do best. At Tate Boys, we’ll always help walk you through your options, so there are never any surprises with what we need to do and how we plan to do it.
What Are Toe, Camber, and Caster Angles in Car Alignment?
If you are looking at different options for wheel alignment in Tulsa, you will probably have come across the three common terms below. You might think wheel alignment is all about straight lines, but each angle has to be perfectly tuned with the manufacturers’ specifications in order to achieve maximum performance and minimal degradation to the system.
Caster – if you think of a line straight through the upper and lower ball joints of the knuckle in your suspension, you’ll get a steering axis. Caster angles are generally spec’d at a precise degree for positive caster. If you’re looking from the side this would appear like a line going at a diagonal with the top of the line slightly forward. Having a positive caster will help with how the vehicle handles.
Camber – Think of camber as the tire leaning either inwards towards the vehicle body or outwards, as if you were taking off your tire. If the tires are tilting inwards towards the vehicle interior, this is known as a negative camber. Conversely, when the tires tilt outwards, this is called positive camber. The manufacturer will specify the perfect camber required to help property distribute the combined weight present in the vehicle. When camber is off, a telltale sign is uneven tread wear or pulling to the side with positive (outward tilting) camber.
Toe – If you were looking at all four tires in your car from above and took a measurement from the top and bottom of the front tires and the back tires, you could see if the tires kicked in or out. Think of this like where your feet go when you walk. Some people have feet that turn slightly out, some slightly in, some more or less straight ahead. The same could be said of your wheels. When the distance between the front measure is greater it is called a toe-in misalignment. A closer measurement at the rear causes toe-out misalignment. Either situation can be remedied with a wheel alignment service.
Remember that wheel alignment in general helps make sure that each wheel is running parallel to one another and perpendicular to the roadway below. This helps streamline the external forces that are wearing your steering and suspension system as you drive.
What to Look For in An Alignment Shop
The absolute first thing you should see with a top-notch alignment shop is that all of their mechanics are ASE certified. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence and means that the individual has the experience and knowledge to successfully pass the exhaustive automotive skills mastery examination. We’re proud to say that all the technicians who will be working on your steering and suspension program hold this advanced distinction.
When you combine ASE-certified techs with state-of-the-art equipment and only top quality parts and products, you get a potent combination for expert car care.
Great Deals on Wheel Alignments
For the best deals on your next service, always make sure to check out the Tate Boys specials page to see what deals we have running!
Bring In Your Vehicle for a Wheel Alignment Today
We like to make it really easy to get your vehicle in, serviced, and back on the road as efficiently as possible. Wheel alignments need to be performed by experienced professionals with the right equipment for the job. Get ready for a whole new service experience and find the nearest Tate Boys location in your area now.
Wheel Alignment FAQ
How do you know if your vehicle’s wheels need an alignment?
Any responsible Tulsa, Oklahoma-area driver is willing to keep up with auto maintenance needs. But this process goes far beyond regular oil changes and preventative maintenance. You’ll also need to consider factors that directly impact your ability to operate your car, including wheel alignment.
When you take wheel alignment seriously, you’ll find it much easier to drive in a straight line and avoid the risk of uneven tire wear. Consider stopping by your closest Tate Boys Tire & Service Center for tire alignment services if you’ve noticed any of the following signs in your vehicle:
- A steering wheel that won’t stay straight: You obviously shouldn’t let go of the steering wheel while operating your vehicle normally, but if you do, it should stay straight. If you try this (in a safe environment) and the steering wheel veers sharply to one side or another, there’s a good chance that your car’s alignment is off. While this can affect any vehicle, it’s especially pronounced in cars with all-wheel or four-wheel drive.
- Abnormal tire wear: When your vehicle’s tires are correctly aligned, they should wear at approximately the same rate. And they should wear down the center (since that’s where they make the most contact with the road). If your car’s tires are wearing unevenly or in unexpected patterns, improper tire alignment may be to blame.
- Steering wheel vibrations: Even if you drive over bumps in the street, your steering wheel shouldn’t vibrate significantly. However, misaligned tires can create steering wheel vibrations, especially when driving at high speeds. These vibrations will only worsen if you ignore the need for a car alignment, so take care of this task ASAP!
What’s the difference between tire alignment and balancing?
Any qualified alignment shop can take care of wheel alignment and tire balancing. Still, you may want to know whether there’s a meaningful difference between these similarly named services. The answer to this question is “yes.” In fact, these terms describe two completely different auto maintenance tasks.
Of course, wheel alignment is all about adjusting the suspension to ensure your car’s tires can meet the road at the correct angle. But wheel balancing focuses on ensuring the tires weigh the right amount. Like misaligned tires, unbalanced wheels can create problems related to tire wear, fuel usage, and steering wheel vibration.
When you bring your vehicle to Tate Boys for wheel balancing services, our crew will attach small weights to your vehicle’s tires. These will offset any differences in weight from one wheel to the next, allowing the tires to weigh precisely the same amount. The effects of this work may be subtle in terms of your everyday driving experience, but you’ll benefit from a more efficient vehicle and improved tire wear.
How long does a wheel alignment last?
Knowing when to take care of some auto services, such as oil changes, is as easy as following a predetermined schedule. That’s not quite the case for tire alignment, as your need for this service will vary significantly depending on your driving habits.
It’s best to get a wheel alignment at least once every two to three years. However, the team at Tate Boys will check the suspension whenever you bring your vehicle in for service and recommend alignment services if they notice any warning signs. Along with this, you may need to set up an appointment for car alignment if:
- Your car’s suspension has been through a lot. Have you been in a car accident lately? If so, the damage may go further than you realize; collisions can easily jostle your vehicle’s suspension and wreak havoc on the tire alignment.
- You regularly drive on bumpy roads. Even minor jolts to the steering system can bring your vehicle’s tires out of alignment, especially if repeated over time. If you constantly drive on rough terrain, your car may even need multiple wheel alignments per year.
- You’ve noticed the telltale signs of misaligned tires. Even if you haven’t been in a car crash or on rough roads recently, your vehicle might need alignment work earlier than expected. A vibrating steering wheel, unusual tire wear, and odd steering wheel movements can all indicate that your car is overdue for tire alignment services.
Does my vehicle need an alignment after replacing the tires?
Technically, a wheel alignment isn’t necessary during the tire purchase process. That said, having a professional align your car’s new tires when you purchase them is always a safe decision. When you do this, you can rest assured knowing the tires will be correctly angled, allowing you to get as much use out of the wheels as possible. To make things easier, when you use our online tire selector, you can add an optional wheel alignment service to your quote!
In contrast, neglecting to get replacement tires aligned could make your car feel less than perfectly smooth right off the bat. You’ll also have an increased risk of uneven tire wear later. And while Tate Boys can help you save big on new tires, it’s always in your best interests to protect the wheels you already have.
What gets adjusted during an alignment?
You might assume that wheel alignment involves tire adjustments based on its name. But this isn’t precisely the case, even though your car’s tires are still indirectly involved.
In reality, your vehicle’s steering and suspension systems are the components that get adjusted during a wheel alignment. Of course, these systems connect the tires to your car. As a result, any adjustment made to them will affect your wheels, hence, the name of this service.
A successful wheel alignment—like the ones provided at Tate Boys—focuses on tweaking the steering and suspension to change the tire angles. These angles define how your car’s tires contact the road surface, so they must be within manufacturer specifications.
What causes wheel alignment to go out?
It should go without saying that severe impact can lead to misaligned wheels on your vehicle. That category includes everything from hitting curbs and potholes during everyday driving to minor car accidents. If you wind up in one of these situations, checking your car’s tire alignment is wise.
But those aren’t the only situations where your vehicle’s wheel alignment could get out of place. Even normal wear and tear can do a number on the tire alignment. When the suspension’s springs, shocks, and other parts begin to age, they can develop gaps that affect your car’s tire alignment (along with having other consequences for the steering system). The best way to avoid these issues is by getting your car’s wheel alignment checked regularly.
In addition to the situations described above, altering your car’s ride height will likely affect the wheel alignment if you don’t modify the suspension simultaneously. That’s because suspension systems consider ride height, so changing ride height without taking the proper precautions can interfere with the suspension’s ability to do its job.
What should a wheel alignment cost?
Wheel alignment is far from the most expensive auto maintenance task you’ll need to keep up, but it isn’t the cheapest service, either. Nationally, the average you can expect this job to cost is anywhere from $50 to $168.
A surprisingly large number of factors can impact the cost of a tire alignment, including the following:
- The number of wheels involved: Front-end wheel alignments only involve working on a car’s front two wheels, allowing them to fall into the low end of the price range listed above. But you can expect a four-wheel alignment to cost upwards of $100.
- The kind of car you drive: Luxury vehicles aren’t cheap, and the same goes for their maintenance service needs, including wheel alignments. Sometimes, these cars need specialized equipment or have complicated designs that can make repairs more challenging.
- Whether your vehicle needs additional services: During work on your car’s alignment, a mechanic might discover that it needs other car suspension work or tire balancing. Both these services can be just as essential as car alignment, but they come with added costs.
Of course, you can’t control your car’s tire alignment needs, but you can control which Oklahoma alignment shop you trust to take care of this service. Tate Boys Tire & Service Center takes pride in offering the state’s lowest prices for wheel alignment work. And you have the chance to save big by using our online coupons and financing options.
What happens if you don’t fix the wheel alignment?
It can be all too easy for Oklahoma motorists to ignore seemingly minor issues with their vehicles, and misaligned tires may not sound like a severe problem. Despite this, having the wheels out of alignment can affect your car’s well-being much more than you might expect.
If you put a wheel alignment service off for too long, you could run the risk of the following:
- Reduced gas mileage: One of the main reasons drivers ignore their auto maintenance service needs is that they’re trying to save money. But misaligned wheels can make it more difficult for your vehicle to keep traveling at a consistent speed, forcing it to burn extra fuel.
- Tire wear issues: Tire wear is a fact of life for Oklahoma drivers, but the secret to maximizing your car’s wheel lifespan is ensuring they wear out at the same rate and in the right places. Wheel alignment issues can make this impossible, so taking care of alignment needs at the first sign of trouble is crucial.
- Steering problems: If your vehicle’s tires are misaligned, you may find driving in a straight line challenging. Making matters worse, the longer you avoid tackling this problem head-on, the worse it will get. With that in mind, schedule an appointment for wheel alignment before your steering problems become unmanageable. In Oklahoma, the best place to turn for these services is Tate Boys!