Proper wheel alignment on a diesel truck is an important part of having a smooth driving experience, safe control of the vehicle, efficient operation, and avoiding increased wear and potential damage to the suspension.
Misalignment increases the wear on tires and encourages uneven wear on them as well. This causes poor rotation of the tires which, in turn, creates more friction between the vehicle and the road. Increased roll resistance on tires makes driving less efficient and lowers fuel economy.
In terms of a diesel truck’s cost of operation over time, tires and fuel are the top areas of expense. Performing regularly scheduled truck wheel alignments can keep these costs as low as possible, as well as being an important preventative maintenance measure for the vehicle. K&L Auto and Diesel Repairs offer mobile alignment services within a 25-mile radius of Manassas, VA.
General maintenance guidelines suggest having a heavy-duty diesel truck aligned two to three times a year. Mileage markers for service are every 50,000-60,000 miles. This can vary, of course, depending on usage factors like driving terrain (bumpy roads and potholes create more wear) and the weight being carried.
There are several signs that may appear when a diesel truck needs a realignment:
- The steering wheel is off-centered and pulls to one side or the other while driving, making it difficult to drive straight.
- There is increased difficulty moving the steering wheel. For example, there is more resistance from the steering wheel when trying to make a turn.
- Tires are wearing down faster than usual and/or unevenly. Check the wear pattern on the tires to see if they are different from each other. The outer side of the tire tends to experience more wear when a truck needs an alignment.
- The truck steadily vibrates or shakes while operating, which can especially become noticeable in the steering wheel.
If any of the above become noticeable, the truck should be inspected and likely realigned. Drivers should also check a truck’s wheel alignment after driving over potholes or significant bumps and dips in the road. Clunking over uneven surfaces could misalign the wheels. Any type of impact on the truck has the potential to affect its alignment.