How important is wheel alignment?
Think of it this way: Research indicates that the average vehicle is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with a toe angle misadjustment of 0.34 degrees (only 0.17 inches) out of specification will drag the tires sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year!
What are the symptoms of a vehicle with incorrect alignment?
Have your vehicle checked if you notice:
- Excessive or uneven tire wear
- The vehicle pulls to the left or right
- Feeling of looseness or wandering
- Steering wheel vibration or shimmy
- Steering wheel is not centered when the vehicle is moving straight ahead
How often should I have my vehicle aligned?
Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation noted in your owner’s manual. As a general rule, have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.
The importance of Total Alignment:
- Reduced Tire Wear: Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tire wear. Over the years, a properly aligned vehicle can add thousands of miles to tire life. Most tires are replaced prematurely due to adverse wear.
- Better Gas Mileage: Gas mileage increases as rolling resistance decreases. Total Alignment sets all four wheels parallel, which along with proper inflation, minimizes rolling resistance.
- Improved Handling: Does your car pull to one side? Do you constantly have to move the steering wheel to keep your car traveling straight ahead? Many handling problems can be corrected by Total Alignment service. With all the vehicle components aligned properly, road shock is more efficiently absorbed for a smoother ride.
- Safer Driving: A suspension system inspection is part of the alignment procedure. This allows worn parts to be detected before they cause costly problems.
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Why Proper Wheel Alignment is Important
Wheel alignment, a common mechanical issue that many people encounter can become a big cause of a malfunction or vehicular collision if it is not taken care of. Wheel alignment is when we make sure that the wheels of the vehicle are perpendicular when driving on the road. Ideally you want your wheels to be aligned parallel to one another. The good news is even if your wheels are slightly out of line (many are) it isn’t likely that this mechanical issue will cause an accident. However, there are some concerns regarding wheel alignment issues that may be reason enough for you to have a professional alignment done.
1. Save Money On Fuel Costs
You can save money on fuel costs by caring for your vehicle, including investing in regular professional wheel alignments because when the tires are not aligned there is extra pressure being placed on the wheels. They may tug and pull against each other when driving, forcing the vehicle to cope with extra friction and resistance on the road. When this happens your car is forced to over exert it’s self in order to get from point A to point B. The resulting consequence is that you burn extra fuel and spend more money!
2. Regular Wheel Alignments Are Environmentally Conscious
If the money saving incentive didn’t get you; consider the environmental benefits of cutting back on your pollution emissions. If you are burning less fuel, because you have had your tires properly aligned then you are also using less harmful fossil fuels, which are harmful to the environment. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape in order to be just a little bit greener and getting your tires aligned is just one more extra step that you can take to reduce your eco-footprint.
3.Fact: Tires that are properly Aligned Last Longer!
Tires that are regularly aligned last longer because they do not get as worn out. Unaligned tires are under a lot more pressure and gradually get worn out much faster. Occasionally when one side is under more stress then the other your tires will be uneven.
This is important to note because it is not safe to drive on uneven tires. Not to mention how costly and inconvenient it can be when you have to replace just one of your tires and not the other.
A regular alignment service performed by Wrench-On Wheels will extend the life of your tires.
Knowing When To Get Your Wheels Aligned
When you first purchase your tires it is very likely that you will get a free “wheel balancing” from the retailer- however, a wheel balancing and alignment are two different things, chances are you wheels have never been professionally aligned. Anytime that you feel as if your steering is not pointing straight or favoring one side to the other you should have your wheel alignment checked. The official recommended frequency is every 6000 miles or ever 6 months depending on how often you drive. If you are having maintenance done on your vehicle and have not had the wheels aligned in awhile it may be worth checking out. It is especially important that you get you alignment checked after being in an accident even if the damage was not significant.