Getting a wheel alignment might not cross your mind often unless you notice some significant changes behind the wheel. You might even go years without performing this service, or maybe you only have it done when you purchase new tires. It may be a small regular maintenance item, but a properly aligned vehicle will significantly impact your driving experience, safety, and can even save you money.
Get a Wheel Alignment – It’s Worth It
An alignment service involves adjusting the angles at which a vehicle’s tires contact the road. Each vehicle is unique, and auto manufacturers provide guidelines on the alignment specifications for each model.
However, regardless of the car you drive, getting a wheel alignment can provide the following benefits. Here are five benefits that can come from getting your wheels aligned regularly:
1.) Better Fuel Economy
An improperly aligned vehicle is fighting itself while going down the road. It’s been estimated that fuel economy can be impacted up to 10% just by poor alignment alone! Imagine if you could slash your gas bill by one-tenth just by investing in a timely alignment service? It’s not that far-fetched. You might be wasting money on fuel.
2.) Smoother Ride
When your wheels are out of alignment, you’ll notice it when you drive. Your car may pull to one side, vibrate, and feel overall less smooth. Like we said before, misaligned wheels fight themselves and even drag while you drive. This translates directly into what you feel while driving.
A periodic alignment service can give you a smoother ride on the road, which will undoubtedly prove more enjoyable for both you and your passengers.
3.) Extended Tire Life
Another issue that comes from out-of-alignment wheels is uneven tire wear. The dragging and fighting between misaligned wheels will cause some pretty whacky tread wear.
If your tires wear unevenly, you’ll be replacing them much more frequently than you would otherwise need to, upping your overall cost of vehicle ownership and, frankly, wasting materials that are expensive to produce and recycle.
4.) Lower Risk of Expensive Repairs
If your car is severely out of alignment, it can put excess stress on steering and suspension components. It’s likely you’ll notice significant changes in driving dynamics and get it fixed before any damage would occur, but it’s worth noting regular alignments can prevent other expensive repairs down the road.
5.) Safety Risk
If the promise of saving money on gas, tires and long-term repairs isn’t enough, how about the icing on the cake – it can be unsafe to drive with wheels that are not aligned properly.
Vehicles with poor alignment will not grip the road with the same efficiency as they would if their alignment was adjusted properly, which can drastically alter the way your car handles. Furthermore, it can impact driving in adverse conditions, such as over ice, snow, mud or in the rain. Vehicles that handle poorly are more at risk of loss of control – minimize that risk by having your vehicle’s alignment adjusted properly.
How Do I Know it’s Time for an Alignment?
Now that you’ve had a crash course in the value provided by an alignment service, it’s time for you to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms. While these could indicate a variety of other problems, more often than not these symptoms are a dead giveaway your alignment is off.
- Uneven tread wear or excessive tread wear in a short amount of time
- A screeching sound when turning or steering
- If your car seems to pull or drift to one side of the road and then the other
- If your car rumbles or vibrates unduly when driving, even on smooth, even pavement
- Your steering wheel is not centered properly, even when the car is tracking straight
- A steering wheel that seems loose, or has too much play
- The steering wheel vibrates or shakes
If you notice any of the symptoms above, it may be time to schedule an alignment service.
How often should I get an alignment?
At a minimum, you should get your wheels aligned once a year. However, if you get into an accident, hit a curb or large pothole, modify your suspension, or get new tires, it’s best to get one performed. The components in your suspension are sensitive, and any impact or change can throw your wheels out of alignment.
Wheel Alignments at Borst Automotive
At Borst Automotive, we have skilled technicians who can get your wheels aligned and keep your car running smooth. We are proud to provide alignments and other auto services to communities in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson Arizona. Check out our locations and call the one nearest you to schedule an appointment, or simply schedule your appointment online – we’re always here to help!