While you might only form the thought “I need to get in touch with an “alignment shop near me” when it is apparent to you that your vehicle isn’t handling right or that a mechanic has overtly told you that you need to have your alignment fixed, there are other reasons you should be judicious about it. It may only be one small component of vehicle health, but a properly balanced alignment will significantly impact your driving experience and safety.
Getting a Wheel Alignment – It’s Worth It
An alignment service includes adjusting the angles at which a vehicle’s tires contact the road, and sometimes includes balancing, which refers to how the weight is distributed across the four tires. Each vehicle is unique and should be adjusted accordingly, and alignment services must address the needs of each vehicle’s engineering differently.
However, regardless of the car you drive, an alignment service can help secure the following benefits.
- Better fuel economy
If your tires don’t contact and grip the surface of the pavement as intended, you’re going to experience significantly adverse impacts to your vehicle’s fuel economy. 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. If you’re thinking about where you can find an “alignment shop near me,” you’re in luck, and you might be able to save money on fuel in the long run.
- Smoother ride
How about the fact that an alignment service can just provide a more enjoyable ride for you when you hit the road? Poorly aligned tires may rattle and rumble, and they will rarely ride smoothly over the road.
A periodic alignment service can be your key ticket to ensuring a smoother ride on the road, which will undoubtedly prove more enjoyable for both you and your passengers.
- Extended tire life
You’ve already seen that a proper alignment can potentially save you money on gas, but we’re just getting warmed up. Aligned tires will wear much more evenly than poorly aligned tires, which as you might be able to deduce, equates to extended tire life in turn.
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 components that are expensive to produce and recycle.
- Lower risk of expensive repairs in the long run
While there are arguably more important routine services to the health of a vehicle than an alignment service, driving with out-of-alignment tires is not good news. Your steering system and suspension are under far more stress when your tires are out of alignment, which could cause problems down the line.
Apart from heightened wear and tear on these systems, if you drive over rough terrain or, say, drive over a curb with bad alignment, you could incur much more costly damage than if you did so with a proper alignment. The responsible thing is you keep your alignment proper and avoid these issues.
- Public safety, anyone?
If we can’t sway you with the promise of saving money on gas, tires and long-term repairs, how about the icing on the cake – it can be potentially unsafe to drive with tires that are not aligned properly.
Vehicles with poor alignment will not grip the road with the same efficiency as they would if their alignments were adjusted properly, which can be dangerous at high speeds or 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.
Call Us If You See Any of the Following
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 any of the following signs and symptoms. While they could indicate a variety of other, different problems, more often than not these are a dead giveaway that something is off about your alignment.
- Uneven tread wear or excessive tread wear in a short amount of time
- A screeching sound (or other off-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 under way, 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
- A steering wheel that vibrates or shakes
If you notice any of the symptoms above, your next thought should be, “I need an alignment shop near me,” and don’t slack to reach out for help, because these can also potentially be symptoms of a more serious issue.
Check out our locations and contact the one nearest you to schedule an appointment, or simply schedule your appointment online – we’re always here to help!