Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Keep Your Tires in Line!

Do you ever find that you're driving in the right direction, but your steering wheel isn't centered? It's possible your alignment is off. Some other obvious signs of improper alignment are a vibrating steering wheel, uneven wear on your tires, and of course drifting to one side despite the fact that your wheel is centered.

When you hit a bump or run over a pothole, your car's suspension can become loose or worn down. The suspension is what connects your steering wheel to your tires, directly effecting the alignment. And since correct alignment is measured so precisely (to the tenth and even hundredth of an inch), even the smallest bump to a curb is enough to throw the suspension off, pointing your tires in the wrong direction.

Alignment can even be thrown off by something as small as not having the correct amount of air in your tires. And even if nothing actually happened to your car but it's been a while since it has been aligned, it is in your best interest to have a professional realign it for you.

Besides the extra work that goes into simply driving in a straight line, the most noticeable problem you will face with a poorly aligned vehicle is having your tires wear down much faster than if it were properly aligned. Not only do they wear away, but they do so unevenly. This is when the tire becomes unsafe to use. An unevenly worn tire can lose air pressure and possibly blowout, even if it has been rotated.

A less visible, but just as relevant consequence to bad alignment is the damage to your cars suspension. Since improper alignment means your suspension is out of whack to begin with, it should be obvious that continuing to drive your car in this condition will only cause further damage.

Basically, if you keep putting off getting your car properly aligned, it will end up costing you. It can be very pricey to have your suspension fixed or replaced, depending on how much damage has been done. Not to mention the cost of four new tires.

To be safe, you should just have your car realigned every time you get an oil change or when you bring your car in for routing maintenance. Some auto body shops will include the alignment service if you are already having work done, but even if you do have to pay for the alignment it is far worth it compared to suspension and tire costs.

Besides cost, proper alignment allows for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. Your tires will not wear down as much and even when they do, at least they will wear down evenly. This means they can be rotated properly, extending their life even more. And of course with the tires all facing the same direction your car will drive straight and handle more properly which keeps you safer. With a properly aligned vehicle, you will even get better gas mileage!

When your car's alignment is off, it means your tires are pointing in the wrong direction. Since a driver's main task is to keep tires going the right way, this is kind of a big deal. On top of these obvious steering issues, improper alignment can cost you your safety, and of course too much money!

Call Matthey Automotive today at (856) 854-2507 for an appointment to make sure you aren't spending more than you need to keep your car in line.
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