The Importance of Wheel Alignment
There are a lot of service options out there for car care. Even though you’re not a mechanic, you should still know as much as you can about certain services and why they are important to the life of your car. Today we’re talking about tire or wheel alignment and why it matters.
What is Alignment?
It’s complicated, but essentially it means that the tires on your car are straight and in line with the rest of the car. If you’re driving down a straight road (and there aren’t other cars around!), take your hands off the steering wheel briefly and watch to see if your car is pulling in one direction or another. If that’s the case, there may be a problem with your car’s alignment.
What Causes the Problem?
In short, it’s sometimes the little things that can throw your car out of alignment: hitting a pothole, bumping a curb, and simply wear and tear. Over time, as your vehicle ages, joints start to get looser and rubber starts to wear down. This can also contribute to structure problems.
Even if your car is only slightly out of adjustment, it can cause uneven tire wear and make it more difficult to control your car.
Why is it so Important?
If you think about the car like you would a human, you wouldn’t want to wait to get continual aches and pains taken care of. Misalignment could almost be compared to a twisted ankle. You may start favoring the other ankle, leading you to limp and overcompensate and possibly make the problem worse by not treating it.
When a car is out of alignment, tires wear down faster, which isn’t good for the car, and it certainly isn’t good for your wallet. The other problem is simply an issue of handling. It becomes physically harder to drive your car when the wheels don’t want to go where they are supposed to go.
How Often Should I Have My Car Checked?
It’s not unusual to have your car checked frequently, meaning every other oil change, which could be somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 miles. Many service centers have deals offering a lifetime alignment service for the life of your car, which can be a worthwhile investment.
If you live in the Longmont area and you think that your car isn’t performing optimally, especially with regard to driving in a straight line, you should take your car into the service center and speak to a technician. The worst thing you can do for your car when it’s not performing well is to ignore it and hope it goes away. Deal with the problems as soon as they arise – car troubles tend to get worse with time and driving.