Ever been to a chiropractor because your back is “out of wack”? Or have an injury because your body is misaligned? Just as your muscles, bones and joins can have issues from daily walking, sitting, running and jumping, your car is also prone to more severe problems from daily wear and tear of driving.
It’s not that surprising, is it? Our Wisconsin winters wreak havoc on our roads, which in turn beats up on cars—from shifting pavement, potholes and ice that causes our car to slide and bump. The result: your tires and suspension are out of alignment (just like your body), which can cause other problems:
- Uneven tire tread wear.
- Car that pulls to the right or left.
- Steering wheel that is not centered when driving straight.
- Steering wheel vibration.
While you can drive with these issues (not always safely!), a car with alignment issues costs more in the long run. A car without regular alignments needs tires more often (because tires wear faster) and needs more suspension part repair and replacement. More importantly, driving in a misaligned car can cause accidents especially during our icy, treacherous winter roads in Wisconsin.
Every model of car needs a different, precise alignment so this is not something that can commonly be done at home. Just like you wouldn’t trust your body to an amateur to adjust your alignment, you shouldn’t trust your car alignment to just anyone. Take your car to Tire-rifik, where a certified alignment technician can perform a full car alignment:
- Inspect your steering and suspension system.
- Check your tire condition and air pressure.
- Adjust your camber, caster and toe angles, if adjustable, to the manufacturer’s specifications. (Additional parts and labor may be necessary on some vehicles – see your customer service advisor for details)
- Road test your vehicle to insure your alignment is a straight forward alignment.
An unbalanced car typically has a vibration or shake that becomes progressively worse as the car’s speed increases. The speed at which the vibration first becomes apparent varies depending on the size and weight of the tires and wheels, the size and weight of the car, the sensitivity of the steering and suspension, and the amount of imbalance. The vibration or shake usually starts in at 35 to 45 mph and increases in intensity as your speed increases.
Talk to your mechanic about how often your car needs an alignment, and keep it on a regular schedule. Often, you can have your car alignment checked as part of your spring car maintenance or car work before winter. The amount of time between car alignments is dependent upon the amount of miles you put on your car, as a car alignment is recommended every 6,000 miles.