Auto Maintenance: Benefits of Keeping the Car in Shape

Two Tips To Help You Determine If The Wheels On Your Car Need To Be Aligned

Keeping the wheels on your vehicle in proper alignment is important for many different reasons.  When your wheels are out of alignment, you run the risk of prematurely wearing down the tread on your tires, which could lead to a dangerous blowout.  There are varying degrees of wheel alignment, and unless your tires are grossly misaligned, it could be difficult for you to tell whether or not you have a problem.  Use this information to learn more about how to determine if your wheels need to be aligned as soon as possible.

Your Car Burns Through Fuel More Quickly

One of the first indications that your wheels are out of alignment is that your vehicle burns through gas much more quickly than it used to.  Unless, the price of gas has changed, you should typically be able to predict about how long a tank of gas will last based upon your driving patterns.  If you find that this changes in a relatively short period of time, it may be time to have the alignment on your wheels checked. 

The reason why a car with bad alignment burns through gas more quickly is because it takes more energy for your vehicle to run.  Your car was designed to have the wheels pointing in a direction that maximizes drivability.  When this changes due to bad alignment, your car has to put in more work in order to move at the speeds you demand. 

Your Steering Wheel Will Not Remain Straight

Another way for you to determine whether or not your wheels are in good alignment is to check the position of your steering wheel.  When you are on a straight stretch of road or highway, gently release the wheel for a few seconds and see if the car remains headed in a straight line.  If the wheel turns to one way or another, your alignment may be off.

Keep in mind that you only want to perform this quick test when you are not near other cars.  This is vital for safety reasons, since your car could have a big alignment issue and you may not be aware of how sharply the vehicle will veer once you release the wheel.

Maintaining proper wheel alignment is the key to protecting your tires for the long haul.  If you notice any of these symptoms, have your alignment looked at by a automotive professional, like D Wells Automotive Service, right away.