Improper wheel alignment can cause your tires to wear out extremely fast and can reduce your car’s gas mileage efficiency a definite issue with today’s high gas prices!
A1 Automotive ASE Certified technicians will align and balance your front and rear wheels and tires quickly at our state-of-the-art auto repair facility in Lincoln. Regular wheel alignments and tire balancing can help prevent damage to your car’s steering and suspension systems.
How often should do I need wheel alignments? Wheel alignments should be done more often if your vehicle has wider tires or if it’s a sports car, for example: Audi, BMW, Mazda 3, Nissan 370Z, etc. From our experience in the industry, we’ve noticed that wheels usually become misaligned after a year or two of driving or so or after hitting a large bump in the road.
The Importance of Wheel Alignments
As we mentioned, an improperly aligned wheel can cause excessive wear on your tires and reduce your gas mileage “Improper alignment can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10% about 31 cents per gallon” and here’s how.
When your tires are not perfectly vertical to the road, certain areas of your tires and tread will carry the majority of your vehicle’s weight while other sections may almost not even touch the road. This means that there is more friction on the part of your tire that is carrying the load, leading to faster wear on the tire than would occur with more even weight distribution.
When your tires are not parallel to each other it actually causes one tire to travel “diagonally.” This means that your tire is, for all intents and purposes, spinning in a different direction than it is traveling! Again you will see uneven wear on your tire, but this additional friction also means that your engine has to exert more force, a.k.a. use more gas, to push it forward. In addition to that, your misaligned tires are actually “travelling” a greater distance than if it were spinning straight forward, leading again to more tire wear and fuel consumption.
Depending on the type of vehicle you have, new tire prices can range anywhere from $50 to $1,400 a piece! The moral of the story? Regular wheel alignments will save you money in the long run as neither gas nor tires are cheap! Our state-of-the-art wheel alignment equipment at our repair shop in Lincoln can have your car’s front end and back end wheel alignment problems fixed in no time. Get the most out of your tires and optimize your vehicle’s fuel economy. Call us today at (402) 477-4660 to schedule your wheel alignment/tire balancing and pricing inquiries or click here to schedule online and save 10%.
How to Know if Your Car Needs an Alignment
Unfortunately it’s not always possible to simply look at your tire and tell if it’s straight up and down or running parallel to the other tires. As even a minor angle can have a drastic and negative effect on tire wear and gas mileage.
There are a couple of red flags that will let you know if your alignment is off.
Steering wheel pulling right or left. If you can feel your car or truck pulling to the left or right there is a good chance that your alignment is off even if its only a slight pull, or that you have a more serious steering system issue.
Steering wheel or tire vibrations. Sometimes when a car’s alignment is off, the driver will be able to feel a slight vibration that varies with speed. In most cases while driving at speeds above 55 miles per hour or over.
Unevenly worn tires. If your alignment is off, and has been for some time, you may be able to see that your tire tread is worn unevenly or wearing in abnormal places; with the inside or outside edge of your tire tread being lower than the other edge. This can mean that, not only do you need an alignment, but that you unfortunately may also need a new set of tires!