It’s true—a tire alignment is necessary when you get new tires installed on your vehicle. You may also need a wheel alignment after colliding with a curb or pothole. And there are other situations, such as getting new struts or ball joints, which require a tire alignment as well. While you can imagine the importance of having a vehicle’s wheels set in a straight position, tire alignments are actually quite a complex procedure requiring specialized machines, knowledge and training. Knowing all that is involved, and how ultimately, a wheel alignment will save you time, money and a lot of headache down the road, you're better off understanding all that makes up tire alignment cost, which typically ranges from $70-$100. One of the greatest benefits a wheel alignment service has to offer is maximizing tire life.
Tires are frequent and necessary vehicle maintenance items for drivers--if you drive a car, you’ve probably dealt with having to get new tires. And you’ve probably realized how expensive they can be. A set of premium tires can easily cost $800, with a lifespan of about 6 years. Let’s say you drive a vehicle for 12 years—that’s at least $1,600 that you will spend on tires over the course of owning that vehicle! What if you properly maintained your vehicle so as to maximize tire life? What if you got the most, if not more, life out of each set of tires? Excellent maintenance on your car could easily cut your tire expenses in half, saving you $800 over that same 15 years of owning the vehicle. Not only that, tires that are maintained well also contribute to better gas mileage, thus also saving you money on gas.
Misaligned vehicles can cause tires to wear unevenly, leading to premature failures. Unevenly worn tires will appear to have more wear on the inside(s), outside(s) or middle of some or all tires. An expert mechanic can learn about what's going on with a vehicle by reading tire wear, as wear patterns can indicate certain issues.
These are the passenger and driver side front tires on a Ford van. You can easily spot the difference in tread wear--the driver side tire tread being much more worn down on the outside edge. This case was due to worn ball joints and since they weren't repaired early, one tire wore prematurely and now all, or at least two, tires need to be replaced as well.
One of the easiest ways you can take care of your tires and maximize tire life is by having your vehicle regularly and properly aligned.
And all you need to do is take your vehicle to a reputable shop that is able to perform alignments (i.e. has both the training and equipment)--like us!
Here’s how it goes. Give us a call and make an appointment to bring your car in. We'll start by going for a test drive and evaluating your vehicle's alignment. If we find an alignment is necessary, we'll put your vehicle on our alignment rack and make adjustments to position the tires in a precise position. When the vehicle is on this rack, it’s hooked up to a computer and the mechanic will adjust the wheel's camber, castor and toe (or angles at which they are set). These adjustments are made based on typical driving scenarios, including tak the standard curvature of most streets. Fun facts: did you know alignment adjustments are the opposite in countries where you drive on the left side of the road? Also, race cars require specialized alignments that compensate for their speed and driving—the right tires on a circle track race car will be angled for consistent left turns! It’s important to take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for this specialized job.
If you think you may need an alignment or want to have your vehicle looked at, contact us so we can help. Check us out online or learn more about tire alignment cost.
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