Holiday Travel is Easier with Proper Wheel Alignment

November 2nd, 2015
Wheel Alignment in St. Clairesville, OHThe holidays are coming up, you’re getting the car or minivan loaded, the kids have plenty to keep them busy on the trip, the oil’s been changed and everything’s ready to go. Except for one thing…the fact that your vehicle is consistently pulling to the right. 
 
A pull to one side can be due to an underinflated tire, but if all your tires are at the proper inflation, chances are that the pull is due to poor wheel alignment. Your vehicle leaves the factory with the front wheels set at specific angles in relation to the frame and the rear wheels, for optimum steering, handling and ride quality. Over time, these angles can drift out of spec due to normal wear and tear, or due to an impact such as a hard hit on a pothole, railroad tracks or a curb. 
 
At that point, one wheel is trying to push or pull the vehicle in another direction. The wheels are adjustable for four angles: 
 
  • Toe-in, where a wheel is pointed inward (as viewed from the top)
  • Toe-out, with a wheel skewed to the outside
  • Camber, the inward or outward tilt of the top of a wheel
  • Caster, the fore-and-aft orientation of a wheel as opposed to an imaginary vertical line behind the wheel
 
A change in any of those angles means poorer fuel economy, due to excess friction as the vehicle drags along the out-of-spec wheel along with the other three. That also accounts for the persistent push or pull to the left or right, of course. 
 
Worse, the inner or outer tread of the improperly-aligned wheel will be “scrubbed off” due to that drag, and that tire will wear out 20-25,000 miles before the rest of the car’s tires. You also should know that your tires’ tread wear warranty will be invalidated due to wear from poor wheel alignment. 
 
Bear in mind that the adjustments to suspension angles are minute, but significant.  If left on its own with no steering input from the driver, a car with a front wheel that’s only 1/8” out of spec would drift 28 feet from a straight line over the course of a mile! 
 
Driving a car with a persistent pull to one side due to poor wheel alignment is more than irritating and tiring. It’s costing you money in terms of fuel economy and premature tire wear. Why throw your money away like that? A wheel alignment can save you money and aggravation – make an appointment with Joe’s Tires in St. Clairsville, OH and let our techs put your car up on the alignment rack to check all the crucial angles.
Holiday Travel is Easier with Proper Wheel Alignment was written by of Joes Tires and Service
  Posted in: Tires 101