Why wheel alignment can save you £100s in tyres
At Fergies we want to keep the motorists in and around Thatcham and Newbury safe. We’re also keen to minimise your maintenance costs wherever possible. It’s with this in mind that I thought I’d put pen to paper and fill you in as to why it’s worth dotting the i’s when it comes to making sure your wheel alignment is spot on.
The alignment of a vehicle’s wheels is extremely important; not only to extend the life of your tyres but to also ensure the correct handling of your vehicle, as well as maximise your fuel economy. Correct wheel alignment will also help your vehicle hold the road better and feel more stable.
Interestingly, wheel alignment is in the top three causes of tyres wearing unevenly. The others are incorrect tyre pressures and mechanical part failures.
Wheel alignment can be knocked out of true by any impact on your wheels. This can be caused by simply driving over potholes, clipping kerbs, going over sleeping policemen and other speed slowing humps too quickly.
Has this happened to you recently?
Save on Tyres
If your wheel alignment is incorrectly set, the result can be rapid and irregular tyre wear can affect the safety and handling of your vehicle. When tyres are aligned incorrectly, you will wear the rubber more quickly which could create handling errors. When tyres are misaligned, they will also wear out unevenly relative to each other.
If this is the case, when you inspect your tyres you will likely find a rough and possibly feathered appearance. When tyres wear unevenly in this way, their life span is significantly shortened, so you will have to replace those more often. It goes without saying that this is expensive!
More importantly, bad tread on your tyres leads to poor traction when driving. Having impaired tyre traction affects your vehicle’s ability to come to a stop under all circumstances. This can also be amplified in less than ideal driving conditions, especially when there is mud or snow on the road.
Save on Fuel
In addition to saving on repairing and replacing tyres, there is a significant fuel economy benefit associated with correct wheel alignment.
It has been estimated that those vehicles with bad wheel alignment can suffer a decrease in fuel efficiency by as much as 7%. For a motorist who drives 15,000 miles a year, obtaining an average 51 miles per gallon at £1.15 per litre (£5.27 per gallon), correct wheel alignment adds nearly £110 in annual fuel cost savings.
Correct wheel alignment also protects a motorist’s investment. Every 25mm that a vehicle’s wheels are misaligned is equivalent to dragging a tyre sideways at 100 feet per mile. This not only creates dangerous driving conditions, but it also causes tyres to wear unnecessarily. This can be avoided simply by getting the wheels properly aligned.
Save on Insurance Premiums
There are other safety benefits of correct wheel alignment that could have an effect on your wallet. By maintaining tread life you reduce unnecessary wear, which has a direct impact on your stopping distance on wet surfaces. Travelling at more than 60 mph and losing control of the vehicle could have serious consequences for your insurance premium.
When Should Wheel Alignment Be Checked?
The majority of manufacturers do not set a schedule for wheel alignment, but most technicians recommend it is checked every 6 – 12 months.
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The symptoms to be aware of include:
- An off-center steering wheel
- The car pulling to one side while on a level, straight road
- Any uneven tyre wear
- Incorrect handling or the car not holding the road well
If you notice any of these, or that any of your tyres are looking rough, have the wheel alignment checked. When your car is in for other maintenance, it’s a great opportunity to have your wheel alignment inspected.
It’s worth keeping in mind, that the cost of keeping your wheels correctly aligned is bound to be far less than the cost of replacing four tyres that wear out too soon. In our book, prevention is always more cost effective than a cure 🙂
At Fergies, we have the very latest training and technology to ensure that your wheel alignment is correct. This not only saves you money but ensures your safety.