Most Eldorado Springs folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Boulder auto owners is a periodic alignment inspection.
Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more expensive than an alignment check in Boulder. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Eldorado Springs.
Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your family car. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the family car may not steer properly.
One or more wheels on your family car can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Boulder street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Boulder driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.
If you have had wheel damage to your family car, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any John’s Auto Care tech will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At John’s Auto Care in Boulder, we can take care of that for you.
Your owner’s manual or John’s Auto Care technician can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider an inspection more often. Ask your cheerful service advisor for a recommendation.
If your family car is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your family car pulls to one side when you drive around Eldorado Springs. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.
Boulder motorists should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.
When you get an inspection, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.
This may seem like a lot of bother for Louisville motorists, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Boulder residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.