Most Augusta 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 Augusta drivers 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 costly than an alignment check in Augusta. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Augusta.
Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your car. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the car may not steer properly.
One or more wheels on your car can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Augusta 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 Washington driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.
If you have had wheel damage to your car, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any atc AutoCenter 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 atc AutoCenter in Augusta, we can take care of that for you.
Your owner’s manual or atc AutoCenter service advisor 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 honest tech for a recommendation.
If your 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 car pulls to one side when you drive around Augusta. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.
Augusta 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 a diagnostic examination, 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 North Augusta auto owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Augusta residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.