Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wheel Alignment: the Dangers of Driving Crooked

by Marjorie, Social Media Manger for Cars for Keeps

It happens to the best of us. You notice one day that your steering wheel is sideways, even though you're driving straight. Then it occurs to you to let go of the wheel - just to see what happens - and before you know it, you're headed right into the ditch. Or left.

Some responsible car owners will take this as a sign that it's time for some maintenance, but the rest of us decide it's not a big enough problem to fix right away. Or ever. As with almost all car maintenance issues, the longer wheels are left misaligned, the more potential damage can be done.

While it's funny to think that if left on its own your car would do donuts indefinitely, there are some major side effects to driving without proper wheel alignment. These problems affect both the car and the driver.

1) Irregular tire wear. Tires are expensive. Why not make them last by allowing for even wear? Having wheels aligned correctly could give your tires up to twice the lifespan of those driven crooked.

2) Handling problems. Sure, a pull to the right can be handy for hands-free right turns. But the rest of the time, when you need to drive straight, constantly having to pull your car in the right direction can be tiresome and even dangerous.

3) A crooked steering wheel. This is probably the least important symptom of tire misalignment, but wouldn't it be nice if just ONE thing in your life was straight and just the way it should be?

Wheel misalignment is very common and can be caused from potholes or simply daily driving. Fortunately, it's also easy and relatively inexpensive to fix.

How inexpensive? Rob's running a special this month for FREE wheel alignment inspections (that's a $25 value), with 15% off all alignment services. Check out our Coupons page for more great repair deals to make sure you're in tip-top shape for winter.

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