John Linden: Hi! I'm John Linden, Master ASE Certified Technician and North America Training Manager for Midas International Corporation. Today I am talking to you about how to maximize the fuel efficiency of your vehicle and prolong the life of your tires by having the wheel alignment checked and adjusted.
When all four wheels are improperly aligned it create a higher rolling resistance between the road surface and the tire. What this does is cause you to push the vehicle a little harder form point to point causing you to use more fuel than you would normally need. It is a good practice to have the alignment checked anytime you install new tires or if you hit a pothole or a curve and your steering wheel is not centered. Springs are a part of the suspension system, they come in different sizes and shapes but they all have one thing in common, they sag overtime from the weight of the vehicle.
As the spring start to sag, the wheel alignment changes and the tire start to show unusual wear. It is difficult for the average consumer to notice this since it is a slow and gradual process. On the other hand, if you hit a pothole or a curve and you notice the steering wheel is no longer straight this is a sign that the wheels are no longer aligned.
Well there are provisions for minor adjustments of the alignment, if you have a bent or broken part it would require replacement before a proper alignment could be performed.
Performing a wheel alignment requires special equipments, specialized training and in some cases special tools too. This is a service very few consumers can do so they rely on their repair facility to do it for them.
Proper alignment helps prolong the life of the tires just like having them rotated on a regular basis. So that's how you can help increase fuel efficiency by correcting your wheel alignment.