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Weighing the Costs of Auto Care

mechanicAs with many expensive equipment preventive auto care can save you a lot of money in the long term on automobile repair. Additionally, this can help make driving more pleasurable and reduce fuel costs as well. There are many services and checks that are part of preventive auto care of which one of the most important is wheel alignment.

Importance

Typically, all the four wheels of an automobile should point in the same direction. This will help the vehicle move in the desired direction with ease. However, when one or more of the wheels are not aligned, they will try to move in a different direction, making the vehicle turn. This can lead to you having to exert pressure of the steering wheel to keep the car moving in the right direction. Additionally, the wheels are under stress since they are constantly being dragged and will wear out faster and unevenly. The constant additional pressure also leads to increased fuel consumption.

Causes

The wheels of an automobile can become misaligned when it hits the curb, a stone, or a deep rut. Since, these do not appear to be major events, you are unlikely to take them seriously. This is why proper auto care includes periodic wheel alignment tests.

Process

The auto mechanic will check the wheels for alignment and align the front wheels to the back ones using the manufacturer specifications. Additionally, they will examine the suspension and steering components for signs of wear and indications of wheel alignment problems. In the case of a two-wheel drive only the front wheels are aligned, while in a four wheel drive, all four are aligned. This process is more complex and, therefore, more expensive.

In order to increase the life of the wheels and reduce fuel consumption, proper auto care includes regular wheel alignment.