Winter Special: Up to $30 Off Alignments for Limited Time
What is an Alignment?
Over time you car’s wheels and tires will get out of alignment, which means they are no longer parallel to each other. You may notice your car "pulling" to the left or right when you're trying to drive straight. When this happens, bring your car in Ripley’s for an alignment.
An alignment is a procedure to readjust your wheels and tires so they are once again parallel with each other. An alignment can be performed on your front or back end, or both.
A vehicle alignment involves computer-aided precision adjustments to your caster, camber, toe, and ride height, which are also a part of your suspension. The better aligned your vehicle’s wheels are to each other, the better quality driving you’ll experience.
Why tire alignment is important
Many of us know that changing our car’s oil is an important task that should be done regularly. However, it is also important why your tire alignment is important.
Tires last longer
Your tires last longer when they have full contact with the road. When your vehicle’s alignment is off, your car will tend to pull to the left or right, causing more weight to one side of the tire. This results in one half of the tire being more worn out than the other.
Saves you money
If your alignment is off, your car’s tires will wear out much faster, resulting in frequent purchases of new sets of tires, which is almost always more expensive than an alignment.
Makes your car more energy efficient
When your car pulls to the left or right while you drive, it’s adding unnecessary friction and the car needs to use more power and energy to keep moving forwards. Essentially, your car has to work a lot harder to move forwards because the tires and wheels are not moving together.
Makes your driving safer
One of the more important reasons you need to pay attention to your vehicle’s alignment is safety. If you’re driving a car that has poor alignment and if for any reason you happen to let go of the steering wheel, the car will move to the left or right side. If you’re driving in traffic, next to rails, or next to a ditch, you can see how this can contribute to a serious accident.
How do I know if I need and alignment?
There are typically three ways to tell if you need an alignment:
- Vehicle pulls to the left or right: When you let go of the steering, does your vehicle move to the left or right? If so, then you might have an alignment issue. Generally, you don't have to let go of your steering to tell if your car is pulling to the right or left. However, if you do briefly let go of the wheel to test your alignment, make sure you are not near any other vehicles, walls, rails, etc.
- Steering wheel vibration: While you’re driving down the road, do you feel consistent shake or vibration in your steering wheel? If you do, then you likely have an alignment problem.
- Uneven tire tread wear: Have you seen the condition of your tires? This may be harder to visually inspect since it involves looking under your car. If you see that one half of the tire is worn down but the other half of the tire is in good condition, you might very well have an alignment problem.
What causes tire alignment issues?
- Driving on rough roads: Driving short distances on rough roads isn’t a big problem, but driving consistently on rough roads that have rocks, bumps, cracks, and other similar conditions can cause alignment problems.
- Hitting a speed bump at fast speed: This is one of the most common contributors towards alignment problems. If you’re driving at 40 mph and drive over a speed bump, the bounce from the speed bump can cause misalignment.
- Going over a pothole: This is the same concept as above, except instead of a speed bump it’s a pothole. When you go over a pothole at a fairly fast pace, the your tire will collide with the side of the pothole, causing alignment problems.
If you have any questions or need any help preparing your car for winter, feel free to call us or contact us online.