Category Archives: Alignment
Most Altoona 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 Des Moines car owners 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 Des Moines. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Altoona.
Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your minivan. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the minivan may not steer properly.
One or more wheels on your minivan can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Des Moines 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 Grimes driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.
If you have had wheel damage to your minivan, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Des Moine BDG 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 Des Moine BDG in Des Moines, we can take care of that for you.
Your owner’s manual or Des Moine BDG service professional 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 a diagnostic examination more often. Ask your helpful service professional for a recommendation.
If your minivan 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 minivan pulls to one side when you drive around Altoona. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.
Des Moines car owners 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 an automotive analysis, 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 Berwick car owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Des Moines residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.
Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Berwick and Grimes auto owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Altoona highway or surface street.
When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive minivan suspension problems.
But the big issue for Berwick, Grimes, and Des Moines auto owners is safety. When your minivan wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Des Moine BDG in Des Moines.
When undergoing an alignment service at Des Moine BDG, your minivan is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.
Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.
Grimes motorists should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Altoona service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in IA that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.
Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Berwick drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.
That’s why car makers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your minivan owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Des Moine BDG BDG or your service advisor at Des Moine BDG in Des Moines.
One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Des Moine BDG is cheaper for Berwick drivers than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.
When all of your vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Des Moines can cause your minivan’s wheels to be out of alignment.
Driving for an extended time in Des Moines when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded IA expressway. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.
Here are some alignment basics from Des Moine BDG:
The first adjustment is called toe or do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire.
The next adjustment is called camber or do the wheels tip in or out at the top.
And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.
The ideal alignment for your minivan was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Des Moine BDG starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your helpful Des Moine BDG technician will look at tire condition.
From there, the minivan is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to minivan car makers’s specifications.
Your minivan owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at Des Moine BDG before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.
Altoona drivers love their cars. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.
Now Des Moines auto owners can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle’s perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding byways or freeways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage. Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier, or ATVs? Will it be dusty?
Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Des Moine BDG in Des Moines to help you prepare your vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our Des Moines customers prefer to go through this exercise with their helpful service specialist to get their input and make sure they haven’t overlooked anything.
A great place to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job – you wouldn’t want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on Des Moines rock-crawling trails.
Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you’ll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that’s pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous.
And don’t forget your brakes. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection before you leave.
Moving under the hood, have a belts and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Your engine air filter will be important. For every gallon of gas you burn, your car will filter and use 12,000 gallons of air. If the filter needs to be changed, you’ll notice improved fuel efficiency on your trip.
How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it’s due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don’t need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.
Do you notice any unusual odors in your vehicle? If so, it could as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it’s an exhaust leak it could be fatal on a long trip. Of course you’ll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren’t getting the cold air you used to.
Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is quick and inexpensive to fix. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven’t changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.
All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more urgent as you plan for your trip.
They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient and pricey delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the world’s largest ball of string, would you?