The Hidden Costs of a Bad Wheel Alignment
Having your wheels realigned at a shop can be pretty pricey, so we don’t blame you for putting it off as long as you can. Still, your car's bad wheel alignment is actually costing you more money in the long run because:
1. It decreases your fuel economy.
Think about what it feels like to push around an out-of-whack shopping cart. When one wheel on the shopping cart refuses to cooperate with the others, you have to push the cart a little harder than usual just to go forward. You may also need to steer it more than usual to keep it straight.
While car tires don’t make the whuppa-whuppa-whuppa sound a bum cart wheel makes, you still need to "push" your car with extra force to keep your misaligned wheels under control. That means you're using up more fuel than necessary and spending more at the pump.
2. It puts more wear and tear on your tires.
Photo credit: Gene Selkov
Did you know that wheels off by as little as one-eighth of an inch could cause a 20 percent increase in wear on your tires? Even worse, the damage would be done to only one side of the tire, rendering it useless if not caught in time. New tires are at least $75-$150 each, and replacement is generally recommended for all 4 tires at once. If a bad alignment ruins a tire, you're looking at a potentially hefty bill.
3. It makes your car more prone to accidents.
An unaligned car veers left or right instead of straight. If you’re not keeping your steering wheel turned a certain way, your car may drift off course and hit something else.
Excessive wear on the inner or outer edge of the tire may result in the tire blowing out. Such a situation, especially on the freeway, could be dangerous to you and other motorists on the road, as well as expensive to fix.
Causes of Alignment Issues
Photo credit: Mike Peel
You can attribute an out-of-whack wheel alignment to a few culprits:
- Frequent uneven impact on your front tires, such as potholes or rolled curbs
- Old suspension parts
- Worn steering components
- Hard turns
Prevention is Key
Needing a wheel alignment at some point is inevitable, but you can minimize repeated alignments by taking preventative measures. Avoid potholes, replace your suspension parts and steering components when the time comes, and take softer turns. You can also install curb ramps if your driveway has a rolled curb.
In fact, we recommend installing a ramp on your rolled curb. Many BRIDJIT customers reported a drastic reduction in their alignment issues after getting a ramp:
“I no longer have to purchase tire alignment plans for my tires [now that I have a BRIDJIT curb ramp],” a customer wrote.
Another customer said he no longer needed to spend hundreds of dollars on alignments after getting a BRIDJIT curb ramp.
“Prior to installing the BRIDJIT ramps, I was having trouble keeping the front end [of my car] aligned,” a third customer wrote. “Since the installation, there have been no further alignment issues.”
The bottom line? Get your car realigned and then take as many preventative measures as you can to ensure proper alignment on your car for as long as possible.