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Wheel AlignmentSometimes all it takes is a little insight to lower your vehicle's operating costs.

For instance, by understanding what causes your wheels to become misaligned, you may be able to prevent that problem, along with any related tire damage.

"Wheel alignment" refers to the position of each tire and/or wheel relative to your car and all your other tires. When properly aligned, your tires point in precisely the same direction, moving your vehicle over the road as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

In an article for TireReview.com, Andrew Markel writes that internal and external forces throw your wheels out of alignment.

He points out that carrying heavy loads in the rear of your vehicle can lead to misalignment over time.

The coil, leaf and torsion springs underneath your car are made of heat-treated metal, but excessive weight and rough roads can cause them to wear out. When that happens, your alignment can change.

Your car's rubber bushings help prevent road noise and vibration, but when exposed to ozone, extreme temperatures, and other damaging elements, they can dry and harden. That, too, can lead to alignment trouble, according to Markel.

And getting back to that tire damage. Just an 1/8th inch of "toe misalignment" is the equivalent of "dragging the tire sideways 28 feet for every mile that's traveled!"

Wheel alignments are not a service your vehicle should need very often, unless, of course, you carry heavy loads regularly, travel bumpy roads often, or beat up your bushings. But stop into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location for a check. We can examine your tires for unusual wear patterns that may indicate the need for a wheel alignment.

(Check our Coupons page to save on a computerized alignment.)

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