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The Value of Tire Balancing & Alignment

Date Added: May 02, 2012 04:38:00 PM
Author: Magdalene Hodgkins
Category: Business & Economy: Finance & Investment: Insurance

When a consumer purchases a new set of tires the dealer usually asks if they want to pay for balancing and alignment. The cost for this service is generally around $125 per tire. That may seem pretty expensive, but what are the downfalls of not getting this added value service? Well, for one thing, improperly balanced tires may cause a car to wobble. Add to that the fact that tires that are not properly balanced and aligned will wear unevenly, which will result in their wearing out at a more rapid rate. A car’s steering and suspension systems are initially adjusted according to factory specifications. But over time, driving along streets and highways, an automobile will eventually go out of alignment. When a motorist buys new tires, and does not get them properly balanced and aligned, the result will most likely be that they will not get the proper life expectancy of out of their purchase. Wheel Balancing Out-of-balance tires may cause a car to vibrate at certain speeds, usually between 50 and 70 mph. A tire is out of balance when one section of the tire is heavier than the others. To properly balance a wheel, a technician will mount it on a balancing machine that spins the wheel to locate the heavier area. He will then compensate for the heavy part by attaching a lead weight on the opposite side. A vehicle will drive much smoother after balancing all four wheels. The Three Alignment Angles There are three points that, if not properly adjusted, will cause tires to wear out unevenly, causing a vehicle to respond improperly, or drive in a manner that is not smooth and effortless. These three things must be in line in order for the vehicle to handle properly: • Camber If a car’s camber angle on a tire is too positive then the top of the tire is tilting outward. If the camber angle is too negative then the top of the tire is tilting inward. This angle is adjusted mechanically. • Toe By adjusting the tie rod in a car’s steering system the mechanic can prevent the tires from being “toed in” (a good example would be to look down at a person’s feet and have them then turn them in towards each other), or “toed out” (the opposite effect, where the heels of the feet are turned in). In either event tires will wear out very rapidly. • Caster This adjustment is made in order to keep a vehicle’s steering wheel from returning to the “straight ahead” position after turning the car to the left or right. It is also expressed when the car wants to wander right or left. By properly balancing tires and having a vehicle properly aligned saves both time and money. Commercial Auto Insurance PA http://www.dryfoosgroup.com/commercial-auto-insurance-pa/
 
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