Having your car aligned regularly is one of those tasks that are easy to ignore, but it can cost you in the long run – in both money and handling.
“Your car’s alignment should be checked once a year,” advises Doug McAllister, owner of Douglas Automotive. When in doubt, check with your repairman. You can also look at how the tire is worn and get a general idea, McAllister said.
“If it’s grossly out of alignment, it’s going to show in the tire wear,” he said. But cars with slight alignment issues may not show wear at all. An out-of-alignment car also will affect fuel economy, as the car labors to drive down the road, he says.
A car should be realigned any time steering or suspension repairs are performed, such as struts or a tie rod end.
“In most cases, a repair like that will change the alignment by just a bit,” McAllister said. “But you should definitely have an alignment done when you get new tires, because you want to protect that investment.”
You might notice a pull to the left or the right, when alignment is at issue.
“You might hear excessive squealing in a parking lot, or your car could be dog-tracking, where it looks like it’s going a little bit crooked,” McAllister said.
Douglas Automotive, with locations in Crystal Lake and Barrington, offers alignments using state-of-the-art equipment, and can perform a free alignment audit on request.
Douglas Automotive | 123 E. Virginia Rd, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | 815.356.0440