Home > Ask Gary > Now that I’ve driven over at least 100 potholes in the past month, how do I know if I need an alignment?

Now that I’ve driven over at least 100 potholes in the past month, how do I know if I need an alignment?

Hawkeye alignmentAs we discussed potholes in last week’s Ask Gary blog, the most common problems from potholes are tire and rim damage and throwing your vehicle out of alignment. The tires are an important part of the driving experience—they control the feel of the ride and the functionality of your vehicle. Tires are expensive (and increasing in price due to petroleum prices) so if you hit potholes, have your alignment checked.

Indications you may need an alignment include:
• Uneven or rapid tire wear. If your tire has an uneven wear pattern, it may be too late to save that tire. So that’s why it’s a good idea to check alignment periodically.
• Pulling, wandering or drifting away from a straight line on a straight, level road.
• Spokes of the steering wheel are off to one side while driving on a straight, level road.

A wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of this is to maximize tire life and allows for a straight and smooth ride, particularly when driving along a straight and level road, though after this winter, there are very few level roads.

Back in the “old days,” we used to use string and many still rely on the technician taking the vehicle for a ride to assess if an alignment is needed. While technology advancements have improved many aspects of our lives (think GPS vs. AAA’s trip-tik), technology has dramatically improved the accuracy of our service advisors assessing your vehicle’s alignment.

Here at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we have invested in one of the most sophisticated alignment testing systems on the market. The Hunter Hawkeye system uses state-of-the art high-resolution cameras. For our service technicians, this state-of-the-art technology helps them accurately assess your vehicle and for you as a consumer, we can show you the results to support the findings and recommendation. Many oil change shops and service stations may be happy to upsell you on an alignment, but with the Hawkeye system, your service team can put your mind at ease showing you the results so you are comfortable with knowing whether you need and alignment or not.

If this winter’s potholes are leaving you wondering how your vehicle is faring, put your mind at ease. Just because you are not holding the steering wheel sideways to stay straight does not mean that your vehicle is in alignment. I encourage you to service your vehicle at a location that invests in technology and professional expertise to best answer your questions and protect your wallet. Call one of our experienced Jaffarian Service advisors at 888-355-1041. We’re here six days a week to answer your service questions. You can also schedule your visit online anytime for your convenience.

Spring has arrived and not a moment too soon! Think spring!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary
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