Potholes and Rough Roads

February 06 2018, Mike Lavigne

Potholes and Rough Roads

What Do They Do to Your Vehicle's Wheel Alignment?

Every spring, Ottawa drivers experience the return of potholes to our roads. One benefit of having a very cold winter is that we did not experience the numerous thaws which contribute to pothole formation. The number of potholes reported in Ottawa in the spring of 2013 was 71,000 and was over 80,000 in 2014. Potholes are a fact of life in our climate. However, the cumulative effect of hitting potholes and other rough patches of road is one of the primary reasons for your wheels going out of alignment.

Keeping Your Vehicle on the Straight and Narrow Road

Most of us start to feel our vehicles pulling in one direction or the other, or we see uneven wear on our tires, as an indication our wheels are out of alignment. It only takes 3 mm of toe misalignment to drag the front tires sideways the equivalent of approximately 5 meters for every kilometer traveled!

Keeping your vehicle’s alignment on the straight and narrow road has a number of benefits:

• Proper alignment will maximize the mileage you get out of your tires before they need replacing. Regular wheel alignments ensure your tires are wearing evenly, prolonging their useful life.
• Keeping your vehicle aligned properly will give you higher fuel efficiency and improve your gas mileage. Misaligned wheels cause the tires to create more friction between the tires and the road, which negatively impacts your vehicle’s fuel consumption.
• Cars, vans, trucks and SUVs with wheels that are out of alignment can experience problems with other vehicle components. These include your steering and brake systems.
• Doing a wheel alignment at the time you purchase new tires will help you maximize tread life. This will also keep you protected under your tire warranty.
• Having the wheels properly aligned assures optimum handling and traction for driving safety. Proper wheel alignment prevents your vehicle from drifting and gives you a more enjoyable ride and drive.

If you think about it, your tires are responsible for keeping you connected to the road. That’s a pretty big deal. So, to make sure your tires haven’t lost their grip, bring your car to Hunt Club Volkswagen for closer inspection. We’ll check your tire condition and make recommendations as necessary. Rotations to replacements, count on your Volkswagen Certified Technicians for all your tire service needs.

When to Get Alignment Checked?

Why is it important to make sure your wheels are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other?

The safety of driver and passengers, first and foremost. But the benefits go beyond helping make sure you have a safe ride.

 Wheel alignment should be checked when you get a new set of tires, after a collision, or whenever most repairs or services are done to suspension or steering components.

 Other indicators that you should check alignment are that your vehicle pulls to the left or to the right when driving straight on level roads, or your tires are unevenly worn.

 Getting regular wheel alignments (annually in the spring) can help minimize tire wear, enhance handling, increase fuel efficiency, and improve driver safety.

Avoid Unnecessary Repairs

Taking the time to have your vehicle’s alignment checked will help you avoid unnecessary, costly repairs caused by misaligned wheels.

Avoid those potholes and stay safe!

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