From fluid flushes and oil changes to engine checks and tire rotations, any auto mechanic will tell you the importance of sticking to a regular routine maintenance schedule. But while there are many smaller tasks you can perform at home, it’s best to leave the bigger, more technical stuff to the professionals. This includes wheel inspections and alignments, which should be performed annually (or more often, should you be involved in an auto accident or take it off road most weekends). What about road issues that are out of your control, like potholes or people? For safety’s sake and the sake of your alignment, always be attentive.
Here are some examples of everyday road hazards that can throw off your vehicle’s wheel alignment, which can lead to the need for costly auto repair in Phoenix, AZ:
- Potholes: A random hole in the road is irritating and jarring—especially if you didn’t see it coming. And depending on how hard you went into it, your tire could send a shockwave up to the wheel area, causing a hard shift in the alignment. Assuming you see a pothole ahead of time, it would be better for your alignment to safely navigate around it.
- Speed bumps: Speed bumps are in place to make vehicles slow down in vulnerable areas—residential neighborhoods with children, shopping mall parking lots and college campuses, for example. So it goes without saying that failing to yield to speed bumps can result in serious damage to your car’s undercarriage and throw off wheel alignment.
- Curbs: Aren’t low square curbs and solid cement road dividers fun? These structures are in place to block vehicles from going where they are not supposed to—like into oncoming traffic or a storefront—which means they can do a number on your alignment should you happen to hit one. And it doesn’t take much speed to wreck your car parts. There’s usually no need for panic if you ram into a curb, but do consider taking your car to an auto shop for inspection.
- Pedestrians: Having to take evasive action behind the wheel doesn’t only apply to objects in the road. You might need to apply the brakes hard to avoid hitting a person in a crosswalk or a child darting out in front of your car, which may leave you little choice but to swerve into ditch or jump a curb. You may be okay, but your wheel alignment sure won’t be! Animals can also be included in this category. Whether someone’s beloved pet, a stray or a wild animal, no one wants to hit a creature. Instead, you’ll probably jerk the wheel every which way to keep from hitting it.
Although there are hazards out on the roadways that can contribute to your vehicle’s wheel misalignment, the truth is that your alignment is going to shift a little every time you take to the road. It’s a part of normal wear and tear that will need to be tended to over time.
For reliable automotive services and auto repair in Phoenix, AZ, schedule your next checkup with the pros at S & J Auto Repair & Rental. Give us a call today!