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Signs You Need Proper Alignment

Written by maryp posted on Monday, September 6th, 2010

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What is going on? My BMW is pulling to one side.

It’s time for an alignment. Other signs that you may need an alignment is if your steering wheel feels loose or you have to keep moving your steering wheel to keep driving straight. Are your tires wearing uneven? Is your steering wheel centered?

OK, so what’s the big deal? Hunter Engineering the maker of premier alignment equipment, gave this example; “a car with the toe alignment just 0.34 degrees, (just 0.17 inches) out of specs has basically dragged it tires sideways for more that 68 miles by the end of the year”. And that’s based on driving only 12000 miles a year!

You don’t necessarily have to run over a curb or hit a huge pothole. Normal wear and stress can eventually throw the wheel alignment out of whack. It takes only a small misalignment to cause rapid or uneven tire wear. Inner tire wear is more common than we would like to see, and the best way to determine any inner tire wear is to get your BMW up on a lift for proper inspection.

Over years of driving, a properly aligned BMW will add thousands of miles to the life of your tires. Gas mileage usually increases when a total alignment sets all 4 wheels to the BMW specifications and decreases the rolling resistance. Of course your tires need to be properly inflated, too. But, the road shock is lessened also as your components are working as designed after a proper alignment.

The suspension system should also be inspected at the time of a quality alignment. In our view, you will want an experienced, qualified tech inspecting your suspension for any signs of wear. For you the customer, it’s always better to monitor a potential issue together, and take care of it before it becomes a larger and more expensive repair.

BMW alignment procedures are very specific and unique from other manufacturers as the alignment must be performed with a weighted vehicle. Yes, weighted! If your shop is doing it correctly, it is going to usually take longer and a qualified experienced BMW tech or shop may be pricing accordingly for their expertise.

Stay safe this Labor Day weekend. Enjoy the road in your beautiful BMW or MINI Coop. We’ll be right there with ya!

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One response to “Signs You Need Proper Alignment”

  1. I didn’t know that wheel alignment issues can cause tires to wear down unevenly. I’m thinking about buying my first car, and I want to be sure I can tell when there’s a problem with it. If I notice that the car is pulling to one side, I’ll know the wheels need to be realigned and I can take it to a professional service so it doesn’t wear down my tires.

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