It’s so easy to take your tires for granted and never give them much thought…right up to the point where you something goes wrong and you end up stranded. It only takes a couple of minutes, though, to keep track of their condition and spot any trouble signs. This is a quick breakdown on the best ways to inspect your tires:
*Get a close look at the sidewalls and examine them for bulges, cracking (some cracking due to age is normal), scrapes and gouges. The material of sidewalls is pretty tough and isn't really damaged much by curb scrapes, but use your gut feeling as to what could indicate more serious damage. You’ll know. Bulges in particular could mean that tire failure is imminent.
You hit a curb or a pothole, harder than you expected, and now you notice your car’s just not driving the same. It’s got a distinct pull to one side, and the steering feels “heavy” and clumsy. A car that once handled really well suddenly handles like a loaded dump truck.
Chances are your wheel alignment was jarred out of spec by the impact, sorry to say.
Every vehicle leaves the factory with the front wheels set at specific angles that are designed by engineers for the best possible handling, steering response, ride quality and road manners. These angles are determined relative to an imaginary straight line down the center of the vehicle’s frame.
Those angles are:
- Toe-in, the inward skew of the wheels
- Toe-ou ...[more]