Is Your Car Bumpy? Get Your Wheels Checked
If you notice that your car is unusually bumpy even while travelling on good roads, you should get your wheels checked. The problem could be with your tyres or you may have imbalanced or misaligned wheels. If it is not fixed, the problem will get worse.
Your tyres will wear out faster and other parts like the suspension may also get damaged, which could result in costly repairs. Fuel efficiency and safety will also be compromised.
Symptoms Of Wheel Problems
Wheel problems may not be apparent at low speeds, but as you go beyond 45 mph, you will see noticeable symptoms. The symptoms depend on the location of the problem. If the problem is with one or more front wheels, the steering wheel starts to vibrate and wobble. If the problem is in one of the rear wheels, the rear passengers will experience more vibrations. Sometimes, the problem is not apparent if the vehicle is heavily loaded. A good suspension can also mask it to an extent.
Wheel Problems Increase Wear And Tear
When you have imbalanced wheels, all the components connected to them will experience excessive strain and wear out faster. This includes the steering wheel components, suspension and the rotating parts. Tyres will not rotate evenly and will show accelerated and uneven wear. Unless they are corrected, wheel problems tend to get worse with use and are likely to result in a breakdown.
Fixing The Problem
Wheel problems are of two types: wheel balancing problems or alignment problems. When a wheel is imbalanced, its weight is not evenly distributed. The wheel tends to be lighter on one side. Due to the asymmetry, it wobbles when it rotates. The wobbling is not noticeable at low speeds, but as speed is increased, bumps and vibrations become apparent. The suspension takes the brunt of these vibrations. It may eventually fail and result in a costly breakdown.
If your car has a wheel problem, you can get it fixed at a garage or a tyre outlet. They have the right equipment to balance the wheel. The machine tests the wheel by rotating it, detects the nature and extent of the problem and calculates the required correction. An appropriate counterweight is added to the lighter side to balance the wheel.
Wheel alignment problems cause similar symptoms as imbalanced wheels. Bad roads, potholes, speed breakers and minor accidents can cause alignment problems. Wheel alignment has to be periodically checked and corrected. An expert can identify the problem by looking at tyre wear patterns.
When there is an alignment problem, one side of the tyre does not make proper contact with the road. As a result, one side wears more than the other. When wheels are imbalanced, some portions of the tyre along its circumference won’t make proper road contact. As a result, rounded wear patterns appear along the circumference.
When the wheels are properly aligned and balanced, you will experience smooth and comfortable rides and good fuel efficiency. Your tyres will last longer and road grip will be better.
Tyre problems are best diagnosed and fixed by experts. Contact your garage if you suspect a wheel problem. As with all problems, prevention is always the better option. You are unlikely to face wheel issues if you get your car serviced periodically at a good garage. During periodic servicing, wheels and tyres are inspected. If your car is due for service, get in touch with us and we will arrange your service with the best garage in your area.
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