Can Misaligned Wheels Affect Your Vehicle's Fuel Efficiency?
If you regularly commute, you’re likely already spending upwards of $200 per month to fuel up your car. That number could rise significantly, however, if anything goes wrong with how your vehicle runs and drives. Even the alignment of the wheels can play a role in how many miles you get out of each tank of gas. Curious about how that works? Here’s a look at how misaligned wheels can affect your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
How Poor Wheel Alignment Impacts Fuel Economy
When your wheels are not properly aligned, they do not track the road together. This increases rolling resistance or the forces that effectively oppose the forward motion of your vehicle.
When that happens, your engine and transmission must work harder to propel your car forward. To put in all that extra work, your car must consume more fuel, resulting in more frequent stops at the gas station to fuel back up.
Fuel economy is not the only thing that will suffer due to bad wheel alignment. The incorrect suspension geometry causes your tires to wear more quickly and puts excess strain on your suspension components. If you don’t correct the problem promptly, you could need tires sooner than expected or have to complete major suspension repairs.
How Wheel Alignments Can Boost Fuel Efficiency
When you come into the shop for a wheel alignment, our mechanic measures and corrects your car’s suspension geometry. The corrections align your wheels with each other while optimizing each tire’s contact patch or the rubber’s point of direct contact with the road.
During the alignments at Collinsville Auto, we’ll typically adjust three main settings—caster, camber, and toe—depending on the year, make, and model of your car. Each setting corrects how your wheels track the road, helping reduce rolling resistance.
Your car won’t have to work as hard to move down the road, and its fuel efficiency will return to its ideal range. As a result, you can save considerable time at the pump and avoid having to replace your tires and suspension parts prematurely.
Signs You Need Wheel Alignment Services In Canton CT
Poor fuel efficiency is just one sign that your car needs an alignment. Other signs you may need your wheels aligned include:
- Crooked steering wheel
- Uneven tire wear patterns
- Pulling to either side while driving
- Strange steering noises
- Tire squealing
If you notice any of the above symptoms or notice how your car drives, an auto repair shop visit is definitely in order. By promptly responding to the problem, you can potentially prevent major issues and keep more money in your pocket in the long run.
Additional Ways to Improve Your Car’s Gas Mileage
Many factors can contribute to your car getting lousy gas mileage. If a wheel alignment doesn’t fix the problem, you may want to:
- Check your tire pressure to confirm they’re all correctly inflated to the proper PSI for your tire type, brand, and size.
- Replace badly worn rubber with new tires, and have a tire rotation performed regularly to reduce rolling resistance.
- Reduce your vehicle weight by removing bookbags, toys, and other items you don’t regularly use from your trunk and cabin space.
Sometimes, a decrease in fuel efficiency doesn’t link back to the wheels and tires. If that’s the case, you may need engine repair services, like a fuel induction service, oxygen sensor replacement, or even a new air filter. The dip in fuel efficiency could also link back to a problem with the transmission instead.
Have one of our mechanics perform a digital vehicle inspection and diagnostic services to figure it out. Through that process, they can determine what’s wrong with your car and provide repair recommendations.
Increase Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency with Our Help
Is your car’s gas mileage leaving you fueling up more often than you’d like? If so, it might be time to visit Collinsville Auto Repair for a wheel alignment. You can book your visit by calling (860) 693-4588, filling out our online form, or stopping by our shop at 146 Powder Mill Road, Canton, CT 06019. Once you get in touch with our team, we will help you find a great time to get on the schedule for wheel alignment services.