The Importance of Wheel Alignment, Balance, and Rotation

When’s the last time you had your tires rotated and balanced? How about the last time your wheels had their alignment checked? Though not many people really pay attention to their tires, without functional tires you and your vehicle can suffer.

Regular tire and wheel service is equally as important as oil changes, brake service, and other types of regular maintenance. This article will describe how having a vehicle’s tires rotated, balanced and aligned on a regular basis can benefit you and your vehicle.

Tire Rotation

Rotation is as simple as moving the tires from one location to another, such as back to front or front to back. After a few months driving with a new set of tires, you will start to notice different wear patterns on each side. The reason the road wears on each of your vehicle’s tires differently depends on a number of factors – the type of vehicle, which wheel each is installed on, driving style, if the vehicle is front wheel or rear wheel drive, and others.

Because of this uneven wear, it is beneficial to rotate your tires according to the both the tire manufacturer and your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, Doing so will prolong the life of each tire and save you money in the long run.

Wheel Balancing

Regular wheel balancing is important because it helps your tires to wear more evenly, extends the life of your tires, and allows your vehicle to drive much more smoothly. Unbalanced tires may cause a vehicle to wobble at certain speeds and cause uneven tread wear. A lack of balance puts undue stress on the suspension system and the wheel bearings.

Balancing the wheels on your vehicle is not something you can do on your own. A technician uses a specialized balancing machine to measures the weight around the axle to assure that each tire is turning evenly, correcting any imbalances using small weights.

A vehicle’s wheels get further out of balance the more it is driven, so balancing should be done on a regular basis. The specific interval depends on the guidelines set by your car’s manufacturer, but usually falls between 4,000 and 6,000 miles.

Wheel Alignment

Properly aligned wheels align perpendicular with the road and can be achieved by car care professionals. Tires that are out of alignment cause uneven tire wear and decreased fuel economy for your vehicle. Unaligned wheels can also shorten the life of your tires and cause unnecessary damage to other parts of your vehicle, such as the brakes and suspension.

Your vehicle could be out of alignment if you notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other while you are driving, or if you notice vibrations in the steering wheel. Uneven wear on your tires is another indication that your car could be out of alignment. Hitting a large bump or pothole may also put your car’s wheels out of alignment.

A general rule to go by is to get your wheels aligned every 6,000 miles or every six months (whichever comes first). However, it is smart to check your manufacturer’s recommendations to know exactly what your vehicle model requires.

Taking Care of Your Tires and Wheels

Taking care of the places where ‘the rubber meets the road’ is just as important as taking care of your vehicle’s engine and other systems. Your vehicle’s tires are one of the most critical components, and by taking care of them will assure

 that you will continue to have a smooth, safe ride wherever you go.

Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited has the best auto repair Columbia MO has to offer, where their expert staff can get your car back on the road in no time.

Regular Service Keeps Your Vehicle Running

In states where annual inspections are required, 84 percent of vehicles failed at least one point of the inspection test. That means that most vehicles on the road need some form of attention or repair. Most of the maintenance that the cars need are simple, like dirty oil filters, low coolant or oil changes. But it can be more serious or complicated. Contaminated brake fluid and belt changes are serious, common issues.

‘Factory Scheduled Maintenance’ is the schedule of normal maintenance recommend by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Most people know that a vehicle’s oil needs to be changed regularly but there are other things that need to be done during the lifespan of your vehicle to keep it running smoothly. This could vary from a simple check to an entire replacement. In this article we look at some of the main reasons why following the recommended maintenance schedule is vital to the life of your vehicle.

An Ounce of Prevention

The old proverb, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ certainly applies to vehicle maintenance. Many people may not see the value in spending money for a mechanic to look over the vehicle and do things that seem insignificant. But wouldn’t you prefer to spend $200 now instead of $2,000 in a few months?

In reality, unless you know what to look for and are regularly examining your vehicle, you have no clue what is happening under the hood of your car. Taking your car for scheduled maintenance allows a mechanic to diagnose any small problem before they become larger issues. The money you spend now for preventative maintenance could actually save you money in the future.

Safeguarding Your Warranty

If your vehicle is under warranty, you should do your best to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. If your car has troubles and you take it for repairs, you want to be able to tell the mechanic that you’ve done everything you can to keep your car in good shape. If you neglect to change to the oil on a regular basis or change certain parts according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the warranty could be voided.

If you choose not to take your vehicle to the dealer, be sure to maintain accurate records of all the service and repairs done to your vehicle. Protect your car and its warranty by taking your car in for its regularly schedule maintenance.

It is The Wise Choice

The better part of wisdom tells us that keeping our vehicles in good shape is a good idea. After you invested thousands of dollars in your car, you should certainly want to keep it running for as long as you can. AAA, one of the most well known sources for vehicle related information, recommends that vehicle owners follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for regular maintenance. The owner’s manual will typically have a list of recommended maintenance. Some vehicles even have reminder systems in the vehicle making it even easier to follow the maintenance schedule. Making sure your car gets the attention it needs is crucial to its performance.

Being a Responsible Vehicle Owner

A big part of being a responsible vehicle owner is keeping it in good condition. Performing the regular maintenance recommended by the manufacturer is one of the best ways to extend the life of your vehicle. Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility, especially when it comes to keeping it in good condition. If you’re reluctant to have your car serviced because you don’t want to spend the money, think about it as an investment. The preventative maintenance you do now will save you money in the future.

Written by the staff at KB Tire & Auto. KB Tire & Auto is the leading expert in auto repair Moberly MO has to offer.

The TVR 350i Sports Car

A review of The TVR 350i Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of this classic car.

From Classic to Modern

Peter Wheeler, the new owner of TVR, realised that, following the introduction of the wedge-shaped Tasmin in 1980, the new radical design was not well received by the market.

However, with no additional funds available to create a new car with more conventional styling, he decided to retain the existing range, and concentrate on producing variants with increased performance.

In 1982, it was felt that a more powerful version of the Tasmin 280i was needed, and so, in August 1983, the Tasmin 350i was introduced.

It used the same chassis as its predecessor, which was a stretched version of that used in the now discontinued M-Series, while the body, still retaining the wedge shape concept, underwent minor modifications.

In 1984, when the Tasmin name was no longer used on the TVR 280i, this change was extended to the TVR Tasmin 350i, which was now designated the TVR 350i.

This new variant was powered by the 3.5 litre, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injected, Rover V8 engine, which developed 197 bhp at 5280 rpm, and 220 ft/lbs of torque at 4000 rpm.

It produced a top speed of 136 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 secs, a 0-100 mph time of 16.5 secs, and a standing quarter mile time of 14.8 secs.

With a compression ratio of 9.7:1, it had disc brakes all round, and was available as a two seater fixed head coupe or convertible.

The advantage of using a Rover rather than a Ford engine was that it offered the opportunity of marketing the 350i in Arab countries, who would be less inclined to purchase a product with Ford content owing to the latter’s association with Israel.

The creation of the 350i meant that TVR was now back in the business of building a V8, for the first time since the Tuscan V8 was phased out in 1969.

Following the 350i’s launch, one of the popular Motoring magazines described the car as “The finest sports car since the Ferrari 275GTB/4″.

It is interesting to note that the 350i would eventually turn out to be the best selling car ever made by TVR.

Built alongside the existing TVR 280i, the 350i offered a significant increase in performance over its predecessor.
Although sales of the 350i in 1983 began well in both the UK and US markets, it was not sufficient to return the company to profitability.

Furthermore, by 1985, a combination of massively increased shipping costs, further UK legislation, and an adverse exchange rate, meant that exporting to the US was becoming unprofitable.

Accordingly, the company discontinued exports to the US, and concentrated its sales efforts on the UK market.
In the mid 1980′s, a non TVR factory source fitted a Sprintex supercharger to a 350i, together with uprated brakes, and which was duly designated the TVR 350SX.

It is understood that only between nine and twelve units of this variant were ever built.

Furthermore, it has been estimated that the output from this engine was in the region of 260 bhp.
Production of the TVR 350i ended in 1989.