My Fabulous Life

Are We Aligned?

Have you ever asked that in your marriage? I’m not talking about the hard stuff, the “are we really having this conversation right now” kind of stuff, but I mean…have you ever looked at your husband and wondered if you were so out of alignment on your approach to parenting or a current situation that you wonder if you’re even on the same planet?

Those are the times when a good talk comes into play. Whether it’s late at night after the kids are asleep, or out on the deck in the early morning hours while the teenagers are sleeping in – coming together as a couple to get aligned on the plan forward benefits everyone in the end. I love those early morning coffees, as challenging as they can sometimes be.

Here’s my fun segway into the topic at hand today which isn’t nearly as juicy as marriage battles, but still as important – Kal Tire wants you to know how important your vehicle’s alignment can be, especially as more Canadians are hitting the road than ever this summer. I’m always learning from Kal Tire – I had no idea how important alignment was and learned that, unbeknownst to me, our own family vehicle was misaligned ahead of our summer holiday travel – whoops.

“You can’t always tell when your vehicle is misaligned, even when the misalignment is mechanically
significant,”
says Mike Butcher, regional director for urban retail stores, Kal Tire. “Drivers also don’t
always realize that even a slight misalignment, resulting from pothole impact or hitting road debris,
can reduce a vehicle’s tire life and fuel economy.”

Living in Regina, Saskatchewan, which feels like the pothole capital of Canada, means that you’re inevitably going to hit more than one in the spring. Our summers are dedicated to street repair, so by that point we’re relatively pothole safe but by that point, the damage is already done.

Alignment problems are often caused by hitting potholes; even hitting a single bump at an awkward
angle can create alignment issues that drivers sometimes leave unchecked. A 2017 Kal Tire study
found that 32 per cent of motorists with pothole damage reported their steering started pulling to one
side, yet only 44 per cent whose vehicles sustained pothole damage had it fixed, with many leaving
damaged undercarriages, shocks and struts. Other problems caused by potholes included:
• vehicles vibrating, shaking or wobbling (37%)
• damage to undercarriage (28%)
• vehicle bouncing/swaying (22%)
• flat or damaged tires (17%), body dents (14%), leaking fluid (4%)

If you’ve hit a pothole, recovered from the shock and annoyance, and realized your car hasn’t fallen apart or lost a bumper you’ve likely determined no damage was done and forgot about it the next day. This is actually going to cost you money in the long run due to tire wear and tear and it impacts your gas milage!

We all know the cost of gas has been ridiculous, and we’re trying to limit our driving this summer while at home. Of course, we all want to get out and explore this summer so we have to figure out how to be financially responsible while we do it.

Visiting Kal Tire for an alignment check is FREE, and the average price of an alignment is $125. It’s a small price to pay for the long-term savings potential and, of course, your safety. I took our vehicle to Kal Tire the week before our planned summer holiday to Alberta. I admit, I’ve never inquired about an alignment before and wondered exactly how many potholes and possibly a few curbs that I may or may not have bumped into in the winter months it would take to cause an alignment issue. It turns out, my vehicle wasn’t aligned and needed an adjustment! I didn’t notice any physical signs (pulling to one side) but perhaps another sign of misalignment (poor gas mileage) was happening and I didn’t realize it (because gas prices are ridiculous right now). Older vehicles show signs of needing an alignment more than newer ones, so maybe that’s why I didn’t notice any signs either. Regardless, I’m glad we (finally) had it checked and fixed ahead of hitting the road to Alberta.

When planning your road trips this summer – even if they’re close to home – put “Check tire alignment at Kal Tire” on your list. Remember, it’s free to get it checked and better to know before you go.

21 Comments

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  • This is something we need to look into as well. In Hamilton, Ontario, the potholes are insane. Sometimes I wonder if they are the cause of many accidents. I can’t imagine all the vehicles that need a good alignment here. I never really thought about it before reading this.

  • We got our vehicle alignment done a few months ago because it was pulling sharply to the side. I didn’t consider the fuel costs to poor alignment.
    Thank you for stating the price at Kal Tire. It makes it less intimidating to consider vehicle fixes when you have an idea of what the cost is going to be.

  • Thanks for the post! I didn’t realize all the benefits of alignment and didn’t realize that it is affordable to get an alignment done.

  • This is really great advice we live in a rural area so heating bumps and pot holes are a daily occurrence. We try to get the vehicle aligned after every seasonal tire change.

  • Thanks very much for sharing this helpful information and safety reminder, it’s much appreciated.

  • I agree with another Hamiltonian. Tires would last us a couple of seasons, but not now. The wear and tear from our roads takes it’s toll. Tire balance and alignment is regular maintenance now.

  • very great advise and alignment is a necessary thing, our roads in Alberta are horrible have to dodge pot holes constantly

  • Very informative article. A wheel alignment is so very important. There seems to be so many potholes this year and I have been thinking of scheduling an alignment to make sure everything is okay. Thank you for the reminder.

  • That’s a great question. I switch my tires from winter to 4 season tires but not totally sure if they do align with me asking.

  • Checking tire alignment sounds like one of those quick and easy things to do to ensure the lifespan of tires. Thanks for the reminder!

  • My car is newer and not in need of an alignment yet, but I was into the south Albert location a couple weeks ago to have a tire patched.