Have you ever noticed your car veering slightly off course or your tires wearing down unevenly? That's your wheel alignment talking, and it's a conversation that changes with Calgary’s four seasons.
Each seasonal twist, from winter's chill to summer's heat, introduces new challenges to your vehicle’s wheel alignment. Understanding seasonal impacts on your wheel alignment isn't just about auto maintenance. It’s vital knowledge for safer, smoother driving.
Here's how each season might impact your vehicle’s wheel alignment:
Winter's Grip: Navigating the Chill
- Icy Conditions:Winter roads are notorious for ice, causing your vehicle to slide and subtly throwing its wheel alignment off. These minor shifts accumulate, often unnoticed, until there's a notable pull in the steering. If your car pulls to one side or the steering wheel shakes, it might be time for a wheel alignment check.
- Corrosive Culprits:Salt and sand keep Calgary roads drivable in the winter, but they're a double-edged sword as they can rust your vehicle and harm parts that keep your wheels straight. Regular washing, especially the undercarriage, can help preserve your vehicle’s wheel alignment.
- Hidden Potholes:Snow can conceal dangerous potholes - the biggest culprits in suspension damage and alignment disruption. If you regularly drive the same route, try to remember where the potholes are and avoid them.
- Tire Pressure Drop:Cold weather makes your tire pressure drop. This can make your car handle differently and cause existing wheel alignment problems to worsen. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly during winter, ensuring they are at the correct pressure.
- Heavy Snow:Snow build-up adds weight and icy bits can stick, changing how your car balances. This accumulation of snow and ice can cause wheel alignment issues. Before driving, clear the snow and ice from your vehicle, especially around the wheel wells.
Spring Thaw: Weathering the Shift
- Rapid Thaws and Puddles:The spring sun leads to rapid snowmelt, causing road flooding that can impact your car's alignment through hydroplaning. Large puddles also pose a risk of hydroplaning, so drive through them slowly if you can’t go around.
- Pothole Aftermath:Driving over potholes is a common mistake drivers make. Winter is rough on Calgary’s roads, and the season causes many new potholes. These potholes can give your car a hard jolt, messing up the alignment. It's wise to check your wheel alignment in spring to ensure everything is straight.
- Unpredictable Showers:Spring rain can make streets slippery. It's harder to steer and control your car when the road is slick, and good wheel alignment helps a lot. Drive more cautiously in the rain, and - if your steering feels off, it might be time for an alignment check.
- Changing Temperatures:The weather changes a lot in spring. This can make the roads rough and bumpy, which is harsh on your wheel alignment. Pay attention to how your car drives. If your vehicle starts pulling to the side or driving rough, we recommend booking in for a wheel alignment check.
Summer Scorch: Heat’s Hidden Challenges
- Hot Temperatures:Heat makes the air inside of your tires expand. If your wheel alignment isn't perfect, this expansion can cause problems. A smart preventative measure is to check your tire pressure often during the summer, helping your car drive smoothly.
- Wear & Tear:The heat isn't just tough on you; it challenges your vehicle, too! Extreme temperatures can lead to added wear on your tires. If your drive feels different or your tires look worn down, it’s time to visit Mint Auto for a wheel alignment service.
- Cracked Roads:Sometimes, the ground shifts in the heat, and Calgary roads can crack. Bumpy roads can mess with your vehicle’s wheel alignment without you knowing. If you’re driving and feel a big bump, it may have affected your alignment.
- Heavy Hauling:Summer is the season for road trips and new adventures. Whether towing a boat or a camper, the extra weight can strain your vehicle's suspension, potentially throwing your alignment off-kilter. After a season of heavy hauls, booking a wheel alignment is a good idea.
Autumn Adjustments: Bracing for Transition
- Chill in the Air:When it gets colder in the fall, the air in your tires shrinks, and your tire pressure goes down. This can make your drive feel different, sometimes revealing wheel alignment issues you didn't know existed. Check your tire pressure throughout the fall to ensure your car remains easy to handle.
- First Frost:The first icy patches of the season can make roads very slippery. Your car might slide unexpectedly, and your wheel alignment could be knocked out of place. On cold mornings, drive slower and be ready for icy spots on the road. If you encounter a considerable slide or feel a big jolt, it's a good idea to have your wheel alignment checked.
- Surprise Snow:Sometimes it snows really early! This snow can hide dangers on the road and also make your vehicle heavier, putting your wheel alignment at risk. When it's snowy or wet, drive carefully. If your car starts pulling to one side or feels like it’s handling differently, it’s likely time for an alignment check.
Calgary's seasons are hard on your vehicle, impacting its wheel alignment more than you might realize. So, it's important to book regular wheel alignments as the seasons change. Proper alignment is about more than just ensuring a smoother drive. It’s also about preventing costly repairs and keeping you safe on the road.
Mint Auto Service: Your Year-Round Partner for Proper Wheel Alignment
Your car’s wheel alignment is not a "set it and forget it" aspect of maintenance. It requires consistent checks, especially given Calgary's diverse seasonal challenges. This is where Mint Auto Service shines. We’re not just about adjustments; we provide a full-scope wheel alignment service that safeguards your comfort, control, and vehicle longevity.
Book your seasonal wheel alignment at one of our convenient locations:
Bowness | Westbrook | Southeast