In Wheel Advice

Nissan Car WheelSo, the time has come to bring your car in for a tune up. The frequency of tune ups vary depending on your vehicle. But if you stay on schedule, it will not only save you money at the gas pump, but make sure your car is at peak performance.

While consumers don’t always like to be upsold on other services when having a routine vehicle maintenance, there are often additional maintenance choices that will improve the look and performance of your vehicle.

It’s fairly common knowledge that the condition of your tires are an important safety and performance issue with your vehicle. But believe it or not, your vehicle’s rims can also come into play.

Here are some very good reasons to consider having your rims inspected by a qualified wheel technician, while you already have your vehicle at the shop anyway:

Get better performance from your vehicle. Your rims have an impact on your vehicle’s performance on the road. Heavier, oversized rims add weight, which will affect braking and acceleration. These types of rims are most often in older makes/models (those 2003 or older) so if your car is older, this is especially important to consider.

Lighter rims, on the other hand, will reduce stress on the suspension system. They do so by reducing what’s referred to as unsprung weight, which is the weight not supported by the vehicle’s suspension system. This allows the suspension to react more quickly to the terrain. You should also see an increase in horsepower, since lighter rims help the drive shaft spin easier. In addition, lighter rims dissipate heat more effectively, which keeps brake parts cooler.

Regardless the age of your vehicle, performance can often be improved, simply by having your wheels looked at and either repaired or refurbished.

Get better fuel economy with lighter rims. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by three percent or more. Just be sure to check the vehicle’s manual for the ideal pressure, since it varies from one vehicle to the next. The weight of your rims often impacts gas mileage, though as mentioned before, newer models already come with lighter rims standard.

Fix damaged rims. Don’t let a bad situation get worse. Ignoring the simple repair of your wheels increases the cost and damage to other parts of your car. A bent rim compromises the integrity of the wheel, which can lead to cracking. A bent wheel can also lead to vibrations in the steering column, and your vehicle may not respond as well to turns. The damage can cause bearing failure, torque on the transmission and axle, and even cause damage to the suspension system.

A seemingly minor, or even hidden, problem with your wheels can turn into a bevy of problems for your vehicle. So the next time you schedule your vehicle for work at your dealership or repair shop, ask the service manager to have the wheel specialists take a look at your wheels. It could save you time and money down the road, in addition to giving your car a sharp and brand new look!

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