Auto Restoration: Tips For The Do-It-Yourselfer

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Feelin' Vibrations When Driving? Check Your Tires!

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If you've started noticing a vibration when you drive your vehicle, it's a good idea to have the tires checked out. Whatever problem you're having could get worse and cause your vehicle to vibrate and shake to the point that it wouldn't be safe to drive. Vibrations could get bad enough to cause you to lose control of the vehicle, especially on slippery roads or when you need to stop quickly. Here are 3 problems with tires that can cause your vehicle to vibrate.

Tires are not properly inflated 

Over- or under-inflated tires can also cause vibrations, especially if all four tires are not inflated at the same pounds per square inch (psi). Over-inflated tires can be bouncier than tires that are inflated normally. Under-inflated tires can cause more drag than there should be. These differences in the ways tires react to the roadway can easily cause your vehicle to vibrate. Check the psi in each tire and fill with air or release some air as needed. 

Tires are unbalanced

The vibrations could be caused by unbalanced tires. Unbalanced tires can throw off your wheel bearings and other mechanical parts, which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle. Unbalanced tires can also cause you to use more fuel than normal. Tires are balanced with weights that are put on by a mechanic when the tires are first placed on the vehicle and again each time they are rotated. To check if your tires are balanced or not, you'll need to have a mechanic put each tire on a balancing machine. 

Tires are different sizes 

If your tires are different sizes on the same axle, it can cause your vehicle to vibrate. More importantly, tires of different sizes can throw off the speed sensors of the ABS system, which can cause braking problems. If your vehicle is a 4WD, do not put the vehicle into 4WD with different sized tires or you could damage the differential. The differential controls the amount of rotation each tire gets, especially through turns when the tire on the inside of the turn needs to rotate at a slower speed than the outside tire. 

When going straight, the differential can essentially get confused as one tire rotates differently from the other tire, which can cause the differential to blow out. Blowing out a differential while driving can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Check the tire sizes by looking on the sidewalls. For more information or assistance, contact companies like Foster's Auto Service Inc.