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What’s Behind Your Wheels
Its a loaded questions with more than you think. From the outside you may see a simple steel or alloy wheel wrapped in your favorite, seasonal tread from one of the many manufacturers of high quality traction. What’s behind your wheels and what may be failing behind your wheels can sometimes be seen in an uneven tread wear. Just like an uneven sole on your shoes or the walking terrain you are familiar with, driving conditions and daily wear leaves a noticeable mark on your cars soles.
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Looks of your Wheels and Tires
Lets take a look at the outside of your tires and wheel packages. Many times dings dents chips within the rim or an unbalanced wheel will show additional wear and tear on all moving parts. Many tires are that are balanced show wheel weights placed internally or externally on the rim. External wheel weights are easily seen clipped to the outside of your wheel whereas internal weights are just behind the surface. These are intended to stick with a high temperature glue to maintain a wheel balance. It’s important to check for these wheel weights and any damage to your wheels as any weight changes may increase unnecessary wear.
In front of your wheels are your lug nuts which tighten and hold the wheel on to the hub. The Hub is made up of bearings, pressed joints and wheel studs that carry the load of a wheel and tire assembly.
The hub is held on by an axle and or a control arm. In many cases these axles and control arms have your ball joints. These joints are replaced often to ensure your tires turn and function accordingly. Many of these parts because they are metal to metal are packed with grease to deter where he and premature failure.
A-Ha! The Brakes
On the hub, parts of your brake system are mounted. It is comprised of a rotor with a braking caliper. There are many fittings, adjustments, bolts and slides that create a friction or non friction function. All these pieces need to work in harmony including good wearing brake pads that travel in and out of the caliper. Overlooked sometimes are your rubber brake hoses that stem from the caliper in transition into metal lines that run to your master cylinder. On these rubber hoses there clips and clamps that help provide contain the high pressure brake fluid within the lines.
If we are talking about your rear brakes there are usually brake shoes that apply pressure in case of an emergency situation. These shoes would also be known as your emergency brake and can be controlled with a brake pedal on the left hand side at the floor or a hand brake lever located centrally in the console. These brakes are also referred to as parking brakes especially if parking on uneven ground. It is highly recommended to have your emergency brake inspected and adjusted every time brake pads are done on your vehicle.
Struts, Shocks and Springs
Also behind your wheels and tires are shocks struts and springs. Based on the model and depending on your front or rear suspension many counterparts including high strength bolts high compression springs and shock absorbers sometimes filled with gas or fluid apply pressure downward to keep your tire connected to the road.
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