Marty Beckler operates the alignment machine. He answers alignment questions, based on his 13 years of experience at Linder Tire.
What is an alignment?
It's just the angles of the front suspension and front tires. You want the four wheels to go down the road in the same direction. You want them going straight.
Why is proper alignment important?
To prevent tire wear and for road stability.
When should alignment be checked?
We recommend once a year, unless you hit a pothole, or run over a raccoon, or bounce off a curb. People who drive on gravel might need to check more often. For cars driven only on highways, usually a check every two years is enough.
How do you know when you need an alignment?
Normally, if it's bad enough, it either pulls one direction or the other, or the steering wheel is crooked. The car might wander on the road and might not hold a straight line as well.
If the car ride is bumpy, is the car out of alignment?
Bumpy is more of a tire problem.
- Check alignment, as detailed above.
- Check for wear and damage.
- Check tread depth. Measure the tread using a penny to check that tire tread is at least as deep as the distance between the edge of the penny and the top of Lincoln's head (about l/16 inch). Seventy-five percent of the problems with tires occur in the last 25% of tread wear.
- Check for nicks or cuts in sidewalls, as they are especially dangerous.
- Avoid cupping, or irregular wear along tire shoulder edges.
Rotate tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, or according to the owner's manual. Tires do not wear evenly unless they are rotated. Rotation extends the life of the tires.
Bill Poggenpohl wore a leather apron and kept his hands clean all day, smoking cigars I could barely smell among the other odors there, the fresh rubber, the dust, the cements and soaps and oils and stale air blowing from the tires. He had worked at Linder Tire Service for 48 years, into his seventies, and had never forgotten Henry Linder hiring him in the heart of the depression.
Keep the spare tire properly inflated and in good condition. Check that the jack is in proper working order.
Driving for Best Wear
- Smooth driving prolongs tire life, while improving gas mileage and allowing safer handling. Avoid cornering at high speeds and squealing tires, for instance.
- Sudden stops are hard on tires. Driving in stop and go traffic can wear tire tread seven times faster than steady driving.
- Excessive highway speed can build up tire heat, which deteriorates rubber and accelerates tire wear.
- If potholes or rough roads are unavoidable, check alignment.
- Tires are rated for weight-carrying capacity; overloaded tires wear faster.
- Replace tires with the right size and type for the vehicle.
- Most tires offer mileage specifications. Compare new tire life expectancy to the tire price, to choose the best value. Ask questions.
- Proper disposal of used tires is handled by retailers for a small recycling fee.
Policy & Pricing
Henry Linder always emphasized honesty, integrity, service, value for each customer's money and the best interests of the customer. He believed that adherence to these five principals would guard the reputation of his business, and best serve his customers. Since the day Linder Tire opened, Henry, then his son John, and now Henry's grandson John have dedicated themselves to these principals.
For example, Henry taught his family and staff not to sell products to people who don't need them. When people come in who don't need tires, they are sent away and told to come back later.
The price of Linder's tires includes mounting, computer spin balancing and new valve stems. Pricing is simple and understandable. Henry initiated this policy 70 years ago, and it remains.
"When farmers' tractor tires go down or their combine tires go flat, or grain trucks need tire changes, they call us and I go right out," states Jason Smith. "We cover a pretty good radius around here, in Johnson County, up around Mt. Vernon, down to Columbus Junction." Jason, who has been with Linder Tire for 10 years, changes tractor tires in 30 or 40 minutes, putting farmers' tractors back in operation. "Combine tires weigh from 250 to 650 pounds," Jason says. "I use jacks and a portapower, or bead breaker, and once in awhile, I use our truck crane. It takes a little talent to roll the tires on the rims."
Service and experience are important components of the product at Linder Tire Service. The present staff has amassed over 350 years of experience in the tire business.
Whether driving down Interstate 80 at high speeds, or navigating icy roads, only your tires touch the road. Safety, of course, is paramount. Buying tires should not be like buying fast food.
As they head into their eighth decade, Linder Tire remains a supplier that knows about tires, knows how to maintain them properly, how to diagnose a vehicle's needs and to choose the product appropriate for each special situation. They are there to care for those needs year after year. Because of their focus on safety and service, the experienced personnel at Linders sell tires, but supply driver confidence at no extra charge.